Pine Cones, Branches And Needles In The Diets Of Parrots

Coniferous plants grow in almost all parts of the world.

Typical representatives of coniferous plants are: pine, spruce, larch, juniper, cedar, thuja, cypress.

Q. – Is it possible to give parrots pine branches?
O. – It is necessary.

Parrots in nature feed on both the fruits of conifers and foliage (needles).

What makes pine needles valuable for? Its unique composition. Here is an excerpt from an article on the chemical composition of needles:

Among the physiologically important substances of green needles, vitamins are of greatest importance. For example, the vitamin C content in needles is 25 times higher than in potatoes. However, the season, the illumination and the age of the needles have a great influence on the content of this vitamin. In spruce, the highest content of vitamin C was noted in the needles of the upper part of the crown, the most illuminated by the sun. The maximum content of vitamin C is observed in winter and early spring. These factors must be considered when harvesting green forest wood feed.

A significant content of fat-soluble vitamins was also found in needles, among which α-, β- and γ-carotenes occupy a special place, and their amount is close to the carotene content in carrots.

Vitamin E is also important, which mainly includes α-tocophenol, which is characterized by the highest physiological activity.

Fats and resins found in pine and spruce needles contain free hydroxypalmitic acid and esters of palmitic, hydroxypalmitic, stearic acids, as well as alcohols: cetyl, ceryl and merisyl. Among these components are also found abietic and oleic acids, various terpenes and terpene alcohols, as well as phytosterol.

Chlorophyll, carotene and xanthophyll are also soluble in organic solvents.

In the water-soluble part, in addition to vitamin C, sucrose, glucose and fructose, pectin and tannins, there are glucosides, picein and coniferin.

The composition of ash substances of pine needles, according to V. I. Sharkov, is as follows: total ash 2.8; calcium 0.5; phosphorus 0.15; magnesium 0.1% dry matter needles; iron 156 mg / kg, manganese 318, copper 7, zinc 30, cobalt 0.09 dry matter needles.

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Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoo ( Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo or Calalyptorhynchus funereus) – eats an unripe pine cone.

Sulfur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) in the vicinity of Melbourne feed on already ripened pine cones of radiant pine (Pinus radiata)

In the next video, a yellow-crested cockatoo feeds on callitris cones. Kallitris (Callítris) – a genus of conifers of the Cypress family. These are Australia’s “native” conifers, a natural component of the diets of cockatoos and other Australian parrots. When pines brought in by Europeans appeared in Australia, cockatoos and other parrots easily incorporated new species of conifers into their diets.

In the second half of this video, the callistris fruits are shown in close-up and you can clearly see how much resin they contain.

Parrots not only eat needles and cones, but also nest in the hollows of pines. It would seem obvious, but among bird lovers there is an opinion that pine boards cannot be used to build nesting houses and to build game stands because of resins and essential oils in coniferous trees.

This is not true. Here is a video of Red-faced Amazon (Amazona autumnalis) at the nest. The nest is located in the hollow of the Caribbean pine (Pinus caribaea). As you can see, the bird has a clean healthy plumage, not contaminated with resin.

Large branches of conifers should be used in the construction of stands for large and medium-sized parrots. Since coniferous wood is quite soft – it is quickly and happily bitten by parrots. Therefore, such elements of the stands are not durable, but it is precisely for cracking that they are needed. It is very important that parrots have the opportunity to fully use their beak. If they do not have branches that birds can nibble on, they will destroy your home.

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Resin, which stands out from pine branches and cones, is useful for parrots, they eat it with pleasure.

Until August, immature pine cones are very juicy. Macaws, Jacques, Amazons, cockatoos can eat them in large quantities – which frighten the owners of birds. There is no need to limit the consumption of green cones by parrots – let them eat as much as they want.

Green cones can be frozen, although their preservation is highly dependent on the time of collecting the cones. For freezing, cones are packed in plastic bags, it is important that the cones do not dry out in the freezer, after drying, they become less attractive to parrots.

Parrots enjoy eating immature and ripe pine, spruce cones and cones of cypress. In the photo, Alice Iannou’s red-tailed jaco nibbles cypress cones.

Pine Cones, Branches And Needles In The Diets Of Parrots

Pay attention to how much green is there at the jaco’s stand, so many branches need to be brought to the parrot.

Pine Cones, Branches And Needles In The Diets Of Parrots

In this video, it is clearly seen that the jaco eats the seeds taken from the cones of cypress, and not just parses them:

Cedar cones are the fruits of pine Siberian or Siberian cedar (Pínus sibírica) need to be given to large and medium-sized parrots as a whole. Birds will be happy to pick out pine nuts from cones.

As in the case of nuts and seeds, pine nuts can and should be given to parrots without restrictions.

BUT: 1.) the nuts must be fresh. 2) parrots should always have a varied diet. 3.) parrots should be able to fully move.

In this case, a healthy parrot will never go beyond a mono diet with nuts, seeds or oats. You should always remember – if a bird switches to preferential nutrition with any one food, this is a sign of a bird’s disease.

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Bring not one or two small twigs to the birds, but large brooms. This will provide the birds with the necessary nutrients, enrich the bird habitat in your home and saturate the indoor air with volatile and essential oils.

When collecting branch feed for birds, treat trees with care – after all, it’s more than one year to provide your birds with branches.

Bottom line: the needles and cones of conifers contain a large amount of nutrients and biologically active compounds.
– Cones and needles are available to bird owners all year round.
– Needles and cones need to be given without restrictions to budgies, and corals, and lovebirds, and macaws, and cockatoos, and Amazons, and pionuses, and Jaco, and aratings, and necklaces, and Alexandria, and pyrrhurs, and all other types of parrots . Canaries and weavers are also very fond of young needles.
– Needles are most useful in winter and spring (during this period it contains the greatest amount of vitamin C) – do not forget to give Christmas trees to parrots – if Santa Claus brought the tree from the forest)).

Cones of coniferous trees are not only a useful and natural component of the diets of parrots, but also an excellent forager.

Pine branches can be used to create poles, stands and nesting houses for birds.

A detailed article on how to use Christmas trees for parrots and other birds will help you not only find the answer to the question “can a parrot be a Christmas tree”, but will also demonstrate how to give a Christmas tree, fir, juniper and other conifers to birds: Christmas tree … and … parrots, owls, crows, canaries, amadins.

Pine, spruce, juniper, thuja – are well suited for planting in outdoor aviaries with birds.