The mother hen of pandemonium aviaries has given a talk at the TED x event!!

Plum Headed Parrot:Psittacula cyanocephalaThe Plum-head parakeet is a native of India (subcontinental area) and its bright purple face coloration certainly lives up to its name. Two of our Plum heads came to us from Denver, Colorado and, instead of being shipped to San Jose, California, they went to San Jose, Costa Rica! After a week of phone calls and confusion, we welcomed two new parakeets, Costa and Rica, into our flock.
Pandemonium’s first Plum-head came from a humane society whose facility was not equipped to house exotic birds. After we got the call that this bird needed a home, we sprang into action. Because did not know much about them at the time, we had the bird DNA sexed– though we now know that we could have known she was female from her blue-grey facial coloration (males have a red-purple face).
Plum-heads used to be popular companion birds because of their compact size and mild, endearing personalities. However, this changed after Wild Bird Act of 1992; because they could no longer freely import stock, breeders stopped keeping birds that were not either high in cost, like macaws, or easy to breed, like budgies and canaries. Plum-heads form long-term breeding pairs;  the mate maintain life long loyality to to one another. As with many species, the female incubates the eggs, but male watches out for predators and other dangers outside the cavity nest.
Like all birds, Plum-heads require abundant sunshine– we’ve found that ours prefer an eastern exposure. These birds are fairly hardy; they are able to survive temperatures below freezing as long as they don’t last more than a couple days, though they do need wind protection.
As we learned from experience, Plum-heads are very intelligent, inquisitive birds. Once, while doing foraging enrichment for large birds near their enclosures, we noticed the Plum-heads were watching the foraging very carefully. Intrigued, we offered them the same foraging toys and, to our amazement, they knew exactly how to get to the treats.  Plum-heads require large amounts of  stimuli to keep them entertained and mentally and emotionally healthy.


Tico the Blue and Gold Macaw

(one of our resident companion parrots who was adopted from a local humane society)

Ara ararauna

Tico is Pandemonium’s resident trickster.  He loves to dance, especially to Disney soundtracks (Aladdin is favorite) and electronica rock. If you give him something he likes to eat, he will yell out “Some more!”  One of his favorite tricks is to open the doors to other bird cages, let the birds out, have them switch cages…and when everyone is settled in a new cage, close the doors.  Imagine our surprise with birds in different aviaries not knowing how this happened.  He is a master lock-picker and quite possibly Houdini re-incarnated.

A look at the daily goings on at Pandemonium Aviaries.