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Do Worms Have Eyes? How Do They Sense? Or Know Where to Go? A Guide


Ever wondered how worms get around without seeing? Or do they have eyes? And if not then how do they know where they’re going? Well, we decided to provide you with the answers!

Do Worms Have Eyes? Worms do not have eyes but some flatworms have simple eyes that can detect light. Worms have a sensory receptor in their skin that is sensitive to vibrations, touch, lights, and chemicals. It’s through receptors that worms can sense what is around them and move accordingly without the need to see.  

As much as all these facts might sound unusual to us, there’s more to discover about worms and their visionary differences. So, let’s dive right in.

Earthworms have been around for about 120 million years and have primitive sensory systems, with no eyes. Primitive creatures with no eyes, limbs or ears to provide them with sensory information about their surroundings. Which might make it difficult for us to comprehend because of course, we use these senses a lot.

What do worms have instead of eyes?

As mentioned, most worms have a sensory receptor in their skin instead of eyes. Whereas some predator worms have sensitive tentacles on their heads, which helps them sense and capture their food without having to see it. So one might say they do sort of have ‘arms’ after all!

The receptor cells in the worm’s skin are very important when it comes to making up for not having eyes, especially those that are positioned at the front end. This is because these receptors are the ones that help worms register the presence of light, even though they have no eyes.

Now the next common question that may come up is why bother to sense light if they don’t have eyes.

Why worms need to sense light if they have no eyes

Worms can become paralyzed if they’re exposed to light for more than an hour or so. So worms must be able to sense light, even if they can’t see it directly. This is why worms are capable of sensing different intensities of light using their receptors.

earth worm eye sight

Worms are capable of sensing different colors of lights. Worms move away from white and blue lights and they show no reactions to red lights. So, if you’re on the search for worms at night you can easily spot them better without them getting away if you use a light with a red filter across the lens.

It’s also through this light-sensing ability that worms are able to know in which direction they should move.

And with that being said, to finish up, let’s address the next most obvious question people have…

How do worms know where to go? 

What helps worms know where to go is their sensory perceptions. As mentioned, worms have receptors in their skin. These receptors transmit information to a very primitive and simple brain. 

This information transmission by the receptor then directs the movements of the worms. This is how the worms know where they need to go.

The light-sensing abilities are also possible because of the sensory information provided to the brain. The ability to detect light and the combined information transmission is what helps worms from drying out in sunlight (by transmitting the information as to when to come out of the soil as a response to the light intensities sensed or felt) 

Also, the receptors help in sensing vibrations of animals and weather conditions on the soil surface, which effectively helps worms not to move in that direction or avoid worms from coming up to the soil surface. Or adversely, it enables them to come to the surface when it’s raining to avoid being trapped in waterlogged areas. 

All in all the direction worms should move depends on the receptor response and the corresponding information transmitted to the brain.

To end…

We hope this has been useful in answering some of those strange questions you may have about worms! It’s a fascinating world and even if you want to explore it even more up close, here are some resources which might help you.

How Many Eyes Do Butterflies Have? Types, Abilities, Exceptions


An interesting question, in fact, you might think it an easy answer – being two eyes?! But we know that many insects have different types of eyes and in some cases multifaceted eyes.

In fact, butterflies are known to have the widest range of vision of all wildlife. They have a larger visual field than humans and excellent visual perception of fast-moving objects.

Impressive right? So let’s start with the quick answer, and then we’ll dive into a bit more detail…

How many eyes do butterflies have? Butterflies have two different types of eyes. Both single, and 12000 compound eyes. The single-chambered eyes focus mainly on individual objects. Whereas their 12000 compound eyes are used as their main eyesight. They can see light wavelengths from 254 to 600 nm, which includes ultraviolet light.

But does this apply to all butterflies? And if not then what are the exceptions? And more importantly, how are we going to relate to having two separate sets of eyes that do different things? Well, let’s explore it a bit more…

Compound Eyes in Butterflies

What are they? Well, let’s clarify this first. In the shortest explanation, compound eyes are a multifaceted array of different eyes. Each with its own imaging ability. Collectively they can form a wider picture in which the scope covers almost 360 degrees of vision, aside from the blind spot created by their own bodies.

