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In issue 311 -
Unique voice print in parrots – By The Max Planck Society, Behavioural Biology Cognitive Research
In issue 311 -
Endangered Parrots – 40 years on – By Rosemary Low
In issue 311 -
An Endangered Mexican Parrot – thriving in urban areas of south Texas – By GrrlScientist Senior Contributor at Forbes, evolutionary & behavioural ecologist, ornithologist & science writer
In issue 311 -
Human-altered habitat spurs nesting innovations in neotropical parrots – By David Waugh Correspondent, Loro Parque Fundación
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Yes, Parrots Can Help Healing with Foodstuff Self-Medication

Spreads for web Parrots 278 4

Complete Psittacine by Eb Cravens

I have known for a long time that psittacines will eat in cycles, going from certain dietary items to other items over weeks or months depending upon their bodily needs. Some keepers will misinterpret such tendencies as those of ‘picky eaters’ when in fact it is a manifestation of the intelligence in birds to sort through a variety of nourishment seeking things most important to their metabolism at that specific time. That is why it is necessary to give green stems and raw veggie bits every day, so that one can ascertain exactly when members of the flock are seeking out specific enzymes and phytonutrients.

I first observed birds in my care choosing carefully what to eat about 30 years ago when I had breeding Princess of Wales Parakeet pairs in a large colony flight planted with trees and foliage of all kinds. We were growing chard and kale greens on the ground for forage material. During the first days after Gracie and Charming had had a successful clutch hatch, I went out in the morning and saw some of the greens plants with all the leafy portions nibbled off leaving bare leaf ribs and veins attached to the plant. I thought this was unusual and rather selective of the new parents that they were choosing to avoid the stems and only eat the leaf.

You can imagine my surprise when about seven days later during the nest box chick feeding, I discovered other kale plants with rings of discarded leafy material around the plants and all of the stem material consumed right up to the stalk. Talk about choosing your nutrients!

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