Karens Blog - Grab a coffee

ARE BIRDS GREAT FOR CORONAVURUS?

They are GREAT for Coronavirus. in fact they are the perfect companion to have.

  1. They cant pass it on to you and you cant pass it on to them
  2. They make you feel great. They snuggle into you and give you comfort, they play with you and take your mind off other things. They can watch TV with you or follow you around the house while you sweep and clean.
  3. They are great to help you keep your mind in the present and stop ruminating about the future and the past. It is proven that just to sit and stroke a pet is amazing therapy for the mind.

So if you were ever wondering when is the best time to get a pet parrot…NOW is the perfect time

Happy Birding Kaz

WHATS’ IN IT FOR ME?

Have you ever noticed that the best way to motivate people is to apply the ‘WHATS IN IT FOR ME” principle?. Well with pet birds this principle works in much the same way. Pet Birds are basically as self centered and selfish as us humans. Forget all the cuddly, sweet little looks that they give you, their main concerned in looking after NUMBER ONE…ME. Why are we surprised?, as this is generally how human beings and all other species manage to survive and thrive.

So when you are looking at enjoying some quality play time with your pet parrot apply this principle. Provide your pet bird with special treats and affection when ever you would like them to interact with you in a positive way. If you make it “worth their while” to interact with you, then you will be onto a winning combination. Just like humans, we are on our BEST BEHAVIOUR when the principle of WHATS IN IT FOR ME is applied

Happy birding  Kaz

SMALL BEAK V BIG BEAK

Many potential pet bird owners often ask ” But will it Bite?”. The answer I usually give is “Will Dogs Bark?”…..however this line of thought is for another post. What people are usually thinking is “WOW that’s a BIG BEAK…. It’s going to HUUURT”!! My response is “If a cockatiel or a lorikeet has ever bitten you on the quick near the fingernail, then you will really know what HUUURT means.

Bird beaks act like two levers that pivot on a fulcrum, now for those of you who remember the dim dark days of school science will know that the closer to the fulcrum point the stronger the force, and the further from the fulcrum point, the lesser the force. For example, a cockatiel or a lorikeet can deliver a very strong bite for such a small beak as the upper and lower beak are close to the fulcrum point. A Toucan however, has a long, large beak and the end of the upper and lower beak are much further from the fulcrum point, thereby delivering a softer biting capacity.

So when sizing up a bird for its biting potential, dont be fooled by the “small beak”

Happy Birding  Kaz

WHY WONT MY BIRD EAT VEGETABLES?

People often ask us “Why wont my bird eat vegies?… Well we need to ask..”From a Birds Point of View what is a Vegie?””.. In the wild birds dont wait for their broccoli or spinach or apple to be served up to them. Birds in the wild have to forage for what ever they can get. To a bird there are many types of “vegetables”. Ever thought about MILK THISTLES……DANDELIONS……. BINDIS…… GREEN SEEDING GRASSES,……. CHICK WEED??….These are all Vegetables to a Bird. Also consider the amount of time that birds spend in trees just chewing on the leaves, branches and flowers of various Australian Natives. These are all “Vegies” to a bird.

So if you are having difficulty getting  your Pet Bird to each their Veges, dont stress over the limp untouched brocolli, or the browning piece of apple. Go out and grab a fistfull of weeds and branches from your back yard…. Weeding and Triming never was so much fun!!,..and your Pet Bird will thank you for it.

Happy Birding Kaz

DO ECLECTUS PARROTS MAKE GOOD PETS?

The short answer is YES..The long answer is…….It depends on you. As with all birds, it boils down to how much love, care and effort you put into your relationship with your pet parrot. Think of your pet eclectus as you would your young child. Encourage them to play, encourage them to explore within safe boundaries, provide them with a stimulating environment, and set them some “tasks” such as picking up buttons, chasing a ball across the floor, fetching a cockroach from under the couch………??

Eclectus parrots are visually stunning and highly intelligent pet birds. As such they require a bird owner to be dedicated to providing their pet ecelctus with a great diet of fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, fresh branches, flowers and foraging activities on a daily basis. This is not a bird that you can just “set and forget” and expect them to have a loving relationship with you. In our experience both boys and girls are equally good natured and loving. Both boys and girls have an amazing talking ability and both boys and girls love to interact with you, hang around you whilst you watch TV, read a book, play on face book etc.

When you are out for the day at work or school make sure your pet eclectus has a large enough cage so that you can place branches, foraging toys, pine cones, pandanus nuts and all sorts of destructible natural toys in there for them to amuse themselves. Once you come home, set a time for them to come out and play and interact with you.

WHAT YOU PUT IN = WHAT YOU GET OUT

Happy Birding     Kaz

RAINBOW LORIKEETS AS PETS

Rainbow Lorikeets are the CLOWNS OF THE BIRD WORLD. They never seem to know which is the right way up. They are just as happy swinging upside down from your fingers to chasing little balls across the lounge room floor. Rainbow Lorikeets make wonderful pets for the Teenager and the Young at Heart. They are outgoing, full of fun and mischief. One minute they are snuggling under your hair and the next minute they are tearing around the floor after their toys.

Rainbow Lorikeets can even talk. Whilst not the world’s best linguistic specialists, they can certainly say a few phrases quite clearly.