These compound eyes in butterflies are responsible for providing their all-round vision. They have four classes of receptors which are responsible for their wide visual range. These eyes are also used for sensing ultraviolet color and polarized light.

butterfly eyes
butterfly compound eye diagram

Butterfly Ultraviolet Vision

Butterflies compound eyes are stained to see light wavelengths from 254 to 600 nm, this range includes ultraviolet light which humans are unable to see, as our vision extends from 450 to 700 nm.

Butterfly Flicker Fusion Rate

A bit like the ‘frame rate’ you might see on your video camera or TV screen. This is the rate at which images flicker across the eye to create a continued vision.

To give you some context, a humans flicker-fusion rate is 45-53 flickers per second. However, a butterflies flicker/fusion rate is 250 times greater than that of humans. Giving them an excellent continually updated image. 

Add in ultraviolet range chart and flicker rate chart or YouTube vid. 

What Are Butterflies’ Single Eyes For?

The single-chambered eyes in butterflies are more like human eyes in the way they function. They’re used to discern and focus in on individual objects and near and far range. 

Combined with other senses the eyes offer a great advantage for butterflies.  Their eyes are delicate yet highly functional.

Light and Butterfly Eyesight

Butterflies use ultraviolet light to search out food, identify predators and for searching for a suitable mate. They also use it for recognizing nectar. 

For example, when a horse chestnut tree stops producing nectar, it’s color range will change from yellow to red. The fifteen types of photoreceptors will be used to detect these various color ranges.

Butterfly Markings, Eyesight, and Ultraviolet Color

To humans, the markings on a butterfly are both colorful and beautiful. To a butterfly, however, these colors denote ultraviolet markings which identify different species. 

Not only that, but the difference in markings between a male and a female become equally important in identifying a potential mate within a species through those ultraviolet markers.

Butterflies With Exceptional Vision

So do all butterflies have this ability? What are the exceptions in butterfly eyesight?

The Monarch Butterfly Eyesight

Among many amazing facts about the monarch butterfly, their compound eyes contain 12000 individual visual cells able to capture a high rate of flicker-fusion per second.

Australian Swallowtail Butterfly

The Australian swallowtail butterfly puts all the rest in the shade. Rather than the usual 4 classes of receptors used for wide vision, the Australian swallowtail possesses an amazing fifteen varieties of photoreceptors. These are used to full effect in identifying ultraviolet color markings for mating and pollination purposes. 

butterfly real eyes

The Australian swallowtail butterfly puts all the rest in the shade. Rather than the usual 4 classes of receptors used for wide vision, the Australian swallowtail possesses an amazing fifteen varieties of photoreceptors. These are used to full effect in identifying ultraviolet color markings for mating and pollination purposes. 

To Finish

Despite using other senses, butterflies rely heavily on eyesight to find their way around their world. With such good eyesight who would blame them. 

This eyesight is possibly attributable to the thriving population of this species throughout the globe, with some 17,500 recorded varieties. 

Helpful Resources

Butterfly identification Book

Butterfly Net

Set 4 Childrens Telescopic Colorful Butterfly Nets

Insect Lore Butterfly Growing Kit

How Does Fly Spray Work? Is It Painful? What About Other Insects?


Whether applied to your arms and legs or your kitchen floor, fly spray is one indispensable tool we have to combat the everywhere nuisance of houseflies and the like—perhaps second only to the immediately effective and more dramatic solution involving a rolled-up newspaper.

Not that here on Ranger Planet we’re advocating the murder of any kind of creatures! But it got me to thinking, how does this strange, lethal-to-flies (and fish and pets, mind you) substance do its job?

How can it be so harmful to small insects but safe (reasonably safe) for humans to spray liberally (cautiously) about their homes?

The term fly spray is quite widely applied to two kinds of pesticides: insect repellents, designed to discourage insects from landing on you; and insecticides, designed to kill insects or otherwise inhibit their multiplying.

Here’s the quick answer, then we’ll dive into more detail…

How does fly spray work? In short, fly spray insecticides disable the acetylcholinesterase enzyme that a fly needs to relax its muscles. The non-stop muscle contraction then makes it impossible for it to breathe, so it suffocates to death.

