Nutrition

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Bird nutrition is vital for your pet bird to remain happy and healthy. A balanced diet will ensure that your bird will live a long healthy life and be able to cope with mental and physical stress. An unbalanced diet will lead to poor health, and perhaps even death.

Of importance is the fact that seed alone will not provide sufficient nutrition for seed-eating birds, even if a variety of seed is offered. To supply your bird with all the necessary vitamins and minerals, include pellets, fruit and vegetables as part of its diet. Formulated diets consist of seeds, grains, vegetables, fruits and proteins. Fresh fruit and vegetables must be washed and remnants left in the cage must be thrown away before it begins to rot.

Non-seed eating birds are fed on a formula which is served either dry or moistened. Formulas which are made into nectar must be changed several times a day. Offer the bird fruit such as: apple, pineapple, figs, pomegranates, grapes and kiwi. Fresh corn on the cob and flowers such as pansies, roses, marigolds and dandelions may also interest them.

Vitamin and mineral supplements are available should such be necessary for the good health of your bird. Buy the product that will specifically meet the nutritional needs of your bird. Vitamin A deficiencies commonly affect birds. You should feed the bird orange vegetables, green leafy vegetables and egg yolk to overcome this nutrient deficiency. Mineral supplements are important for nutrition, especially for breeding birds. Minerals are found in: mineral blocks, cuttlebone, bones/ bone meal, milk and cheese. To provide the necessary protein consider feeding your bird, in moderation: meat, milk, fish and egg.

Certain foods will be detrimental to the health of your bird. Avoid such foods as: those that contain large amounts of fat and sugar, avocado, chocolate, alcohol, caffeine and fruit pits.

Also important to remember in caring for your bird’s nutritional needs is water. Fresh water must be given daily or more frequently if your bird fouls up the water.

Nutrition is important if you wish to keep your bird in good health, bright and full of life. Thus you can take pleasure in owning and caring for your bird.

Attracting Birds

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Attracting birds to your garden can be a most rewarding activity, providing countless opportunities to enjoy bird watching in your own back yard. There is no need for a bird cage to gain pleasure from viewing and listening to these beautiful winged creatures.

There are three basic requirements for attracting birds to your garden, namely: Food, water and shelter.

Food for garden birds can be provided in two complimentary ways. First, is by the use of a bird feeder or a bird table. Consider the species you would like to attract to your garden and provide feed accordingly. A variety of bird feeders spread throughout the garden will encourage a wider variety of birds to visit. Consider a bird table for ground feeding birds; a hanging feeder for perching birds and a suet feeder for insect eating birds. Pet shops, garden centers and even some supermarkets will sell a range of bird feeders as well as a variety of foods suitable for different types of birds. Consult a good bird guide to get an idea as to what certain birds will be interested in i.e. are they seed eaters, insect eaters, nectar eaters etc. Secondly, consider planting a bird-friendly garden. Visit your local garden centre and look for indigenous plants that will produce berries, nuts, seeds and other food all year round. Such plants will meet the needs of local garden birds. Indigenous plants will also attract insects on which insect-eating birds can feed. Avoid the use of insecticides as these may end up poisoning the very birds you have invited to your garden.

Next to consider is water. Birds will thoroughly enjoy splashing around in a water feature. A bird bath will be just as much appreciated. When purchasing a bird bath, ensure that the surface is rough so that the birds will have something to grip onto. Remember to keep the bird bath or water feature clean so that the bird’s health will not be adversely affected.

Shelter can be provided in the form of a bird house (nesting box) or by planting indigenous trees and shrubbery. Pet shops and garden centers should be able to provide you with a suitable bird house for the different species.

By meeting these three basic requirements, you can enjoy bird watching from the comfort of your home.

The Pleasure of Pet Duck Ownership

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When seeing a cute little duckling, many an animal-lover is tempted to pick it up, cuddle it and take it home. This urge can become almost impossible to resist if the animal-lover is accompanied by children. Ducks make wonderful pets, but before making a commitment to care for a pet duck that could be around for up to twelve years, it is wise to give the matter careful thought, weighing up (and even writing down if necessary) the pros and cons of adding this fluffy little bird to the household.

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The Joy of Owning Finches

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Finches are known for their lively personalities. At a maximum length of approximately twenty centimeters, what they lack in size, they make up for in activity. For many years, finches have been kept as pets because of their beauty and their natural ability to bring sunshine into their owners’ lives. They are extremely low maintenance pets and perfect for bird lovers who live in small apartments. Proper care for these lively pets can ensure a long and healthy life that could span between five to ten years.

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Choosing the Perfect Bird House: Part 2

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So you want to put a birdhouse in your yard- but is your yard a good place for it? And where in the yard should you put it? To answer these questions, research what habitat your favorite bird species prefers, and examine your yard to see if it provides enough shelter, food and water.

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Loons Haunting Calls

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Visitors to northern-hemisphere lakes often hear loons (known as divers in Europe and Asia). Most of the 5 loon species make haunting, wailing calls that, once heard, are difficult to forget.

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Desert Birds: How Do Birds Drink Water? Part 1

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Like all animals, birds need water in order to survive. They need even more water than mammals do, to help fuel their energetic flight. So how do birds, especially ones that live in deserts, stay hydrated?

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How do birds drink?

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Birds need water to survive. This includes ocean birds that are flying far out over the ocean, like gulls, petrels, and albatross. They may be far from shore for months or even years at a time, never seeing lakes or other sources of fresh water. How do they survive?

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Waterproof feathers – Birds

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“Like water off a duck’s back”, goes the common expression. When raindrops hit the “waterproof” feathers on a duck, they bead up and do not penetrate the feathers. How does this work?

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