Ornithology: Share and discuss scientific articles on parrots!

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Laurasea

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Something all budgie owners should be aware of. Its also one of the reasons I don't recommend keeping budgies and other species of parrots in the same home. Even tho I do. I can say I won't add anymore. And if I had a do over I wouldn't have taken in the budgies. My Veterinarian had advised against.

Budgie are amazing, beautiful, charming and wonderful company. I'm not trashing them. Just informing there are several endemic conditions they can be carriers of, that other species of parrots are more susceptible to

 

LeeC

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Senegal: Ivy
Something all budgie owners should be aware of. Its also one of the reasons I don't recommend keeping budgies and other species of parrots in the same home. Even tho I do. I can say I won't add anymore. And if I had a do over I wouldn't have taken in the budgies. My Veterinarian had advised against.

Budgie are amazing, beautiful, charming and wonderful company. I'm not trashing them. Just informing there are several endemic conditions they can be carriers of, that other species of parrots are more susceptible to

All parrots can get that disease, right? Are you saying that Budgies are just a lot more likely to carry it?
 
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Laurasea

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All parrots can get that disease, right? Are you saying that Budgies are just a lot more likely to carry it?
Yes all can get. Its just that in budgies it can exist in a carrier state, with a higher incidence in this species. And because budgies are often bred in large scale aviary, much rarer for them to have routine screening and blood work because of size. When you bring such large numbers of birds together as often done increases the chances of disease. They are also known for avian gastric yeast or mega bacteria.
 
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Laurasea

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Excepts:
"Persistent hyperglycemia and glycosuria are mainly demonstrated in the affected birds. It is more common in budgerigars , cockatiels and galahs. Among others, larger psittacine , toucans, mynahs are also affected."

" The underlying mechanism of diabetes is poorly understood in birds. Unlike mammals where insulin has a predominant role in DM, in birds blood glucose level seems to be controlled by a complex hormonal milieu. In comparison to mammalian pancreas, avian pancreas has a low proportion of insulin secreting cells and 5–6 times higher number of glucagon producing cells. Circulating glucagon concentration in avian blood is 10–50 times higher than the mammalian blood. Glucagon as a catabolic hormone plays a pivotal role in gluconeogenesis, lipolysis and glycogenolysis to augment the blood glucose level, while insulin controls the entry of glucose in the cells and its utilization. In birds particularly in granivorous species, Glucagon is considered to play a more relevant role for development of DM. However, other factors like somatostatin, growth hormone, epinephrine, thyroxine, prolactin, pancreatic polypeptides and corticosteroid may have a modulatory role in development of persistent hyperglycemia. Hyper production of any of these hormones either due to tumor of the hormone producing cells or due to paraneoplastic syndrome may lead to such condition. Islet cell carcinoma with DM has been described in a parakeet ."

"
  1. Type I DM: It is purely of pancreatic origin due to selective destruction of pancreatic cells. This form of the DM is more common in toucans and parrots.
  2. 2.
    Type II DM: The type II DM is associated with some other diseases or conditions like obesity and iron storage diseases.
  3. 3.
    Type III DM: It is linked with pancreatic diseases like pancreatic neoplasia, pancreatic insufficiency and pancreatitis. Some insulin inhibitory chemicals or drugs like megestrol acetate, medroxyprogesterone acetate or corticosteroids."
"

3.2.2.2 Clinical Findings​

Clinical manifestation of the birds is straightforward—

  1. 1.
    Polyuria
  2. 2.
    Polyphagia
  3. 3.
    Polydipsia
  4. 4.
    Chronic weight loss.
Sometimes, this disease is associated with other non-specific signs like obesity, vomiting and lethargy. However, the affected birds generally maintain a good appetite.

3.2.2.3 Diagnosis​

The main diagnosis is based on the detection of persistent hyperglycemia and glycosuria. However, detection of blood glucose level is tricky in birds as the avian blood glucose level is higher than in mammalian. Therefore, consistently higher level of blood glucose 38–44 mmol/l is indicative of DM in birds. Other than glucose, presence of ketone bodies in urine is also indicative of DM in birds."

"Moreover, other conditions like diabetes insipidus, medication with corticosteroids, diuretics, progesterone, renal or hepatic insufficiency, other hormonal irregularities should be considered before definite diagnosis of DM in birds."

