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.

120618 pine-cones

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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.