18 Jul

Volunteering

ParrotBackpack

If you are considering volunteering to help animals overseas, during the last year Parrots Magazine has published details of some projects that have been undertaken:

Jul 2013: Dept of Environment & Conservation, Australia; www.dec.wa.gov.au

Dec 2013: ECHO, Bonaire, Caribbean; www.echobonaire.org

Jan 2014: La Senda Verde, North Yungas, Bolivia; www.sendaverde.com/volunteer-program.html

Feb 2014: Fundacion Pro-Bosque, Cerro Blanco Protected Forest, Ecuador; www.bosquecerroblanco.org

Mar 2014: Merazonia Animal Refuge, Ecuador; www.merazonia.org

Apr 2014: Belize Bird Rescue, Cayo District, Belize; www.belizebirdrescue.com/volunteer.html

May 2014: Utila Iguana Conservation Project, Utila Island, one of the Bay Islands, off Honduras; www.utila-iguana.de

Jun 2014: ARA Project, Costa Rica; www.thearaproject.org

Jul 2014: Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project, Sri Lanka; www.kosgodaseaturtle.org

Aug 2014: Esperanza Verde, Peru; www.esperanzaverdeperu.com

Not all the projects are to help with parrots, but nevertheless, they may be of interest.  Please note that since publication, the projects may vary or have stopped, so please check on the websites for current volunteering opportunities.

11 Jul

Birdie Bread

Birdie BreadNutrition for your parrot’s health is obviously of great importance.  In the July 2014 issue of Parrots Magazine, Leslie Moran’s series about ‘The Holistic Parrot’ continues with an article entitled ‘Is “birdie bread” a good way to provide nutrition?’  Leslie investigates the ingredients available for making “birdie bread” and offers great advice about what to avoid, the nutritional values involved and how cooking destroys nutrients.  Leslie concludes ‘having reviewed the nutritional data we can see that “birdie bread” is not really very healthful or nutritious’ and that ‘in the overall food plan “birdie bread” should make up less than 5% of the total foods fed, as it is really only a comfort food.  Leslie shares her recipe for Banana-nut Bread, which proves very popular with her flock and also talks about the most valuable reason for sharing this comfort food with your parrot. http://www.parrotmag.com/buy-the-latest-issue

04 Jul

Dim the lights

Dim the lightsWhen you go to bed, do you turn off the lights and plunge your bird into sudden darkness?  Why not use a light dimmer.  There are a number of light dimmers on the market that will gradually dim a lamp over a period of about 20 minutes.  This will allow your bird to become acclimatised to the fading light and not be frightened by a sudden change.

27 Jun

Your Parrot's Health

Bird health

12 visible signs that show your bird is unwell:

  1. Ruffled or fluffed-up plumage.
  2. Listlessness or dozing more than usual.
  3.  Dropped wings.
  4. Extreme mood changes.
  5. Losing their appetite or eating continuously.
  6. Bulges in their plumage.
  7. Partially closed or weeping eyes.
  8. Rasping or difficulty breathing.
  9. Excessive saliva.
  10. Dirty vent.
  11. Any change in their dropping, that is not obviously diet related.
  12. Parrot reluctant to perch and found on the floor.

20 Jun

Welcome Everyone

Think Parrots 2014

Think Parrots Show 2014 is nearly upon us and we’ve loaded up the van with everything and will be winging our way to Kempton Park Racecourse to get the exhibition space ready.  We’re looking forward to welcoming exhibitors and visitors alike - a community of like-minded parrot enthusiasts.  Don’t worry if you haven’t already bought tickets, you can pay on the day now.  £10 includes all the Masterclasses, and children under 14 are free.  Free car parking available.
 
We guarantee you will have a great day out and return home with lots of goodies.  Above all else though, you will go home with a lot more knowledge and be in a better position to provide the best possible care for your birds.  Hope to see you there on Sunday 22 June 2014, doors open 10am to 5pm.

13 Jun

Good tip!

Parrot in a showerIt’s always a good idea to spray your parrot regularly and it might be more appreciated in hot weather.  However, your parrot’s spray bottle could become a health hazard if it is not kept scrupulously clean. 

Follow these rules to make sure your parrot’s ‘showers’ are always safe: 

• It is not adviseable to leave water in a spray bottle after use, as it can attract mould and harmful bacteria. 

• Thoroughly wash the bottle periodically.

• Fill the bottle with half hot water, half white vinegar. 

• Soak for at least 30 minutes. 

• Spray the solution through the nozzle, then remove it and soak the nozzle too, for at least 30 minutes. 

• Rinse thoroughly and run fresh water through the nozzle. 

• Leave separate components to dry thoroughly before re-assembling.

19 Jun

Three more sleeps!

3 days to go

Only three more days to wait. See you there . . .

06 Jun

Talking Parrots

If you’d like to teach your parrot to talk, but aren’t quite sure of the best way to go about it, here are a few tips from an article in issue 94 by Jane Grimshaw, which will point you in the right direction.  

‘The best way to begin teaching your parrot to talk is to start off with simple words, like ‘hello’ or ‘good morning’ when you first greet your bird at the beginning of the day, and ‘goodbye’ when you go out.  Holding the bird in front of your mouth will help to ensure you have its full attention.

Repeating words or phrases which you want your bird to learn, and using word association as much as possible, will help to enforce your bird’s learning.  The more time you can spend with it the better.

It is thought that parrots more often imitate a female voice than a male voice, so it will probably be more effective if you try to use a higher pitch in your voice.  Playing recordings of words you are trying to teach, for short periods of time, may help too, but if overused can lead to a very bored parrot!

Parrots often start muttering and trying out their new words quietly to themselves before talking out loud.  If your bird starts doing this it could be a sign that talking is imminent.  Remember that birds also talk with their feathers; smooth feathers indicate that your bird is relaxed, and when they are frightened, they puff themselves up.

When your bird does repeat any words you have taught it, reward it immediately with one of their favourite healthy treats.  Always remember that continued patience and encouragement is the vital key to getting your bird to talk.  It may take some time, but be warned, once your bird starts talking you will probably find it is impossible to keep it quiet!’

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