Fill in the ________.


New member
Sep 14, 2013
Columbus, GA
Eclectus, CAG, BH Pionus, Maximilian’s Pionus, Quakers, Indian Ringnecks, Green Cheeked Conures, Black Capped Conures, Cockatiels, Lovebirds, Budgies, Canaries, Diamond Doves, Zebra Finches, Society F
Fill in the blank as it relates to parrots...

"I wish there was more info out there about _______________."

I've always wanted to know what my birds are saying to each other. They become such great talkers, so do they have their own language? We know they communicate a lot by body language but I'd love to know what they chatter to each other about! What goes through their little brains?

Something a little less abstract, DIET. We DO have a lot of different opinions out there on diets, but I want to see more science based research, more species specific diets, what more can we do for them? I think most of us would want to see more specifics about our birds. I want to see more case studies and research, and I want people to be more educated. It wasn't long ago that people simply threw a bunch of seeds in a cage, now we have pellets, chop recipes, formulated diets, but I want to know MORE!
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Both things I want to know more about! I did see a documentary that included a bit about how birds learn their own names in the nest, and how babies switched between nests get names more similar to their adopted family than their biological family, which is so cool!

Parrots display many familiar emotions as viewed through the human prism.

We perceive the behaviors as affection, jealousy, anger, fear, apprehension, contentment, etc, but what is going through their minds? They are sufficiently advanced to have concerns well beyond basic survival.
I would have to say diet as well. I have tried without much luck, to find out what CAGs eat in the wild in a typical day. I did learn recently that they are opportunistic omnivores, which explains why my friend's TAG picks all the meat out of their supper. Should we be offering more animal protein? Meal worms? And yea... Surely conures and tiels don't live on the same diet in the wild, why do they share the same nutrition in captivity? It seems like they have the same nutrition for all captive birds, it's just a matter of size you buy. The same formulation, just in mini, small, medium or large. :/
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You have hit on a major pet peeve of mine; this idea that pellets are complete nutrition for birds with vastly different needs.
I wish there was more information out there about research of parrot-related health concerns, everything from plucking to vitamin deficiencies to development of vaccines that prevent common parrot diseases. Who is working on these topics? Where can I get involved, support, help fund? These are things I've pondered and wish I knew more about.
You have hit on a major pet peeve of mine; this idea that pellets are complete nutrition for birds with vastly different needs.

It's like having "people chow" (or soylent green) that's a complete diet for people. Or in actual terms, like meal replacement shakes, it's hardly a complete diet, though you can survive on it just fine, you'll get sick of it pretty quickly.

I know my Amazon would have a wildly different diet in the wild than my Grey, but my Cockatiel might share similarities to budgies' or cockatoos' diets.

As much as we try, there is no way we can replicate the full diet they would have in the wild, in an extruded form, it's just impossible. But we are making improvements. Our pets often live longer in captivity than they would in the wild.
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It's actually closer to saying "primate chow" and claiming it meets the nutritional needs of all primates including humans, on all continents, since different parrots are different species. How people can think a grass seed eater from the plains of Australia (cockatiel) and a canopy dweller from South American jungles (conure) can possibly both eat the exact same food and have it be a complete diet.... But I'm beginning to rant. I'm not anti pellet, btw, I'm simply not "pellets as a base diet"
I wanna see more information on individual species, as well as each of their intelligence level (ie: which ones are the smartest, which ones are better at tricks, which ones are better at speaking in context, etc.) You can always get a ton of information about conures or cockatoos but it's harder to find a lot on the individual species like green cheek or goffin's or whatever.
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Interesting question Katybird... I actually plan to write on that topic, however I am a firm believe that those differences have a lot more to do with the exact way the bird was raised, fledged, weaned, ad socialized rather than species ;) of course that is a pretty hot topic.

A few of the things I would like to know more about are
-things that can go wrong inside the egg, how to prevent them, how to identify them, and how to treat them.
-Differences in how different species respond to the same types of training (such as the specifics of how my pionus was traumatized by being treated like a cockatoo by a self proclaimed cockatoo expert)
-The role of genetics in temperament
-the role of early nutrition in overall health as an adult, and if there are any links to temperament
-hard numbers on the health and lifespan of flighted vs. clipped birds
-More specific nutritional breakdowns by species, age, activity level, climate, and more.

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