Words related to “little birds” frequently trend on social networking sites…
I want to see #small bird’s naughty ano”, “# budgies”, “#small bird”, etc., Recently, hashtags related to small birds have been trending frequently on social networking sites.
The first two were created when people who own small birds posted cute images with the hashtags on social networking sites, which were then retweeted a lot.
On the other hand, “#Kotori-san” is a rare surname that was shared by “Kotori-san” played by Hidetoshi Nishijima in the TBS Tuesday drama “Riding on a Unicorn” starring Mei Nagano and “Kotori-san” played by Tasuku Emoto in “Hatsukoi no Devil” (Nippon TV) written by Yuji Sakamoto and starring Kento Hayashi and Taiga Nakano, despite the fact that it is an uncommon surname. This is a rare phenomenon of trending mixed with people mentioning images of cute little birds with the hashtag “#Kotori-san”.
Come to think of it, there was a special feature on “news every.” (April 20, 2021), “Birds are also popular in the pet boom of ‘impulse buying’ and abandonment of breeding:
Some people regret keeping them casually…
With the increase in the number of pet owners due to the COVID-19 crisis, the popularity of small birds is said to be on the rise, but the problem is that many people casually keep small birds without knowing that they are delicate creatures.
We asked author and science writer Hiroaki Hosokawa, author of “How to Raise Long-Lived Birds: How to Live a Long and Happy Life with Your Favorite Bird,” published by Seibundo Shinkosha, and his new book, “With Cockatiels,” published by Graphic, about the problems behind this boom in small birds.
He says, “I don’t think the number of people who keep small birds is increasing that much, but it is true that more and more people are posting images of small birds on SNS and other social networking services. It is easy to take pictures of cute birds and upload them to social networking sites, and people appreciate them.”
However, the unit price of small birds is lower than that of dogs and cats, ranging from several thousand yen to several tens of thousands of yen, so in many cases, parents easily give them to their children at the behest of their children. But in fact, they are a lot of work, so later on they may miss out and say, ‘I didn’t realize how hard it would be,’ or let them die without taking care of them adequately.
Besides, I have the impression that many people who are new to pet birds because of the COVID-19 crisis have less knowledge than those who have lived with small birds all their lives, so many of them have put their small birds out of their misery.
As a matter of fact, I myself had more than 30 parakeets at my parents’ house when I was in elementary school, but my knowledge is scarce. Since I welcomed a bunucho last year, I have been worrying about temperature control, physical condition, etc. on a daily basis, which feels like raising a child.
He says, “I don’t think many people understand how troublesome it is to keep up with small birds.”
For example, even when it comes to temperature control, there are nearly 100 species of small birds kept in Japan, and the appropriate temperature differs from one species to another due to differences in their original ecology and living environment. Some birds do not like the heat and need air-conditioning even when the temperature is below 30 degrees Celsius.
Especially during hot weather, there are quite a few cases where the air conditioning is turned on while people are at home, but turned off when they leave the house, and the birds suffer heat stroke and go to the hospital.
Although pet stores that sell small birds are required by the Japanese government to give customers a lecture on the necessary information before purchasing a bird, there may be surprisingly few pet stores that actually do so.
In some countries, keeping a bird by itself is considered abuse…
So, what is the minimum you need to know before keeping a bird?
First of all, you need to understand what kind of environment the bird has lived in, the appropriate temperature, environment, food, and so on. Birds also have sensitive hearts, and it is difficult to give them a long and healthy life unless you understand and care for them.
In his book, Mr. Hosokawa also recommends keeping multiple birds as a way to take care of their “delicate hearts,” but why?
In his book, Hosokawa recommends keeping multiple birds to care for their “sensitive hearts,” but why? Especially chicks cannot control their own body temperature, so they need a warm partner to keep them warm.
In fact, in Europe, there is even a law on the books prohibiting the sale of chicks unless there is more than one. The law is moving toward prohibiting the sale of single pets on the grounds that keeping a single pet is considered abuse.
Some people say, “If you keep multiple birds, they won’t get attached to humans,” but that is not good for the birds. It is true that birds kept alone are friendly, but that is because they have no one to rely on but themselves. Whether or not the bird is happy in that situation is a completely different question.”
When I actually kept several birds, I was surprised to see how different they are from each other in terms of their favorite foods, physical strength, favorite games, and personalities. There is also a great deal of compatibility.
It depends on the type of bird, for example, in the case of the Bunuchis, fighting is a part of their lives. Even though they fight, having their own kind within sight makes them feel safe. Parakeets and cockatoos also feel secure when their own kind is within sight. The same is true for other species.