Acetyl-what now?

Acetylcholinesterase. That’s right! Here’s some audio on how to pronounce it…

Pronounced – uh·SEET·l·koh·luh·NES·tuh·reys

The chemistry behind fly spray

To understand precisely how fly spray works, we first need to understand some of the chemistry behind muscle contraction.

Acetylcholine (ACh) is an organic chemical used as a neurotransmitter in the bodies of many many living things—including you and me; ACh is used to send messages from nerve cells to other cells such as muscle cells.

One such use-case is in the neuromuscular junction (NMJ), where the motor neurons release ACh in order to stimulate muscle contraction. Then, an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase is released into the NMJ to catalyze the breakdown of ACh, thereby relaxing the muscles.

chemical analysis of fly spray
diagram of normal process of a fly’s neuromuscular junction

Fly spray insecticides contain organophosphate compounds which bind to the acetylcholinesterase enzyme and prevent it from being used to break down ACh in the NMJ. As a result of this, the fly cannot relax its muscles, causing it to enter a tetanic seizure, starving of oxygen before collapsing into its asphyxia death.

How long does it take for the fly to die?

If applied cleanly, it’s typically a matter of a few short seconds before it’s all over. Perhaps a few seconds longer for particularly large bugs. Some of the movement you might see after those initial 10 seconds or so are possibly down to continued post-mortem muscle spasms. Particularly strong or large flies might struggle for a little longer.

What about bees? Cockroaches? Moths? Spiders?

Many fly spray aerosols market themselves as being lethal to wasps or cockroaches as well as houseflies.

You should learn to identify bees: wasps and yellow-jackets are also low-level pollinators, so they can’t be killed guilt-free by swatting or fly spray, honeybees are even more special though, they’re an endangered species and should be carefully taken or let outside.

Yes, fly spray is lethal to ants, but it’s not really a good solution since ants will be hiding away in cracks and crevices in your house, and you won’t be able to spray it into all those areas, so you won’t be anywhere close to eradicating their colonies.

As for moths, there are alternative aerosol sprays marketed precisely to kill moths.

Does fly spray kill spiders? Well, yes, eventually. Depending on the size of the arachnid in question, it will just require a larger spray dosage and more time for them to die.

Still, I would highly recommend the timeless clean and merciful solution of trapping them under a glass, sliding something underneath, taking them outside and hoping they don’t come crawling back.

Spiders are the neatest regulator of bug-sized pests—your personal autonomous and natural insect pest control solution, and they don’t cost a thing. So it’s usually wiser to relocate them than to kill them.

Do the flies feel pain?

The question of whether insects have the capacity to experience pain is a long-standing and ongoing debate among scientists and ethicists alike. And that’s because it’s not an easy question to answer.

Higher-order animals like humans differ greatly from insects in the way they feel pain. Our nervous system involves a process whereby our nerves send signals to our brain which compares them with past experiences and interprets them accordingly, deciding ultimately how we react physically and emotionally.

No such process is known to occur in the bodies of insects. Insects, you see, guide their decision-making by genetic instinct rather than past experience, which indicates that pain would not prove as useful to them as it does for larger organisms, and so why would natural selection favor their feeling pain?

Once injured, they continue about their bug lives with blind optimism. They explore, feed and mate right up until death – if they can.

how does fly spray work

What does fly spray do to humans?

Regardless of its exact composition, it’s important to keep your fly sprays out of reach of children and pets. Keep them locked up if you can (the spray, not the children).

Most insecticides contain neurotoxins that target both animals and insects, whereas some are derived from plant-based insecticidal weaponry. Fly spray products have warnings on the labels with regards to toxicity to humans. Since the ingredients vary between products, you should read the labels to be sure.

Many fly sprays make use of the household insecticide dichlorvos (DDVP), which has been the cause of much controversy due to its contamination of our water and its toxicity and carcinogenic potential towards humans and other animals as well as insects. Because of this, DDVP has been banned in the EU for decades now but is still available in other countries including the US.

To finish off…

Still, whether we are right to bring these little mini-beasts to harm is a very complicated question indeed. We may never know truly how the smaller species experience the world.

