"EAGLE BOY" OR "EAGLE GIRL"
A great distraction game that is easy to teach. It is normal for parrots to spread their wings and if they don't you can teach them by holding them on your hand and playfully dropping your hand so that they use their wings for balance ... not so much that it is threatening. Once they spread their wings, you can enthusiastically say, "Eagle Boy!" each time and either praise them for doing it or give them a food reward. Once they learn to spread their wings on cue, this behavior can be used to distract negative behaviors. When they are distracted to the positive behavior, they need to be praised. Many parrots, especially cockatoos, prefer praise over a food treat.
Small opening below and to the back of the eyes. The auriculars, or feathers that cover the ear, are often a slightly different color than other feathers in that area of the head. Parrots also have ear wax and rarely the ears will become impacted and the wax will need to be cleaned out by an avian veterinarian. We usually don’t think of parrots as having ears because there is no external ear. But they actually have excellent hearing, even if their ears are holes on the sides of their heads covered by feathers. Being prey animals, parrots have to hear behind them, and a parrot will fluff the feathers surrounding his ears so he can capture the sounds in his environment. When bathing parrots, we need to be careful we don’t get water in their ears.
A method of jerking your hand if a parrot is misbehaving or being aggressive. This method can be effective as an immediate response to keep a parrot from biting but in some situations with some parrots, it can cause a loss of balance and/or insecurity in a companion parrot which can result in a loss of trust.
Earthquakes can be very traumatic for companion parrots. When the earth starts to shake, the tendency is be for parrots to fly off of the perch that is shaking. However, when a caged bird does this, they just crash into the inside of the cage. Once this happens, many parrots will thrash in their cages and can potentially injure themselves. Of course, no matter how many earthquakes and tremors a person has experienced, most people still have their own panic response. People often rush into their parrot's area to make sure they are OK, but their panic creates even more panic in their parrots because parrots are so reactive. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area for over two decades taught me that once the shaking was over and I wanted to check on my parrots, I needed to calm myself down and walk slowly into where my birds were without making direct eye contact. Then I would sit on the floor and hum, gradually making "soft" eye contact and then lowering my head and looking away. My parrots would match my calm energy and within a matter of a minute or so, they would climb back on their perches. Then I could go and really look them over to make sure that they were OK. However, if the earthquake is severe enough that it damages your home or building's structure, the best thing to do, if possible, is to grab the birds up no matter how afraid they are and get them in a carrier and out of danger. (see Pillow cases)
EASY CARE PETS
For some time, especially in the 1990s, parrots have been described as easy-care pets but anyone who lives with parrots knows that this is definitely faulty logic.
EATING AS A SOCIAL BEHAVIOR
The vast majority of parrots are social eaters. This means that they forage and eat as a family or flock. Companion parrots will be happier if they share mealtime with the people in their lives. Placing a T-stand next to the dining room table (or in today's world, the TV tray table) and putting some fresh food in their dish so they can eat while you are eating can be very helpful in getting them to eat healthy foods. However, if you are NOT eating healthy food, fix them something else to eat so they don't have to share what you are eating. A diet of human food rich in fat, salt, sugar, and high protein levels is just as bad as a seed-only diet as far as a parrot's health is concerned.
ECHO PARAKEET (Psittacula echo)
A seriously endangered member of the Ring-neck family from the island of Mauritius, which is east of Madagascar. Progress has been made with work being done to save the Echo Parakeet from extinction.
ECLECTUS (Eclectus roratus)
Eclectus are the most common sexually dimorphic companion parrot. This means that males and females have a different physical appearance that can be easily distinguished from each other. Early ornithologists classified them as two different species. Eclectus are the spectators of the parrot world. They like to be where the action is so they can see what is going on. Eclectus can also be quite acrobatic and often love to hang upside down. While people often place them in the "don't touch me" group of parrots, if these parrots are handled in a gentle manner when they are young, they learn to appreciate some hands-on contact and some petting. However, they will most likely never be a parrot that appreciates the kind of feather ruffling skritches that parrots like Amazons, macaws and some other parrots love.
