Grooming

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Birds in the wild with take care of their own grooming needs. However, your pet bird will require some assistance from you.

Birds will keep their feathers in good condition by preening. Preening is the process whereby birds keep their feathers smooth by running their feathers through their beaks thus “zipping” the sections on the feather closed.

Bird grooming involves trimming of wings, claws and beaks, as well as bathing.

Trimming of your bird’s wings is an important part of bird grooming as it ensures the safety of your bird. Both wings should have their flight feathers trimmed. This results in a even, controlled descent to the floor. Trimming only one wing may result in “crash landings”. Trimming of the wings is not painful as the feathers do not contain nerves and are made of the same material as your fingernails. The appearance of your bird will not be altered. Before you begin trimming your bird’s wings visit your local veterinarian and he/she will demonstrate exactly how it should be done. It is important to remember that your scissors must always point away from the body of the bird. Also ensure that the person handling the bird does so carefully.

The next aspect to consider in bird grooming is that of beak and claw clipping. In the wild the beak and claws would naturally be worn down. Unfortunately birds in captivity are unable to do this. If clipping is not done the claws and beak will grow too long and the beak may become chipped or damaged. Avoid the use of sandpaper perch covers to shorten nails as these will damage the soles of the bird’s feet. The tools for clipping a small bird’s claws are nail clippers, an emery board and styptic powder (stops bleeding). Larger bird’s require a rotating grind stone. A Veterinarian should trim your bird’s beak. When trimming your bird’s nails have the styptic powder or some corn flour nearby in case of bleeding. Should any bleeding occur it is vital to take your bird to your Veterinarian.

Bathing is also important when grooming birds. This can be done by providing the bird with a suitable container of water in which to bathe. Alternatively you can spray the bird with a light mist of water. Commercial sprays for bathing are unneccessary. Bathing can take place daily or when convenient. Bird’s must be allowed to air dry, preferably in a warm room or sunlight. Whilst a hairdryer may be used, care must be taken not to burn your bird.

Grooming of birds is important to keep them in good health, and also brings you the pleasure of seeing your bird in beautiful condition.

Winter Wings Festival, Oregon

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The 2008 Winter Wings Festival, sponsored by the Klamath Basin Audubon Society and the Klamath Wingwatchers, is set to take place from 15 to 17 February 2008 at Klamath Falls, Oregon. The purpose of the Winter Wings Festival is to increase awareness of wildlife resources in the community with the focus on birds and bird-watching.

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The Marvelous Mimicry of the Lyrebird

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There are two species of the ground-dwelling Australian Lyrebird: the Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae) and the Albert’s Lyrebird (Menura alberti). The Superb Lyrebird is the larger of the two species and is found in the wet forest areas of New South Wales and Victoria, as well as in Tasmania where is was introduced by man in the 19th century. The Albert’s Lyrebird is found exclusively in a small area of rainforest in Southern Queensland. Albert’s Lyrebird was named in honor of Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert.

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The Silent Flight of Owls at Night

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The Owl is a fascinating nocturnal bird and one of the quietest flying bird species in the world. The Owl’s ability to keep completely silent while in action is based on the Owl’s unique feather design, which is unlike any other bird species.

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How Do Hummingbirds Hover?

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Hummingbirds are a bird species well known for their amazing aerobatic skills. You may see a hummingbird hovering at a flower having a drink of nectar. Its wings are a misty blur either side of it. In an instant, it might dart forward, sideways, backwards or even upside down, wings beating furiously at 50 to 80, or even more, beats per second. The number of beats per second varies according to the size and species of the bird. It has been reported that a hummingbird can travel at speeds of 30 to 60 miles per hour (50 to 100 km/h) and then abruptly stop and hover in one position. How do they accomplish these amazing aerobatic feats?

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The Marvelous Mechanics of Flight

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Although airplane wings may be somewhat modeled after the wings of birds, the mechanics of bird flight are far more complex. A number of forces act on the flexible wings of a bird and are very different from those on the fixed wings of an airplane. Birds are highly specialized creatures and adapted for flight. They dominate the skies and occupy a unique niche in the environment.

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Sleepy Hummingbirds

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Hummingbirds have incredibly busy days. Their heart is beating 1000 times a minute. This gets even mo repaid after the hummingbird starts flapping its wings 10-80 beats a second! In addition to buys days, hummingbirds need to keep their body temperature as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit (or 40 degrees Celsius).

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Amazing Albatross – Birds

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Travel far from land, and you may be lucky enough to see an Albatross. These huge seabirds have the longest wings in the bird species world – the Wandering Albatross’ skinny wings reach over 11 feet from tip to tip.

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