Pumpkin Treat

Make your bird a delicious

Pumpkin Treat

How to Make:

Simply wash your mini pumpkin, cut off the top, and scoop out the insides. Pumpkins can be eaten raw, steamed, or baked. Cooking the pumpkin may make it easier for your bird to eat it, and more appetizing. Fill the inside with a cookable bird mix, like Crazy Corn. Or, you can fill with your own healthy veggie/fruit/grain mix. 

All varieties of pumpkin and squash are safe for parrots, just take care not to use any that have been painted or shellacked. 

Bird-Safe Wood

Parrot-Safe Wood

Most wood is safe for most birds, but parrots are big chewers. This means that you have to take extra care that the wood you use for their perches isn't toxic. Also keep in mind; in the wild, parrots will naturally eat clay to offset anything toxic that they may ingest. Captive parrots don't have access to this clay. 

Store-Bought Wood

Untreated pine is commonly used for bird toys, as well as balsa. Hard wood that's hard to chew (and commonly used for perches) includes manzanita, dragonwood, and bottlebrush. All of this wood is very well-suited for birds and parrots in particular because of their chewing capacity. 

Safe Wood

The following is wood that you may be able to cut and use yourself, provided that the wood has not had any contact with pesticides or other chemicals. The wood will need to be cleaned and dried, and in some cases stripped of the outer bark. 

Purportedly Safe:

  • Acacia
  • Almond
  • Apple
  • Arbutus
  • Ash
  • Aspen
  • Bamboo
  • Beech
  • Birch
  • Citrus
  • Cork
  • Oak
  • Cottonwood
  • Crabapple
  • Dogwood
  • Elm
  • Fig
  • Fir
  • Fruitless Mulberry
  • Ginkgo Grape Vines
  • Grape Palm
  • Guava
  • Hackberry
  • Hazelnut
  • Hibiscus
  • Hickory
  • Ironwood Larch
  • Lilac
  • Liquidamber
  • Madrona
  • Magnolia
  • Manzanita
  • Maple
  • Mediterranean Laurel
  • Mesquite
  • Mimosa
  • Mulberry
  • Norfolk Island Pine
  • Oak
  • Palm
  • Papaya
  • Pear
  • Pecan
  • Pine
  • Poplar
  • Ribbonwood
  • Rose
  • Sassafras
  • Spruce
  • Sweet Gum
  • Sycamore
  • Thurlow
  • Tree Fern
  • Umbrella Tree Vine
  • Maple
  • Walnut
  • Wilow


Toxic Woods

Allegedly toxic:

  • Apricot
  • Bis d'arc
  • Cherry
  • Eucalyptus
  • Horse Apple
  • Nectarine
  • Peach
  • Plum
  • Prune
  • Sequoia
  • Sitka cedar
  • Yellow cedar

Unequivocally toxic:

  • Box Elder
  • Crepe Myrtle
  • Chinese Popcorn
  • Chinese Snake Tree
  • Chinese Tallow
  • Hemlock
  • Holly
  • Laurel
  • Pitch pine
  • Redwood
  • Sumac (Rhus/Toxicodendron)
  • Yew

Hurricane Season 2020

What should you do with your pets in the event of a hurricane or tropical storm? Here are some helpful tips to keep them safe.

Getting ready

  • Bring all your animals inside. Do not leave them behind.
  • In the event of evacuation, call shelters beforehand. Not all are pet-friendly or allow birds. 
  • Call us. We offer boarding and do our best to accommodate every bird needing shelter. If it is last-minute, you may need to bring your own cage.
  • If you choose to weather the storm with your bird, make sure you have at least a couple of weeks of their food and fresh water on hand. The Aviary will  likely be open after the storm, but your local roads may be impassable. 
More Info
Please be mindful that animals can sense severe weather changes. They may be more fearful or aggressive. Take precautions when catching your birds from an outdoor cage to prevent escape. 
Keep your bird calm during the storm by securing them in a small cage or carrier. Place a sheet over it to minimize light and visual stimuli. 

After the storm

It may be unsafe to return your bird outside if that's where he was living. If you are under a boil water advisory, it's necessary to boil water used for your bird as well. 
 In the event of power outage, windows and doors may be left open. Take all precautions to prevent your bird from flying away. 

Take a Bath

Shower Perch 

Shower perches are terrific for giving your birds baths! You can either use the actual shower head (make sure the water is around room temperature, you DON'T want to burn your bird!) or use a spray bottle. We recommend this method of bathing for birds that are more trusting and won't freak out. 

Remember, whichever method you use, it's important for your bird to bathe regularly. Baths help keep their feathers clean and their skin moisturized. 

Bath Spray

Bath sprays come in a few different varieties. These are great for birds who need a little extra cleaning. 

Bird baths

This is the best method for birds that prefer to bathe themselves. There are options for both inside and outside of the cage bathing. 

