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. What would you like to do?
How many different orders are there of Aves? Families? Species?
- 27 orders
- 166 families
- 8700 species
How many pet birds are there in the US?
Most pet birds are in the _____ family.
What are different types of parrots?
What are the main psittacines we work with?
How many species of psittacines are there?
What do psittacines mainly eat?
seeds and nuts
How much time do psittacines spend grooming?
20 - 66% of the day
How much time do psittacines spend foraging for food?
40 - 60% of the day
How much time do psittacines spend vocalizing?
2 - 5% of the day
How much time do psittacines spend on social interaction?
10 - 40%
Why is it a problem that parrots live so long?
will usually have multiple homes which means multiple problems
How long do larger birds live for?
Is it a good thing if a bird is in the bottom of the cage? Why or why not?
its not good to see them in the bottom of the cage because psittacines live in the tops of trees
How much does the average bird weigh?
Are birds prey species?
Do birds live in flocks?
yes, they don't like to be isolated
Are young birds precocial or altricial?
More dominant birds are _____ in the tree.
What will happen if you hold a bird over your head? Where should you hold a bird?
- it may act dominant overy you and bite you
- keep birds at your chest height
A bird has the emotional level of a _____ year old.
A bird has an intelligence level of a _____ year old.
Are birds emotional?
yes, will strive to get your attention
Do birds have a placenta?
Where do embryonic birds get their nutrients from?
How long can a bird store sperm?
about 30 days
What is the shortest incubation time for birds? Longest?
- shortest: 2 weeks
- longest: 60 days
Do males sometimes help incubate the eggs and feed the baby chicks once they are born?
How long does it take for a baby bird to be adult sized and be fully feathered?
4 - 6 weeks
What is a fledgling?
a bird attempting to fly
How does the mama bird feed her babies?
How long do baby birds stay with their parents?
Predator avoidance is _____.
Why should we not handle a bird with gloves?
the bird will be scared of the gloves and then we will not be able to handle the bird at all
What are some characteristics of poor parenting?
- eggs don't hatch
- young not fed enough
- young killed by parent (bites head off)
How are birds injured in their environment?
- by other pets
- household hazards - windows, electrical cords, poisonous plants, teflon, lead poisoning
How do we hatch eggs in captivity?
- eggs moved to an incubator at a correct temperature and humidity
- eggs hatch and mobed to a brooder
- young then hand-reared
What is a brooder?
an environment that provides the baby birth warmth to dry off
What is an egg tooth?
- calcium structure on the end of the beak to help the bird tap out of the egg
- falls off 3 days after birth
What happens to the yolk once the bird hatches?
it sucks up inside the bird and gives nutrients for several days
What is a precocial chick?
about to get up and run around after birth
What are the three most common behavior problems with hand raised birds?
- feather plucking
- excessive screaming
Are birds easily frightened?
At what times during the day do birds scream?
at dawn and dusk
How do birds respond to being frightened?
What are birds feathers like when they are awake? Asleep?
- smooth when awake
- fluffed when cool or sleeping
What are birds feathers like when they are sick?
If a bird is screaming at other times then dusk and dawn, then what kind of behavior is this?
attention seeking behavior
How should you hold a bird and when should you start teaching a bird how to be held?
- hold a bird on arm and close to your chest
- start when bird is young
How do we train a bird?
operant conditioning - find out what treat a bird likes the best
Can you use clicker training to train a bird?
Does praise work when training a bird?
no, they do not care about praise like a dog does
What does a displeased bird look like?
- squint eyes
- snaps foot and wings (pick foot up and slams it down over and over again, same with wing)
- head rotates sideways
What does a displeased bird lead to?
an angry bird
What does an angry bird look like?
- pupils dilate and constrict
- head feathers become erect
- spreads tail feathers
- may growl
What should we do with an angry bird?
- leave it alone, do not punish it
- if we must pick it up, pick it up with a towel
What are the most common problems with birds?
- biting people
- interbird aggression
- feather picking
- phobic behavior
What are some reasons a bird will bite?
- territorial about space and people
Is biting self rewarding to a bird?
Should we ever hit a bird to punish it?
How do we move a biting bird?
use stick or perch to move aggressive bird from point A to point B
What is the earthquake treatment?
- hold bird by foot on your arm and close to your body
- slowly walk towards the person the bird is aggressive towards
- drop arm quickly as bird tries to bite
- bring arm back up and then reward them
What are the two types of interbird aggressions?
- interspecific aggression
- intraspecific aggression
What is interspecific aggression?
- between birds of different species
- will try and kill one another
What is intraspecific aggression?
aggression within the same species
How do we treat/prevent interbird aggression?
introduce new birds gradually and with human supervision
If a bird shows interbird aggression once, will they do it again?
- keep them separate and only bring them together when they can be supervised
What is feather plucking?
What causes feather plucking?
- poor nutrition
- boredom (lack of human attention, nothing to do)
- stress/emotional upset
- hormonal changes
What kind of stress/emotional upset can cause feather plucking?
- new inhabitants
Where on a bird do we often see the feather plucking?
on the breast of the bird
What kind of environmental factors can we improve to help with feather plucking?
- keep cage clean
- keep feathers of the bird clean (birds groom/preen daily)
- psychological enrichment
What is the preen gland? Where is the preen gland?
- excretes a substance that keeps feathers shiny and makes them water proof
- under the tail
Do we often seen feather plucking with birds who live together in pairs or flocks?
What types of therapies can we do for feather plucking?
- correct cause
- collar or vest
- behavior modification
What kind of behavioral modification can we do to help with feather plucking?
What kinds of medications can we use to help with feather plucking? Do meds work really well for this?
- prozac, trexan, HCG, haloperidol
Is feather plucking life threatening?
Once the feather plucking has become a compulsive behavior is it easy to fix?
no its hard to reverse even if we correct the cause
What is screaming?
a form of bird talk
What makes screaming worse?
a noisy environment
How can we correct screaming behavior?
- don't scream, come to bird, squirt with water
- cover cage from behind and uncover once the bird is quiet
- evil eyes works if you have a good relationship with bird
How should birds be brought into the clinic?
in a carrier or shoulder harness
Should we allow birds to run around the room or sit on the owner?
How many minutes into the appointment sets the tone of the appointment?
How do we do a physical exam on a bird?
- visual PE first before grabbing the bird
- catch on arm and hold its foot
- bring towel slowly from below
- cover bird and grab head
- get all supplies we need for appointment before starting the appointment
If we are having a problem picking up the bird, what can we try?
turning off the lights because birds have a hard time seeing in the dark
Should we let owners interact with the bird while working on it?
Why is watching a bird breathing very important?
birds don't have diaphragms so they pump air in and out with their chest...make sure you aren't pressing on their chest and preventing them from breathing
Does flying increase self confidence in a bird?
If we want to deflight our birds, what are the two ways we can do this?
- clip feathers annually by cutting across flight feathers
- permanently clip feathers (pinion)
Which types of birds do we need to really watch their breathing?
What would you like to do?
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