Q. How long do birds live?
A. Birds are one of the longest living animals and vary depending upon the breed. Finches and parakeets have the shortest life span ranging from five to 10 years (sometimes longer for a parakeet) to the Macaw. The oldest bird on record is a macaw who is currently 108 years of age.
Q. What do birds eat?
A. Surprisingly, birds enjoy eating what you eat. However, if it is generally “bad” for you it will be for your bird. Foods high in sugars and fats are generally on the taboo list. Avocado and chocolate are definitely on the “do not feed” list as these foods can be residual and are often toxic. A good basic diet consists of pellets, some seed, and a daily assortment of fruits and vegetables.
Q. Do birds need vitamins if my bird eats pellets?
A. Like people, a bird’s health can benefit by a vitamin supplement. We recommend that a supplement be used on either their fruits, vegetables, seed or pellets. African Grey are particularly susceptible to low calcium. In the case of African Greys, we also recommend a calcium supplement.
Q. Which bird is the best talker?
A. African Greys are reputed to be the best talkers. However, there are parakeets that also have been reported to have an extensive vocabulary. Birds, particularly African Greys, have the ability to hold a conversation and have been shown to have logical reasoning abilities. The most famous was Alex, the African Grey.
Q. What is the best size cage for a bird?
A. The size of the cage depends upon the breed of bird. The general rule is the bigger the bird, the larger the cage. Small softbills and hookbills require cages with smaller bar spacing and the ability to move comfortably in a horizontal pattern. Large birds require one inch bars that can withstand the pressure of a strong and forceful beak.
Q. Should I have my bird's wings clipped?
A. Clipping wings has its advantages. In most cases we recommend always clipping wings to prevent your bird from accidently flying outdoors or injuring themselves. However, if you find that your bird has a plucking issue, you may want to consider not clipping their wings. We would be happy to consult with you regarding whether you should be clipping wings. We offer a complimentary wing clipping and often recommend you stop by every six to eight weeks. At that time we can discuss your options.
Q. Why does my bird vomit?
A. A bird in good health may not be vomiting at all, but rather offering you a “gift”. Birds often regurgitate to show their affection. If you suspect your bird is ill, we recommend that you consult with your veterinarian.
Q. What temperature setting in my house is appropriate for a bird?
A. Birds can acclimate to cooler temperature settings, provided it is a gradual change. It is not necessary to heat your home to 75 degrees to keep your bird comfortable. As the summer months end and you turn on your furnace, a temperature setting of 68 degrees may be comfortable for both you and your bird. If you lower your evening temperature, you may want to consider covering your bird at night for extra warmth. We recommend that you do not place the cage over a heat register and do place the cage away from any windows and places that are drafty.