kakapo



Once kakapo existed throughout New Zealand, and once it was one of our most common birds. Now it is one of our rarest.

There are only 131 kakapo in the world - and they all have names. Some of them are funny names like Sinbad, Nora and Richard Henry.

They all live on the islands at the bottom of the South Island, and in Fiordland.

Our giant, nocturnal parrot has evolved some unusual habits that make it very special.



First off, they generally only breed in years when the rimu tree or kahikatea tree is fruiting (every 2-3 years). That’s so they can get super-fat, so that they can run around feeding their chicks.

Breeding 
When they breed it is quite a performance.

The male makes a special bowl, and then fills his chest pouch with air and then lets out an almighty ‘boom’. This boom carries for up to five kilometres, and attracts females from across the land.

The female will then watch him boom, and decide whether he would be a good mate. This type of mating is called 'lek mating' - it's when birds use an area to perform for courtship.

Trouble is, the male kakapo isn’t a stay-at-home type - the female does all the work. She incubates the eggs and then when they’ve hatched she has to go and find food, leaving her chicks alone. This makes them an easy midnight snack for predators, such as rats, possums and stoats.

The kakapo is the ...

• Heaviest parrot in the world.
• Only flightless parrot.
• Only nocturnal parrot.
• Only parrot where the male has inflatable thoracic sacs.
• Only parrot to have a lek mating system



If there was a "Guinness Book of Bird Records", the kakapo would be a star!

The kakapo is a very special parrot…


It is a related to the forest parrot, the kaka, and our mountain parrot, the kea. Apart from that it has no close relatives in the world!
The kakapo does not fly but is a good climber and uses its wings for balancing.
The kakapo lives to a mighty age for a bird, getting to over 60 years old.



Kakapo feathers are very soft and moss-green in colour, with some black on its back and yellow-green feathers on its belly.
The kakapo is a good colour for hiding, but enemies can often find them because of their strong smell.
Kakapo are strict vegetarians. They eat the fruit of rimu, kahikatea and mingimingi, the seeds of manuka and leatherwood (Olearia colensoi) and various shoots. In summer and autumn they drink rata nectar, and in winter they eat sun orchid bulbs.
Unfortunately, the kakapo was very yummy, and settlers used to eat it. They were not only hunted, they also were effectively booted off their land, when their forests were replaced with grass, and later, cows and sheep.


Golden Eagle


Description: 
Golden Eagle has a 
Body length : 30 - 40 inches
Wingspan : 6 1/2 - 7 1/2 feet
Weight : 7 - 13 pounds.






Habitat: 

Golden Eagles range from sea level to several thousand feet, occupying most of the open terrain of deserts, mountains, plateaus, and steppes in the Northern Hemisphere. They are not usually found in heavily forested areas. Golden Eagles living in the northern part of their range move south when the food supply becomes scarce in the winter.



Diet:

 Golden Eagles prey mostly upon medium-sized rodents, rabbits, and hares, but also on birds, especially game birds, reptiles, and carrion. Most prey is taken on the ground from a low flight, but they are fast enough to take birds in flight. Some Golden Eagle pairs will hunt together.

Reproduction: 

Golden Eagles build stick nests on cliffs or in trees. Some pairs use the same nest every year or alternate among a few nest sites in their territory. Golden Eagles usually lay 2 eggs that are incubated 41 - 45 days. The eaglets fledge 9 - 11 weeks later, but do not reach adulthood for about 5 years.



Name: 

The scientific name comes from the Latin word aquila, meaning an eagle; khrysos, the Greek word for golden; and aetos, meaning an eagle. Golden Eagles are named for the golden colored feathers on the back of their heads. This eagle has also been known as War Bird, Ring-tailed Eagle, Black Eagle, Bird of Jupiter, Jackrabbit Eagle, Royal Eagle, and King of Birds.



Fun Facts:

Some Golden Eagles eat tortoises. They fly with the tortoise held in their talons and then drop the tortoise on a rock outcrop to break the shell open.

Golden Eagles are more closely related to hawks, like the Red-tailed Hawk, than to Bald Eagles. Bald Eagles are more closely related to kites.

Budgerigar Food and Diet



Budgerigar food: is generally based on seeds, but it should be noted that budgies also eat greens and fruits. When they are not familiar with a certain type of food, they will reject it. In the wild, seeds are always eaten raw and fresh. That’s why sometimes a budgie will not eat some seeds that are offered. We recommend that the budgerigar diet to be done on a certain schedule. In captivity, their diet consists mainly of common millet, and as a nutritional supplement, a variety of fresh vegetables.