While I have seen a similar behavior in a few cockatoos, this behavior is seen in eclectus more than any other parrot species. Toe tapping involves the repetitive and rhythmic muscular extension and contraction of the bird's toes. Eclectus are like the "canary in the coal mine" when it concerns problems with diet. It is recommended that eclectus should not be fed any pellets (especially ones with food coloring and artificial preservatives) or "fortified" seed mix. They should be given no foods with man-made vitamins, no supplements of any kind such as vitamin/mineral powders and spirulina, and no processed foods for humans including anything that has enriched flours, preservatives, or supplemental nutrition. All of these items should be completely removed from the diet. Eclectus should only be fed natural foods that are fresh or cooked slightly so their nutrition is not compromised. In some situations, the toe tapping behavior can be accompanied by wing flicking behaviors. (Note: wing flicking behavior is a common food begging behavior in baby parrots and should not be confused with the eclectus wing-flicking behavior.)
- In a Bird Talk article, a veterinarian discussed that Eclectus should not be fed pellets with food coloring. Then she states that she sees no problems with food coloring in the diet for parrots of other species and then she mentions that she is the veterinary adviser for Pretty Bird foods. While eclectus may be more sensitive to processed foods, preservatives, and chemical supplementation, I believe as I state above, that eclectus are the "canary in the coal mine" when it comes to diet. I believe we will see a lot more problems with other species of parrots after they are on highly processed, vitaminized pellets as the major part of their diet. I believe that the fresh food diet that is recommended for eclectus is the healthiest diet for all companion parrots, even those who don't have special dietary concerns.. It is my personal opinion that Pretty Bird is a horrible diet for birds and that its artificial food coloring is bad for ALL birds!
E-COLI (Esherichia coli)
A common gram negative bacteria causing illness in parrots and humans. E-coli is one of a group of bacteria that can live in the G.I. tract of healthy parrots. Apparently, it is only when it is found in other parts of the bird’s body that it can create problems. It is particularly problematic if it occurs in the reproductive system and can be the cause of dead in shell chicks and deformities and the death of recently hatched chicks. In parrot nurseries, bacterial infections such as e-coli can cause beak deformities. Friends of mine have two Hahn's boy macaws that they call the Twins from the same clutch. One was fine but the other had an e-coli infection in the nursery. This caused him to have both a deformed lower beak and an air sac problem. They decided to buy both of the birds instead of just one because they were concerned that the problem bird would just languish at the breeders without any attention. The only extra care the bird needs is to have the lower beak trimmed on a regular basis so it doesn't overshoot and distort the upper beak.
The study of the interrelationships of animals, plants, and the habitat they live in.
The area that is the habitat for specific organisms and their relationship with the other living organisms in that habitat.
Tourism based on observation of natural habitats and its wildlife. Many third-world countries are beginning to realize that there is more value in maintaining its natural wildlife to encourage eco-tourism than in exploiting it by hunting, capture for the pet trade, or habitat destruction.
A parasite that lives on the outside of a bird’s body. Although these are common in wild birds, they are rarely a problem for companion parrots.
