Avian Behavior

  1. How many different orders are there of Aves?  Families?  Species?
    • 27 orders
    • 166 families
    • 8700 species
  2. How many pet birds are there in the US?
  3. Most pet birds are in the _____ family.
  4. What are different types of parrots?
    • psittacines
    • passerines
    • columbiforms
    • galliforms
    • anseriforms
  5. What are the main psittacines we work with?
    • parrots
    • parakeets
    • macaws
    • cockatiels
    • cockatoos
  6. How many species of psittacines are there?
    300 species
  7. What do psittacines mainly eat?
    seeds and nuts
  8. How much time do psittacines spend grooming?
    20 - 66% of the day
  9. How much time do psittacines spend foraging for food?
    40 - 60% of the day
  10. How much time do psittacines spend vocalizing?
    2 - 5% of the day
  11. How much time do psittacines spend on social interaction?
    10 - 40%
  12. Why is it a problem that parrots live so long?
    will usually have multiple homes which means multiple problems
  13. How long do larger birds live for?
    80 years
  14. Is it a good thing if a bird is in the bottom of the cage?  Why or why not?
    its not good to see them in the bottom of the cage because psittacines live in the tops of trees
  15. How much does the average bird weigh?
    400 grams
  16. Are birds prey species?
  17. Do birds live in flocks?
    yes, they don't like to be isolated
  18. Are birds noisy?
  19. Are young birds precocial or altricial?
  20. More dominant birds are _____ in the tree.
  21. What will happen if you hold a bird over your head?  Where should you hold a bird?
    • it may act dominant overy you and bite you
    • keep birds at your chest height
  22. A bird has the emotional level of a _____ year old.
  23. A bird has an intelligence level of a _____ year old.
  24. Are birds emotional?
    yes, will strive to get your attention
  25. Do birds have a placenta?
  26. Where do embryonic birds get their nutrients from?
    the yolk
  27. Are birds monogamus?
  28. How long can a bird store sperm?
    about 30 days
  29. What is the shortest incubation time for birds?  Longest?
    • shortest:  2 weeks
    • longest:  60 days
  30. Do males sometimes help incubate the eggs and feed the baby chicks once they are born?
  31. How long does it take for a baby bird to be adult sized and be fully feathered?
    4 - 6 weeks
  32. What is a fledgling?
    a bird attempting to fly
  33. How does the mama bird feed her babies?
  34. How long do baby birds stay with their parents?
    for months
  35. Predator avoidance is _____.
  36. Why should we not handle a bird with gloves?
    the bird will be scared of the gloves and then we will not be able to handle the bird at all
  37. What are some characteristics of poor parenting?
    • eggs don't hatch
    • young not fed enough
    • young killed by parent (bites head off)
  38. How are birds injured in their environment?
    • by other pets
    • household hazards - windows, electrical cords, poisonous plants, teflon, lead poisoning
