Lonely pet birds parrot human lifestyle ailments

Abizarre combination of loneliness, space shortage and the sheer gorgeousness of exotic avians has resulted in a new epidemic—bird depression. Other than mental illness, these birds are also being diagnosed with human lifestyle diseases such as obesity and diabetes. A growing number of people are adopting exotic birds as pets, prefering them to dogs and cats because they are easier to manage in small flats. The popular choices are African grey parrots (average cost Rs 40,000), Australian cockatoos, South American macaws (both for around Rs 1 lakh)—all known for their…

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Hidden food helps year-round birds survive

Most of the bird migrants have left. The residents are preparing for colder temperatures and have probably already checked out where in their neighborhood they’ll spend the long winter nights. Closer to the winter solstice, non-migrants will endure about 14 hours or so of a world without the sun. No external heat, no cozy home, no comforting warm nest to return to — just the frigid outdoors. Survival is key here, and the important part of making it through these demanding conditions is fat. Body fat is insulation from the…

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