Environmental enrichment affects the fear and exploratory responses to novelty of young Amazon parrots

The development of techniques to reduce fear responses of captive animals is important because fear is generally considered an undesirable emotional state that is related to increased risk of injury and decreased biological functioning. We tested the effects of environmental enrichments designed to increase the physical complexity of the cage and to provide opportunities for […]

Foraging opportunity and increased physical complexity both prevent and reduce psychogenic feather picking by young Amazon parrots

Although many authors have suggested that the quality of the cage environment contributes to the development and performance of psychogenic feather picking by parrots, there is little scientific evidence for this relationship. In chickens, there is an established relationship between absence of foraging opportunity and the performance of a similar behavior, feather pecking. Thus, we […]

Isosexual pair housing improves the welfare of young Amazon parrots

It has been suggested that isolation from conspecifics may contribute to the development of abnormal behaviors that are common in captive parrots, including stereotypy, feather plucking, excessive fearfulness and aggression (e.g. [Proceedings of the European Symposium on Bird Diseases, Beerse, Belgium (1987), p. 98; Kleintierpraxis 38 (1993) 511]). Thus, we assessed the influence of isosexual […]

The effect of rope color, size and fray on environmental enrichment device interaction in male and female Orange-winged Amazon parrots (Amazona amazonica)

Environmental enrichment devices (EDs; a.k.a. cage “toys”) are often provided to captive parrots to mitigate the austerity of their environments, but the basis of attraction to EDs by parrots is poorly understood and many EDs go un-used. Preferences of Orange-winged Amazon parrots (Amazona amazonica) for various properties of sisal rope were tested by suspending rope […]

Influences on the transport and establishment of exotic bird species: an analysis of the parrots (Psittaciformes) of the world

Most studies of exotic species invasions only consider the factors that affect the establishment of populations following release, yet this is only one step on the invasion pathway. Different factors are likely to influence which species are transported and released. Here, we examine the influence of species traits on the successful transition of species through […]

Exploration of environmental changes relates to lifestyle

Decision making in informed animals is often described by optimality models. However, how information about an environment is acquired is rarely investigated. Cost/benefit considerations suggest that species differ in this respect according to their lifestyle. We tested the hypothesis that resident species react to changes in their familiar environment earlier and explore it more intensively […]

Effects of Foraging Enrichment on The Behaviour of Parrots

The purpose of this study was to enrich parrot enclosures by creating foraging opportunities appropriate for the species and to investigate the possible preference for a variable versus a constant food supply. The foraging device comprised of a length of wood (2×0.08×0.08m) with 50 holes (0.02m diameter x 0.02m depth) drilled into one face. Food […]

Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) numerical abilities: Addition and further experiments on a zero-like concept

A Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus), able to quantify 6 or fewer item sets (including heterogeneous subsets) by using English labels (I. M. Pepperberg, 1994), was tested on addition of quantities involving 0-6. He was, without explicit training, asked, “How many total X?” for 2 sequentially presented collections (e.g., of variously sized jelly beans or nuts) […]

Ordinality and inferential abilities of a grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus)

A grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus), able to label the color of the bigger or smaller object in a pair (I. M. Pepperberg & M. V. Brezinsky, 1991), to vocally quantify < or =6 item sets (including heterogeneous subsets; I. M. Pepperberg, 1994), and separately trained to identify Arabic numerals 1-6 with the same vocal English […]

Feather-Damaging Behavior in Companion Parrots: Are Species Differences Intrinsic or Caused by Variations in Husbandry?