NO Avocado, Please! And Other Foods to Avoid

NO Avocado, Please! And Other Foods to Avoid

You may think that some of the following foods would be great additions to your bird's diet, but they are actually either toxic or best to avoid.

Why is avocado toxic for birds?

Avocado contains a fatty acid derivative called persin. Persin is found in the large pit and leaches into the fruit itself, making the entire avocado toxic to birds. There are occasions where birds have consumed avocados without any ill effects. Even so, don't allow your birds to eat them. 
Signs of avocado poisoning include: 
  • Inability to perch,
  • Respiratory distress,
  • Fluid accumulation around the bird’s heart and lungs,
  • Liver and kidney failure
  • And sudden death.
  Consult an avian veterinarian quickly if your bird consumes avocado and is starting to show symptoms. 


Other Toxic Foods

Applespeaches, cherries, apricots and pears have toxic seeds. They contain trace amounts of cyanide and it's best to avoid core these fruits. Additionally, pesticides may be present on the skin. Thoroughly wash and peel the fruit as well. 

Uncooked beans contain a poison called hemaglutin which is very toxic to birds. To avoid poisoning, make sure to thoroughly cook any beans that you feed your bird. Always thoroughly cook any beans you offer your bird. Cooked beans are a great addition to your bird's diet. 

Mushrooms are a type of fungus that not only may result in digestive upset for our pet birds and may even induce liver failure.

Very small amounts of onion in flavorings may be safe but too much onion will cause severe digestive problems including vomiting and diarrhea and they are considered a poisonous food for parrots.  A bird that is fed too much onion for long periods of time will even develop a serious blood condition called hemolytic anemia. Finally, breathing problems develop and the bird ultimately dies. 

The stems, leaves and vines of common garden plants such as tomatoes, potatoes and some other vegetables are poisonous to birds. Make sure that you only feed your parrot the actual fruit or vegetable part of garden plants and never the stems, leaves or vines.

Chocolate is poisonous to birds. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and deadly seizures. 

Caffeine causes cardiac malfunction in birds, and is associated with increased heartbeat, arrhythmia, hyperactivity, and cardiac arrest. What affects us with a boost in energy is potentially deadly to our pet parrots.

Alcohol is fatal to birds. Never offer them any of your drinks. 


Very Small Amounts

Salt and fatty foods won't necessarily kill your bird if they are given in small amounts, and rarely. Too much salt leads to many healthy problems such as excessive thirst, dehydration, kidney dysfunction, and even death. Many salty foods also contain a lot of fat.  Our pet birds want to share our chips and crackers, but these food items are just not healthy for our pet birds. Too much fat in your bird's diet can lead to fatty liver disease and obesity. 

Some dairy products such as some cheeses and yogurts contain no lactose, and can be given in very small amounts.  The avian digestive tract is incapable of digesting the lactose contained in most dairy products, thereby causing severe allergic reactions, obstructive disease, or even death.

Research First

If uncertain about whether a food is safe for your bird, always research it before allowing your bird to consume it. 

Birdie Bread

One of the treats my birds most look forward to is fresh birdie bread. I use Momma Bird's Cafe. It comes in seven different flavors (not pictured is Happy Bird Day Loaf) which lets me change up the flavors. I LOVE giving variety to my babies, they get so happy! The prep time is minimal just mix a few wet ingredients with the bagged dry mix (a fresh egg, some vegetable oil, and either veggie or chicken stock) and bake it. Once it's cool, slice it up and freeze most of it in baggies. Keep about a 5 day supply thawed in your fridge and then just zap it in the microwave when you're ready to serve. So easy and yummy for your birds!mommabirdsproductpic.jpgs


"My bird doesn't play with toys..."

We hear this pretty frequently. There can be many reasons for this. Let's look at a few. 

It could be that your bird wasn't introduced to toys at a young age, and finds them frightening. Or maybe when you put the new toy in, your bird is still in the cage and is terrified that this unfamiliar object is moving towards him and is thrust into his safe space. I find that introducing toys slowly can help with this. Place a new toy  nearby so that the bird can observe it safely from a distance. Over a period of days, slowly bring it closer and closer to the cage until it is hanging on the OUTSIDE of the cage. When you  finally put the toy in the cage, do so when the bird is not in. This will help to decrease his anxiety.

Have you changed the toys lately? Or at all?

This is another major issue. Time and again, I find that people don't rotate their toys, so that they basically have the original ones that they got when they acquired their bird. Think: how quickly do you or your children become bored with a new toy of your own? Sure, it's fun at first, but when the newness runs out, it just isn't quite as interesting. Birds are no different. Some toys may always be a favorite, but others just become...boring. Change it up. Get new toys. Rotate out old ones. And guess what? After your bird hasn't seen some toys for a few weeks, they look new again in his eyes. 

"But no. He really doesn't like them. He just destroys them!"