"

3.2.2.4 Treatment​

Management of DM is always a challenge. In birds it is more difficult as it is not easy to monitor the blood glucose level and thereby to evaluate the effect of the hypoglycemic drugs. The main objective of the treatment is to lower down the blood glucose level and maintain it. The treatment constitutes of insulin and other hypoglycemic drugs like sulfonylurea. The acute rise of blood glucose level can be treated with short acting insulin @ 0.1–0.2 U/kg. However, to maintain the blood glucose level persistently long acting insulin is prescribed with a varying dose (0.067–3.3 U/kg OD/BID) depending upon the clinical improvement and the blood glucose or urinary glucose level."

"Dietary management of the affected birds is good option. In many cases dietary management itself is enough to control DM in birds without any antidiabetic drug intervention. It is important to avoid high calorie diet or diet with high fat like sunflower oil. This can control obesity. Increasing fiber supple mention is also an important part for clinical resolution of DM in birds."

See linked article for full text and information on DM, as not all text was exported.

Other conditions are also covered in linked article.
 
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Cottonoid

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I was sitting with my birdie yesterday just after the sun went down and within a few minutes we were both yawning back and forth. This got me curious about the evolution of yawning since birds evolved separately from mammals.

From https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003347222000719 in May 2022:
Studies examining the ultimate mechanisms of yawning typically focus on roles either in physiology or in social behaviour (Guggisberg et al., 2010). Instead of one or the other, however, emerging research indicates that yawning holds both physiological and social functionality. That said, the ubiquity of yawning across lineages, within nonsocial animals and during periods of seclusion leads to the conclusion that the primitive feature of this behaviour is physiologic. Accordingly, any social roles of yawning in gregarious species would represent a more recently derived feature of this trait, built upon the original neurophysiological function(s) shared across vertebrates (Gallup, 2011)


Another article on contagious yawning:
https://animalwise.org/2012/01/05/contagious-yawning-spreads-to-birds/

From a 2021 study https://www.nature.com/articles/s42003-021-02019-y:
Recent studies indicate that yawning evolved as a brain cooling mechanism. Given that larger brains have greater thermolytic needs and brain temperature is determined in part by heat production from neuronal activity, it was hypothesized that animals with larger brains and more neurons would yawn longer to produce comparable cooling effects. To test this, we performed the largest study on yawning ever conducted, analyzing 1291 yawns from 101 species (55 mammals; 46 birds).

This pic from the nature.com study!! Lookit that snowy owl mid-yawn :love:

1667241728009.png


....I'm not going to admit how many times I did yawn reading these and writing this post 🙃
 
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HeatherG

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I was sitting with my birdie yesterday just after the sun went down and within a few minutes we were both yawning back and forth. This got me curious about the evolution of yawning since birds evolved separately from mammals.

From https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003347222000719 in May 2022:
Studies examining the ultimate mechanisms of yawning typically focus on roles either in physiology or in social behaviour (Guggisberg et al., 2010). Instead of one or the other, however, emerging research indicates that yawning holds both physiological and social functionality. That said, the ubiquity of yawning across lineages, within nonsocial animals and during periods of seclusion leads to the conclusion that the primitive feature of this behaviour is physiologic. Accordingly, any social roles of yawning in gregarious species would represent a more recently derived feature of this trait, built upon the original neurophysiological function(s) shared across vertebrates (Gallup, 2011)


Another article on contagious yawning:
https://animalwise.org/2012/01/05/contagious-yawning-spreads-to-birds/

From a 2021 study https://www.nature.com/articles/s42003-021-02019-y:
Recent studies indicate that yawning evolved as a brain cooling mechanism. Given that larger brains have greater thermolytic needs and brain temperature is determined in part by heat production from neuronal activity, it was hypothesized that animals with larger brains and more neurons would yawn longer to produce comparable cooling effects. To test this, we performed the largest study on yawning ever conducted, analyzing 1291 yawns from 101 species (55 mammals; 46 birds).

This pic from the nature.com study!! Lookit that snowy owl mid-yawn :love:

View attachment 45371

....I'm not going to admit how many times I did yawn reading these and writing this post 🙃
Pardon me, I’m just cooling my brain.
 
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Laurasea

Laurasea

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I was sitting with my birdie yesterday just after the sun went down and within a few minutes we were both yawning back and forth. This got me curious about the evolution of yawning since birds evolved separately from mammals.

