The internet is full of “expert” advice. Often such advice covers key areas like diet, avian medicine and pet ownership.
Some time back, a person who could no longer own her Goffin´s Cockatoo approached me. She was looking for a home for her bird.
It was 1976 when I first saw the species. In the quarantine of George Kroesen there were hundreds. The birds congregated in the farthest corner, each trying to hide.
During my more than 40 years´ as an aviculturist I have been a prodigious note taker. I write down everything of interest, or have ledgers where I continuously add notes. An old edition of Joseph Forshaw´s Parrots of the World has a broken spine and is full of pieces of paper containing notes, or these are added to the margins of text or illustrations.
Some frequently asked questions and answers..
Some time back I visited a home for unwanted birds. As I walked around, I discussed with the director the problem of unwanted cockatoos. Like me, she has found that males are the gender most commonly found in rescues. This is because males can become exceptionally aggressive as they reach sexual maturity, or when the unpredictable nature ingrained in their genes emerges.
When I started keeping birds, information on diet was very deficient. A sunflower or safflower seed based diet supplemented with a bit of apple, endive and maybe a piece of carrot was deemed adequate. Fast-forward 40 years and our understanding of diet for cage birds has evolved considerably. Today we truly understand that to own a healthy parrot the cornerstone is a good, balanced diet.
The day was typically hot and humid. It was 1979 and I had been invited to visit Ramon Noegel and Greg Moss, the former the doyen of Amazon parrot breeding in the US. Noegel achieved what at the time was seen as the impossible—producing young from multiple pairs of Amazon parrots year after year.
… The birds were Black-headed Caiques Pionites melanocephalus. The coloration suggested it was a pair and their three young. As is typical of many small parrots in the neo-tropics, the bird slept in the cavity. ..
I can recall that day in the 1970s as if it were today. I had walked into a quarantine station to see several pairs of a new species… a species that was commanding a hefty price– $800.00 per pair.
Over many months and two separate trips, I watched as a pair of Bue and Gold Macaws Ara ararauna nested in a dead standing Buriti Palm Mauritia flexuosa.
The concept of giving toys and enrichment to parrots dates back only about 30 years.