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Birds

  • Mynah birds (Gracula sp. and Acridotheres tristis) originate from Africa, India and Southeast Asia and are best known for their ability to talk and to mimic any and all sounds.

  • As with other pet animals, obesity is a problem often encountered with birds. Obesity is a major problem in older birds and can contribute to diseases that are commonly seen in geriatric birds such as fatty liver disease (hepatic lipidosis).

  • Pacheco’s disease is caused by a herpes virus. Many species of birds are susceptible. Cockatoos and Amazon parrots are very susceptible to the infection and usually die, whereas conures, such as the Nanday and Patagonian Conures seem to be resistant to the disease.

  • The papilloma virus causes non-cancerous tumors (warts) in many pet birds. The virus belongs to the family papovavirus, the same family as the polyoma virus, which also infects birds.

  • Unlike dogs and cats, parasites are not commonly diagnosed in pet birds. When present, however, they can cause generalized debilitation for the birds. Some parasites cause specific clinical conditions.

  • When a bird is not flying, it is standing. It is rare to see a bird lying down or sitting. Perches are therefore very important. They are used for standing, rubbing and cleaning beaks, chewing and entertainment.

  • 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.

  • The domestic pigeon (family Columbidae) includes over 300 breeds, all descending from the Rock Dove (Columbia livia). They originated in Eurasia, but are now found all over the world.

  • When a feather is pulled out or falls out during a normal moult, a new feather is stimulated to start growing right away. As the new feather (pin or blood feather) emerges from the skins feather follicle, it looks like a spike, quill or much like the feather shaft itself.

  • Many birds naturally eat plants as part of their diet. Some birds will chew on and possibly consume plants out of curiosity or in the course of play. Birds left unsupervised out of their cage may easily encounter plants kept around the house and in the garden.