Why geese sleep in the water

I have a different number of geese sleeping on the river behind my house each night. Are they different flocks migrating through or just birds flying back and forth. Why do they sleep on the water? ~ Lansing, MI

One of the first signs of fall is the shifting flocks of Canada Geese migrating in a long, honking, irregular “V” across sky. Flying in “V” formations conserves their energy. Each bird flies slightly above the bird in front of him, resulting in a reduction of wind resistance. It also allows each bird an unobstructed field of vision, so flock members can see each other and communicate while in flight.

The Canada Goose is a year round resident of mid-Michigan’s riverbanks, ponds, golf courses and farmlands. However the Canadian and Upper Peninsula geese do migrate down to the southern U.S. from September to November. They eat aquatic vegetation, grasses and grains. If one area freezes or their source of food is depleted, they fly to more hospitable grounds.

Often called the Canadian Goose, the Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) is one of the most recognizable birds in Michigan. At 16-25 inches long with a wingspan of 50-68 inches, both the male and female are large long-necked geese with black bills, black heads and necks with white throat patches that extend up the cheek. The body is brown with a brownish-white breast and belly. At least 11 subspecies of Canada Goose have been recognized and as of 2004 some of the smaller subspecies were designated their own species like the Cackling Goose.

Geese and other waterfowl like to sleep in the water for safety.
Any predator coming toward them through the water would send vibrations and warn the birds of any danger approaching.

You may also see geese on the shoreline sleeping while they stand on one foot and one eye open. Always on the lookout for danger, the ability to sleep with only half a brain and one eye open is called unihemispheric slow-wave sleep (USWS).

Three macaws -Macaw Mountain Bird Park,

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File:Three macaws -Macaw Mountain Bird Park, Honduras-8c.jpgFile:Three macaws -Macaw Mountain Bird Park, Honduras-8b.jpg


White Face Cockatiel: 1000 Rs

Normal Grey Cockatiel : 600 Rs

LuTino Cockatiel : 800 Rs

 Sulphur Crested Cockatoo: 170000 Rs

Black Palm Cockatoo: 450000 Rs

Goffins Cockatoo: 25000 Rs

Senegal Parrot: 17000 Rs

Sun Conure: 14000 Rs

Green Cheek Conure:  8000 Rs

Amazon Parrot:  50000 Rs

Yellow naped amazon: 75000 Rs

Double yellow naped amazon : 90000 Rs

Lorikeet : 50000 - 250000 Rs ( wide rang of lorrikeets)

Eclectus Parrot : 75000 Rs

Prices may vary from place to place but not much!!


ndian Ringneck parrot: 500 Rs

Scarlet Macaw: 120000 Rs

Blue and Gold Macaw: 140000 Rs

Green Winged Macaw : 150000 Rs

Hyacinth Macaw: 300000 Rs

Hanhs Macaw: 20000 Rs

African Grey Parrot: 45000 Rs

Lutino Lovebird : 900 Rs

Peach faced Lovebird: 500 Rs

Dutch Blue Lovebird : 2000 Rs

Parakeet/Budgie: 150 Rs

Albino Budgie: 500 Rs

Half sider budgie : 1000 Rs (very rare)

English Budgie:  1000 Rs

Cockatiel: 600 Rs

Macaw Birds

Macaws on Flickr.Big, beautiful, loud and attention loving is the best way to describe Macaws.
macaw birds
These are not the birds for the feint of heart. They can play rough, they like to scream and they can live for 50 years or more.
If you have your heart set on one of these beautiful birds be prepared to spend a lot of time with it.
They thrive on attention and without it will quickly develop some bad habits, most notably even more screaming than is normal for these birds.
You don't want a large macaw to develop the habit of biting.
With the power they have in their beaks it can do far more than hurt. They use their beaks to crack open nuts and have enough power to remove a finger.
Fortunately it's pretty rare for them to bite that hard, and most just pinch instead.
Proper handling is the key to preventing any bad habits which is why you need to be prepared to spend time with them.
On the plus side Macaws are loyal and faithful friends provided that they are given freedom from the cage and are played with frequently.

Macaw care

pet macaw parrot
Macaws will eat seeds and nut in exclusion to everything else, unfortunately they don't contain all the vitamins and minerals they need and they are too high in fat for any but the most active of parrots.
Sunflower seeds are especially high in fat.
You should feed your macaw unflavored pellets as the main food and supplement them with fresh vegetables and fruits
Use the seeds and nuts for training and special treats.
Make sure to always have fresh, clean water available for your pet parrot,
Macaws love to play and chew.
Get your pet some large blocks of untreated wood to chew on.
They also seem to like puzzles so some toys that need to be taken apart to get at treat are good choices, and well as things to hang on or climb.
Let your Macaw out of the cage as much as possible. Let it explore and be near you.
Just be careful when it is out, it can quickly destroy a room, or worse yet get itself in serious trouble by chewing on electrical cords or poisonous plants.

Macaw cages

blue macaw parrot
With the exception of the mini macaws you need a big cage for your parrot.
They need room to move around and play.
The minimum size should be 3 X 4 feet and 5 feet high with bars no more than 1.5 inches apart.
Avoid plastic and galvanized cages. Macaws will destroy a plastic cage, and galvanized cages could contain zinc which is poisonous.
The cage should have horizontal bars to allow your bird to climb.
You will need at least three different sized perches, various sturdy toys, watering and food dishes.
A cage that size is heavy so it is a good idea to get one with wheels.