  39. How do we hatch eggs in captivity?
    • eggs moved to an incubator at a correct temperature and humidity
    • eggs hatch and mobed to a brooder
    • young then hand-reared
  40. What is a brooder?
    an environment that provides the baby birth warmth to dry off
  41. What is an egg tooth?
    • calcium structure on the end of the beak to help the bird tap out of the egg
    • falls off 3 days after birth
  42. What happens to the yolk once the bird hatches?
    it sucks up inside the bird and gives nutrients for several days
  43. What is a precocial chick?
    about to get up and run around after birth
  44. What are the three most common behavior problems with hand raised birds?
    • feather plucking
    • biting
    • excessive screaming
  45. Are birds easily frightened?
  46. At what times during the day do birds scream?
    at dawn and dusk
  47. How do birds respond to being frightened?
  48. What are birds feathers like when they are awake?  Asleep?
    • smooth when awake
    • fluffed when cool or sleeping
  49. What are birds feathers like when they are sick?
  50. If a bird is screaming at other times then dusk and dawn, then what kind of behavior is this?
    attention seeking behavior
  51. How should you hold a bird and when should you start teaching a bird how to be held?
    • hold a bird on arm and close to your chest
    • start when bird is young
  52. How do we train a bird?
    operant conditioning - find out what treat a bird likes the best
  53. Can you use clicker training to train a bird?
  54. Does praise work when training a bird?
    no, they do not care about praise like a dog does
  55. What does a displeased bird look like?
    • squint eyes
    • snaps foot and wings (pick foot up and slams it down over and over again, same with wing)
    • head rotates sideways
  56. What does a displeased bird lead to?
    an angry bird
  57. What does an angry bird look like?
    • pupils dilate and constrict
    • head feathers become erect
    • spreads tail feathers
    • may growl
  58. What should we do with an angry bird?
    • leave it alone, do not punish it
    • if we must pick it up, pick it up with a towel
  59. What are the most common problems with birds?
    • biting people
    • interbird aggression
    • feather picking
    • screaming
    • phobic behavior
    • desctructive
  60. What are some reasons a bird will bite?
    • scared
    • territorial about space and people
  61. Is biting self rewarding to a bird?
  62. Should we ever hit a bird to punish it?
  63. How do we move a biting bird?
    use stick or perch to move aggressive bird from point A to point B
  64. What is the earthquake treatment?
    • hold bird by foot on your arm and close to your body
    • slowly walk towards the person the bird is aggressive towards
    • drop arm quickly as bird tries to bite
    • bring arm back up and then reward them
  65. What are the two types of interbird aggressions?
    • interspecific aggression
    • intraspecific aggression
  66. What is interspecific aggression?
    • between birds of different species
    • will try and kill one another
  67. What is intraspecific aggression?
    aggression within the same species
  68. How do we treat/prevent interbird aggression?
    introduce new birds gradually and with human supervision
  69. If a bird shows interbird aggression once, will they do it again?
    • absolutely
    • keep them separate and only bring them together when they can be supervised
  70. What is feather plucking?
    self mutilation
  71. What causes feather plucking?
    • poor nutrition
    • environment
    • boredom (lack of human attention, nothing to do)
    • stress/emotional upset
    • hormonal changes
  72. What kind of stress/emotional upset can cause feather plucking?
    • fear
    • noises
    • new inhabitants
  73. Where on a bird do we often see the feather plucking?
    on the breast of the bird
  74. What kind of environmental factors can we improve to help with feather plucking?
    • keep cage clean
    • keep feathers of the bird clean (birds groom/preen daily)
    • psychological enrichment
  75. What is the preen gland?  Where is the preen gland?
    • excretes a substance that keeps feathers shiny and makes them water proof
    • under the tail
  76. Do we often seen feather plucking with birds who live together in pairs or flocks?
  77. What types of therapies can we do for feather plucking?
    • correct cause
    • collar or vest
    • behavior modification
    • meds
    • homeopathics
  78. What kind of behavioral modification can we do to help with feather plucking?
  79. What kinds of medications can we use to help with feather plucking?  Do meds work really well for this?
    • prozac, trexan, HCG, haloperidol
    • no
  80. Is feather plucking life threatening?
  81. Once the feather plucking has become a compulsive behavior is it easy to fix?
    no its hard to reverse even if we correct the cause
  82. What is screaming?
    a form of bird talk
  83. What makes screaming worse?
    a noisy environment
  84. How can we correct screaming behavior?
    • don't scream, come to bird, squirt with water
    • cover cage from behind and uncover once the bird is quiet
    • evil eyes works if you have a good relationship with bird
  85. How should birds be brought into the clinic?
    in a carrier or shoulder harness
  86. Should we allow birds to run around the room or sit on the owner?
  87. How many minutes into the appointment sets the tone of the appointment?
    2 minutes
  88. How do we do a physical exam on a bird?
    • visual PE first before grabbing the bird
    • catch on arm and hold its foot
    • bring towel slowly from below
    • cover bird and grab head
    • get all supplies we need for appointment before starting the appointment
  89. If we are having a problem picking up the bird, what can we try?
    turning off the lights because birds have a hard time seeing in the dark
  90. Should we let owners interact with the bird while working on it?
  91. Why is watching a bird breathing very important?
    birds don't have diaphragms so they pump air in and out with their chest...make sure you aren't pressing on their chest and preventing them from breathing
  92. Does flying increase self confidence in a bird?
  93. If we want to deflight our birds, what are the two ways we can do this?
    • clip feathers annually by cutting across flight feathers
    • permanently clip feathers (pinion)
  94. Which types of birds do we need to really watch their breathing?
    obese birds
Card Set
Avian Behavior