The combination of my boredom and my excitement for teaching people about animals has inspired me to make this post, so enjoy!
To start off, here’s some general information about conures/parrots:
For those of you who don’t know, Milo is a green-cheeked conure (Pyrrhura molinae). Green-cheeked conures come in many color variations - normal, yellow-sided (which is what Milo is), pineapple, cinnamon, and turquoise. Green-cheeked conures are native to South America and are very popular as pets due to their general cuteness and awesomeness. However, like all parrots, conures require a lot of care and attention. Many people don’t realize this upon getting a parrot, which is why parrots are currently the most common pet to be re-homed.
That’s all of the basic parrot info I’ll put for now, but if you have any additional questions about conures/parrots/pet care/animals/etc, feel free to message me!)
Here’s another view of Milo, which shows what his beak looks like from the side. Parrots with beaks similar to Milo’s are called hookbills because of how the beak is shaped. They use their beak for obvious things such as eating, but they also use it to help them get around. They use the hooked shape to their advantage by grabbing onto branches/perches in order to test the stability and then pull themselves onto it.
Here’s what one of Milo’s wings look like. I clip Milo’s wings because unclipped wings are the leading cause of death in pet birds. Clipping their wings does not hurt them if you do it correctly, similar to clipping an animal’s nails. The blue feathers are primary flight feathers, which are used to achieve lift. By only clipping the primary feathers, this allows the bird to fly short distances close to the ground. Only the primary flight feathers should be clipped - clipping the secondary flight feathers (the green ones) prevents them from being able to fly at all. This could also lead to serious injuries since they would not be able to safely glide into a landing if they fall.
Parrots have zygodactyl feet, which means that they have two toes facing forward and two facing backward. This allows them to use their feet similarly to how humans use their hands. Not only can parrots use their feet for holding onto perches, but the shape of their feet also allows them to be able to hold food. When keeping parrots and other birds in captivity, it is incredibly important to give them access to a wide variety of perches. If a bird only has one size of perch, it can lead to arthritis and other foot problems.
That white feather is the wick of Milo’s uropygial gland (also called the preening gland). The uropygial gland secretes small amounts of oil, which birds use to preen themselves with. That is why you see birds constantly reaching at the base of their tails while they are preening.
Lastly, here is a picture of a new feather growing in. New feathers are also regularly called pin feathers due to the fact that they start out looking like pins. New feathers are coated in a waxy substance that the bird will eventually pull off. You can assist pet birds in preening by rubbing this coating off, but you must be very careful not to remove the coating before it is ready to be removed. When feathers first grow in, they are filled with blood and can therefore be very painful if they are moved. Once a feather is fully grown, the only part of it that has sensory structures is the part that is underneath the skin (which is why it does not hurt to clip a bird’s wings as long as you make sure to do it when all of the feathers are fully grown).
And that’s my random little lesson on parrot anatomy! Please correct me if I got anything wrong - I just wrote what I already know off the top of my head, so I may have made a few mistakes. And as always, feel free to message me if you have any questions! =)
a-heart-of-calcifer asked: My boyfriend LOVES. ANTS. Like... I literally had to drag him out of the Ant Room at the Oakland Zoo. I was really thinking about buying him a nice kit and some harvester ants for Christmas, but I don't want to blindly trust the sellers of kits... I want to know more about ant care and make sure that I make the best decision for them when I purchase a certain kind of kit/food/etc.
Hmm… Yeah that’s definitely something I’ll have to get other people to help you with. I’ve messaged one of the invertebrates keepers at the Oakland Zoo and asked him about it and I’ll also ask that tumblr friend of mine who is studying entomology :D I’ll let you know as soon as either/both of them reply!
a-heart-of-calcifer asked: Hey! I have an animal question! What do you know about buying small ant colonies?
Hello! :D I don’t know much about ants, but I do know a fairly good amount :) What sort of questions do you have? I have a tumblr friend who’s studying entomology, so I could also tell him you have questions!
I was trying to take a picture of myself with Milo, but then I realized that I had it set to video.
lmao those dogs are making fun of that dumbass baby bc it cant walk
- Them: *Doesn't reply*
- Me: I regret this.
- Me: I regret everything.
- Me: I regret my whole life.
- Me: I regret every tiny atom from every star from every corner of the galaxy that crash-landed on this earth and created the prehistoric aquatic organism that was my first multicellular ancestor.
- Them: *Replies*
- Me: I will use this second chance in life that I've been granted to become a new and better person, for the good of humanity.
SOMEONE PUT THESE BY THE STAIRS AT MY SCHOOL