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Educational Articles

Birds

  • Our knowledge of bird nutrition is constantly evolving. This is due both to heightened awareness of the importance of nutrition and to increased research into birds different needs. As with all other animals, birds need a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals and water. Different species of birds often require different foods.

  • The domestic pigeon (family Columbidae) includes over 300 breeds, all descending from the Rock Dove (Columbia livia). They originated in Eurasia, but are now found all over the world.

  • When a feather is pulled out or falls out during a normal moult, a new feather is stimulated to start growing right away. As the new feather (pin or blood feather) emerges from the skins feather follicle, it looks like a spike, quill or much like the feather shaft itself.

  • Many birds naturally eat plants as part of their diet. Some birds will chew on and possibly consume plants out of curiosity or in the course of play. Birds left unsupervised out of their cage may easily encounter plants kept around the house and in the garden.

  • Many birds naturally eat plants as part of their diet. Birds will chew on and possibly consume plants in the course of play and curiosity. Birds left unsupervised out of their cage may easily encounter plants kept around the house and in the garden.

  • As with hair, each feather normally emerges from one follicle. Polyfolliculosis (sometimes called Pruritic Polyfolliculosis or Polyfolliculitis) is a malformation of the follicle in which multiple feathers (2-6) grow within one follicle (12 feathers in one follicle has been reported). The word "pruritic" means "itchy".

  • The polyomavirus of pet birds belongs to the family Papovavirus, the same group of viruses that causes benign skin tumors (papillomas or warts) in birds. Polyomavirus can cause benign feather lesions in budgies (the so-called French molt or Budgerigar Fledgling disease) or acute death.

  • Poxviruses can infect many species of birds, and each species of bird may have its own unique species of pox virus (mynah bird pox, canary pox, parrot pox, etc.). Poxviruses can cause several different clinical syndromes, depending upon what part of the body is infected.

  • Among our pet birds, the uropygial gland (preening gland or oil gland) is found on budgies, parrots (except Amazon parrots), canaries, most finches, cockatoos and waterfowl. It is absent in doves, pigeons, Amazon parrots and Hyacinth macaws.

  • Having your pet properly prepared before blood collection helps to ensure that test results are as accurate and reliable as they can be. Sometimes abnormal test results say more about how the pet was prepared than about true illness.