A Closer Look at Beak Problems

January 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Pet Birds

Those of us fortunate enough to own one or more feathered friends will understand that it is always a good idea to have at least a basic knowledge of common bird ailments. Forewarned is forearmed, or so they say, and this is especially true when it comes to your bird’s beak. Birds use their beaks for numerous things, so anything could go wrong with it at virtually any time.

There are a surprising number of bird beak problems which occur fairly commonly across the globe. One of the most common is probably that of trauma. Pet birds can easily break or injure their beaks by engaging in activities such as fighting with other birds, chewing on electric cords, flying into windows or fans or trapping their beak between cage bars. They can even hurt them by falling accidentally onto a hard floor. As a result, the beak can be punctured, fractured or partially or completely torn off the face. If anything like this happens to your bird, it would be best to rush it to the vet immediately.

Another thing to look out for is infectious disease. There are a number of viral, parasitic, bacterial and fungal pathogens that can affect the bird’s beak directly or indirectly. Examples of this are psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD), avian pox and scaly leg and face mites. None of them are pretty, but many of them are easily treatable with antibiotics and antifungal treatments.

Then there are those bird beak problems that occur at a much slower rate and may not be noticed until they are already quite well-developed. Some baby birds develop beak abnormalities early on, where their upper or lower beaks grow longer than they should. This is not great for the bird but can be fixed with dental appliances which are similar in application to human braces. Nutritional deficiencies can also cause beak problems, with scaly beaks or overgrown beaks being caused by inappropriate nutrition. Sometimes a bird’s beak can become soft or rubbery. It may take a while to notice these things, but once it has been spotted the bird should be put on a more appropriate diet so that it can recover.

One of the more serious bird beak problems to watch out for is that of cancer. Birds can develop squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma on their beaks which can manifest as an erosion or a discolored mass on the beak. If it is caught early enough it can usually be surgically removed. If you notice anything abnormal about your bird’s beak, the best thing to do is usually to contact the vet as soon as possible. Don’t waste time as you may miss a critical window period that could make all the difference.

Exquisite Bird Watching in Turkey

January 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Features

Turkey is an incredibly beautiful place filled with all kinds of plants and animals. Birds are certainly found in abundance here and a large number of birdwatchers are fast discovering that Turkey is an ideal bird watching destination. In fact, if you’re busy planning your next holiday, why not consider going bird watching in Turkey?

There are a number of different travel companies that are already offering bird watching tours in Turkey. The country’s diverse geography provides a number of different bird habitats, making for excellent variety. In fact, it is the diversity of ecosystems combined with the country’s location between several migratory routes which have provided the massive abundances of birds that this country enjoys. Here you will find deciduous and coniferous forests, arid steppe, coastal areas, mountains and much more. Many birds can claim this beautiful part of the world as their permanent home. Many others regularly stop in Turkey en route from Europe to Africa and back each year. No wonder bird watching in Turkey is fast gaining a reputation for excellence!

The Turkish wetlands are often considered to be the most important ecosystems for wild birds. Many different species can be found in Manyas Kuscenneti, which is situated south of the Marma Sea and is regarded as being the most important wetland area in the country. The 64 hectare lake is home to more bird species than anywhere else in the country. Well over 60 different species make their way to Manyas Kuscenneti each year to breed. Other prime wetland areas include Sultansazligi, Izmir Kuscenneti, Yumurtalik, Akyatan, Agytan, Egirdir and Beysehir, amongst others. Rivers also provide an important habitat for birds, and here you will find that the Euphrates certainly isn’t the only one. Many river deltas, such as the Kizihrmak and the Göksu, simply cannot be overlooked when it comes to bird watching in Turkey. The country is also home to a wonderful number of mountain ranges which feature alpine meadows with heavily forested lower slopes. The most enjoyable bird watching experience to be enjoyed in the mountains can arguably be found at Soguksu National Park. Olympos National Park is also absolutely fantastic.

There is more than 8 000 km of coastline in Turkey, which features sandy beaches, salt marshes, jagged cliffs and more. This is yet another exciting part of the country’s natural habitat worth exploring as it is teeming with birdlife. If you would like to go on a bird watching tour in Turkey, you should definitely choose your seasons carefully. Spring is generally the best time to go bird watching, though it helps to go just before or after holiday season as this not only saves money but makes for a less stressful holiday. Book your ticket now to make the most of the abundant natural birdlife in the beautiful country of Turkey.

Trumpeter Swans Might Not Be Endangered Anymore

January 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Features

In this day and age of destruction and desolation, it is not often that you find wildlife officials reaching positive milestones. Yet that is exactly what is happening in Wisconsin. It seems that in that part of the United States, trumpeter swan numbers have increased so much that officials are now considering whether or not to remove them from the local endangered wildlife species list.

Trumpeter swans in Wisconsin suffered a dramatic decline in numbers in the past – so much so that they were listed as an endangered species in that area. Their decline was the result of a number of different factors, but mainly through human interference. For starters they were ruthlessly hunted before the turn of the 19th century, leading to a dramatic decrease in numbers. What was left was further affected by the use of the pesticide DDT in the area, with the result that local populations were well and truly decimated. Fortunately the state-run Department of Natural Resources saw the need to take action and the majestic white birds were reintroduced to the state in the 1980s. Trumpeter swans in Wisconsin were also placed on the endangered list in 1986, as part of efforts to further ensure their survival. The original goal was to see 20 breeding pairs firmly established in the area. The Department of Natural Resources and other partner organizations have been hard at work trying to ensure their survival by building artificial nesting platforms and doing whatever else might assist the birds in their attempts to breed successfully. What must have seemed painstaking work back then has now yielded fine results. By 1989, the birds were downgraded from endangered to threatened. Just last year there are estimated to be over 120 breeding pairs in Wisconsin, spread across 20 different counties in the state. Now, it seems that there are about 500 nesting pairs in the area!

Since it seems that local trumpeter swan populations are well and truly on the way to recovery, officials are now faced with the task of deciding whether or not to remove them from their endangered species list. Choosing to de-list the bird species in Wisconsin will not leave it completely unprotected, as it will still fall under the safeguard of the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The Natural Resources Board will make the final decision whether or not to de-list the bird at its official meeting in January 28, 2009.

Peach-faced Lovebirds Prosper in Arizona

January 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Features

There is something so enjoyable – so soothing – about watching a wild-bird frolic in your backyard. That pleasure increases somewhat when the bird in question is a peach-faced lovebird. These delightful little birds are not only a pleasure to look at, but their curious antics make for enjoyable bird watching.

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