Okay, back to the cute babies. This is a short video (from a cell phone, sorry for the less-than-wonderful quality) of our four oldest red-browed Amazon parrot babies learing how to move around outside thier brooder boxes. At this age, they move up to actual cages with perches, and we have to teach them how to move around, flap, and generally behave like birds. They also loose a little weight at this stage, and begin to think about actually flying. Very exciting and frightening all at the same time. What a mob!
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
We've been blogging a lot about babies recently. Baby parrots, baby marmosets, all the cute stuff. WELL, we discovered some not-so-cute babies recently. The lovely creature you see here is a native Florida bark scorpion. She measures about 2.5 inches in length and was found on our neighbor's property carrying 20 or so babies on her back. YES, I SAID 20 OR SO BABIES ON HER BACK! Pretty cool once you get over the EEEWWWWW factor. We released her, with her brood, into one of the fields on our 30-acre center. Scorpions are actually helpful, eating other, more destructive insects like termites--a real scorpion favorite snack. And, they glow under black light--how cool is that?? Yes, they do deliver one heck of a painful sting, but nothing deadly to humans...I SWEAR!
Monday, May 25, 2009
Since starting this blog, we've been going through all our old video tapes for cool stuff to post here and found a treasure trove of video all starring "Mico" the King of Marmosets. Mico's mom died giving birth to him about 3 years ago, and we hand-reared him. He's quite the little star, a tiny creature with a HUGE personality. He is now all grown up, and lives with his girlfriend "Trixie". He still enjoys human company, but we try to resist and let him be a monkey. Hopefully, he and Trixie will have babies of thier own--soon if we're lucky. We'll keep you posted. In the meantime, here is a classic Mico montage from his impossibley cute baby days.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Here at RSCF we have several pygmy marmoset family groups. Family groups are comprised of an adult pair and their offspring. Only the dominant female will breed and raise young. The entire family group will help care for the babies and during the first two months of its life, it is passed between the backs of the parents and juveniles. Currently, we have two family groups raising young and the first baby is finally venturing off on his own. He is a brave little guy with a head full of hair, as you can see. Any name ideas for this little boy? Please e-mail us!
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
In the wild, pygmies’ diet consists of berries, buds, fruits, flowers, lizards, frogs, various insects, and most importantly sap and gum from various trees. The sap and gum provides calcium and sugar, along with vitamins and minerals. Pygmies are known as "gum feeders" and their jaws and teeth are specially designed for gnawing away grooves in wood to collect the sap. Here at RSCF, we try to recreate a diet that is as close to their natural foods as possible. We feed our pygmies yams, insects, a variety of fresh fruits and veggies, yogurt, honey, bread, and a manufactured marmoset "chow". They love the worms that we feed them and often we find our pygmies munching on little lizards they catch in their enclosures. Here is a video of one of our males chowing down on a freshly caught exotic Cuban anole. YUM!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Today we collected Red-brow fecal samples to test for parasites. We searched high and low for fresh bird poo (doesn't that sound FUN?). After gracefully collecting the samples, we brought them in the office and examined them under the microscope in search of parasites such as acanthocephalan eggs (Centrorhynchus sp.) and Capillaria eggs. Two of the three cages tested positive for the commonly occurring Centrorhynchus eggs. A simple water soluble treatment will clear this up in no time. We hope you enjoy these pictures provided courtesy of RSCF's crack team of "fecal technicians"!
Friday, May 8, 2009
Weezer is our resident Brazilian hawk-headed parrot (Deroptyus accipitrinus fuscifrons), a subspecies of the more common Guyanese hawk-headed parrot (Deroptyus accipitrinus accipitrinus). Unfortunately, Brazilian hawk-heads are nearly extinct--less than 100 are believed to exist in the wild and less than a dozen remain in captivity in the U.S. The most visible difference between the Brazilian hawk-head and their more common relatives is that Brazilians have an entirely dark colored head and face, versus the white feathers found on the crown of the Guyanese hawk-head. Enjoy the video below of Weezer and his cage mate (a Guyanese) fanning and displaying at the camera. Hawk-heads are one of the few parrots that can raise the feathers around their head and neck in a spectacular "crown". Rather like an Indian headdress!