Showing and Displaying

February 9, 2009 by  
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Preparation for showing and displaying of birds typically begins about four months before the date of the show. At this time you should decide which birds you are going to be showing and then place each bird in its own cage to prevent damage to feathers and so on. The birds chosen for showing and displaying should have good plumage, posture and have all their toes. Examine the birds daily to see if they are still in tip-top condition. Maintain show birds on a nutritious diet that will not allow them to become overweight.

Once you have chosen the birds for showing and displaying, begin a routine of bathing or spraying the birds with water daily. Closer to the date of the show clip claws and file beaks. Keep the cages thoroughly clean so that the bird does not soil its feathers. Begin spraying them with a soft mist of water as their showing condition improves. Two days prior to the show stop this spraying and allow natural oils to coat the birds’ feathers giving them a lovely sheen.

Prepare your birds for the show by familiarizing them with their show cages. This can be done by enticing them into the cage by means of treats. By using this method it will not be necessary to handle your show bird and there will be no risk of damage to feathers or injuries. Also get the bird accustomed to the cage being moved around and lots of noise as this is what they will encounter at the show.

On the day of the show make sure that your show cage is clean and sprinkle a layer of plain seed on the bottom of the cage. Also rather use a water bottle attached to the outside of the cage, You do not want food and water dishes obscuring the view of the judges whilst your bird is on display.

When you arrive you will have to register your birds. The stewards will ensure that you have the correct labels for the group you are entering into. Such labels should be properly displayed. The judges will be looking for shape, size, color and condition of the bird. Plumage is to be fully developed. Birds must look lively and active but not nervous. Once the judges have seen all the birds, prizes are awarded.

Showing and displaying birds can be a rewarding and satisfying experience. Even if you do not win, you will have enjoyed the association of like-minded people, swopping stories and learning from one anothers experiences.

Roseate Spoonbill (Ajaia ajaja)

February 9, 2009 by  
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The male and female Roseate spoonbill, Ajaia ajaja, is 28 inches long and has a wingspan of 53 inches. They are relatively large, long-legged waders and have a long neck and a long spatula-looking bill. When the Roseate spoonbill is in flight it holds its neck extended.

The adult bird has red eyes that are in contrast to its greenish, featherless head. The bill is gray in color with dark mottling and it has a black nape band. The wings and back of the spoonbill are a beautiful pink color, the legs are red and the feet dark. The juvenile spoonbill has yellow eyes and bill with a white or at times a pale pink plumage and a white-feathered head.

The Roseate spoonbill enjoys marshes, mangrove swamps and tidal ponds found along the Gulf Coast. They feed in water that is shallow, brackish or salty and at times they will feed in fresh water by swinging their spoon-shaped bill from side to side in long arcs. The spoonbill will feed either in small groups or by themselves and are often seen in company of other varieties of wading birds.

The Roseate spoonbill is a monogamous bird and will breed in swampy, marsh areas producing one brood. Their nest is made up of dense vegetation above the water or on ground. The nests are made well and are a cup shape stick platform, lined with dry fine materials. The male spoonbill will look for the building materials while the female builds the nest. The female will produce three off-white eggs, marked with brown. The incubation period takes just over three weeks and once they hatch it takes a further 35 to 42 days before they are able to fly. The spoonbill’s diet is made up of fish, insects, crustaceans and a few water plants. They pick up the food by sweeping their bill through the water and when they feel their food they snap it up. The nesting area or colony is made up of different birds, like herons and egrets.

Ross’s Goose (Chen rossii)

February 9, 2009 by  
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The Ross’s goose or as it is scientifically named, Chen rossii, is 16 inches long with a total wingspan of 51 inches. It is a small goose, weighing between 860 to 2040 g, which sometimes hybridizes with the Snow Goose and has many different colored morphs. The white Ross’s Goose is very similar to the white morph Snow Goose, the differences are that the Ross’s Goose is smaller, its bill is stubby, it does not have a black patch on its mandibles and its head looks rounder with a short neck.

The white morph-adult has completely white plumage with black primaries and has pink legs, feet and bill. The white morph-immature has a majority white plumage with grey upper parts. It also has black primaries, dark feet and legs and dark bill. The immature white morph Snow Goose has a darker back than the Ross’s Goose. The blue morph-adult has a dark lower neck and body and a white head and upper neck. It has a pink bill, legs and feet with dark primaries and secondaries.

The Ross’s Goose will breed on tundra near the Southampton Islands in Hudson Bay and the northeastern Mackenzie. During the winter period the Ross’s Goose will stay mainly in California, east coast and the lower Mississippi Valley in salty or freshwater marshes. In the summer the Goose will stay in the central Canadian Arctic. The call of the Ross’s Goose is a high-pitched “keek keek keek”. It is a completely vegetarian bird eating different grasses, legumes and domestic grains. It scrapes out the ground and makes a nest in the hole, lining it with plant material and down feathers.

The female Ross’s Goose will lay 2-6, white eggs that become stained during incubation. The female Ross’s Goose does all the incubation of the eggs while the male stands on guard the whole time. When the female eventually has to leave the nest she will cover it in down to keep the eggs warm and to hide them from any predators lurking around. When the chicks hatch they come out covered in either a yellow or grey down and their eyes wide open. It takes the juveniles only 24 hours after hatching to have the ability to feed and swim.

Peach-faced Lovebirds Prosper in Arizona

January 8, 2009 by  
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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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Father & Son Assess Strange Nesting Habits

November 12, 2008 by  
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The Wilson Journal of Ornithology recently published an article documenting the unusual nesting habits of the White-winged Diuca Finch. This was the first research ever published which detailed the diminutive bird’s breeding habits.

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