Educational Articles

Birds

  • Bathing is very important for the proper maintenance of feathers. The dry air in our homes created by central heating and air conditioning is not conducive to the maintenance of healthy feathers and skin, so pet birds should be encouraged to bathe at least three to four times a week. This handout provides helpful tips and safety precautions for bathing your bird.

  • Elongated beak and/or toenails are reasons for veterinary care in all pet birds. Beaks should not be trimmed regularly unless performed by an avian veterinarian. Toenail trimming may be done at home, but only when taught by an experienced bird breeder/owner or avian veterinarian.

  • A bird may bite out of fear or aggression. They may be protecting their territory or asserting their dominance. Screaming or loud vocalization is a natural way for wild parrots and other birds to communicate with each other in their flock environments. They will also scream if they are alarmed.

  • Blood feathers are a normal maturation process for all feathers on birds. When feathers first erupt from the skin they contain blood. Injury to the feather as it grows may cause the blood feather to become broken causing blood loss that at times may require emergency treatment by an avian veterinarian.

  • Our knowledge of bird nutrition is constantly evolving. This is due both to heightened awareness of the importance of nutrition and to increased research into birds' different needs. As with all other animals, birds need a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water. Different species of birds often require different foods. Poor nutrition is a common reason for many health problems in birds.

  • The budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulates), also referred to as a parakeet or more commonly a budgie, is perhaps the most popular pet bird worldwide. This beautiful, small bird originates from the drier regions of Australia.

  • Cleaning a bird cage should be a weekly routine. Since food particles and fecal material can harbor and entice bacterial and fungal growth, cage cleaning is extremely important to maintain a healthy environment for your bird. Soap and water make excellent cleaning solutions. Some materials, such as wood, wicker, and rope are impossible to disinfect and, therefore, should be replaced regularly.

  • Nutrition is commonly neglected with pet birds. Pet canaries should be fed a well-balanced and varied diet at all times. Several types of commercially formulated pelleted diets in various colors, shapes, and sizes have been developed to meet all birds' nutritional needs.

  • The canary is one of the most popular pet birds (second only to the budgie). Canaries are known for their good nature, attractive plumage, and remarkable singing ability. The canary is relatively easy to care for but do require regular, routine veterinary health check-ups.

  • Candida albicans is a common environmental fungus that can affect the digestive tracts of birds. It is a common cause of 'sour crop' or a crop infection (ingluvitis), especially in young birds. Candida can be a primary or secondary cause of crop infections. Often, other diseases compromise the bird's immune system and predispose a bird to secondary Candida infection (candidiasis).