From https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003347222000719 in May 2022:
Studies examining the ultimate mechanisms of yawning typically focus on roles either in physiology or in social behaviour (Guggisberg et al., 2010). Instead of one or the other, however, emerging research indicates that yawning holds both physiological and social functionality. That said, the ubiquity of yawning across lineages, within nonsocial animals and during periods of seclusion leads to the conclusion that the primitive feature of this behaviour is physiologic. Accordingly, any social roles of yawning in gregarious species would represent a more recently derived feature of this trait, built upon the original neurophysiological function(s) shared across vertebrates (Gallup, 2011)


Another article on contagious yawning:
https://animalwise.org/2012/01/05/contagious-yawning-spreads-to-birds/

From a 2021 study https://www.nature.com/articles/s42003-021-02019-y:
Recent studies indicate that yawning evolved as a brain cooling mechanism. Given that larger brains have greater thermolytic needs and brain temperature is determined in part by heat production from neuronal activity, it was hypothesized that animals with larger brains and more neurons would yawn longer to produce comparable cooling effects. To test this, we performed the largest study on yawning ever conducted, analyzing 1291 yawns from 101 species (55 mammals; 46 birds).

This pic from the nature.com study!! Lookit that snowy owl mid-yawn :love:

View attachment 45371

....I'm not going to admit how many times I did yawn reading these and writing this post 🙃
It made .e yawn just to look at and read so crazy!
 

LeeC

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Timneh: Grady;
Senegal: Charlie;
Sun Conure: Peaches (deceased)
Senegal: Georgia
Peach-fronted Conure: Milton (foster)
Brown-throated Conure: Pumpkin (foster)
Senegal: Fletcher
Senegal: Ivy
I quoted this article about a paper in another thread (relating to "the social complexity mismatch hypothesis" for parrots), but I also located the article itself. ...Fascinating stuff! (I realize the article title sounds obvious here in the forum, but it is aimed at the entire animal behavior community.)

Here is the article about the paper, which is a good read. Some may recognize the article author.

Highly Intelligent Pet Parrots Most Likely To Suffer Mental Health Problems

Here is the full paper:
Nature calls: intelligence and natural foraging style predict poor welfare in captive parrots
 

LeeC

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Timneh: Grady;
Senegal: Charlie;
Sun Conure: Peaches (deceased)
Senegal: Georgia
Peach-fronted Conure: Milton (foster)
Brown-throated Conure: Pumpkin (foster)
Senegal: Fletcher
Senegal: Ivy
Natural foraging= the need for seed (and nuts and other crunchy things)
There is surely some irony there, huh? Yet, the article explains that parrots who eat more "crunchy things" in captivity are significantly more likely to end up as feather destroyers or feather eaters.

I wonder if there is a correlation between parrots fed a dry (low-effort for the keeper), crunchy diet and the excessive amount of "free time" (lack of engagement) those parrots have due to how they are kept as well. In other words, the old "correlation does not necessarily indicate causation". Parrot keepers who give limited effort and limited interaction seem equally likely to feed a low-effort diet (shelf-stable, no preparation required), resulting in extremely bored parrots who end up as feather destroyers.

In Nature foraging involves much more than crunchy shells of nuts and seeds. Wild food has thick skins, tough husks (often protecting that nut shell), is challenging to find, and/or challenging to access. There is surely "beak work" in foraging, but there are other important aspects of foraging. Replicating those in captivity can be quite a challenge.
 

HeatherG

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I think that Quaker parakeets, for example, have a need to manipulate things and build, and that may be why they feather pick or mutilate more than other birds.

I try to provide that “sort” of activity for my Quakers and I have had some experiences with Quakers who plucked or barbered.
 

LeeC

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Timneh: Grady;
Senegal: Charlie;
Sun Conure: Peaches (deceased)
Senegal: Georgia
Peach-fronted Conure: Milton (foster)
Brown-throated Conure: Pumpkin (foster)
Senegal: Fletcher
Senegal: Ivy
I think that Quaker parakeets, for example, have a need to manipulate things and build, and that may be why they feather pick or mutilate more than other birds.

I try to provide that “sort” of activity for my Quakers and I have had some experiences with Quakers who plucked or barbered.
Fascinating insight, thanks, @HeatherG. That is the opposite of what "we" tend to think, parrots chewing wood destructively just to "make it go away", yet even when excavating a tree hollow, they are "building" something with a purpose.