When keeping chicks from the time they are chicks, it is necessary for a human to act as a parent and feed them frequently by inserting a syringe or spoon into their mouths every three or four hours, for example. Even though telecommuting is on the rise, it seems difficult for people who are away from home for long periods of time to keep chicks from the time they are born.
“It’s fine if you have family at home, but if you live alone, it’s not so easy,” he said. Some people even tell their workplaces that they have a handful of little birds and take them home for lunch or to work because they have to do insertions at lunchtime as well.”
Another thing to keep in mind is that many people inadvertently let small birds loose.
There are many people who let birds out of their cages without checking to see if the windows are closed properly, or who let them go thinking that they are used to them.
“Many people let their birds out of their cages without checking to make sure the windows are closed properly, or they let them go thinking that they have become accustomed to the cage. This is the assumption and carelessness of being completely familiar with them. Then there are many others, such as when a family member inadvertently opens a window.”
Other important tips include: “Feed the birds as many bites as possible while they are chicks to make their bodies healthy and long-lived,” “Skin-to-skin contact helps the little birds’ mental growth,” “Let the birds sunbathe to make vitamin D in their bodies,” “Let the birds go indoors every day,” “Let the birds bathe in water,” etc. There are many important things to keep in mind when keeping birds. Conversely, there are also many cautions such as “do not feed them avocados, onions, green onions, etc.,” “do not burn fluorinated pans dry,” and “do not let them accidentally ingest small objects such as beads or scratchings.”
Another problem many small bird owners have is that their birds do not want to return to the cage.
Some people seem to leave the birds unattended because they don’t want to return to the cage, but this can lead to accidents.
Never let them out of the cage while cooking. A small child could crush it and kill it, or it could cling to your feet and you could step on it. Some people keep them with dogs or cats, but they can be seriously injured by accidental contact with their claws or other objects.
Besides, being out of the cage all the time is a troubling situation. If the dog is sick and needs to stay in the cage, it should be kept in the cage, but if it is stressed by the cage, it will not be able to stay in the cage even in a life-threatening situation or be taken to a hospital to be hospitalized. It is important to release the birds in a well-behaved manner.
They have more advanced brains than we humans think!
Small birds are extremely delicate and there are many precautions to take when raising them. In fact, when you keep them, you will find that there is no other creature so small, cute, and clever. When asked again what is the charm of small birds? Mr. Hosokawa explained emphatically, “Many people think that mammals are more attractive to humans than birds.
Many people think that mammals are closer to humans than birds. However, birds are closer to humans in many ways than dogs and cats.
For example, mammals do not place much value on beauty, and their first requirement for marriage is that the partner be healthy and able to bear children, but birds place more importance on beauty. In the case of birds, it is the males that have beautiful voices and figures, but such figures tend to stand out in nature, making them easy targets, and females tend to judge them as being very capable, both intellectually and physically, if they are alive and well, despite the fact that they are inherently more likely to lose their lives.
Attracted by coolness and beauty, birds and humans have this in common. Besides, they are curious, interested in many things, and fail at many things, just like humans.
Moreover, the structure of a bird’s brain is fundamentally different from that of humans and other animals, and in fact, a bird’s brain is more highly functional. Even a brain that is a few tenths the size of a mammal’s can perform the same level of processing. There are more species of birds that can make and use tools. Many are better able to communicate their feelings and wishes than dogs and cats. They have more advanced brains than we humans think, so they are the best partners for empathy and mutual understanding.
Hiroaki Hosokawa Writer. Science writer. In addition to reportage on the relationship between humans and animals from both historical and scientific perspectives, with a focus on birds, he also writes articles introducing cutting-edge science and technology. He is a member of the Japanese Society of Ornithology, the Society for the Study of Human-Animal Relationships, and others.
His major publications include “Birds and People: A Cultural History of Interaction” and “Knowing Birds” (Shunju-sha), “With the Cockatoo” (Graphic, Inc.), “How to Raise Long-Lived Birds”, “I Love Birds Too Much, Sorry”, “My Birds Are Getting Old”, “Living with Old Birds” (Seibundo Shinkosha), “Manga de Wakaru Parrot Feelings.”
Interview and text by： Wakako Takou
Born in 1973. After working for a publishing company and an advertising production company, became a freelance writer. In addition to interviewing actors and others for weekly and monthly magazines, she writes drama columns for various media. Her main publications include "All the Important Things Are Taught by Morning Drama" (Ota Publishing), "KinKiKids Owarinaki Michi" and "Hey!Say!JUMP: When 9 Tobira Open" (both from Earls Publishing).