Sunday, December 4, 2011

Parrots Galore: Part 3

Welcome back to another installment of Parrots Galore!  

Just to remind you of which birds I own in my household, I have five parakeets (Calla, Myra, Perri, Parker, and Avery) that are all female and one Green-cheeked Conure (Jazz), who is male.  I have already written blogs about Calla and Myra, so feel free to search for those on this site by entering their names in the search box at the top of the page.
Meet Perri.  The brown cere at the top of her beak indicates she is a female.
The next parakeet (budgerigar) I would like to share with you is Perri.  She is seven years old this year.

Perri got her name from her color.  She has a periwinkle body with gray wings and tail and a white head and face.  She is a plump looking little bird that seems to act out when she is outside the cage.  She seems to be a very dramatic bird.  I call her my drama queen. 

Perri loves to fly around my apartment and seems to perch on things she knows she isn’t allowed to perch on.   I think Perri pushes the boundaries when she does this, but she probably feels more comfortable on those perches than others.  She likes to perch on the picture frames on my walls and on my Conure’s cage as well.  As soon as I say her name in a tone that she recognizes as disapproval, she jumps off and flies to one of the four cages.  I do not allow any of the parakeets on the picture frames because of the potential danger of frames falling off and injuring the birds.  I also don’t allow them to be on Jazz’s cage (my Conure) because of possible toe biting.  Jazz is very curious and sometimes protective of his cage.  He has a much larger beak than the parakeets and can do a lot more damage as well. 
Budgies are outgoing and curious and love to investigate everything in their environment. 
Perri also loves to investigate my clothes.  She likes to land on my shoulder and feel the texture with her beak.  She doesn’t let me touch her so much while she’s on me, but will stay with me for several minutes and frequently leave and then return.  When she does this, the other birds seem to become curious and migrate over to join her.  This is an example of this species’ typical flocking behavior.  It’s very fascinating to watch how birds act around each other.

Fortunately the budgie population is listed as a species of least concern in the wild.  Populations of birds and other animals in general, fluctuate depending in great part on human impact.  The extinction of the Carolina parakeet is a sad example of this.  The Carolina Parakeet became extinct in the 1930s in the United States.  The Carolina Parakeet was considered an agricultural pest by farmers, and they were trapped by hunters for their feathers and the pet trade.  Habitat loss was another contributor to their decline.

Besides the Carolina parakeet, the Thick-billed parrot is the only other parrot native to the United States.  It is, unfortunately, on the endangered species list.  The current population is in the vicinity of 1000-4000.  This species’ population has decreased because of human impact, which includes agriculture and structural development.

Budgie populations are estimated to be about 5 million.  These joyful little birds are native to central Australia.  Human impact on budgies is minimal because of their main habitat, open grasslands.  They have been seen in woodlands as well.  Budgies are most likely doing well in the wild because of the areas they inhabit and the fact that they stay together in large flocks--as large as in the hundreds, sometimes thousands.  By flocking together, they have the ability to confuse predators when they come near.  The original wild color mutation is green on the front of the body with black bars on the back.  When they all fly at once, most will escape the predator by confusing it with directionality.  I recommend watching a video online of budgies in the wild. 


Submitted by Lisbeth Hodges, World Bird Sanctuary Naturalist

2 comments:

Mike Larry said...

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