Polly Want an Artichoke?

What do parrots eat in the wild? I googled Parrot Diet in the Wild, and was offered a choice of types of parrots. So lesson one for today is that parrots eat different things depending on where they live in the wild. And the next thing we will learn is that they eat different things depending on the time of year. Fruit trees don’t have fruit in Winter.

Therefore, look at your parrot and click through this link until you find an exact match. http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/parrot/ Okay, maybe not that link. Lots of fun videos there, but not so much help in identifying parrots. Presumably you have an idea of the type of bird you live with. Check this link to see if you guessed correctly. http://www.parrots.org/index.php/parrotgallery/catalog/

You have identified your parrot as an African Gray parrot. Congratulations! Considering your parrot is green and red, you’re way off. http://www.parrots.org/index.php/parrotgallery/category/C1/ But I understqand your confusion because this site lumps all the yellow headed Amazons into one page. http://www.parrots.org/index.php/encyclopedia/profile/yellow_crowned_amazon/

What does your wild Amazon parrot eat? First of all, whatever is available because they are opportunistic foragers. So sunflower seeds, peanuts, cheese, toast, none of these are available in the Amazon rain forest. https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071019061629AAdpIqK there is a surprising lack of pellet feed in the jungle, too. http://www.plannedparrothood.com/diet.html That link has a good overview for all birds, and then specifics by species.

I like this food pyramid idea. http://www.holisticbirds.com/pages/foodpp1002.htm Basically, you must know your bird. At 26 years old, my DYH Amazon, Maynard, is not too open to change. He is also very vocal in communicating his dislike for being left out of any meal. If either of us go into the kitchen, it must be because we picked up telepathically his need for a snack. I believe he came to us already programmed this way. That’s my story, I am sticking to it. (Wow, in September we will have had the pleasure of his company for a year!)

Bird Tricks is a very commercial site, but there is still excellent advice there. http://www.birdtricks.com/blog/the-4-most-important-components-of-a-healthy-diet/ I value the reminder to give your birds fresh water at least once per day. Maynard likes to soak whatever comes to hand in his water bowl. Now and again, he will go back and try to pick it out again. Very funny to watch, and if it’s bread, he’s out of luck. Oh, and if you can use bottled water, that’s great. We would have been broke years ago if we tried that. Luckily we can use Brita-type filters and remove some of the bad stuff. Our outside birds, however, get hose water for their baths, which is very bad. Someday we might be able to correct that. Their drinking water does come from inside through the filter process.

Pellets? Yes, but not as the only food offered, and only organic uncolored. My opinion, but fairly well substantiated. http://www.all-pet-birds.com/parrot-food.html Seed and nuts? Very little for the big birds, but those beaks were designed to let them open Brazil nuts and palm nuts. Some such option is good now and then, and lots of things to chew on to maintain beak health. For the smaller birds, if you have one of the many grass seed birds from Australia, you must provide a daily selection of high quality seeds.

Of course, different birds will always need different diets, and you should learn as much as you can about your companion birds. Plus there’s nothing wrong with sharing your food with your bird, but remember how much smaller they are than a person. If your diet isn’t keeping you in top shape, be cautious about sharing it. http://www.birdchannel.com/bird-diet-and-health/bird-nutrition/good-table-bird-food.aspx

Lories have a very different diet than above. Many birds are more fruit oriented, and some need more protein in the form of insects. Always learn about your bird’s species requirement, then move on to discover your own bird’s preferences. I hope you have many long years of feeding the very best to your flock. See you on Wednesday.


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