Provide Nuts For Your Macaw Find out how many nuts to feed your macaw to meet its dietary needs.

Macaws are not all the same in terms of dietary needs. Although all macaws require more fat in their diet than most other parrot species, there are also differences in amount of fat depending on the species of macaw. The amount of fat in the diet can be regulated by the amount and types of nuts fed, as well as how much seed mix is offered.

Blue-and-gold macaw eating walnut
By Gina Cioli/BowTie/Courtesy Omar’s Exotic Birds
Feeding nuts provides the fat that many macaw species needs.

In the wild, macaws consume fruits and nuts that are very high in a variety of essential fatty acids. These help sustain skin and feather quality. Essential fatty acids are found in true nuts, not peanuts, and form a critical part of their daily diet. How much exercise your macaw receives also needs to be included in the equation.

Protein can be regulated by offering a high-quality pellet and/or sprouts. Macaws need water to process pellets, and this should be available to them at all times. Some macaws are more likely to eat their pellets if they are softened in warm water or fruit juice. It makes a pellet easier and more interesting for them to eat; however, pellets offered this way can spoil, so do not leave them in the bowl all day long.

Reward offered in killing of exotic birds in Polk Township

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A reward of $2,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest(s) and conviction(s) of the person(s) who killed three of five exotic birds May 19 in Polk Township, the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said.

The birds were in a Robin Hood Lake Estates home and belonged to Bryanna Renner.

Someone entered the home while Renner and her fiance were out and killed two lilac-crested amazons and a blue-capped conure.

One bird’s head was bashed in, another had been stabbed in the back with a grilling fork and sprayed with carpet cleaner and bleach and the third had been doused in bleach.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the SPCA hot line at 1-866-601-7722, SPCA Officer Elizabeth Anderson at or state police at 610-377-4270.


Black Palm Cockatoos

Black Palm Cockatoos
There are three subspecies of black palm cockatoos. Yet, even black palm experts have difficulty distinguishing between them. The nominate form of the black palm cockatoo is Probosciger aterrimus aterrimus, usually referred to as aterrimus or aterrimus aterrimus. Aterrimus is the most commonly found subspecies in the U.S. The most sought-after subspecies is Probosciger aterrimus goliath. The Goliaths can be considerably larger than aterrimus aterrimus.

The third subspecies, Probosciger aterrimus stenolophus, is similar to the Goliaths but with thinner crest feathers. There is considerable speculation about the stenolophus and whether there are any in the United States. Many aviculturists did not know the difference between the subspecies and cross-bred them without knowing what they had done. Many captive-raised birds might be a mix of the three subspecies.

Black Palm Cockatoo
Black palm cockatoos are difficult to breed.

The most difficult of the psittacine birds to breed, black palms lay one egg per clutch. The babies hatch easily, but chick mortality is high. They often die around 1 year old, just as they finish weaning. These deaths are often labeled “black palm syndrome.” The chicks appear healthy but suddenly show signs of illness. Results from diagnostic tests and necropsies come back inconclusive — illness unknown. Black palm syndrome also occurs in weaned juveniles and adults.

In recent years, breeders saw greater success when they added broccoli, apples and sunflower seeds to their hand-feeding formulas.

Adding exposure to natural sunlight might help, too. Black palm cockatoos and hyacinth macaws have photosensitive skin that reacts only minimally to artificialfull-spectrum lighting. Palm cockatoos that receive natural sunlight typically have bright red faces, while birds that live indoors and have little access to natural light often have faded pink facial patches.

Like most large birds, black palms have the potential to live more than 50 years. Until we learn more about their proper care, however, most will not live a full life.

Captive black palms are often skinny birds with thin, bony legs, which can be an indication of a dietary deficiency. Their dietary fat requirement may be even higher than that of hyacinth macaws.

Although, they are not endangered in the wild, black palm cockatoos did not arrive in the U.S. in large numbers, so there are fewer of them in the pet trade.

In the wild, they are found in dense humid savannas and rain forests of the Cape York Peninsula in Australia, New Guinea and some of the surrounding small islands, which did not allow exportation and made smuggling into the U.S. difficult.

Black palm cockatoo aficionados might be mysterious and guarded, but their birds are flashy and each one is a celebrity at heart. During a visit to Aviculture Breeding and Research Center, John Dunbar enjoyed the company of seven black palm cockatoos. They all decided to claim him as their property. In true black palm fashion they perched on his head, shoulders and arms. Then these red-faced giants began screaming and stomping on him like Japanese Takio drummers. In the wild, they use small sticks held firmly in their feet to drum on hollow trees to claim territory, so these captive cockatoos improvise

Why Are Black Palm Cockatoos So Uncommon?
1) They are one of the most difficult psittacine birds to breed in captivity
2) They lay one egg per clutch.

3) Chick mortality is very high.

4) Many die from “black palm syndrome” when they are around 1 year old, and the cause is still unknown.

5) They have a specialized diet.

6) Fewer numbers of black palms were imported into the U.S. before the importation ban.