Geeky side note: With the popularity of 3D printers, the term "additive manufacturing" has become common. We make a "thing" by adding thin layers of precisely placed "plastic" (PLA is plant-based). Subtractive manufacturing is when we cut, drill, grind, "machine", and sand a block of wood or metal for instance. So, Quakers do "additive manufacturing". :] Neat!
 

HeatherG

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Fascinating insight, thanks, @HeatherG. That is the opposite of what "we" tend to think, parrots chewing wood destructively just to "make it go away", yet even when excavating a tree hollow, they are "building" something with a purpose.

Geeky side note: With the popularity of 3D printers, the term "additive manufacturing" has become common. We make a "thing" by adding thin layers of precisely placed "plastic" (PLA is plant-based). Subtractive manufacturing is when we cut, drill, grind, "machine", and sand a block of wood or metal for instance. So, Quakers do "additive manufacturing". :] Neat!
Remember that Quaker parakeets are the only parrots that build stick nests and live in those nests year-round. So their drives could be very different. I think the urge to build is not so related to breeding behavior but MAYBE the urge to shred a nest lining is linked to breeding. (Based on my observations that egg laying can be encouraged by giving materials to shred and will be seen by broody hen Quakers.
 

HeatherG

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Regarding this last article, I’m wondering how the scientist characterizes jenday conures as less smart and nanday conures as more smart? I thought they were closely related (both Aratinga) but maybe I’m wrong. (I see jenday conure is closer (related) to sun and golden conure)…

Edit: than jenday is related to nanday conure.
 
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HeatherG

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I checked what species are sun conure's closest relatives - they're jenday and golden capped conures, so maybe you forgot to add "capped"?

Fanfact: it looks like the golden conure's closest relative is red shouldered macaw. I know this may be so illogical to you but both conures and macaws aren't good names in taxonomy cos they're so mixed up.
Maybe there was an error in Wikipedia or I made a copying error…anyhow that’s not my point. I am asking how they quantify intelligence vs brain size vs. relatedness (to what?). Both jenday and nanday are aratinga. Is there an obvious stupidity difference between these two birds?

What you are arguing about is beside the point. Maybe this is an error of translation; I’m not sure. But you are not understanding what I’m talking about. And my statement was working from the jenday and nanday Wikipedia articles and assuming they were accurate, as I don’t know much about classification within aratinga.

So…how do you prove whether nanday or jenday is “smarter” and more likely to have “mental illness” and what are nanday and jenday compared to as a base?
 

HeatherG

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it's not true - the golden conure is in genus Guaruba, so it can't be closer related to sun than nanday conure
I was not comparing relationship of Sun, nanday, or jenday conure. You are missing my point. This quote below is my question:

“Regarding this last article, I’m wondering how the scientist characterizes jenday conures as less smart and nanday conures as more smart? I thought they were closely related (both Aratinga) but maybe I’m wrong.”
 

Rozalka

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But you are not understanding what I’m talking about.
I understand what you're talking about. I just made an offtopic correcting a mistake. Is it bad? If you're not ok with that, sorry.

(Edit: I deleted one post because I forgot about existence of one species, so I could write fake info)
 
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HeatherG

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no, I was not concerned about relatedness of Sun conure to nanday conure or golden conure. And that phrase was taken from a Wikipedia article that I assumed to be true, as I cannot fact check every article I reference.

I see you want to argue about small details which are hard to ascertain and are often beside the point. It seems like you want to pick apart any and all statements that I make. Does it make you feel good or big? In general I have something worth saying.
 

LeeC

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Jun 5, 2019
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Timneh: Grady;
Senegal: Charlie;
Sun Conure: Peaches (deceased)
Senegal: Georgia
Peach-fronted Conure: Milton (foster)
Brown-throated Conure: Pumpkin (foster)
Senegal: Fletcher
Senegal: Ivy
Regarding this last article, I’m wondering how the scientist characterizes jenday conures as less smart and nanday conures as more smart? I thought they were closely related (both Aratinga) but maybe I’m wrong. (I see jenday conure is closer (related) to sun and golden conure)…

Edit: than jenday is related to nanday conure.
In the paper the article is covering, the researchers used the ratio of brain mass to body mass (encephalization). In the paper, the scientist references other studies on that same relative brain size as well as neural density.
 

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