Here’s an alternative method in the form of a fly trap from amazon you might want to try which may or may not cause less pain but is likely to be more beneficial to the fly …and your conscience!

I hope this article helps you understand how Fly Spray affects Flies and/or Kills flies!

How Long Can Frogs Stay Underwater? What About Other Amphibians?


We generally know that Frogs like water, they spend a great deal of their time in and around water sources. You might have a pond, or know of one in which you frequently find Frogs nearby.

Frogspawn, as we know, is laid in water and Tadpoles, of course, require a water source to survive until they mature into full-grown adult frogs or toads. But what do we know about a Frog’s abilities to breath underwater?  And what about other amphibians? 

Well, I thought we’d address that here. So let’s provide a quick goto answer, then we’ll dive into a bit more detail…

How Long Can Frogs Stay Underwater? There’s no accurate data on how long frogs can stay underwater. It varies depending on the species, activity levels underwater and other factors. Observations on common frog species suggest that because they absorb oxygen through their skin when in water or mud, they can survive underwater indefinitely – in theory…

However, there are lots of variables here. Let’s explore this a little further…

Amphibians, on the whole, actually vary a fair bit in their size, shape, respiratory abilities and their ability to stay underwater for specific periods, they’re methods in absorbing or retaining oxygen can vary too. So there isn’t really one complete answer to the question.

To understand this a bit better, let’s first take a look at the types of Amphibians

Three types of amphibians

Modern amphibians ‘Lissamphibia’ comprises of three ‘Orders’ 

Anura

This group contains frogs and toads of usually larger build, with arms and legs and more commonly adapted for swimming when in water or hopping when on land.

Caudata

This order contains Salamanders and Newts. They’re usually more elongated, with longer tails, smaller fore and hind limbs which generally walk, or ‘crawl’ while on land.

Gymnophiona

Or of the group caecilians, the least seen or known of the Orders. They have elongated cylindrical bodies, without any limbs, the skin is often slimy in appearance with numerous ringlike markings circling the body, dark brown or a dark bluish/black color. Commonly thought of as worms or eel type creatures and mainly existing in the substrate of soil as they tend to have burrowing tendencies.

With different orders, of differing sizes and in some cases different genome origins, there’s clearly going to be a variety in their breathing capabilities.

Amphibian respiratory system

One thing all these types do have in common though is a highly permeable skin that can contain thousands of blood vessels very close to the surface.

This system provides a secondary respiratory method enabling amphibians to draw oxygen from the water when submerged.

Most amphibians readily give off carbon dioxide through their skin, which is highly soluble in water, so there’s little worry about them suffering from blood plasma acidosis.

Oxygen, on the other hand, isn’t as readily soluble in water and is often seen as a limiting factor for many water-breathing organisms.

So… to answer can frogs breath underwater…

Can frogs breathe underwater?

Yes, there are two ways that Frogs can breathe underwater. First, when underwater, a Frogs skin is able to absorb oxygen from the water, and from moisture in mud that enables them to breathe. Above water, they do have lungs that function largely the same as the way human lungs function.

In fact, Frogs are able to absorb oxygen through their skin from even low oxygenated water because they’re able to lower their metabolic rate, reduce movement and body functions. Where oxygen is too scarce, they will need to surface to absorb more oxygen via their lungs.

What affects respiratory rate

Let’s take a quick look at what external factors can also affect how efficient an Amphibians respiratory system is

Oxygen Level

If there’s a low oxygen level in the water, this has the effect of shortening the length of time an amphibian can remain submerged, strangely, this tends to be an issue for most amphibians as they’re often associated with stagnant water sources.

One can assume if it were an issue though, they would simply dwell nearer to flowing water-courses. Conversely, a high oxygen level means they can stay longer without issue. 

Temperature

Cold and heat also play a role in the amphibians ability to stay under-water. In warmer temperatures an amphibian maintains a higher metabolism, this means there’s a greater thirst for oxygen. Colder water reduces the amphibian’s rate of metabolism.

Therefore, this allows for the greater retention of oxygen, which can prolong the length of time an amphibian can remain submerged.

