Other Indonesian Indigenous Birds Facts

04/03/2016 - Eclectus Parrot

The first European ornithologists to lay eyes on the Eclectus Parrots thought they were 2 different species and this view didn't change until the early 20th century.
This species is the best example of sexual dimorphism in the parrot world.
The species was discovered in 1776 by Philipp Ludwig Statius Müller, a German zoologist who lived between 1725 and 1776.
Take a guess at which is the male and which is the female, without researching, and think how you would relate sex to a colour. 

11/03/2016 - Population of Eclectus Parrot

The Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus) is native to eastern Indonesian islands such as Sumba, Maluku and Papua, as well as being found in Australia and the Solomon Islands.
Not many large populations of this parrot remain. They used to be considered pests for raiding corn and other crops but the numbers have decreased drastically these last few years so that problem is no longer widespread. Populations restricted to relatively small islands are threatened and in desperate need for protection. Their bright feathers are also used by native tribes people in New Guinea as decorations.
The bones of a close relative, Eclectus infectus, were discovered in 1989 and is thought to have become extinct maybe 3000 years ago on Tonga as a result of trapping and predation. It may have survived on the one island, Vavu’a until the 18th century.

18/03/2016 - Food for parrots

Our collection of birds, including the Eclectus parrots, are fed twice daily, first at 7am and again at midday. If the pair are feeding a young chick, then an extra feed is prepared late in the afternoon, so that there is no stress on the feeding mother.
We are lucky to be in an area that produces the food that the birds like – we supply sweet corn still on the cob, in pieces big enough so the birds can manage to hold them when eating. They eat papaya flesh still on the skin and the black seeds, raw peanuts, purple grapes, long beans, and bananas. If the sunflower is in bloom, we add the seeds. The grapes and the corn are the first items to be eaten if sunflower seeds are not provided, and we know they would eat more of these items than we provide them with. However, our main concern is a varied and healthy diet

01/04/2016 - The talking parrot

Parrots are known for their ability to mimic the human voice. In the wild, parrots will imitate the sounds of other species of birds, and thus when kept as pets, they learn their calls from their owners. This ability relies on good hearing, good memory and good muscle control. Although parrots don’t have lips, their thick tongues and its positioning in their mouths allows them to imitate human speech. They also seem to know what word is appropriate for an occasion, and use their words to get attention.
All parrots can do this to a certain extent, however African Greys are well known for this, while Eclectus parrots imitate sounds to a much lesser degree.

Ref.: 
Why do parrots have the ability to mimic?

08/04/2016 - The Talking African Grey Parrot

African Greys are highly intelligent and extremely sensitive but not all Greys will talk. They can learn to say more than 1000 words. Their intelligence can rival that of a 5-year-old child.
Our African Grey, Tatty, who regards himself as one of the foundation team, is very good at mimicking the human voice and making a number of other sounds relating to human activities, and often accompanies the whistles and sounds with appropriate movements.

22/04/16 - Biting, is this normal behaviour?

We all know that parrots often bite us and most of the time we consider it to be normal behaviour. The reason for biting varies, for example, encountering a frightening situation, territorial protection, playing with their favourite person, or just simply hormonal changes. We should be more aware if they bite more than usual as it could be because of lack of attention or a medical condition.
African Greys also have a reputation of being fearful of new things being introduced into their environment, however, it is possible for an African Grey to accept change if carefully introduced. It is never a good idea to force new things on any birds and especially African Greys. The best way is to give them the choice to accept or reject in their own time and pace

27/04/2016 - Another bird on the edge of extinction

 Frequent visits to bird markets will give a clear idea about which species are under pressure in the wild by trapping for the pet trade.

 When it comes to parrot species, Forsten's Lorikeets (Trichoglossus forsteni forsteni), indigenous to Sumbawa, are now targeted by the poachers. When visiting the traders in the bird markets, it is evident that this species is available in large numbers, and thus another species will soon be pushed onto the Critically Endangered species list.

 

04/06/2016 - Dedicated Mum

The dedication of Wreathed Hornbills when breeding is an amazing thing. The female will seal herself inside the nest leaving just a crack big enough for the male's beak to provide her with food on a daily basis. She will spend between 35 and 47 days inside this nest caring for the chicks. She won't come out until the chicks have grown to such a size that it gets too crowded inside the nest.

Ref.: Hornibills, their nest-building behaviour and species in Asia

10/06/2016 - What’s in a name?

The Hornbill (Bucerotidae) is so called because of the shape of its long curved bill, resembling a cow’s horn.
Not all hornbills have the casque on its top mandible.
The heaviest casque is that of the Helmeted Hornbill, and this much sought after ‘ivory’ has seen this species move from the Near Threatened to the Critically Endangered list in just a few years. As security for elephants and rhinos tightens, so the threat to these hornbills increases as poachers catch to sell the casque for carvings or traditional medicine.
Our own Wreathed Hornbills, in less danger of extinction, are are so named because of the narrow band of wreaths on its top mandible.

17/06/2016 - Blue does not always represent boys, does it?

It’s easy to tell which is which sex for Wreathed Hornbills. Look at the colour of their inflatable throat pouch, the blue one is the female Wreathed Hornbill whilst the male has the yellow throat pouch. This throat pouch is its shopping basket. This species is able to fly far, collect its food and store it in the pouch before needing to fly home.

24/06/2016 - Hornbill communication

We can hear our pair of Wreathed Hornbills calling each other from anywhere on the site at Sibang. In the wild, the loud 'bark' helps them to know where their mates are. It is also a way to claim possession of their territory.
To us it seems like their calls are all similar but this is not the case. Every bird, like the human voice, has an individual tone that others can recognise.

28/04/2017 - Threat in the wildlife world

Do you know that cats can be a real threat in the wildlife world?
Cats kill hundreds of millions of birds, from common species to endangered ones, each year. Roughly 60% to 70% of the wildlife cats kill are small mammals; 20% to 30% are birds; and up to 10% are amphibians, reptiles, and insects. 
Recently our four wild-born Bali Starlings lost their father, suspected to have been taken by a cat. A Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) program gives us the opportunity to move any friendly cats into foster care.
Special thanks to Bali Pet Crusaders, for lending us a cat trap free of charge for the past month.

05/05/2017 - Birds need showers


Just like humans, all birds need showers to keep their bodies clean and their feathers moist, shiny, and undamaged. If feathers are not clean it will be hard for birds to flap their wings and fly, as dirt can cause the feathers to become more vulnerable to damage. Birds may become stressed and pluck their own feathers.
Our chicks are showered every two days; the adult Bali Starlings have small bathing pools which are often used for splashing and cleaning themselves daily.

26/05/2017 - Meal time for birds


Birds have specialised bills to help them take bites, but they do not chew as humans do. Instead, birds will either swallow food whole, or if it is too large or awkward to directly swallow, they will break it into smaller pieces. Some birds may rip or shred food such as fruit or prey, or they will use their bills to break up harder chunks or nuts or large seeds. In some cases, birds will beat their food against a rock or branch to help break it into pieces, while some birds use their talons to hold food as they break it up.

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