Friday, December 31, 2010

The Budgiergar, By Rob Marshall

At the last meeting of the Maryland Budgerigar Society--December 4th 2010, the group held an impromptu book review of Dr. Rob Marshall's new book, "The Budgerigar".

Budgie club meeting host, Stephen Witmer, had a copy of the book, and shared it with the rest of us. For details of the book's contents or to purchase, and even a recommendation by Gary Hicken, go to:
"The Budgerigar" is no doubt the most extensive book to be written on the subject of the Budgie since Gerald Binks published "The Challenge". While the focus of "The Challenge" is more on the Exhibition Budgie and showing, "The Budgerigar", by Dr. Marshall, an avian vet, contains astonishing detail on Budgie health and disease. In fact, after reading Chapter Twenty Seven, Two Most Significant Budgerigar Diseases, Chapter Twenty Eight, The Most Devastating Diseases of Budgerigars and Chapter Twenty Nine, Diseases of Impaired Immunity, I am amazed any Budgies live at all. Nonetheless, the book is a treat for all aficionados of the budgie and is a must buy, even though it sells for a hefty $114.00.
Dr. Marshall also sells a number of supplements that he recommends in his book to maintain healthy birds. I purchased a number of the recommended supplements, and I am sure my Budgies will benefit from them. Happy Reading and Happy Breeding!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Simply Amazing Budgie Facts:

  • A budgie has between 2,000 and 3,000 feathers on its body.
  • Budgies have monocular vision, which means they use each eye independently.
  • Budgies have fewer taste buds than humans.
  • Budgies grind their beaks when they are contented.
  • 45% of pet birds kept in the US are Budgies, according to statistics from the American Pet Product Manufacturers Assn
  • Budgies have air sacs in some of their bones (pneumatic bones)
  • The budgie's average resting heart rate is 350 to 550 beats per minute.
  • Budgies can turn their heads 180 degrees (they have more neck vertebrae than humans).
  • A bird can only withstand the loss of 20 percent of its blood (for a budgie, that’s about 12 drops)
  • During breeding season, a female bird's bones become denser as they store calcium--a female's skeleton can weigh up to 20% more during the breeding season that it does during the rest of the year.
  • Vitamin D and protein aid in the absorption of calcium
  • Budgie egg shells are perforated by thousands of tiny holes (pores) that allow the free exchange of gases--mainly carbon dioxide and oxygen.
  • Light plays a large role in stimulating the ovary and bringing the hen into breeding condition.
  • Bird's lungs don't expand and contract to bring in air. Instead the bird's body wall muscles expand and contract--to force the air out and in.
  • Birds do not have a bladder or a urethra.
  • Budgies have semi-plume feathers, which are found on a bird's beak, nostrils (cere) and eyelids
  • Budgies have a 3rd eyelid.
  • In the past, Budgies were also known around the world as Shell Parrots, Warbling Grass Parakeets, Zebra Parrots, Undulated Parakeets, and Canary Parrots.
  • Budgerigar supposedly means "good to eat" in aboriginal language.
  • The average respiratory rate for a budgie is between 65 and 85 breath per minute.
  • The scientific melopsittacus undulatus, means song sparrow with wavy lines.
  • John Gould reportedly brought the first live budgie to Europe in 1840
  • All budgie colors originate from the green and yellow budgie. The first color mutation to appear reportedly was the yellow bird with faint green suffusion in 1872.
  • The first blue budgie appeared in 1878

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Turn Weeds into Feed!

Budgies love fresh greens. I feed them dandilions year round, fresh from the garden. The Budgies also enjoy mint, a herb that grows like a weed. Plant some mint and you will have plenty of fresh food. Another great bonus to feeding mint, as your birds chomp on it, your aviary will smell minty fresh. Rinse your greens well before serving and make sure they do not contain any wild bird poop on them--you don't want to pass on any disease from the wild birds to your beloved budgies. Serve your greens dripping wet to the budgies. They will enjoy rolling in them and taking a bath in them.
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