Talking Birds

Be certain buying a bird is not just a flight of fancy

In a centuries-old tradition you can still see men around Hong Kong taking their pet bird for a walk in the park.

'Birds have always been popular in Hong Kong,' says veterinary surgeon Tony Matthews, of Acorn Veterinary Hospital in Sai Ying Pun.

Sunday, 4 March, 2012, 12:00am

The ball of daylight

Since the beginning of the world, there had been no light in the northern lands of the Inuit. The snow, the ice, the sky were black and the people lived in perpetual gloom. They believed that all lands were dark and frozen like theirs.

5 Dec 2011 - 12:00am

Longevity and lifestyle key considerations when getting a parrot

Janice Jensen seldom has a quiet morning. After emerging from her bedroom, she is greeted by conversation starters - such as, 'Good morning, how are you?' - from her African Grey parrot, Stanley.

'African Greys are very interactive birds,' says Jensen, director of Hong Kong Animal Speak.

31 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

Owners can train their feathered friends to do almost anything

Like any proud parent who believes their child is the brightest in the class, anyone who owns a parrot is no different. 'Owners always say their bird is the best and easiest to train,' says Vicki Elliott, a veterinary nurse at the Tai Wai Small Animal and Exotic Hospital. With some 370 parrot species, also known as psittacines, the most popular parrots are Cockatiels and Lovebirds.

30 May 2010 - 12:00am

Smart animals can teach us a thing or two

One of the few genuine rewards for working in journalism is that you often get to meet extraordinary people. Among these, I would count Peter Singer, the animal liberation philosopher, and Jane Goodall, the primatologist. Both thinkers have challenged our deep-seated prejudices about animals, and therefore our place in nature.

4 Dec 2008 - 12:00am

Daily checks strengthen battle against house crow population

The fight against house crows in urban areas has been stepped up, with daily inspections of black spots and more cages being used to trap the birds.

A crow found dead last week was confirmed to have been carrying the deadly H5N1 virus.

1 Mar 2006 - 12:00am

Stone the crows, it's OK to kill street birds

Agriculture chiefs came under fire from birdwatchers and a legislator yesterday for their 'strange' statement encouraging the public to kill two types of wild bird common in urban areas.

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said house crows and pigeons were not covered by the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance, and people could therefore kill them.

25 Feb 2006 - 12:00am

Virus may come from mainland's sick parrots

Experts blame quarantine arrangements and unhygienic breeding environment

A poor mainland environment for parrot breeding and inadequate quarantine arrangements could be responsible for the spread of a bird-borne disease contracted by a Hong Kong woman, experts said yesterday.

25 Feb 2005 - 12:00am

Officials count out crows as source of killer virus

Crows are not a source of the Japanese encephalitis virus, the government said yesterday, although its workers were trying to curb their numbers in Shamshuipo.

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said last night it had ruled out the possibility of crows being a source of the deadly disease.

8 Jul 2004 - 12:00am

Company makes the life of birds in captivity more pleasant

Birds must be one of the most popular pets in Hong Kong. But what often makes animal lovers feel sad, apart from the very small size of some of the cages, is the sight of a solitary bird.

Take budgerigars, for example. They are attractive, friendly, active little birds and make good companions.

31 May 2001 - 12:00am

Air-raiding crows face Tokyo flak

Tokyo's crows have led a charmed life, but the city Government is swooping down as their population and daring soars.

Teams of city workers are combing parks and examining private residences to remove nests and eggs this week as the crows enter their breeding season.

9 May 2001 - 12:00am

Scientists discover birds of a feather fail to speak together

Communication is important to maintain social order among animals.

People are certainly the most talkative of animals, with a spoken vocabulary of more than 40,000 words, but we are not the only creatures which can talk.

Many species have their own language and use it to call their young, warn others of danger or attract a mate.

7 Sep 1999 - 12:00am

Flying high again

Flying high again - A cockatoo is enjoying the high life again after firemen rescued it from a Happy Valley treetop yesterday.

13 Feb 1997 - 12:00am

The different ways in which animals 'talk'

PEOPLE are certainly the most talkative of all animals with a spoken vocabulary of at least 40,000 words. But we are not the only creatures which can talk.

Many species have their own verbal language and use it to call their young, warn others of danger or attract a mate.

1 Dec 1993 - 12:00am

Lies, damn lies, and the dead fish in the harbour

FANCY a flutter? You may think you bet when you feel like it, but a survey by the Royal Hongkong Jockey Club, comparing betting turnover with economic activity, shows you bet because your brain is picking up subliminal signals about Hongkong's economic health.

13 Apr 1993 - 12:00am