Other complications

Other factors can also affect time spent underwater, this is mainly concerning the amphibians themselves. For example, tadpoles, which are the larval version of frogs and toads have gills.

This means for as long as they are Tadpoles they can remain underwater and breathing quite happily the same as fish do.

Let’s not forget too that some amphibians need to exit their watery homes for various reasons, such as for foraging or mating. Or sometimes to find new homes due to drought, or other external influences.

So how long is it?

It might not be the most exciting answer, but the truth is It’s a very difficult thing to know – even for frogs of the same or similar species the results could differ slightly.

When talking about adults Frogs, some Toads. for example. have a thicker skin membrane than other toads, making expelling and absorbing gases more difficult.

Some Frogs have thinner membrane meaning they can absorb and expel Oxygen and Carbon dioxide far more easily. So we can say the aquatic frog can stay underwater longer than the toad.

Some aquatic frogs, however, have extra skin, thus making this an even more unpredictable across a species.

Other complications exist in the Caudata order. Some newts retain their gills from their time as Tadpoles, so in fact, they can breathe underwater without issue at all.

Some Salamanders have neither gills nor lungs and rely solely on oxygen being drawn in through their skin. This possibly explains why these Salamanders are terrain based and not aquatic as they need above surface oxygen levels to survive.

Also, concerning the order of caecilians, (worm-like order) it was assumed they all possessed lungs as adults and had to breathe air. However, recent dissections of some museum specimens uncovered that some species had no lungs at all.

Conclusion

Although it’s generally understood that an average frog could stay submerged underwater indefinitely. The real answer is it depends on a whole host of factors and the real answer is probably anything from a few minutes to an entire lifetime.

It may not have been the answer you were looking for, but I hope nonetheless it was helpful to you.

Do Insects Take Fall Damage? What Happens to Them? Here’s The Answer


I’m sure we’ve all stopped to ponder this at least once before. Do bugs sustain injuries falling from trees and such? Will a spider hurt itself jumping from a rooftop? If I were to drop an ant from a plane, is it likely to survive?

And for that matter, how is it that these little monsters can walk across walls and ceilings with such ease? Why can’t you and I do that?

It turns out that size is a simple but unignorable property that governs exactly how living things may go about their survival; injury from falling is one such effect.

Firstly, or in a pinch, here’s a high-level explanation:

Do insects take fall damage? Not really: insects are so small that their weight is negligible in comparison to their air resistance. So, while falling, they never pick up enough speed to do themselves harm upon landing.

Now I expect you might not be completely satisfied with the chain of logic there. How can smaller creatures have so much air resistance? Why does that limit their speed?

And in case you’re wondering… flying insects don’t count!

Size and the Square–Cube Law

You’ll remember from that traumatic experience commonly referred to as your “maths education” that the surface area of an object is measured in square units and its volume in cubic units. So when that object (say, an animal) is ten times the size, its surface area increases by a factor of only 100, but its volume by a factor of 1000. This means that as an animal gets bigger, its volume increases much more quickly than its surface area.

This is the reason why particularly large animals like elephants have so much trouble keeping themselves cool, and why Godzilla’s proportionally puny legs would actually collapse under his sheer weight.

But what does any of this have to do with insects and their air resistance (AKA drag)?

Air Resistance and Terminal Velocity

The greater an object’s surface area, the greater the force of drag that slows its fall. With this fact and the square-cube law added to our mathematical repertoire, we find that the minuscule size of the insect is precisely why it has such a great deal of drag.

As an object falls, it picks up more speed. The faster it’s going, the greater the force of drag that slows it down. These two facts combine so that, while falling, an object eventually reaches its terminal velocity—a sort-of ‘top speed’ at which its weight and drag cancel exactly.

Insects, being so light and having so much area for their volume, have a very low terminal velocity, so they never hit the ground very hard at all. In his influential essay On Being The Right Size, J. B. S. Haldane says this:

An insect, therefore, is not afraid of gravity; it can fall without danger, and can cling to the ceiling with remarkably little trouble. It can go in for elegant and fantastic forms of support like that of the daddy-longlegs.

How Big Do They Have to be to sustain Fall Damage?

