• Quote of the Day
    "The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases."
    Carl Jung, posted by Daniel
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Daniel

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Archosaurs were the ancestors of dinosaurs and crocodiles, but they were only distantly related to modern snakes, lizards, and turtles, groups that had split off at different times. Then, 65 million years ago there was a massive extinction event, and all dinosaurs were killed except for a single group of feathered dinosaurs. These evolved over the next 65 million years into modern birds. So birds aren't just closely related to dinosaurs, they really are dinosaurs! And they are most closely related to crocodiles, which also came from archosaurs. This is what most people mean when they say that birds are reptiles, although technically, according to the phylogenetic system, birds, reptiles, and mammals all share a reptile-like ancestor.



A new study that analyzed the chemistry of dinosaur eggshells suggests that dinosaurs were warm-blooded.


Reptiles have scales. Birds have feathers. Mammals have hair. How did we get them?

For a long time scientists thought the spikes, plumage and fur characteristic of these groups originated independently of each other. But a study published [in 2016] suggests that they all evolved from a common ancestor some 320 million years ago.
 
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Daniel

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  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Squash Seeds, Melon, and Pumpkin
  • Raisins
  • Bread and Cereals
  • Various Nuts
  • Cooked Pasta and Rice
  • Eggs and Eggshells
  • Cheese
  • Peanut Butter
  • Peas, Potatoes and Sweet Corn
  • Pet Food
  • Meat
Similarly:

 
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Daniel

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Many birds, including parrots and chickens, like watermelon:

me-Couples-be-like-oh-watermelon-you-understand-me.jpg
 

Daniel

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Parrots may pick up and copy some of the crowing of any roosters or cockerels!
 
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Daniel

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Pigeons could be trained to distinguish between healthy and cancerous tissues in X-rays. After around two weeks of training, the pigeons correctly identified signs of breast cancer 85 percent of the time, a level on par with that of human pathologists (PLOS ONE, 2015).
 

Daniel

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by Peter Stangel

Too often we look for economy before quality when we are shopping, but when it comes to bird seed mixes, milo seeds are used as an inexpensive filler to help keep seed mix prices lower. The real problem though, is that the majority of birds just don’t eat milo.

Milo, also known as red milo or sorghum, is a row crop that resembles corn superficially and is commonly used to feed livestock and to produce ethanol. The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology explains that with the exception of a few birds such as Gambel’s Quail, Steller’s Jays and Curve-billed Thrashers, most birds avoid milo seeds.

Milo seeds may keep seed mix prices low, but in the long run these “inexpensive” bird seed mixes will cost you more because you are paying for something that most birds won’t eat. Because most birds don’t eat the small round milo seeds, the discarded seeds will accumulate in your feeder, and under it, and will probably get moldy, which is a potential health hazard for birds, and it may attract rodent pests.

Christopher Ingraham explored the issue of bird seed mix ingredients in a Washington Post article earlier this year. It’s an interesting and educational read that will help you improve your backyard feeding station.

You can read the story at https://www.washingtonpost.com/busi...-stuff-birds-wont-eat/?utm_term=.126050f31e68
 
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gooblax

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Most baby pigeons apparently make a squeaking noise. It turns out that my local ones are silent, so I had no idea they had even hatched let alone grown so much.

IMG_20220219_105835.jpg
 

David Baxter

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One of my talents is making pigeon sounds. Coo...gggllll... you have to hear it in person I guess. D

Years ago, when my daughter was still a toddler, we visited New York City since I was presenting a research paper at a conference there. I took a break from the conference one nice summer afternoon because my daughter, Lizzy, was a big fan of Sesame Street and I thought we might see the little hill and bridge they ran over at the beginning of the TV shows.

We sat on a bench to rest our feet and pigeons started gathering. Suddenly, a young Afro-American girl, a bit older than my daughter but still a preschooler, came running around a little corner with her mother close behind calling out in that high-pitched little girl voice, "Pigeon chasing! Pigeon chasing! I LOOOOOOVVE pigeon chasing!".

The pigeons of course were briefly scattering in front of her but closing ranks just as quickly as she moved through them.

I visited NYC a few times after that but that is still one of my favorite memories out of any of those subsequent visits.
 

Daniel

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To develop red feathers, they need to eat seeds or fruit containing pigment molecules called yellow carotenoids. Their bodies then change those pigments from yellow to red. Males with the brightest red feathering tend to have the best luck with the females.
 
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Daniel

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Overgrown Beak: A very common problem, especially for the upper beak, overgrown beak can be a result of a few factors such as liver disease, nutritional problems, or simple abnormalities. To treat an overgrown beak you simply need to trim the excess beak. Your veterinarian should be able to do this, and it is a fairly simple and pain free procedure. You should also make sure to stock your bird’s cage with materials that can help wear down his beak. Wood toys, mineral blocks, and other features with rough textures can provide your bird with a natural way to keep his beak in shape.
 
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Daniel

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Grocery stores like Safeway often have bird seed on sale, like this week.

My favorite blend is anything featuring white millet and sunflower kernels, like a no-waste blend:


Bird seed like white millet is also a tasty treat for poultry. Guineafowl, in particular, love white millet.
 
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David Baxter

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My oldest son buys seed and mixes it with bread and other grains to feed crows. Very intelligent birds and highly social. They take care of their own.
 

Daniel

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...The way we’ve done those studies is to look at what’s called ‘emotion contagion’. Contagion is basically the idea that if your friend is sad and you’re like, “Hey, what’s up?” And they’re like, “I’m really sad.” And then you say, “Oh no, now I’m sad, too!” That is empathy, right? It’s taking on the emotions of another.

We’ve been able to show that ravens are capable of something that looks exactly like that. There was this cool little study where they have two chambers where you had a demonstrator raven and an observer raven. They couldn’t interact with one another, but they could see each other. The demonstrator raven is given a box and it can look inside that box. The observing raven can’t see what’s in there. It can only see how the demonstrator reacts to it.

In half the cases, the demonstrator was given something really cool, something delicious. They got very excited about it. And in the other half of the trials, they were given something boring. They look in the box and they’re like, “I don’t care about this.” And the observer watches that.

Then the researchers would give the observer raven a box, and they found that observers that had seen a demonstrator get really excited about what was in their box were like, “Oh, let me at this! I’m going to look in this box. I’m so excited!” And in the other group, they’re like, “I don’t want to go near that box. I don’t know what’s in there. I don’t care, get it away from me.”

And that is emotion contagion. That is looking at someone’s reaction and feeling the same way as them too. So I wouldn’t use my studies as a way to get at whether or not these birds possess empathy, but there are folks who are pursuing that, and there does seem to be evidence that they very well could.
 

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