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Feathered

There is a wide variety of feathered friends at Aunt Scarlett’s Farm.
Learn a bit about the species of parrots and others that reside here.

Hyacinth Macaw
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The largest parrot by length in the world, the Hyacinth Macaw is 100 cm (3.3 ft) long from the tip of its tail to the top of its head and weighs 1.2–1.7 kg (2.6–3.7 lb). Each wing is 388–425 mm (15.3–16.7 in) long. The tail is long and pointed. Its feathers are entirely blue, lighter above and darker on its wing. It has a large black curved beak. It has a lappet of bright-yellow bare skin on the left and right of its face adjacent to the base of its lower beak and an eye-ring of yellow bare skin encircle each eye. Male and female are identical in external appearance, and juveniles resemble adults except they have shorter tails and the yellow on their faces is paler.

They have a very strong beak for eating the kernels of hard nuts and seeds. In addition, they eat fruits and other vegetable matter.

The clutch size is one or two eggs, although usually only one fledgling survives as the second egg hatches several days after the first, and the smaller fledgling cannot compete with the first born for food. The incubation period lasts about a month, and the male will tend to his mate whilst she incubates the eggs. The chicks leave the nest, or fledge, at around 110 days of age, and remain dependent on their parents until six months of age. They are mature and begin breeding at seven years of age.

The Hyacinth Macaw is an endangered species due to the cage bird trade and habitat loss. In the 1980s, it is estimated that at least 10,000 birds were taken from the wild.

Quaker Parrot
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The Quaker is a small parrot, reaching anywhere from 9 to 12 inches in length. As a comparison, the Quaker is a bird similar in length to a Cockatiel, but the Quaker’s body is heavier and more substantial with an average weight of 90 to 120 grams.

The overall color of the Quaker is green, with pale grey on the forehead, cheeks, throat and extending down to the chest. On the chest, the grey feathers are white-tipped, giving a scalloped effect. Some blue can be found in the tail and flight feathers. The eyes are a dark brown, and the bill is orange colored. Young birds look much the same except the colors are not as bright as on adult Quakers. The sex of the bird cannot be determined by its physical appearance but only by DNA or surgical sexing.

They are also known as a Monk Parakeet and originate from subtropical areas of Argentina and the surrounding countries in South America.

Quakers can live to be 25 to 30 years of age or longer. They are very hardy birds. In fact, there are wild colonies of Quakers in many of the eastern as well as the southern states. They appear to thrive in even the coldest climates!

Quakers are prolific and are sexually mature at 1-2 years of age. The average clutch size is four to eight eggs, and a second clutch is usually started when the first is about 4 weeks old. Incubation time is 23-26 days, and babies fledge at six to eight weeks of age. Handfed babies wean at eight to ten weeks of age.

Palm Cockatoo
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The (Black) Palm Cockatoo is a large Smokey-grey or black parrot of the cockatoo family. In length it is 55 to 60 cm (22 to 24 in) and weighs 910–1,200 grams (2.0–2.6 lb). It may be the largest cockatoo species and largest parrot in Australia.

It has a distinctive large crest and has one of the largest bills/beaks, second to the Hyacinth Macaw parrot. Their powerful beak enables them to eat hard nuts and seeds. The Palm Cockatoo beak is larger than the females, however both are unusual in that the lower and upper mandibles do not meet for much of the length, allowing the tongue to hold a nut against the top while the lower mandible works to open it.

Another highly unique feature is their red cheek patches become brighter, similar to a human blushing, when the bird is alarmed or excited, while at the same time the crest flushes forward on the top of their head.

Originating from the rainforest and woodland areas of New Guinea island in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, and far northern to Queensland Australia.

The Palm cockatoo has a large and complex vocal repertoire, including many whistles and a “hello” call that sounds very human-like.

Palms only lay one egg every second year and has one of the lowest breeding success rates of any parrot species. This can be more frequent for those living in favorable captivity/homes or aviaries. However, they do have a long life span ranging from 50-80 years.

It takes anywhere from 30-35 days for their eggs to hatch, and the chick needs between 70-100 days before they are able to become almost the same height and weight of their parents. The chick will not emerge from its nest until approximately 100-110 days. About two weeks after leaving its nest, the chick still is not able to fly and is forced to depend on its parents for another six weeks.

In addition to formulated pellets they like to eat, peanuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, oranges, apples, grapes, pomegranate, bananas, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, broccoli and if provided Turkey and Chicken (leg) bones.

Mute Swan
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Swans are the largest members of the waterfowl family and are among the largest flying birds. Their close relatives include geese and ducks. The Mute Swan can reach lengths up to 1.5 m (60 inches) and weigh over 15 kg (33 pounds). Their wingspans can be almost 3 m (10 ft). Compared to the closely related geese, they are much larger in size and have proportionally larger feet and necks. They have a patch of unfeathered skin between the eyes and bill in adults. The sexes are alike, but males are generally bigger and heavier than females.

Swans feed in the water and on land, food is obtained by up ending or dabbling, and their diet is composed of the roots, tubers, stems and leaves of aquatic and submerged plants.

The lifespan of the mute swan is often over 10 years, and sometimes over 20. Mute swans reach sexual maturity between 4 and 7 years of age, but they can form pair bonds early that can last for many years. Generally swans mate for life and the number of eggs in each clutch rages from 4 to 7.  On average, egg size for the mute swan is 113×74 mm, weighing 340 grams and has an incubation period of 34–45 days.

As a note of caution, Swans are known to aggressively protect their nests.