This morning, I awoke to the sound of rain. On this fourth consecutive day of rain, I have grown concerned about flooding, so I peered out various windows to see if the water had begun to pond. In the backyard twilight, I saw a ruby-throated hummingbird swoop in to land on my wife's bright red feeder. He got two slurps then he rocketed almost straight up to somewhere in the canopy of a large elm tree.
I wondered if he might be quick enough to see and avoid falling rain drops. I live in Southeastern Virginia, and mostly our hummingbird visitors sport feathers emerald green at the back and white at the breast. The males have ruby-red throat feathers. Two or three males fight over the use of our feeder and perhaps six to ten females regularly fly in to feed, unmolested by the males. On occasion, we have seen a larger black hummingbird fly in. None of the ruby throats mess with him.
A migratory species, hummingbirds nest in various Central American countries during winter. They fly across the Gulf of Mexico to return to North American locations familiar to them. I have not read any plausible explanation as to why our bird visitors fly up to Virginia when they might have stayed in Alabama or Florida. I have read that the males come see us first, probably to stake claims on food foraging areas, like my wife's bird feeder. The females, and their young, arrive later in the Spring (usually in the month of May). I read some studies of captured, released, and tracked hummingbirds that conclude fat content as critically important to their health and their chances of surviving such long journeys of flight each year. The birds live only 3-5 years.
We have noticed a peculiar behavior in our hummingbirds when my wife moves the feeder to a different post hook (about two feet away). She has a bird seed station hanging from the other post, to feed our seed crunching birds. Those birds spill seed to the ground, which attracts squirrels who will eventually damage the lawn below the feeder. So, my wife will occasionally switch the two feeders. For some reason, our hummingbirds, who can find the red feeder after a 1200 mile journey, will hover in front of the seeder station that got put where they expected it. It takes them awhile to find the new location of the sugar water that they crave. #TAG1write
Take into account yourself your bird's cook, caterer, housekeeper, and taxi cab service. You can help your cockatiel live lengthier by providing him with healthy food, clean living conditions and a trip to the vet if needed. Cockatiels are generally healthy unless kept in unclean, crowded conditions or given incorrectly. Provide filtered sunlight during the day, fresh foods and water daily, and clean your cockatiel's crate twice a week or more as needed. Get rid of uneaten fruit and vegetables from your bird's cage within a couple of hours of feeding. Your bird may be sick if he's dirty feathers, is sitting down fluffed up in a corner of his competition or has watery sight or diarrhea.
You (and Your Cockatiel) Are Just What You Eat
Pet parrots are often fed a convenient but "junk food" diet of packaged parrot seed, water, and resolution. Like humans, cockatiels depend on a variety of vitamins, minerals, and proteins for staying healthy. Adding abundant greens, shredded carrots and hard-boiled egg yolk provide the healthy food necessary for a long life period. Calcium is very important for breeding female cockatiels, in whose calcium stores can be lost over time by laying eggs. Give reproduction birds plenty of oyster shell grit and cuttlefish bones. Captive birds can also develop a nutritional A deficiency. Shredded carrots and cooked yams can help boost vitamin The levels.
Cockatiels are built for long haul flying; in the wild, they fly many miles daily looking for food and water. Pet cockatiels don't have the space for this kind of extreme workout.
Safety Tips for Cockatiels
Cockatiels can live 20 years or more if given proper care. Practicing common sense and household safety can add years to your bird's life. Never leave cockatiels unsupervised with small children or household pets. Inside nature, cockatiels are surface feeders. Pet cockatiels enjoy exploring floors but are easily stepped on and can become targets for dogs and cats when allowed to stick to the floor. Avoid putting your cockatiel in direct sunlight without providing a source of shade. Cockatiels enjoy being outdoors in their cages but require normal water and shade for avoiding heatstroke and dehydration. Your current bird is too hot if he's panting and holds his wings a bit away from his body. If the bird seems unwell or is injured, take him to the vet immediately. Birds instinctively effort to hide illness, so if your bird seems sick, it's time to see your vet.