Problem with egg production where the egg remains in the body instead of being properly laid. Nutritional deficiencies (especially calcium), lack of exercise, and genetics are all possible causes of this possibly life-threatening problem in sexually mature hens. This problem seems to be most common in cockatiels. If you notice your hen parrot squatting down and straining with no results in the way of droppings or eggs, consult with your avian veterinarian immediately. Calcium is needed for both proper egg production and smooth muscle function. Calcium deficiency can both create a leathery shell and poor smooth muscle function, which keeps the egg from progressing properly to the cloaca to be laid. see egg yolk peritonitis below
The presence of a male parrot is not necessary for a hen parrot to be stimulated to lay an egg. There have been many situations where companion parrots have laid eggs for their owners, sometimes in their laps. Egg laying should not be a problem if a parrot is on a good calcium-rich diet and gets plenty of exercise. (see determinate and indeterminate layer) See egg yolk peritonitis below
EGG LAYING: WHY COMPANION PARROTS LAY EGGS
Egg laying is not uncommon in hen companion parrots. There are many reasons that this happens. The first is that the parrot has formed a sexual bond with her caregiver. This is usually because the person, perhaps unknowingly, has given the hen misguided signals that allow the bird to perceive the human as her mate. By the way, it is a myth that hen parrots bond to men. Hen parrots will bond to women or men usually based on the way that the people interact with them. Handling that is perceived as sexual may be more cuddling than instructional interaction or play, a lot of petting or pressure on the back, the "full body stroke", and/or beak wrestling. There may also be something near the cage that the bird perceives as a nest site. This can include a book case, desk, or open drawers. One Scarlet macaw that I worked with started laying eggs for the first time when she was 12. Her people were moving some furniture around and left a rolled up rug on a table next to her cage. She saw the dark opening as the entrance to a nest cavity. The start of a rainy season may set up hormonal activity because this is fairly natural behavior. The rainy season means that by the time the babies are hatched there is food available for feeding them. Cutting back on the amount of light the bird receives may help stop the hormonal behavior. Normally if a companion parrot who is on a good diet, gets good exercise and lays 2-3 eggs in about a week or so, it should not be cause health problem. With the larger parrots (determinate layers), you can remove the eggs or keep them in the cage until the bird loses interest in them. Leaving the eggs is especially important for the smaller parrot-family birds as they are indeterminate layers and will produce more eggs until their clutch is perceived as complete. If the parrot lays repeated clutches or several eggs one right after another, talk to your avian veterinarian. He or she may suggest a Lupron shot to stop the egg laying.. It is also a good idea to check calcium levels on hens on a yearly basis.
EGG LAYING IN COCKATIELS
(see Cockatiels: Egg Laying)
Parrot embryos in the egg have a pointed structure on the tip of their beaks. When it is time for them to hatch, the embryo aggressively works the inside of the egg with this point in its attempt to break out. As the parrot grows, the egg tooth goes away.
EGGS AS FOOD FOR PARROTS
Eggs can be fed to parrots in moderation and if they are very well-cooked because of the threat of salmonella. Eggs are high in protein, vitamin A, vitamin D, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, calcium, phosphorous, iron, selenium. omega-3 fatty acids, and omega-6 fatty acids. As wonderful as all this sounds, remember that they are also high in the bad kind of cholesterol so eggs should be limited in the parrot diet. It is often recommended that when fixing eggs for parrots, the shell should be crushed, cooked and included in whatever is being cooked for the parrots. If you do this be sure and rinse and clean the shell first.
EGG YOLK PERITONITIS
This is an often fatal problem in hens. In leaving the ovary, the unshelled egg yolk doesn't make it into the continuation of the reproductive system and instead ends up in the bird's body cavity. This can create serious infections that both difficult to diagnose and to treat.
Personally, I have never been a fan of eggplant. People have told me that it is because the first time I ate it, the eggplant was not prepared properly and it was bitter. I have tried it several times since and although it wasn't bitter is was also a "so what" food for me. As I research it as something to feed parrot, I find that it is pretty lacking in vitamins and minerals - very small amounts of several. It does contain bioflavanoids and may have some helpful antioxidants. It should always be cooked as eggplant contains toxins that may cause digestive upset. Along with tomatoes, potatoes, and several kinds of peppers, eggplant is a nightshade food. Some of these foods are thought to create problems for people and many animals and should be fed cooked. Personally since it is unlikely that an eggplant will never occur in my kitchen, it will never be fed to my parrots.
Determining whether a parrot is elderly depends on the species. For example, a Budgerigar may be considered elderly at 15 or older, an Amazon at 50 or so, and a Macaw may not be considered elderly until he is 60 or older. The best way to determine if a parrot family bird is elderly is if he or she begins to exhibit signs of aging such as cataracts, widened stance or balance problems, arthritis, foot problems, atherosclerosis, loss of energy, and so on. Sally now has a .pdf publication available on Aging and Elderly Parrots
see medium sulfur-crested cockatoo
ELEPHANTS AND AFRICAN GREYS
Evidently wild African grey parrots have some dependency on elephants for one of their major food sources. Why? Because of their weight, elephants stomp out depressions in the ground that form shallow pools of water where calcium firch grasses grow. These grassses are a major food source for the greys. One video shows a large flock of wild African greys flying into a group of trees. About half of them fly down to the ground where there are these shallow poolw with the grasses. The other hald stay in the trees acting as sentinels. After the greys on the ground have fed, it appears that the two groups change places so that everyone gets to feed.