Size is a big regulator of every living thing. There are actually eight orders of magnitude for living things, each of which has different physical laws for different sized animals. The seven orders are…

  1. Bacteria
  2. Mites
  3. Ants
  4. Mice
  5. Dogs
  6. Humans
  7. Elephants
  8. Blue Whale

Every size has its own unique universe and rules. But regarding falling, an animal would need to have a volume that was around the magnitude of a mouse and higher in order to sustain life-threatening damage. Generally, then, a magnitude of 4 or higher and it should start to be concerned as the ground rushes toward it!

What Do Insects Have to Worry About?

Okay, so insects are at no risk of harm by falling, but what troubles do insects face that we larger species don’t?

Aside from the obvious risks—natural predators, starvation, being swatted or crushed by giants—you may be surprised to learn that many insects have to be incredibly careful around water.

Have you ever found a fly dead in a drink you left on the table? For a creature of such a small size, getting wet is a matter of life and death; if its body is immersed, even slightly, in the surface of a body of water, it’s likely to drown before it can escape.

What’s the explanation for this? Typically you don’t think of water as being ‘sticky’, but it has a very interesting property of surface tension. Surface tension is what causes water to stick to things, and for (sufficiently small) things to stick to water. At the insect scale, water is like a gloopy sort-of glue—a quicksand-like threat that quickly surrounds and traps them. Their minuscule digits are far too weak for them to swim to the surface, so they are very likely to become stuck and drown in the liquid. Even if they did reach the surface, the surface tension of the water would prevent them from leaping out.

Nature, however, has evolved certain protection techniques to get around this. For example, some insects – like ladybugs, have wings made of the same material as our fingernails, and therefore water will largely glide off them. Other insects have a series of short hairs around their bodies that trap air, which enables them to reak the surface barrier.

Conclusion

It’s a hard life being a bug! but at least their one saving grace is that they can leap from the tallest buildings and not see their short lives flash before them. Indeed, you can throw those spiders out the window without the slightest care of hurting it now! …Feel better?

Here’s an interesting video which helps to explain this further and also adds to it.

Can a Parrot Survive in the Wild? What Are the Chances? the Answers!


For most of the world, Parrots are not a common sight in the wild. They’re only native to certain warm climates. So for many, they would not know if releasing a Parrot into the wild would be a good or bad thing. IT’s one of those occasions where ignorance is indeed bliss.

So let’s explore this a little further for those who do not know what the answer would be. But first, here’s the quick take away answer, then we’ll dive into some of the nuances about this subject.

Can a Parrot survive in the wild? The chances of a Parrot surviving in the wild is low. Domesticated Parrots have no training and a lack of experience and knowledge in the practices required to survive in the wild. For those that might stand a chance, they’d need the right climate, the right conditions and a lot of luck to survive.

Many people looking to take on a parrot as a pet do not realize the size of the undertaking. Parrots are not your average bird, demonstrating a greater level of intelligence and emotion when compared to other birds. For every domesticated bord, it is unlikely they will survive in the wild. But let’s take a look at how Parrots differ from other birds and why surviving would be difficult in particular for them.

Domestic Parrots Hunting Food

Like any bird, if you’ve been keeping a parrot, it will likely never have had to fend for itself. It will never have had to hunt for its own food, would likely not even know where or when to hunt for its own food, or even what that food might look like – as domestic bird/parrot food is often processed.

Domestic Parrots in the Right Place

Parrots are not found the world over, they’re native in particular global regions. There are only specific regions in which a parrot can thrive. Mainly as they’re suited to warm temperature climates and tropical locations.

Here’s a map showing where Parrots are considered native species. This also includes endemic species (which generally means those found in one location or habitat type only) However, I’ve not included those species native to more extreme areas like the alpines. Darker areas have a higher amount of parrot types and population numbers.

parrot general species population coverage and density

Releasing outside of these areas would certainly have additional challenges for your parrot, as well as the challenges outlined below.

Domesticated Parrot Life Expectancy

For the most part, Parrots across the breeds have a life expectancy anywhere between 40 and 75 years and even beyond that. Some have been known to live until 95 years. With a life expectancy lasting that long, you can imagine just from your own lifetime, the number of people they’re likely to meet and the number of experiences they’re likely to go through during all that time.

