Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. In the early 1980’s I had the good fortune to work with the critically endangered Northern Bald Ibis, Geronticus eremita. Also known as the Waldrapp, the group I cared for at the Bronx Zoo provided a unique opportunity to refine breeding techniques and observe complex social behavior. Today Bald Ibis are secure in captivity, but their future in the wild remains uncertain. Read More »
Monthly Archives: July 2011
Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. Cornell University researchers have just revealed a most surprising bit of avian news that may show why Green-Rumped Parrotlets (Forpus passerinus) and their relatives are such good mimics. Field research has shown that parrots actually label each chick with unique vocal signature –essentially a name. The chicks and other parrots imitate these names, and use them when communicating with one another!
Why Mimic Speech?
Everything in nature has a purpose, and so ornithologists have long wondered why parrots have such extraordinary abilities to imitate speech, sounds and the calls of other birds…surely it cannot be just to entertain their owners! We now have evidence that mimicry is likely vital to parrot social structure and survival. Read More »
Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. Parrots are complicated, social animals, and as such can be very confusing to owners. What is perceived as “bad” or “destructive” behavior has roots in millions of years of evolution. Understanding your parrot’s natural history – how it lives in the wild – is key to your pet’s welfare, and a rewarding relationship with it.
Understanding Your Bird’s “Wild Side”
Good parrot care begins with a thorough understanding of parrot natural history. Parrot ancestors arose 100 million years ago…your own intentions, however well-meaning, will never overpower the instincts that have evolved since then. This is a very important point to keep in mind – parrots are wild creatures, driven by instinct, and, even after many generations in captivity, are in no sense domesticated (i.e. as are dogs or sheep). They do have remarkable learning abilities that often enable them to modify their instinctual responses. However, when considering parrot care and training, it is paramount that their true natures be considered. Read More »
Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. Many people concerned with the conservation of wild birds focus their efforts on the tropics. The plight of tropical parrots has, with good reason, long monopolized the attentions of conservationists and concerned citizens alike, and birds of all kinds reach their greatest diversity south of the equator. I suppose the fact that ornithologists often prefer to do their research in warm places doesn’t hurt either! However, a recent report has revealed that shocking numbers of protected songbirds, storks, eagles, vultures and other birds are being trapped, shot, poisoned and otherwise killed in at least 38 European countries. Read More »
Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. Even where it is common, the Cedar Waxwing, Bombycilla cedrorum, always elicits excitement among birders. Widely considered to be one of the USA’s most beautiful birds, captives tame readily and have achieved some popularity among European hobbyists. Those I’ve kept have provided many fond memories and interesting observations.
This 6-inch-long bird has a unique look that can be described as “sleek, silky and shiny”. It is clad in muted shades of brown, gray and lemon-yellow, and sports a jaunty crest, bold black eye mask and striking scarlet-red wing tips. Read More »