Holiday Treats for Birds

Ever eat a pine cone? As Euell Gibbons used to say, many parts are edible. And there are parrots and other birds who consider pine nuts an important part of their winter diet. But others might not get that excited about the treat. I did know a Red-lored Amazon who liked to break a scale off of the cone and use it to scratch himself. It’s late in the season, really, to collect the cones now, but that probably depends on where you live. Here in Southern California, many pine trees are just now dropping their cones. The way to make them ready for your parrots is pretty simple, especially if you get a good return of happy, quiet, play for your investment.

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Eggs for Easter

Traditions started as a new thing once upon a time and have been handed down until no body knows any longer why we put the eggs in the dye colors and then try to hide them. Sometimes these traditions go so far back that not even History remembers why. Then you have the people who come in and want to change the traditions from how they first started to something that aligns with their own beliefs.

032716 all the goddesses

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A Parrot’s Holiday List

Today’s blog post is written by Maynard, the double yellow headed Amazon parrot who owns me.

Happy Holidays, folks! You know, your parrot needs to celebrate special days as much as you do. So be sure to include the feathered kids in the planning and decorating. For instance, when you bring a dead tree into the house, leave a few bare branches for parrots to perch on. We will add a few colorful decorations for you. You don’t even have to ask. Continue reading “A Parrot’s Holiday List”

Ten Innovative Gifts for Birds

If you have a long list of folks who are expecting gifts from you, chances are you haven’t had time to look for special treats and toys for your companion birds. Tsk tsk. Well, if you act now, you might get these delivered for Christmas. And if not, you can celebrate Twelfth Night in January.

1. Foraging Pouch. If you haven’t introduced your parrot to foraging, this would make an awesome beginning. A busy seagrass mat decorated with blocks and oddments and stuffed with crinkle paper. Because of the small openings in the mat, you can insert nuts and Nutriberries, and it will be the very best thing ever.

2. All Living Things makes some wonderful toys, and this stack of colorful wood on a sturdy chain with a bell invites your companion to sink his or her beak into the toy and not your furniture.;pgid=MGto4LhQ3vRSRpYoHgGJHIKM0000V-v7TYiP;sid=827QGdqx1wXUGY4kbtuSHeq7EGWMvzm6r8jO23WL?var_id=36-14011&_t=pfm%3Dcategory

3. Nature Chest has a full page of new arrivals, but I most like the holiday colors on the Merry Coco bird toy. geared for smaller birds, it’s attractive and fun to chew on. Makes the cage look ready for the holidays.

4. While we are there, Nature Chest also has a fun fleece snuggler, great for the cold weather and entertaining for birds that might be feather pickers. Lots of pretty colors, although you don’t get to choose which one you get. And note the warning about the bell at the bottom if ordering for larger birds.

5. Big Beak Bird Toys, as you might think, specializes in toys for the bigger parrots. And while a bit pricey, the Foot Fetish foot toys is a great collection that will keep everyone busy.

6. Bubba Bird Toys provides another great preening toy in Mrs. Moppsey. Cotton rope is one of the best materials for your beaky friends, and lots of different textures keep it interesting.

7. Molly’s Bird Toys web page is all decorated and bright for the holidays! And he is offering a “bundle” of three great toys for about $30. (Molly is a male cockatiel mistakenly thought a girl, but the name lasted longer than the baby feathers) I really like the bundle idea, and there are several sets to choose from depending on the size of your companion. And all the toys are hand made, of course.

8. Drs. Smith and Foster is having a pre-Christmas clearance sale, so you can probably find lots of fun stocking stuffers there. I’m not sure how I feel about this product. It’s a toy cell phone for birds, which then encourages them to play with the real buttons on the real phone. At least, that’s my concern. It does talk, and that’s something parrots might like. My Congo African Grey, Bo Dangles, has a Babble Ball. The battery died long ago, so it’s just a Ball now. But when it talked, she loved it. She never started to say what it says, but she would laugh manically when throwing it around the cage. So it’s on the list for her.

9. What would Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza/Saturnalia be without special holiday treats? Lots and lots of choices here, something for every bird on your holiday list. Even better, after all the gingerbread cookies for the humans are done, make some treats yourself.

10. And as long as you have that do it yourself spirit, the last item on this list is how to make your own bird toys. You can recycle jewelry or get ideas from the local pet store then order bulk parts on line And be sure to include some foraging toys.

Have a great holiday season, keep everyone safe, and I’ll be back on Thursday.

Maynard’s Christmas List

My Amazon parrot Maynard is part child, part puppy, and part snapping turtle. I love him like a child when he calls me “Momma!” and like a puppy when he plays tug with my fingers, and maybe even like a snapping turtle when he lunges for my husband and misses. If I could get him whatever he wanted for Christmas, I certainly would. So I did a little daydreaming and thought about what he would want.

Maynard’s favorite toys are plastic things he can chew to pieces. Lids from yogurt tubs, small cups, plastic chain, and any empty container gives him hours of fun. His perch has a little flange where I can hook things for him to chew on, and it’s easy to punch a small hole in a clear plastic lid to anchor it to the perch. I think of that as his pacifier, because he will chew happily away for hours at a time. Sometimes I put a dollop of yogurt on the lid, and he cleans it off before destroying it.

The absolutely favorite lid of all, however, is anything red. Our peanut butter has a red lid. Our coffee creamer has a red lid. Not only hours of fun, but something about the red causes him to make the cutest chirp sound. Mike thinks it sounds like a chihuahua barking, but I find it to be a short, sharp call. I often wonder if it has anything to do with the red on the tails of double yellow headed parrots. Whatever the reason, he finds it very attractive.

Amazons are supposed to love bells. Well, not Maynard. He will give a bell a ring or a tug, but there’s no love involved. Totally not interested beyond the one touch. Maybe I need to read that part of the parrot book to him.

He does love almonds, and peanuts, and sourdough toast. He’s a pasta fiend, loves chicken too. A couple days ago he climbed up onto my chair while I was eating a ham sandwich. It never crossed his mind that I wouldn’t share with him, and of course I did. I thought Maynard would not like the mustard, but he rather enjoyed it. I went back to my reading when he wandered off to look for new nesting sites in the bathroom and linen cupboard. On his return, I told him the sandwich was all gone. He said, “Bye-bye!” and curled up to sleep on the chair.

So the ultimate present for this bird would be a red lid filled with almonds, pasta, ham, and yogurt. My mind boggles at the mess that would create, even if I kept it in his cage. The almonds would work, so maybe I do have a good substitute for the ultimate. Thanks for reading, and I’ll be back on Sunday.