Monthly Archives: December 2009

Hawk Attacks Cockatoo

Umbrella Cockatoo At the Los Angeles Zoo, a Hawk named “Flash” from the zoo attacks “Scooter” the Moluccan Cockatoo during the bird show.  The Host/Zookeeper and “Scooter” could have been really hurt but came away with no injuries.

When I saw this video I thought about my Umbrella Cockatoo Marshmellow who would not hurt a fly.  Cookatoos are so gentle.  The zookeeper’s quick action saved the day and Scooter was safe from harm.

Parrot Anatomy 101

Yellow Naped Amazon

Yellow Naped Amazon

Did you ever wonder where  a “Nape” is on a Yellow “Naped” Amazon?

Do you know where your parrot’s “Mantle” is located?

My Double Yellow Head Amazon Kiwi has these little “Bristles” around his nostrils that I  find so fascinating.

Did you ever wonder about the anatomy of your parrot?  I just found a diagram of a parrots anatomy and I wanted to share it with everyone so that you too can have the answers to the above questions.

Click here to see parrot anatomy diagram

Great Gift Ideas for your Birds

Holiday Gifts for your ParrotsDoes your bird(s) have it all?  Is it getting harder and harder to shop for them at the Holidays?

My Amazon Kiwi is so easy to shop for….he just about loves everything.   On the other hand, my Umbrella Cockatoo is the pickiest of birds…….she likes what she likes and that’s it.

Do you  need some help shopping this year for your bird?  Check out these great holiday gift ideas for your feathered friends.

Holiday Safety Tips for your Parrot

Parrot Holiday Safety TipsWith the holidays quickly approaching us, I wanted to write about 4 safety tips that every parrot owner should know for the holidays.

Safety Tip #1:

Be very careful of non-stick cookware and teflon.  All humans who share their homes with birds should have a non-stick (teflon) cookware free home.  However, during the holidays well meaning family members and guest(s) (who are not bird people) may bring you goodies to warm up or cook in your oven.  You may not even realize that the dish their treat was prepared in is non-stick teflon.

What can potentially happen is that you may pop their goody in the oven to cook or warm up and get involved with something else only to find that the dish has overheated and become lethal to your birds.

Safety Tip#2

Another potential safety problem for your beloved bird is your bird flying out an open door during the holidays.

As a bird lover you want to show off your bird for all your family and friends.  However, if your birds wings are not clipped or even if they are, there is the potential for your bird to fly out an open door.  Of course, this can happen at any time but it is most prone to happen during the holidays.  What happens is that your bird is out of the cage and on a playgym perch or even your shoulder so that your best friend can have a chance to enjoy all your friends and family but your baby is not used to being around all these people and strange looking packages and gifts.  Something can scare your bird and within one moment he or she can be right out the door.

The best thing to do is wait until all your guest have settled in.  Make sure your bird is far away from a room that is near a door and then let them interact with your guests.  Warn everyone ahead of time that if they need to open the door that they must give you a warning so that you can move your bird to safe place.

I can think of nothing worse then one of my birds flying out my door during a holiday or anytime for that matter.

Safety Tip #3

Well meaning guest(s) may want to feed your feathered child.  This is natural because they want to make friends with your bird (and who wouldn’t… LOL).  Non bird people do not know what can be potentially dangers to a bird.

The best way to pre-plan for this situation is to have a bowl of bird safe foods all set up near your bird so that any guest who may want to feed your baby can feed him/her with your bird approved mix of foods.  This way everyone can have a safe and fun holiday.

Safety Tip #4

This tip comes from my own experience with my Cockatoo Marshmellow.  I had some friends over with their children.  Now I must explain that their children already new Marshmellow and interacted with her before.  Their children also have Cockatiels in their home so they knew about birds.

However, during the evening Marshmellow became nervous from all the activity in the house and when my friend’s daughter reached over to pet her, Marshmellow lunged at my friend’s daughter.  No one was hurt thank goodness.  Marshmellow is a gentle giant and the only person in the world I have ever seen her bite is me. (LOL)

My concern here is that any bird even the most gentle bird(s) can get nervous or over anxious with lots of people and excitement in the house.  Be very careful when allowing friends and family to approach your bird in a holiday situation.  Read your bird’s body language carefully before allowing anyone to handle your bird.   As you know, most birds will let you know ahead of time how they are feeling.  I wish I had read Marshmellow’s body language that day.

Have a safe and wonderful holiday season!!!!!!!!

Help for Feather Pluckers

Cockatoo Toy for Feather Pluckers We had been noticing that our Umbrella Cockatoo Marshmellow was plucking her feathers.  At first we were told that this was part of a hormonal issue but after a while we realized that what started for one reason had now continued for another (habit plucking).

We had been noticing that when she would pluck she would pull her feathers out from the root and then chew on the sheath around it.  We noticed that this sheath was very similar to a straw in texture and feel.  We came up with an idea for a toy the FunTime Birdy Senior Porcupine that would incorporate the straw idea by placing straws inside a hole in a wooden block .  When we gave this toy to Marshmellow we noticed that she immediately started chewing the straws.   We also made the Senior Last Straw which is larger and made for larger Cockatoos and Macaws.

We are so happy to report that Marshmellow loves these toys so much that she has forgotten to pluck her own feathers.  We give her a bath each morning and the next thing we know she is chewing the straws and then the wood.

We decided since plucking is also a prominent behavioral problem in African Grey parrots we would make the Junior Porcupine which is a smaller version of these two toys.