Um. But that's what they do. They rip and tear and swing on them. They fling them around in seeming anger. They scream at them and stalk them, and pounce. This is play. They also cuddle up to them, murmur sweet nothings to them, and sleep with them draped over their bodies. This too is play. 

Let them play!

Lady Gouldians

     People occasionally ask us about problems they're having with their Lady Gouldians. One common problem is that their bird(s) are going bald. Usually, this is the result of an iodine deficiency. In captivity, they simply don't get enough iodine in their normal diet. I recommend using either liquid iodine drops in their water, or sprinkling AviKelp on their food. Both are available in our online store. Besides causing feather loss, iodine deficiency can also lead to respiratory problems and difficulty reproducing. Another possible cause of balding is the bird being infested with the canary feather mite. A mite spray can usually help in this situation. 

     Another common problem has to do with their respiration. If the bird is gasping with a clicking or a wet sound, chances are it has air sac mites. They have to be treated with either a product called SCATT or Ivermectin. Ivermectin will require a vet visit. These are topical solutions that absorb into the skin like flea treatments for dogs or cats. It's recommended to also use an antibiotic as well, as the air sac mites can cause respiratory infections. 



Not Touching Other People's Birds - Common Sense

1)  It's just wrong to ignore a bird's natural suspicion of strangers by forcing yourself on them.

2)  You are running a risk of infecting another's flock should your bird be ill - or risk infecting your own by touching someone's sick bird and bringing the disease to your own birds. 

3)  You could be injured.

4)  It's just good manners.  Enough said!


    Plucking is very frustrating to witness. Sometimes it can be easily resolved by providing your bird with more toys or attention, and sometimes nothing seems to work. In this post I'll address a few causes of plucking and some possible resolutions. 

    When people start asking me why their bird is plucking, I try to get some backstory on the bird. If I'm unfamiliar with the bird, some of the questions I ask are how long the customer has had him, the size of the cage, if he has any toys / how long have those same toys been in the cage, the age of the bird, the gender, whether he  gets played with or not, if this is a new behavior, diet, and most importantly, if anything has recently changed in the bird's environment. 

     Sometimes it's really easy to pinpoint why the bird is probably ripping those feathers out. If he has no toys or ones that have been there for years that are worn out, there's a good chance that he's just really bored. Birds are exceptionally bright creatures that need stimulation. Think about it. If you were stuck in a room with nothing in it, just a view of what's outside of your room, day in and day out, wouldn't you go a little nuts? This is still true if the bird has nothing to play with even if he is taken out of the cage frequently. Even if he has unlimited access to being out of the cage. Parrots need to chew and destroy, and they will do it. To a toy. Your furniture. Themselves. I personally prefer them destroying a toy. They will also lose interest in toys that have been there too long. Think of them as children. You know how long their attention span can be with new toys. But when they see a toy that they haven't seen for awhile, it's like a new toy again! That's why it's important to rotate your parrot's toys. And to have a big enough cage to hold those toys but still be comfortable enough for him to move around in. 

     Whether or not the bird is played with can have a big impact on them as well. Parrots are very social. When they are handfed and sold as pets, humans become their flock. They can be very well-adjusted if they have ample time with their adopted flock, and have been taught to entertain themselves with their own toys when you're unable to be hands-on with them. Some birds are content to just have their people in their general vicinity, listening to them. Others can become depressed if they don't have the contact they crave. Some people ultimately decide to get their bird a friend. I'll address the issues that that situation can have in a later post. 

     The gender of the parrot can sometimes cause issues. Sometimes females will pluck the feathers on their legs as they grow older. This is because they can have calcium loss in their bones just as women can. And it causes their legs to hurt. Hence the plucking. Other hens will pluck their feathers on their breast in preparation of nesting. This isn't to say that only females do these things. Males pluck their chest feathers all the time, they just don't usually try to line a nest with them. Both males and females will sometimes pluck when they are feeling hormonal, usually during breeding season (spring and summer, typically). 

    Diet. Simply, sometimes an unhealthy diet can cause health issues which can cause plucking. Or allergies. Sometimes you can stop plucking by changing the diet. 

   Has anything in the environment of the parrot changed? Did you move the cage? Added a new family member to the household? Has someone left? Did your routine change? That chair in the corner that has always faced one direction, did you move it? Did it fall over and now your bird freaks out when you move it? It can be a huge change or something minute. You can either change back whatever is bothering your bird, or try to help him cope with the change if that's not possible. 

    If you can't figure out what is causing the plucking, or how to help him, you can try supplements. I always try to figure out if he just needs a new toy or more attention, etc. before I recommend anything else, other than a vet check. But some people have a lovely big cage filled with awesome toys, feed super wholesome and healthful food, and give the bird all the freedom and attention his little heart desires. And he still plucks. In those cases, after a vet check rules out any underlying health issues, I would try supplementation. There are a few products that can help stop or curb plucking. They are hit and miss though. What works for one bird may not work for another. Trial and error. 


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