Goslings spend most of their time eating when they aren’t sleeping.
As the summer progresses, the nutritional content of the grass gets lower, so grazing birds will seek out the youngest growing shoots, often close to the pond.
Ducks moult twice a year and some of our most colourful are losing their finery. The summer moult after breeding sees the drakes taking on a less conspicuous plumage, similar to the ducks — for a short period they cannot fly because they drop all their flight feathers. So it does make sense to […]
Recent news reports have featured the new consortium, investigating critical gaps in our science knowledge of avian influenza outbreaks – a great boost for the poultry industry, keepers and the rural economy. https://www.gov.uk/…/uks-top-scientists-join-forces-to… We fully understand the heartache and frustration of not being able to protect our birds. This unprecedented level of disease we have […]
Now we have our first real tropical spell of the year, here are a few tips to help your waterfowl feel more comfortable: • Most waterfowl will cope fine as long as they have constant access to drinking water and shade • Swimming water is helpful as waterfowl can regulate temperature through their feet • […]
Z is for Z chromosome. Birds’ sex chromosomes are Z and W, compared to humans who have X and Y sex chromosomes. The egg determines the sex of the offspring in the former system, whereas the sperm does in the latter. Female birds have one Z chromosome and a shorter W chromosome. Sex-linked genes are […]
Pal -Mates …weekend web tip Y s for Yellow Belly and Yap Yap Yap!. The colour genetics of the Yellow Belly Call are not fully investigated, but these delightful little birds are certainly handsome. Topsides, that is above the waterline, they strongly resemble the wild Mallard colour. The ducks do have rich pinkish buff on […]
X is for Xanthophyll. Yes it’s a bit of a mouthful, but this is the pigment responsible for the yellow colour in egg yolks, and some of the yellows in skin colour. This is a timely reminder that laying birds have high nutritional needs to stay healthy. Although the shell colour for any breed or […]
W is for wild, introduced or domestic? When we talk about wild waterfowl in Britain, we usually mean the birds ‘ordinarily resident’ here, in their wild colour and form. Some, like the Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) or Egyptian Geese (Alopochen aegyptiaca) have been released and have naturalised, but they don’t really belong here. Introduced species […]
V is for vitelline membrane. This is a gossamer-fine, multi layered, protein membrane separating the yolk from the white (albumen) in the egg. The fine twisted cord seen in the tweezer is one of the chalazae, holding the yolk in position. The developing embryo is attached to this membrane and floats to the surface — […]
U is for underwater. All may be serene on the surface, but there’s lots going on below. Some birds prefer to stay topsides, but others spend time undewater foraging for food.