Category Archives: Birds

The Parrot As Pet

When thinking about pets, parrots are probably not the first that come to mind. The fact is that since the early 16th century the talking bird has been kept in UK households as a pet.

But the parrot as pet goes back much further. Ancient Roman sources show that the green Indian parrot was considered a fascinating pet, one that was most cherished for its ability to imitate the human voice. They were also praised for their learning aptitude by Roman intellectuals such as Apuleius. Although their propensity to repeat vulgar words was less appreciated.

Parrots require feeding at least once a day. Fresh fruit and vegetables keep the parrot healthy, and happy. Many types of food that humans eat can also be consumed by the parrot. However, do not feed your new pet chocolate or avocado – this can lead to fatality.

When you are ready to purchase a parrot make sure you only select the healthy ones. A good pet shop should only offer healthy birds, but it is worth inspecting the parrot closely to avoid health problems at a later stage. A healthy parrot’s feathers are kept tight against its body, the bird is lively and its eyes are bright. The males and females are identical in many parrot species.

An important thing to consider is that parrots can reach ages that rival an average human. You must be prepared to potentially spend the rest of your life in the company of your new parrot.

Birds of Prey

They are magnificent creatures, and are able to spot prey from great distances. Birds of prey include eagles, hawks and falcons.

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The name “eagle” can refer to many different kinds of birds. Over 60 species are known. The white-tailed eagle can have a wingspan of up to 220 cm.

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The hawk is a small-to-medium sized bird of prey with the ability to see beyond the visible colour spectrum into the ultraviolet. Just like female eagles, female hawks are larger than their male counterparts.

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Falcons have light thin wings that allow them to change direction at immense speeds. A certain type of falcon, the peregrine falcon (shown below), has been recorded diving at more than 300 kilometres per hour.

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There are many additional types of birds of prey including ospreys and owls. They all have a common ancestor that split from another group over 40 million years ago.

It is no suprise that these amazing birds are often favourites among bird watchers.

Common European Birds And Population Decline

Here is a small list of birds commonly found in Europe that have seen their numbers drop. In 2014 a study revealed that bird populations across Europe have been falling dramatically. According to the study there are over 420 million fewer birds in Europe than 30 years ago, which is a startling figure!

The house sparrow suffered the biggest losses, at 147 million.

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The starling also saw its population decrease.

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Photo credit : Will Stuart (

And the European skylark population dropped by nearly 50% over the last 30 years.

Photo credit : Brian McCombe (

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If you want to read more about why bird populations are declining, then check out Exeter University’s web site for all the details concerning their study.

10 Beautiful Birds – Part I

This is a small list of 10 beautiful birds, in no particular order. Some are quite rare, while others can be found in many places in Europe and North America.

Painted Bunting

Latin name : Passerina ciris

Mostly found in the south of the United States, and in northern Mexico. Currently facing threats due to a loss of natural habitat.

Photo : Dan Pancamo (

Blue Jay

Latin name : Cyanocitta cristata

Stable population, can be found in most of the United States, and in southern Canada.

Photo : Birds Flight (

Scarlet Tanager

Latin name : Piranga olivacea

Not easy to find, they usually remain near the tops of trees. Medium-sized song bird, found in the eastern United States, and during the winter in South America.

Photo : Journeys with Judy (

Gouldian Finch

Latin name : Erythrura gouldiae

Northern Australia is a well known location for these rather small birds. Their nests are often located no more than 1 km from a water source.

Photo : Herman Tse (

Golden Pheasant

Latin name : Chrysolophus pictus

The adult male can be over 1 m in length. The females are not as long at about 60 to 80 cm. Originally from western China, small populations can now be found in England as well.

Photo : Alpha Coders (

(Common) Kingfisher

Latin name : Alcedo atthis

The Kingfisher can be found in most of Europe, India and China. The bird flies low over water at high speed, with its wings showing high frequency motion.

Photo : 7 Themes (

Rainbow Lorikeet

Latin name : Trichoglossus moluccanus

Australian parrot. The species has also been introduced to New Zealand and Hong Kong. Visually, the male and female Rainbow Lorikeet are hard to distinguish.

Photo : Echidna Walkabout (

(Common) Peacock

Latin name : Pavo cristatus

It is hard not to include the Peacock, certainly one of the most beautiful creatures on Earth. Part of the pheasant family.

Photo : Wallpaperssfree (

Greater Striped Swallow

Latin name : Cecropis cucullata

A large swallow that mostly breeds in the south of the African continent. It prefers dry land, hills and mountains. Its diet consists of insects, and the occassional small fruits.

Photo : Linda de Volder (

Inca Tern

Latin name : Larosterna inca

Yes, that is a real moustache. The Inca tern breeds in coastal areas, prefering rocky cliffs and sandy beaches. It is most commonly found on the east coast of South America.

Photo : Alpha Coders (