Sunday, August 26, 2007

Watching Birds Eases Isolation

Watching Birds Eases Isolation
By Mike Selvon

The opportunity to set up a backyard bird watching station is ideal for many elderly and shut-ins who enjoy watching birds. Locating a feeding station in a place where it is visible from a large window creates a natural theater for nature lovers to observe, take notes on, and participate in the lives of the birds who come to depend on them for food. There are many benefits to be derived from setting up a bird watching station for the elderly and shut-ins.

Watching birds in the backyard is an excelent way to pass the time. For a shut-in, time can begin to creep. When one is unable to be active, seconds can turn into minutes and minutes can turn into hours. Since their bodies will not allow them to be out, they struggle to keep their minds busy. An activity like bird watching helps the ticking of those minutes and seconds and gives shut-ins a chance to enjoy a full day.

Another feature of watching birds that can be useful to shut-ins is the fact that it can, if they so desire, involve research. This research can help them to keep their minds sharp as they read, memorize, and track which birds are coming to their feeder. They may take a great deal of joy in keeping a notebook and beginning to understand the traffic patterns and behaviors of certain birds. Watching birds through a bird watching picture window with a pair of binoculars is much more mentally stimulating than staring at the television set all day.

Since many birds return to the same places to winter each year, and conversely, to the same spring and summer locations to nest, shut-ins may take a great deal of delight as they learn to identify the same birds that return seasonally year after year. By keeping a notebook documenting physical descriptions and behaviors, they will be able to track each bird's comings and goings and look forward to that bird's yearly return.

A problem that can plague some shut-ins is an over-riding feeling of uselessness. Setting up a bird feeder and building a community of birds that comes to count on it for food can eliminate this feeling. If a shut-in knows that the birds are counting on them, then the shut-in may feel as though this project is suddenly bigger than just watching birds. It has suddenly become a responsibility. Typically, that is a good thing.

If you are serious about creating a backyard space that is devoted to bird watching, do not be afraid to look to your local clubs and societies for advice. You will find that most bird watching enthusiasts are eager and willing to share their information if it will be helpful to others.

Mike Selvon is the owner of various niche portal. Our bird feeder portal contains some useful information on bird watching. While you are there don't forget to claim your free gift.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Birds - Teaching Your Parrot To Talk - Part I

Birds - Teaching Your Parrot To Talk - Part I
By Michael Russell

In this article we're going to discuss how to teach your parrot to speak. Getting him to shut up afterwards is another thing altogether.
Don't you find it amazing that something other than a human being can actually speak the English Language or any language for that matter? Parrots are certainly an interesting species of bird. For that matter they're just plain interesting, period.

Well, if you want to teach your parrot to talk the first thing you're going to have to do is carefully pick the breed of parrot. Some breeds talk better than others.
The smaller species of parrot sometimes have a difficult time learning how to speak and when they finally do, their speech can be very difficult to understand. Parakeets, ringnecks, alexandrine, plumheads, cockatiels, conures, lorikeets and lovebirds are not your best talkers. Oh sure, there is always the exception among these but the general rule is, don't expect too much. So if talking ability is important to you then stay away from this lot.
Your best bet to come away with a bird that you can teach to recite the Gettysberg address is a red tailed, African Gray parrot. In general, these birds have amazing talking abilities, but every now and then you're going to run into one who just refuses to say a word. The reason for this is a puzzle to us all.

If you're looking at New World Amazon parrots, your best bets for the talkers are the Yellow Napes, Blue Fronts and Double Yellowheads. However, these birds have to be exposed to speech at a very young age or the chances of them talking is slim to none. Any Amazon parrot with a yellow head is usually a good talker. Macaws are okay talkers but not great. When they learn to talk they have very loud scratchy voices and a very limited vocabulary. Cockatoos can also be taught to speak but, like macaws, they usually have a very limited vocabulary. However, unlike macaws, they have rather sweet soft voices.

The next thing you have to do is choose a bird with just the right temperament. You should never pick a bird that is afraid and shy. Your best talkers are usually birds that are mean biters. So if you don't mind having to keep a supply of Band-Aids around you'll do just fine. Birds that cower will never learn to talk. The more aggressive they are the better. Birds that laugh a lot and constrict their pupils are not showing fear but definite aggression. Just don't get too close.
If at all possible, try to choose a bird that is still being hand fed. Most likely you will have to get these birds from a breeder rather than from a pet store. Birds that are this young usually still have pinfeathers sticking out of their head and neck.
In our next article in this series we're going to go over how to prepare to teach your bird how to speak, how to feed it, when to start training and a number of other important things you should know.
Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Birds

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Thursday, August 2, 2007

Bird Watching for Beginners

Bird Watching for Beginners

Author: Louis Merz
Bird watching has become a sport that has been around for many years. Also known as birding people of many ages enjoy one of the fastest growing hobbies in America. People of all ages enjoy searching for birds in their region, watching them in their natural habitat and enjoying listening to the different songs. As fascinating as they are birds can reveal many things about nature and the beauty surrounding them.
The sights and sounds of nature are very familiar to the keen eyes and ears of a bird watcher. By catching a one-second glimpse of a bird darting through the woods along with a musical note sounding like a chirp only a bird watcher can tell you the general species of the bird and even narrow it down to the exact bird.
With over 900 + species of birds found in the United States, birders must quickly be able to distinguish birds by analyzing a lot of information such as call notes, color patterns, and the shape of their wings and bills. It takes an observant person to see a strange bird and analyze how the bird moves, flies and reacts in its environment. Many months of hard work is what it takes for a beginner bird watcher to grasp the techniques and be able to distinguish one bird from the next. Like learning an instrument, patience is the key and most important of all being able to enjoy the scenery and beauty of bird watching.
Why are so many people fascinated with birds even to the point of spending long hours watching them? Birds have long delighted people all over the world because of their beauty and power of flight. There are thousands of species all unique, mysterious and beautiful to the human eye. Historically, the Romans believed the flight and calls of birds could foretell the future. Today modern science uses birds and changes in their health and population as warnings of problems in their environment.
Watching birds helps people understand the fascination of how they relate to nature. We watch birds with interest party because of how accessible they are. Wherever we go they are there, and we share the environment with birds more than any other creature except insects. One reason people are compelled to watch birds is because of how amazingly different they are from one area to the next. You may find the same species of birds from one country to the next but notice they are entirely different in looks and the way they interact with the environment.
As mentioned before birds are amazing creatures. Be sure to give bird watching a try and give yourself a chance to enjoy the beauty of birds in the wild and the peace that comes with exploring nature.
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About the Author:
Louis Merz a informational product writer enjoys providing quality information on a wide variety of topics. His latest quality bird feeder website provides in depth quality information about birds and how to chose the right feeders for bird watching.