Domestic Parrots Bonding

Of those years during its lifetime, the number of people that the parrot may need to form new friendships and bonds with will be numerous. Each time can bring an element of distress to the creature. Therefore, it’s important to give adequate thought as to what we would want to put that parrot through over the course of its lifetime.

People who look at taking a parrot on as a pet, often fully understand the bonds and friendship that comes with having the parrot as a full-time companion. Not to mention the (potentially) life long care the person will need to provide for the bird.

If considering this course then there are a few serious points you need to consider

  • Noisy – Parrots can be noisy and Loud
  • Messy – Parrots out of a cage can be messy – for obvious reasons
  • Demanding – They need almost constant care and attention
  • Constant – They will be with you quite possibly for life.

What Happens If You Release a Parrot Into the Wild

If you were to release a Parrot into the wild, particularly one that was not suited to the climate, there are a number of challenges the Parrot will face.

Unknown Dangers

When in captivity as a pet, Parrots are largely protected from outside dangers. Their human carers will ensure they are not put into positions and circumstances that might endanger them. Therefore, their experience of these dangers is unknown and they’ve neither had a chance to learn this from their parents or peers or had the benefit of their own experience from birth.

This means other birds, creatures and even humans they encounter may be a danger and they may not even realize it. For this reason, they may perish at the hands of the simple brutality of nature. Add to this that other flocks of birds, be they a flock of parrots or other predator types, may look to hunt down the parrots for food.

Having said that, there is evidence to suggest that many birds of prey will not prey on Parrots due to the dangers faced from their hooked beak – which can potentially break their legs in an encounter.

Sourcing Food

This point may be obvious, but it matters. As domestic Parrots have been hand reared, they have had their food provided for them on a constant basis. There are foods they’re familiar with and hunting has not been something they’ve had to learn.

Because of this, the Parrot is unlikely to instinctively know how to hunt and forage for food, they may also not automatically know what foods they can or can’t eat. Plus they will not have sufficient time to learn, they will need to eat within a day or so in order to survive. The likelihood is they will ultimately starve.

Shelter

Parrots may not know the best places to shelter, where the safe places are, in fact, they probably would not know what was safe or unsafe at all. They may not realize they could find what seems like perfect shelter but it happens to be next to a Fox den, which might put them in danger – they simply have inadequate experience of such dangers.

Distress

Quite possibly the most important and saddest of all the aspects a Parrot will need to face. That of a complete change in environment, friendships, places, and routines. These are enough to distress the parrot into a state of depression and immobilization.

parrots face numerous challenges in the wild

Could Parrots Survive in the Wild?

If circumstances are right then it is possible they can survive. If the climate is right, if they’re young enough and understand how to hunt and find food and shelter, if they are not killed by a local flock and possibly could integrate with a local flock. However, the chances of this are very VERY slim. 

What Should You Do?

If you happen to have a parrot that you’ve mistakenly taken on and now feel it was a bad idea. The chances are that releasing it into the wild, however well-intentioned, is actually the worst thing you can do. You are likely committing the parrot to certain death.

If you’re in this position then the first thing to realize is that there’s no shame in it. Many many people take on a Parrot with the best of intentions, and simply don’t realize the huge undertaking and responsibilities that come with it until it’s too late.

The very best course of action is to contact one of the numerous Parrot sanctuaries that exist. They will be able to advise you on what to do and in most cases will arrange to help take the parrot from you to be cared for in the proper environment. This is most often for free, but it’s advisable to provide some form of goodwill donation if possible, as many of these organizations, although free at the point of delivery, are rarely funded.

What If I Find a Parrot?

If you find a parrot that you suspect does not belong in the open, or that appears to be in distress, then it’s better to do something than nothing, even if it turns out you’re wrong about the Parrot’s situation. So, perform a quick search on Google for a Parrot Sanctuary near you and they will advise you of the possible causes and the correct actions to take. 

To Close…

From our own perspective, we would go as far as to implore you NOT to release any bird pets into the wild. They simply haven’t been raised in that kind of environment and therefore the likelihood is they will simply not survive. So, perform this search on Google for a parrot Sanctuary near you, and do it the right way.

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