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Psittacines are maintained in captivity as pets, in the home, as breeding birds in avicultures, in zoos and in conservation projects. Because of their intelligence, playfulness and ability in mimicry, psittacines are the most widely kept companion birds. In the wild, these birds are normally social, living with others. In captivity most are kept in a cage without other birds. The advantage of caging psittacines is that they are more likely to become tame and develop their powers of mimicry. The disadvantage, however, is that in this environment, psittacines develop behavior problems that can take many forms, including biting, screeching and self-mutilation. It is estimated that more than half of the cases presented to clinicians in companion psittacine practice are the result of behavioral problems - problems inherent to the caged psittacine.
Bringing together a host of international experts on avian behavior, Andrew Leuscher explores the many facets of psittacine behavior, both normal and abnormal, and offers useful techniques of diagnosis and treatment for clinicians who see birds in practice. Species covered include Macaws, Amazon Parrots, African Grey Parrots, Cockatiels, Budgerigars and Cockatoos. This authoritative reference, the first of its kind, is a necessary addition to the library of any practitioner who sees avian companion animals.
1. The Classification and the Status of Wild Populations of Parrots 2. Behavior of Wild Amazona and Rhynchopsitta Parrots with Comparative Insights from other Psittacines 3. Parrot Conservation, Trade and Reintroduction 4. Sensory Capacities of Parrots 5. Social Behavior of Psittacine Birds 6. Captive parrot nutrition: interactions with anatomy, physiology, and behavior. 7. Comfort Behavior and Sleep 8. Parrot Reproductive Behavior, or Who Associates, Who Mates, and Who Cares 9. Nest Box Preferences 10. Hand-rearing: behavioral impacts and implications for captive parrot welfare 11. Behavioral Development of Psittacine Companions: Neonates, Neophytes and Fledglings 12. Handler Attitude and Chick Development 13. Grey Parrot Cognition and Communication 14. How Parrots Learn 15. Behavior Classes in the Veterinary Hospital: Preventing Problems Before They Start 16. Clinical Evaluation of Psittacine Behavioral Disorders 17. Diagnostic Workup of Suspected Behavioral Problems 18. Feeding - Related Problems 19. Aggressive Behavior in Pet Birds 20. Parrot Vocalization 21. Parrots and Fear 22. Problem Sexual Behaviors of Companion Parrots 23. Mate Trauma 24. Feather Picking Disorder in Pet Birds 25. Psittacine Behavioral Pharmacotherapy 26. Behavior of Captive Psittacids in the Breeding Aviary 27. Housing and Management Considerations for Problem Prevention 28. Captive Parrot Welfare