In birds, a developing bird that is still in the egg.
There are parrot emergency First-Aid kits on the market today. Some of them come with instructions about what to do if something happens. There are also some parrot first aid books. Reading about emergencies ahead of time makes absolute sense. It is wise to learn how to deal with simple emergencies or serious emergencies on the way to an avian veterinarian. (see Blood Feathers)
Closely matching the energy and mood of another being. Many companion parrots are highly empathic to the energy of their human flock.
A living organism in danger of extinction.
A term used to signify that an organism occurs or is native to a certain area/environment.
Some parrots such as lories, lorikeets, caiques, budgies and other have a higher energy level that other parrot-family birds. Consequently, they need a larger cage plus more exercise activity opportunities that some other parrots. (Also see Empathic)
ENRICHMENT (Environmental or Behavioral)
A term to describe all that we provide to captive animals to enrich their lives and provide them with physical and emotional stimulation.
Almost all environments have the tendency to have random or unpredictable severe weather or natural disasters. In regards to parrots, this concept certainly applies to the Amazons of the Caribbean. The populations of some of these parrots are so small that a severe hurricane could wipe out enough of the natural habitat (especially nesting habitat) and kill or injure enough birds that it could lead to the extinction of that species.
Proteins that increase the rates of chemical reactions in the cells of the body. Certain enzymes are essential for proper digestion and body function. The best source of enzymes for parrots is fresh foods not pelleted diets.
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS - EFAs
EFAs: alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid). To stay healthy, parrots need to consume these as a a part of their regular diet. Natural sources for EFAs include fish oils, flaxseed, flax seed oil, hemp oil, chia seeds (yes, the chia pet seeds), pumpkin seeds, pistachio nuts, sunflower seeds, leafy vegetables, and walnuts. Bottled EFAs oils may also be purchased in health food stores. Naturally occurring EFA Omega-3 fatty acids can bea big help to feather and skin condition.
Providing parrots with a quality and healthy environment is the most important ethical consideration whether they are companions or breeding birds. There are pet and bird shops and breeders who consider ethical considerations in the care of their birds and animals and there are, sadly, those that don't. Learn the difference and support those who do.
The biological study of animal behavior including those in the wild.
A chemical used as a pet food preservative and a pesticide. Sounds healthy, doen't it – using a pesticide to preserve food. It was developed as a rubber hardener. Its basic purpose as a preservative is to prevent fats from becoming rancid. Ethoxyquin is not permitted in human foods with the exception of some spices. There has been a great amount of speculation that Ethoxyquin in pet foods causes many health problems including liver problems. This ingredient has been removed from several manufactured parrot foods but is still used in some of them. Anything that has fish meal (another questionable ingredient in pet foods) in it has to be preserved with ethoxyquin. The label doesn't have to say the food has this dangerous chemical because it is in the fish meal already. Check the ingredients in the parrot foods you feed. I have made the choice not to feed anything that has ethoxyquin in it. You may want to make this decision for the health of your parrots and other animals. . Ethoxyquin is also called Santoquin.
A very short (no more than a couple of seconds) look that shows a companion parrot disapproval for his or her negative behavior. Glaring at a parrot for more than 3-5 seconds can be abusive and trust-destroying. Remember that they are prey and they can perceive us as predators if we are too threatening to them.
Unquestionable change over time, sometimes eons, sometimes shorter periods of time, that involves natural selection. The basic concept is that the "fittest" or the ones with the most breeding success (best looking males, etc) will gradually evolve new traits that make them more adaptable to their environment and their ability to reproduce.
EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULES
Within the world of companion parrots, there are many “rules” that people tout as being absolute. Many of them have obvious exceptions. An example is a statement such as "All Amazons become aggressive after they reach sexual maturity." or "Parrots should never be allowed on a person's shoulder." In both situations there are probably more exceptions than there are situations that apply to these absolutes, which reflect stereotypical black and white generalizations.
An essential component in the lives of captive parrots.
Realistic expectations are realizing and accepting the actual pet potential of any given parrot and knowing that the time and energy spent on a parrot will make the difference ... but sometimes people have to lower their expectations in regards to the reality of that parrot's experience and personality.
EXPOSURE TO UNKNOWN PARROTS
I can't say this strongly enough, ANYTIME YOU INTRODUCE YOUR PARROT TO UNKNOWN BIRDS, YOU ARE PLAYING 'RUSSIAN ROULETTE' WITH THEM. The more unknown birds there are in a given location, "the more bullets are in the chamber." Unknown parrots include those at bird club meetings (whether they require a yearly health certificate or not), parrots at bird shows, anywhere else there are groups of parrots, and even in your friends' homes, and aviaries if you don't know how people take care of your parrots. There are some real problem diseases out there that are contagious and either transferred in the air or on fomites (any object or substance that is capable of carrying diseases (bacteria, viruses, and any any other infectious organism) from one animal to another. We are capable of bringing disease home to our parrots if there are infected birds where we have been. Simple precautions can make a big difference such as removing your shoes before you come in the house and changing clothes and washing up before you handle your parrots.
“None, All Gone, No More, The End of them” A living organism that no longer exists anywhere. Three well-known examples in the Norther Hemisphere are the Carolina Paroquet, the Passenger Pigeon, and the Cuban Macaw. Of course the most famous “poster child” extinct bird is the Dodo. The Carolina paroquet is the only extinct parrot native to the United States. The other parrot that occurred in the U.S. is the Thick-billed parrot that has been extirpated from our borders. Many zoologists believe that we are facing a mass extinction because of the destruction of land and sea environments, greed, overpopulation and apathy among humanity about the life we share with this planet.
When an organism no longer occurs in an area of its historical habitat but may still occur elsewhere. For example, the Yellow-shouldered Amazon still lives in areas of northern Venezuela and a few nearby islands but is extirpated from the island of Aruba where they do not live anymore. Many birds and animals have previously had fairly large ranges but are now extirpated from areas of that range.
One of the ways to communicate, both positively and negatively, with your companion parrot. An aggressive parrot may need a quick look of disapproval or direct assertive eye contact for a short time to keep him from biting. However, a timid or phobic bird will wilt with direct eye contact. They need very soft and submissive eye contact to be comfortable. This involves looking at the parrot for only a few seconds and then looking away and lowering your head.
Parrots and other birds have 3 eyelids - the upper, lower, and the nictitating membrane that spreads moisture on the eye. When it is not in use, it is folded up in the nasal corner of the eye. Humans have a vestigial nictitating membrane in the corner of their eyes. Some animals also have Nicitating Membranes.
The dilation and contraction of the parrot’s pupil as a sign of excitement, curiosity and in some cases, aggression. Note that eye pinning is not always a sign of aggression.
EYES AND EYESIGHT
Parrots’ eyes are on the side of their heads because they are prey and this is the best eye location to see an attack from a predator. There is a small blind spot in the very front of their vision. Parrots have 4 color cones (we have 3), which means that they see colors that we can’t even imagine. They also see in the ultraviolet range, which we can’t see. Parrots have eyes towards the sides of their head. Lateral vision allows them to see in front and almost all the way around themselves without moving their heads. To close their eyes, parrots raise their lower eyelids rather than lowering the upper eyelids. Parrots and humans have a similar sense of sight, but parrots can take more information into their brain with a single look than we can. Their color perception is different than ours, it is obvious that parrots have excellent color vision due to the way they use color in their feathers to communicate. Scientific studies have shown that parrots see color very differently than we do since they can see into the ultraviolet range. Because of this, they are actually able to see subtle differences in our moods and energy levels. However, like us, once it starts to turn dark their vision grays and they don't see the vibrant colors they see when the sun is shining.