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Indian ringnecks

Australia has been called the "Land of Parrots".

Although parrots occur in Central and South America, Africa and Southern Asia nowhere are they as numerous as they are in Australia. Whilst there are over 300 different species of parrots worldwide, Australia has 56 different species of parrots, not including sub-species.

In total, there are over 800 different species of birds in Australia, including those who migrate here from other parts of the world.

 

Drawing of female red-tailed Black Cockatoo by Sydney ParkinsonEver since the first drawing of a female red-tailed Black Cockatoo made in 1770 by Sydney Parkinson, a member of the Endeavour crew Australian parrots have been captured in the paintings, drawings, and craft of numerous artists.

 

 

 

 Parrots are long-lived. Rainbow Lorikeet

Some of the longest lived parrots are Australian Cockatoos which have been known to live for over 100 years. As "feathered ambassadors" Australian parrots have been  exported as pets, though this has been prohibited since 1960.
A Rainbow Lorikeet was the first parrot to travel back to England with Captain Cook.

Australian parrots are now kept in captivity in nearly every country in the world, with the Australian Budgerigar the most commonly kept bird in the world.

All Australian birds are protected by various Commonwealth and State Laws (It is illegal to take any bird from the wild). Whilst some birds can be kept as pets without a Licence or Permit, a lot of the rarer or more difficult to keep species can only be kept as pets with special permits.

Every Australian State & Territory has differing laws regarding the keeping of Australian Native Birds and you need to check with your local State or Territory wildlife authority in regards to their requirements for keeping Australian Native Wildlife.

 

 

 

Anatomy

Birds have a lightweight skeleton.anatomy

Most of the bones of flying birds are thin and hollow; and some have internal struts or trusses (cross walls) that make them very strong. (Some flightless birds, like penguins, have solid bones.)

The keel-shaped sternum (breastbone) is where the powerful flight muscles attach to the body.
Birds have a smaller total number of bones than mammals or reptiles. This is because many of their bones are fused together (like the middle to lower vertebrae), making the skeleton more rigid.

 

 

 

skeleton

  

Birds also have more neck (cervical)vertebrae than many other animals; most have 13 to 25 of these very flexible neck vertebrae(this helps them groom their feathers).

Birds are are the only vertebrate animals to have a fused collarbone (the furcula or wishbone) or a keeled breastbone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behaviour

Here are a few interesting things about the way birds behave.

Most birds sleep at night by roosting on branches in trees and bushes, though Finches & Wrens often build their own roosting nests. Most birds live in groups called flocks that can number in their thousands. Not all birds can fly. Many birds have a pouch called a crop where they store food before its digested. Birds have an organ known as a gizzard where food is broken into digestable pieces. The fastest animal on Earth is a bird, the Peregrine Falcon (In excess of 300 kph).

 

Bird Health

Healthy birds have glossy feathers, a clean beak and bright clear eyes. Often it is difficult to tell when a bird is sick. Sick birds usually have fluffed-up feathers, have a dirty vent and appear sleepy. It is important that sick birds are kept under a warm lamp 28c and receive immediate treatment. It is also important that birds are kept healthy and sick birds are taken care of, because some bird diseases can be transferred to people. By keeping pet birds healthy, you are helping to keep the people around them healthy.

Most veterinarians can treat sick birds. However some veterinarians specialise in the treatment of birds. It is always a good idea to find your local bird doctor.

 

Here are a few links to Australian Bird Veterinarians.
- http://www.aavac.com.au/find-your-local-avian-veterinarian
- http://www.innersouthvets.com.au (Canberra Based Avian Specialists)

 

Here are a few links to Bird Food & Accessory Specialists

       www.vetafarm.com.au  (Australian specialist bird food manufacturers based in Wagga Wagga NSW)

       www.wombaroo.com.au  (Australian speciality bird food manufacturers)

- http://www.parrotsociety.org.au  (Australian bird society supplying all types of bird accessories)