Adult budgies eat seeds and herbs, and chicks eat what they receive from their parents or what they eat from the other parakeets. Balanced budgerigar nutrition is the secret to growing a healthy budgie.  A poor budgie diet can lead to illness or behavioral problems. Therefore, the  budgie parakeet food must contain carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals.
Protein 
 This consumes about 12-15% of the daily diet. Millet largely covers this need, as it contains 11.1% protein. We recommend that you add other foods to complement protein intake. An example of this would be lentils which  are 21% protein and 5.5% minerals. Like fat, protein goes into body tissues  (eyes, blood, skin, brain) and can be oxidized  in case the food is insufficient. Meat, eggs, and fish can be added to the normal budgerigar diet.

Carbohydrates and fats 
 Their main role is to provide the body energy. In winter, when budgies consume more energy and more food, their diet is necessarily richer in fats and carbohydrates. Millet contains 59.8% carbohydrate and 3.7% fat – it is recommended in winter. Other seeds such as rice, corn and wheat are also high in carbohydrates.

Vitamins and minerals 
A budgie diet rich in vitamins includes fruits, oils, meat and some vegetables. If a vitamin is in excess, others will be inhibited (a budgie will shed if vitamin A inhibits vitamin E). As a source of minerals includes calcium, iodine, sulfur, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, copper, of which the most important is calcium and phosphorus. Lack of iodine in the diet causes gout and thyroid diseases and causes stagnation of growth. Salt is to prevent massive loss of feathers. An addition to the daily menu parakeets is grass and clover seeds. Vegetables should be always fresh.



How to choose budgerigar parakeet food

Budgerigar usually eats seeds and dried apples, pears, carrots, tiny grains of corn, boiled egg and its shell. Boiled chicken egg and its shell are consumed by females who lay eggs and are a good source of protein. When we put out our budgerigar food, we must  put a normal amount to maintain their natural survival instinct.  It is not good to teach him to be lazy because he will expect to be fed and he will be weak and rather silly.

A budgerigar diet must be chosen that is varied in seeds, insects and vitamins. Fat is stored in tissues, providing protection to internal organs and is also a source of energy. Protein is a component of skin, eyes and the brain. Foods rich in protein are meat, butter, fish and seeds. Foods rich in vitamins are fruits, vegetables, meat and fat.
Prepare different dishes: an apple and a grated carrot with  3 tablespoons bread crumbs. It can also be scraped into a boiled egg and place there with egg shells. To ensure certain nutrients and vitamins especially following the parakeet’s recovery after a disease, we recommend salted cow cheese. You should usually put seeds in the cage boxes. If you have several budgies, place the food in a larger container because they will eat at the same time. Fruits and vegetables are scraped and  can put in a box.

If they do not eat fruit, try to give them larger pieces. Budgie breeders warn that the seeds are like pizza (a delicious fast food  but low in vitamins). Budgie food must be completed with: carrots, capsicum, spinach, lettuce, pears, melon, bananas, cod-liver oil, broccoli, corn, fresh pineapple, kiwi, berries.
forbidden
Food and water should be placed in clean vessels. Avoid seeds such as weeds because they cause indigestion. Avoid foods that contain salt because salt causes diarrhea and even death! Do not give alcohol, chocolate, potatoes! Boiled egg must be consumed within one day because it alters. Acidic fruits can trigger diarrhea for a short duration, so we recommend it only in small quantities. Avocado is extremely toxic. This fruit contains persin, a toxic acid which causes massive health problems. Excess fat can cause serious heart and liver damage. Also, avoid fried and salted peanuts, crisps, bread, steak, butter, and sauces.

Types of seeds and their importance



Millet is the main budgie food and should not be missed. There are 3 kinds of millet: white (the best), yellow and red. It is ideal  to be mixed, but the white is predominant, especially for feeding chicks. Red millet crust is stronger but is also highly nutritious. Millet is abundantly rich in carbohydrates (about 60%) and low in protein (10-12%) and fat (4%), so the amount of energy it provides basic nutrition.

Hemp seeds – The nutritional value is similar to chickpea seeds. They are a very nutritious budgerigar food. These seeds contain a high percentage of protein, vitamin E and many minerals like magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium and phosphorus. These seeds are rich in omega-3 and omega-6, essential for the immune system, feathers and skin, nervous system and heart.

