Bird Behavior

February 9, 2009 by  
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Bird behavior refers to the actions of a bird in response to environmental situations. Some bird behavior is instinctive, whilst other behavior is learned. Behavior includes caring for itself, feeding and interaction with others (birds, humans, other animals).

To develop a happy and satisfying relationship with your pet bird it is important to understand its behavior. Birds view people as part of their flock and therefore act accordingly. Dominant behavior by birds is displayed when the bird believes it is head of the pecking order. It is thus very important to establish the pecking order with your bird as the subordinate. A dominant bird may develop “bad”; behavior such as biting or screeching. It may feel it needs to defend its territory against disliked people and attack them. Such behavior by birds can be avoided by keeping the top of the bird’s head level with your chest. Do not allow it to perch above you or on your shoulder as this encourages dominant behavior.

Bird behavior can often be interpreted, much like a foreign language. Tongue clicking is an invitation to interact. Grinding of the beak indicates contentment. Panting is a sign that a bird is overheated or perhaps uncomfortable. A sharp flick of the wings demonstrates annoyance. Observe your pet bird’s behavior carefully and you will gain much insight into its state of mind and general well-being.

Preening is an important part of bird behavior as it keeps feathers in good condition. Preening involves the smoothing of feathers by stroking the feathers with the beak. Preening behavior by garden birds may include dust baths and splashing around in water.

Bird feeding behavior may change due to temperature, season and time of day. This is especially evident in the feeding behavior of garden birds. In winter they are more likely to make use of bird feeders due to a lack of natural food sources. Your pet bird may begin bobbing his/her head when hungry or excited by the prospect of being fed. Many birds expect to be fed at a certain time every day. Some species are very messy feeders and feed with great enthusiasm.

Bird behavior is intricate and fascinating, whether you are observing the behavior of garden birds, birds in the wild or your own beloved pet.

The Feather Picking Phenomenon

October 16, 2008 by  
Filed under Pet Birds

According to veterinary estimates, as many as 50% or more of pet birds taken to the vet engage in some form of over-preening or other feather damaging behavior. The problem is quite commonplace, but it is distressing for bird owners and difficult to get rid of. Moreover, any bird can start to exhibit this problem. So what do we do about it?

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Pet Birds React to Moods and Energy Levels

September 29, 2008 by  
Filed under Pet Birds

Most animal lovers firmly believe that their pets respond to their warm loving touch, but quite a few owners are blissfully unaware of just how much our pets are aware of. This is also the case with pet birds, especially parrots, which respond almost instantly to the mood or energy levels of the human who is handling them.

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Green Woodhoopoe Displays Remarkable Team Spirit

September 5, 2008 by  
Filed under Features

Ongoing research into bird behavior continues to reveal fascinating facts about the multitude of feathered creatures that share our planet. Results from recent research indicates that when a rival flock has defeated them in a raucous show of superiority, Green Woodhoopoes display supportive behavior to their fellow flock-mates in a manner that researchers have likened to football fans commiserating with one another when the team they are supporting loses.

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Mirror Test Reveals Magpie’s Amazing Self-Recognition Ability

August 20, 2008 by  
Filed under Features

In a research project which shatters the long held belief that the ability of self-recognition was restricted to select primates, it has been discovered that Magpies also have this ability. This discovery brings another long held belief into question with regard to which part of the brain is used in the function of self-recognition. Strong evidence has indicated that it is the neocortex which comes into play in this function, but magpies do not even possess a neocortex.

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