Black palm cockatoos develop overgrown beaks if they do not have pandanus nuts to hull. A natural part of their diet, pandanus nuts are thick and fibrous. This delicacy contains two tiny seeds, which resemble pine nuts. Breeders and pet owners of black palms consider this nut so important that some in northern areas have purchased small lots in Florida just to grow the nuts for their birds.


Report: 20 exotic birds rescued; wildlife trafficker nabbed in Bacolod

July 15, 2012 12:58pm

Authorities rescued Friday 20 exotic birds and arrested their “trafficker” in a sting operation in Bacolod City in Negros Occidental.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group conducted the operation at a bus terminal in Bacolod.

Recovered were four Kalaw Hornbills and 16 Tariktik Hornbills, a report on Visayan Daily Star quoted Bacolod DENR Community Environment and Natural Resources Office Bacolod head Joan Nathaniel Gerangaya as saying.

Gerangaya said they also arrested Rosita Gonzaga Formentera, 57, after she handed the birds placed in separate plastic bags to a DENR operative.

Formentera, who was brought to the CIDG office in Bacolod, faces a jail term for to six months for each bird recovered from her, he added.

Gerangaya said they conducted months of surveillance on Formentera after they received information of the rampant illegal transport or trafficking of wildlife.

He also noted the birds are not endemic in Cebu but are found in Samar and Leyte.

Gerangaya said a young Kalaw Hornbill can be bought for P1,000 and sold for P2,500, while a mature one costs about P10,000.

A young Tariktik Hornbill can be bought for P500 and sold for P1,000, while a mature one would cost not less than P6,000, he added.

The Tariktik Hornbill is a highly-endangered species found in the rainforests of Panay, Negros, Masbate and Guimaras. The Kalaw Hornbill is found in 11 islands in the Philippines. — LBG, GMA 

World’s Most Expensive Exotic Birds

World's Most Expensive Exotic Birds

The Yellow-naped Amazon is a popular species of parrot. Normally green with patches of yellow on the forehead and hindneck, birds of this species are intelligent, playful and capable of mimicking human speech.

They’re even relatively obtainable, with one major exception—the Blue Mutation Yellow-naped Amazon.

These extremely rare individuals are covered in beautiful turquoise plumage and were discovered in Honduras over a decade ago. While very few have been imported, breeders like Hill Country Aviaries have had some success with these birds.

More expensive individual birds, like one supposedly purchased by a Kuwaiti for over $300,000 in Saudi Riyals, have been reported. However, at $18,000 to $20,000, the Blue Mutation Yellow-naped Amazon is the most expensive species of bird available to most bird lovers.



Lorikeets are birds found in Australia. You might be lucky enough to live near a zoo where a lorikeet exhibit is available. They are related to parrots and cockatoos. We found them to be rather noisy with lots of screetching. They were about 10-12 inches in size and very friendly if you have food. A word of caution: If you go visit a lorikeet exhibit, be sure to wear a hat. They like to land on your head.

Image Credit: Andrew Rader Studios/

Short Term Environmental Volunteer and Eco Adventure Package Available

Ocean Ranch Nature Reserve is located on the central pacific coast of Costa Rica adjacent to Costa Rican’s newest and most dynamic eco adventure park, Ocean Ranch Park. Situated adjacent to one of the most mature examples of old grown primary rainforest on the entire central pacific, Ocean Ranch Reserve is home to some of the most intense biodiversity in the region, including a resident population of scarlet macaws. Ocean Ranch Reserve is located just a 3 miles (6 KM) south from world famous Playa Hermosa, one of Costa Rica’s premiere surfing destinations. Ocean Ranch is just 45 minutes from Manuel Antonio, 80 Minutes from the Capital City of San Jose and just 15 minutes from vibrant town of Jaco. Ocean Ranch is easy to get to from anywhere in Costa Rica.

Jesse Eisenberg wants to save exotic birds ‘Rio’ star partners with Humane Society of the United States to speak out against the inhumane treatment of exotic birds.

Jesse EisenbergPhoto: Humane Society of the United States
As the father of a 3-year-old, it’s safe to say that I’ve seen the animated film “Rio” more times than I care to count. Dreamworks did a great job of taking an entertaining story and weaving in the real-life themes of trafficking in exotic birdsand the decimation of wild populations. That may seem like heavy stuff — and it is — but it’s a credit to the creators that you walk away more informed and smiling.
Jesse Eisenberg, best known for his portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg in the movie “The Social Network,” voiced the lead blue macaw in “Rio” (and the upcoming sequel) and is now fronting a campaign to save exotic birds on behalf of the Human Society of the United States, or HSUS.
“If an animal’s natural home is in the wild, then chances are, that’s where it belongs,” Eisenberg states in a new PSA. “Unfortunately, the demand for these intelligent, complex creatures — whether captive-bred or wild-caught — is decimating the wild parrot species.”
He adds: “Although Blue is a much loved pet, he has no idea what it’s like to be a bird. He doesn’t even know how to fly. It’s only when he gets a taste of the wild that he discovers his true self and how he ended up in a cage.”
Adam Parascandola, director of animal cruelty investigations for HSUS, said in a press release, “We are grateful to Jesse Eisenberg for helping us to raise awareness of the growing problem of unwanted captive birds in this country. Parrots are highly intelligent, social, and long-lived animals whose complex needs cannot be met by most owners, which is why so many are abandoned.”
1. Support local bird rescues or shelters.
2. If you have a pet bird, treat it right.
3. Think twice before buying a bird. Research and never buy a bird from a pet store or online.
4. Support rescue efforts by animal welfare organizations.
5. Pledge to protect wildlife by not supporting the wildlife trade

Having a bird-crush on the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo!