Photo Share: Cedar Waxwing

The Cedar Waxwing is mostly frugivorous.That means it is a fruit eater. Most of its diet is made up of berries, especially in the winter. Berries play a large role in the cedar waxwing's breeding, social and migratory behavior. Cedar waxwings will perch on a branch and pluck berries or it will hover in the air and grab berries. In the northern part of their range, the cedar berry is a large part of their diet.

They travel in flocks of 40 or more birds. They often will appear in a spot with a good crop of berries. When they have eaten all the berries, they move on.

Thank you for sharing your photo! If anyone else would like to share a photograph of nature send it to bloubird@gmail.com and I'll put it on the Friday Photo posts.

Best book to identify birds in Michigan

Birds of Michigan 
By Ted Black and Greg Kennedy
360 pages, 5.50" x 8.50", paperback

This is a wonderful book for beginning or advanced bird watchers in Michigan. It has detailed illustrations of 302 bird species with specifications of their size and any unique markings. It includes descriptions of the birds’ habitat, nesting, feeding, and voice. The birds are also grouped and color coded for quick identification by species.

One of my favorite features is a very handy quick find reference of all of the birds at the beginning of the book. It also lists Michigan birding groups and which local nature center or park will have a particular species of bird.


This is a very handy book to have around even if you don't plan on doing more than watching the birds at your feeder. I also recommend Stan Tekiela Birds of Michigan book & CD set if you want to see photos of birds or hear their songs.

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Why people care about birds and Wild Birds Unlimited

Wild Birds Unlimited. Was anyone else aware that this place existed? It's solely dedicated to the feeding birds.Who cares about wild birds? ~ via twitter

Scientists believe that modern humans arose about 200,000 years ago, but only reaching recognizable behavioral traits about 50,000 years ago. While modern birds arose more than 100 million years ago according to molecular evidence.So they were here long before humans but is there a reason people care about birds?

10 reasons birds are important to people:

1.  Eat pests: Birds are technologically advanced, highly motivated, extremely efficient, and cost-effective, insect-pest controllers. Native Americans lured Purple Martins into their villages by hanging up gourds with holes cut in the sides. It's estimated that martins each eat over a thousand winged insects in a day. Long ago farmers also knew how owls ate mice, bluebirds and swallows ate bugs in the fields, chicken and grouse ate fleas and ticks and encouraged the birds to live nearby. Just as smart people today still put up bird houses to reduce the bug population in their yards. 
2.  Pollinate: Animals provide pollination services for over three-quarters of the staple crop plants that feed human kind and for 90% of all flowering plants in the world. In addition to countless bees, butterflies, and other invertebrates, birds and mammals also serve as pollinators. Hummingbirds pollinate wildflowers that help recolonize deforested areas and prevent erosion. And according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, orioles serve as "important pollinators for some tree species, transferring the pollen from flower to flower on their heads."
3Disperse seeds: The loss of birds could change plant communities and lead to the local loss of particular plant species.  The seeds of Capsicum plants are predominantly dispersed by birds and many of the food products featuring capsaicin include hot sauce and salsa. And a single Blue Jay can cache or hide as many as 5,000 acorns up to 2.5 miles away by carrying several nuts at one time in their esophagus. As a result the rapid northward dispersal of oaks after the ice age may have resulted from the northern transport of acorns by jays. 
4.  Unite a nation: The United States started the trend for national birds when it made the Bald Eagle its avian representative over 200 years ago. In 1789 George Washington became our Nation's first President and the American Bald Eagle became our Country's official bird. President John F. Kennedy later wrote: "The Founding Fathers made an appropriate choice when they selected the Bald Eagle as the emblem of the nation. The fierce beauty and proud independence of this great bird aptly symbolizes the strength and freedom of America."
5.  Help win wars: The study of wild birds’ many survival techniques has been integral to the establishment of many military improvements. Birds taught the military about camouflage, flight, sentry systems, and during World War I and World War II, the U.S. military enlisted more than 200,000 pigeons to conduct surveillance and relay messages. 
6.  Save people: The classic example of animals serving as sentinels is the "canary in the coal mine". Well into the 20th century, coal miners in the United Kingdom and the United States brought canaries into coal mines as an early-warning signal for toxic gases including methane and carbon monoxide. The birds, being more sensitive, would become sick before the miners, who would then have a chance to escape or put on protective respirators. So during the 1960s, when birds of prey began dying, people were alerted to the dangers of agricultural chemicals such as DDT. Birds act as "sentinels" for environmental health hazards by providing early warning of human health hazards in the environment.  
7.  Promote conservation and environmentalism:The Passenger Pigeon, once the most common bird in North America, went into a catastrophic decline in numbers and then extinction by 1914 due to over hunting. The senseless slaughter of the passenger pigeon aroused public interest in the conservation movement and resulted in new laws and practices which have prevented many other species from going extinct.
8.  Feed people: Eggs and meat from birds have sustained people for centuries. 
9.  Clothe and comfort: Feathers provide fashion, warmth, and comfortable cushion.
10. Entertain: The antics of our garden birds keep us amused and may inspire future scientists to make further discoveries about these ancient creatures that might one day save the world.

Bird watching is a wonderful hobby for people of all ages. Currently one third of the U.S. populations feed wild birds. It can be enjoyed almost anywhere at any moment of the day. If you have any more questions, I can answer them in the blog or you can come into our Wild Birds Unlimited shops for help.

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