Oat seeds provide energy, aid in digestion, and fight against diseases. Oats contain B-vitamins, fats, carbohydrates, sugars, carotene and minerals.

Sunflower seeds are adored by budgerigars. They contain about 21% carbohydrates, 20% protein and 30% fat.

Phalaris  seeds  are easily broken and are ideal for budgie chicks. Rich in protein but low in fat, phalaris seeds are excellent for the liver, pancreas and kidneys.

Chickpea seeds -  These small black seeds contain a small amount of carbohydrate (15%), but are high in protein (17%), and especially in fat (32%). Have a lot of fat, so use them moderately.

Cuttlefish bone

This offers them the opportunity to sharpen their claws and beak. It provides the necessary nutrients, such as calcium.

Sand helps budgerigar digestion

Generally, birds swallow sand to facilitate grinding seeds in the stomach. We recommend that sand be bought from a pet shop because it is sterilized and enriched with iodine, calcium, and magnesium. It is required to have sand in the cage if you want to have a healthy budgerigar.

Water should always be fresh. Put the water in boxes and  change it every day or every two days. Once a month you can replace the water with cold chamomile tea, without sugar, in order to eliminate toxins.
Article From: Budgerigar Parakeets

Secretary bird


Secretary bird
Sagittaruis Serpentarius.

Description

The Secretary bird is a bird of prey, but unlike other raptors it has long legs, wings and a tail. The single species of its family, the bird gets its name from its crest of long feathers that look like the quill pens 19th century office workers used to tuck behind their ears. The bird is basically dove-grey in color, with black on the wings, thighs and elongated central tail feathers.

The short, down-curved bill is backed by an area of bare, red and yellow skin. In addition, the long legs are feathered half way and have the appearance of breeches. The face is bare and the tail feathers are long and shaggy. Standing up to 4 ft tall.

It's tail has two black central streamers. Its most distinctive feature are the 20 black crest feathers, resembling quill pens stuck behind it's (invisible) ears. The head of the Secretary Bird (with it's yellowish bare patch) and shape of the beak are very similar to those of the caracara. They also have a very long eyelashes.

Diet


Secretary birds consume snakes, other reptiles, amphibians, tortoises, rats and other small mammals as well as young game birds.

Breeding

Secretary birds pair for life and are remarkably faithful to their nest site. The nest is generally placed low in the fork of a tree, usually an acacia. The huge bundle of sticks grows year by year in the manner of an eagle's eyrie.

The two, occasionally three, rough textured, white eggs take about 50 days to hatch, and the downy young are fed on a diet of small mammals. They fly after about eight weeks.

During the breeding season there is aggression between the males within a group. Both sexes work together to build a nest. Eggs are layed in May or June and incubated mainly by the female. The young are fed by both parents.

Behavior

These birds are basically terrestrial, taking to flight only when hard-pressed. Usually only single birds are found, with members of a pair some distance apart. The Secretary bird walks well on extremely long legs, and a bird may plod up to twenty miles in a day. When pursued, it relies on its speed to escape.



It finds most of its food on the ground and has a partiality for snakes. It grabs the snake with its strong toes and beats it to death on the ground, while protecting itself from bites with its large wings. Finally, it seizes its prey and hurls it into the air several times to stun it. In South Africa, these birds are kept in captivity to destroy snakes and rats.

In addition to finding food with its beak, the Secretary bird will also stamp on grass tussocks with its feet to scare up lizards, grasshoppers, and small mammals or birds. The basic social structure in Secretary birds is a life-long pair. However, they are not particularly gregarious. In fact, members of a pair are usually not together, but instead stay a small distance apart.

When hunting, it spreads its crest feathers like a fan and seeks food with its short hooked beak. The legs are well protected from bites by a layer of thick scales. If pursued, the Secretary Bird relies on the speed of its legs but may spread its wings to aid the running.

Secretary Birds spend a great deal of time on the ground walking around and searching for prey. Small animals are simply picked up and swallowed. They are opportunistic birds and gather at recently burnt out areas where prey are often injured and without plant cover. Though not a social bird, they often hunt in small groups or pairs, and keep in contact by hooting.

Habitat


It is found in open areas of plains and savanna country, and often congregates at areas that have been recently burnt, where mammals are deprived of cover and often injured.

Where they are found

The Secretary bird is widespread throughout Africa south of the Sahara.