Many of us working in Centennial Parklands have a ‘bird crush’ on one of the most spectacular birds that you can see (and hear!) in the Parklands – the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo. Out the front of our office in Centennial Park we can hear them starting to gather, as they often do this time of year.

Yellow tailed Black Cockatoo Having a bird crush on the Yellow tailed Black Cockatoo!

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo in Centennial Park

For the fluent Latin speakers out there, the scientific name for these birds is Calyptorhynchus funereus, being first described in 1794 by the English naturalist George Shaw – its specific name funereus relating to its dark and sombre plumage, as if dressed for a funeral (according to Wikipedia).

However more importantly the sight of a large flock slowly flapping overhead is a great spectacle. Our chief twitcher, Trevor Waller, describes their flight as: “…buoyant and effortless as they wheel through the treetops with slow, deep, wing beats and floating glides. They usually call loudly whilst in flight and this adds to the exhibition. Their calls are a far-carrying ‘whyeeela’, as well as harsh screeches when alarmed”.

What does this distinctive bird cry sound like? Go to this page on the Birds in Backyards website and scroll down to the ‘calls’ section.

Visually they’re quite a beautiful sight as well, as this videoon the Internet Bird Collection website shows.

The Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoo is one of six species of Black Cockatoo in Australia. In recent years it has been in rapid decline because of native habitat clearance, with a loss of food supply and nest sites.

These birds can be found in diverse habitats ranging from coastal, inland and alpine eucalypt forests, heath, banksia, hakea and acacia woodland and rainforests. They feed on the seed capsules of native trees and shrubs including eucalypts, banksias and hakeas. They also feed on exotic pines and can extract wood boring insects from tree trunks.

Where can they be seen in Centennial Parklands?

Trevor Waller Having a bird crush on the Yellow tailed Black Cockatoo!

Trevor Waller takes regular tours in Centennial Park

In Centennial Parklands they can usually be seen in the Pine Forest, Sandstone Ridge or near Lachlan Swamp where pines and banksias are plentiful.

The Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo is one over 140 species of bird that has been seen in Centennial Parklands. Twitcher Trevor takes regular Birdwatchers Breakfast walking tours of Centennial Park which anyone with an interesting, curiosity or a sense of fun and adventure should try!

We also have an ongoing partnership with Birding NSW to conduct volunteer bird surveys in the Parklands – helping to identify and document our feathery friends for the better management and as valuable data for the national bird register. You can register your interest in helping here.

If you’re interested in stepping out yourself to do a spot of birdwatching, you can find our tips here.

What’s your favourite feathery friend? Tell us about which birds make you stop and take notice.

Yellow tailed Black Cockatoo by Russell Pike Having a bird crush on the Yellow tailed Black Cockatoo!

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo in Centennial Park – photo by Russell Pike

Yellow tailed Black Cockatoos Brazilian Fields Having a bird crush on the Yellow tailed Black Cockatoo!

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Cee Lo Green and Lady


Cee Lo Green has a new lady in his life! The Grammy-winning singer has replaced his ivoried cat Purrfect on ‘The Voice‘ for an exotic bird. Ladies and gentlemen, meet “Lady,” a pink-colored Moluccan cockatoo who has been hired to be Green’s new, uh, ladylove.

Lady, who has her own Twitter account, will make her debut on the show’s third season, which premieres Sept. 10. According to Green, Lady can talk and has a potty mouth, er beak: “She’s my little lady with a big opinion,” he tellsPeople. “Sometimes whispers inappropriateness in my ear, but always ladylike.”

But there are some bird activists who are not too thrilled about Green’s handling of his cockatoo. While Moluccan cockatoos are smart, affectionate and social birds… they are also endangered! Which is why Monica Engebretson, of the wildlife sanctuary organization Born Free, wants Green to reconsider having Lady as his pet on ‘The Voice.’

“Moluccan cockatoos are beautiful, intelligent animals but they are very challenging to care for especially in the long term, and are prone to considerable welfare problems,” she tells TMZ. “Many parrot rescues are already filled to capacity with Moluccans and other large parrots. I encourage ‘The Voice’ to reconsider featuring a Moluccan cockatoo or any bird as a ‘pet’ on the show and instead … they could feature a rescue dog or a dog in need of a home.”

She also said, “I want to add that I am a huge fan of Cee Lo and I am glad that he appears to be an animal lover.”

There’s no word on whether Green will let Lady go and find a new animal as his sidekick. We can only assume that Lady would most likely be care for by an avian expert on the set and not subjected to any stress.

Hopefully, Green won’t live up to the title of his latest album and become a ‘Lady Killer.’