Children's World - Pets - Birds SI

Children's World - Pets - Birds

Sulphur-crested cockatoo

(Cacatua Galerita)

 

 

The native country of this beautiful bird is Australia, where it lives in flocks of about hundred birds. It is characterised by a splendid yellow crest. Its basic colour is white, only below wings and on the back the feather is of intensive yellow colour. It feeds on seeds, fruit, and vegetables and as a titbit an insect or its larva will do. A pair which mates remains together for the whole life and the life span of the bird is about seventy years. In its country of origin it is considered vermin. Australia forbid the export of autochthonous kinds of animals, and thus also of cockatoo. The species bred throughout the world are greatly legally exported birds or their offspring. From all kinds of cockatoo, and there are about twenty kinds, the sulphur-crested cockatoo is the most widespread pet.  

At purchasing it is essential that the bird is  possibly very young i.e. not older than 4 months since that age is best for learning and getting used to new proprietor  (friend). Already from the first day the bird should be thought what it is allowed and what it is not allowed to do. This is achieved with prizes when the bird does something good and no prize when it does a mischief. The prize is most often a titbit. Cockatoo is very curious, playful and sometimes very loud, which can sometimes cause problems with neighbours if you live in an apartment house, so you should consider it before procuring the bird. Cockatoo easily get used to human company, but it should not be allowed to develop relationship to only one person, but all members of a family should take part in its training so that later there are no problems. Like all parrots the cockatoo loves to repeat sounds it hears so with a little effort it can be thought to “talk” i.e. imitate human speech. There are birds which can learn  more words than cockatoo, but cockatoo is by its nature very cheerful,  so don't be surprised if it starts to dance charmingly  turning its head  from left to right  or up and down in the  rhythm  of music when it  hears a melody. If you decide to make it your pet first inquire about it and if possible find a breeder who will help you with its training.  

 

 

Canary
(Serinus Canaria)

 

The canary's homeland is Canary Islands, which did not get their name by the bird but by dog, canus in Latin language.   In nature it is a small bird about 10-15 cm long, weighting 10-20 grams. Its colour is yellow-greenish and it sings beautifully. It feeds on ripe and half-ripe seeds of various grass, fruit and buds and small worms and plant louses. During mating season the mates separate from the flock,   looking for food.

In the 15th century it was brought to Spain where the breeding began. Today it is - together with budgerigar - the most often feather pet and according to the number of its mutations per colour, body shape, size, and the way of singing it holds first place in the world among all birds. The European Breeders Association COM has recognised about 300 canary colours, in the spectrum from snow white to black, while the only colour missing is blue. As concerns the size of the bred birds it ranges between 10 cm and 10 g to 23 cm and 70 g, while the shape of the body ranges from roundish to S-shaped. Similar is with its song which ranges from very silent to very loud, i.e. some sing with the closed and other with wide open beak. It is interesting to know that they learn the song already while they are still in egg and then continue to learn it throughout their whole life.  Every year, once to twice, they change feather and then they stop singing and can be thought a new melody by listening to it or by learning it from a live teacher. Apart from that, for relatively easy breeding and cross breeding with other birds from the finch family, canary is often a parent to numerous kinds of crossbred birds.

A curiosity concerning these birds is that in the 19th century the miners used to take them into the mine where they served as live sensors – they are very sensitive to air pollution so that when a canary would fall down from the perch in the cage people had enough time to leave the mine which started to feel up with methane.

If you love bird's singing and wish to have a part of nature at home you won’t make a mistake if you procure a canary.

 

 

Budgerigar

(Melopsittacus Undulatus)

 

Budgerigar is the best known representative of the parrot family and the most common pet in the world.  Its country of origin is Australia, where it lives in large flocks. It feeds on different seeds and fruit. During 19th century the seafarers brought it to Europe and their breeding and cross-breeding began resulting in great number of mutations in colour and size. In nature their basic colour is green with tiger design on feathers.  A vast palette of colours ranges from entirely white to indigo blue and also in many combinations of blue, yellow and green. Their size is from 15 to 22 cm.

If you want a budgerigar as your home pet, you should first think about the time you can devote to it. If you have enough time (at least 2-3 hours per day) it would be good to take only one bird, between 6 to 7 weeks old, since this is the age when the young bird becomes independent. Budgerigars are very curious, playful, and cheerful and are looking for a partner in play. A cage is never too big; therefore provide as big one for your new friend as your space and finances will permit. During first days leave the bird some time to become familiar with the cage and its space, and when it becomes interested in you bribe it with a titbit and learn it that a hand is not a menace. When the bird gains confidence in you, open the cage and invite it to come out; do not insist too much if it is not willing, but put off until next occasion. The bird which comes out by itself will also come back by itself. There should not be many problems about it; so, continue with your being together, playing and learning. The bird will teach you something and it will also learn from you; these birds are very intelligent and very willing to play, as well as to imitate our speech. Give your little friend a nice and short name and it will soon start to pronounce it; and if you are sufficiently persistent, the bird can also be thought to say simple sentences. If you get a budgerigar as pet you will enjoy 10-15 years of amusement and joy in its company.  

 

 

Zebra finch

(Poephila Guttata)

 

The country of origin of zebra finch is Australia, where it lives in great flocks, which - with reference to the bird’s size of about ten centimetres, weight of about ten grams and a relatively slow flight - ensures its survival.

The males - as is the case with many birds - have nicer colours than females which partly serve them for easier attraction of females and partly for being more easily noticeable to potential enemies and thus able to draw enemy’s attention away from their partners and the nest with offspring. They feed mainly on seeds of various sorts of grass, but enjoy also eating different green plants and fruit.

They nest most often in holes on trees, but with reference to their abundance, they will also make their nest within the nest of some bigger bird. A female lays 4-5 small eggs and sits on them for 11 days, when small birds hatch. Both parents feed them for about twenty days, whereupon they are ready for independent life.

If you want zebra finch as your pet, the best thing to do is to take  a pair of them, since thus you will be able to witness their nice chirp, male’s seduction, nest preparing and with some luck also the trill of newly hatched baby birds.

As place for nest at home, it is best to install a wooden box of the size 12x12x15 cm with round opening of 3 cm. Some hay, horse hair, cotton and similar material should be placed in the cage, which the male will use to overlay the interior of the box. Besides the mixture of seeds they should be given grated cooked egg or ready-made soft food which will inspire then to mating and which they will also use to feed baby birds when they hatch. When the nest is finished, the surplus material should be removed, because the male will cover the eggs. Generally females sit on them and males just occasionally replace them when they need to drink or feed or get some exercise.  

If you procure zebra finch you will not regret it, because you will enjoy an unforgettable experience.

Boris Cebović

Small Animal Breeder

 

Technical Details

Issue Date: 19.02.2015
Designer: Lidija Novosel and Adam Peter Maguire, designers from Zagreb
Printer: AKD d.o.o., Zagreb
Process: Multicolor Offset Printing
Colours: 4 Colours
Size: 35.50 x 35.50 mm