Lorikeets do however come with a warning sign” NOT SUITABLE FOR CARPETED AREAS”… There is a down side to lorikeets, and that is, they have “Squirty Poos”. However this is not a problem as long as you have hard surface flooring as it just wipes up easily and doesn’t smell. Not recommended for homes with carpet.

Happy Birding   Kaz

DOES MY PET BIRD NEED A FRIEND?

Many people ask us if we think that their pet bird or pet parrot needs a feathered friend. The answer to that is usually, ” It depends on how much they have bonded to their Human Friends.” A pet bird who thinks the world of their human friend, calls out to them when they come home, snuggles up against them to watch TV and plays games is most likely to resent any other feathered friend and actually see them as an intruder into their already cosy arrangement.

Birds by nature can be very territorial and very jealous. They may view the new feathered friend as a direct competitor for their Human’s affection and attention and go out of their way to warn the new bird away from their human property. Birds can be quite selfish… “What’s Mine, stays Mine..” and may be reluctant to share the Human which they consider to be their sole property.

If you are introducing a new feathered friend into the household, make sure they have their own cage, at least for a while, then if the pet birds are accepting of each other you may try and house them together. Always have a back up plan

Happy Birding   Kaz

HOW CAN I GO ON HOLIDAYS WITH ALL THESE BIRDS?

Too many Birds…Too many Aviaries…Too much Trouble to Organise a Holiday…Too much Guilt at leaving birds? Does this sound familiar to you?…it does to me.

I made a commitment to myself several years ago that my family would take at least one block period of time each year away from the birds on a true holiday. Not only to have a relaxing break, but also to visit bird parks, meet bird people and enhance our bird lives further by actually being AWAY from the birds

How do you do this?… simply… cultivate “Bird Friends’. There are many bird people out there in the same boat who would love a holiday, but simply can’t “Fly Away” due to their bird commitments. The best thing about “Bird Friends” is that they already know how to care for birds, what to feed birds, what to look for if a bird shows signs of illness and what to do in that case. You don’t have to train them….they already know…AND THEY CARE ABOUT BIRDS,,,, and you can return the favour so they too can have a BIRD FREE HOLIDAY.

Happy Birding   Kaz

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO SETTLE IN MY NEW PET BIRD

So you have made the decision to welcome into your home a new feathered friend. You have done your research, you have set up a wonderful cage, you have told all your friends and now you are anxiously awaiting the arrival of your new pet parrot… WOW…. Now the nerves set in….. What is her favourite food…. what is his favourtie play thing….. what if she doesn’t like me…. what if he bites me….What if…. Well stop right there…. The experience will be fine, just take everything slowly for yourself and your new baby bird and build up TRUST.

When you get your new baby bird home:

  • Give him or her a quiet cuddle in a quiet place and speak quietly and slowly and calmly
  • Place him or her in their cage with some food and water and let them spend a few hours observing their surroundings
  • Later that night when the household is quiet and settled, get your new pet bird out and let it just sit quietly on your lap, or shoulder or somewhere close to you, let them explore a bit and encourage them with soft pats and cuddles and lots of love
  • Avoid young children, dogs (or overactive adults) poking or pulling at your new pet bird, the bird will size up those rascals itself over time and deal with them itself…hahah
  • Each day just spend quiet time with your new pet bird and build up TRUST. A successful relationship with any animal is built on TRUST and the easiest time to establish TRUST is right at the beginning.
  • Like all relationships, TRUST is built up slowly and so it will be with your new pet parrot

SOOO…. the best way to settle in your new baby bird?……. SLOWLY

Happy Birding   Kaz

PET BIRDS – BATTLE OF THE SEXES – boys or girls

In a nutshell, come Spring I guarantee that the Boy will Hump your Hand and the Girl will Lay Eggs. If your girl lays some eggs, just remove them and she will forget about them once out of sight. If your boy tries you on, then give him a toy or something else to occupy him. Not much you can do denying those male hormones….haha

People often blame the sex of the pet parrot for their behaviours. More likely, in our opinion it is the environment they live in and the people who they live with who are more likely to shape their characters and pet quality rather then their sex. Over the years I have seen beautiful boy and wonderful girls and also some dreadful ones from both sexes.

In most of the larger species of pet birds that we have kept, such as Eclectus Parrots, Alexandrine Parrots, Galahs and even Lorikeets we find that both boys and girls have the ability to talk and vocalise when they interact with you. The extent to which they will “talk” is not necessarily dependant on their sex, but rather on the individual pet birds and their own characteristices and desires. One exception is the Cockatiel. The boy has the best vocal ability.

In the end, no matter whether you have a boy pet bird or a girl pet bird, you will love him or her as a wonderful little mate in their own special way.

Happy birding   Kaz

WING CLIPPING – TO CLIP OR NOT TO CLIP?

To clip or not to clip?…ANSWER: YES and NO. It depends on the home situation.

There is great fun for both you and your pet parrot if your pet parrot can fly from shoulder to shoulder, chase you around the house, nose dive into your lap and fly to and annoy your partner on command. Our birds love to fly from person to person depending on who has the most delicious snacks in their hands. Our own fully flighted pet birds also love to dive bomb each other, just for the sheer joy of annoying the crap out of the other bird. Big Ted, our Eclectus Parrot likes to flap his wings around the baby birds to encourage them to fly. Then he laughs in a most evil manner when they crash land.

If you have other animals in the family, then allowing your pet bird to remain fully flighted is also good for their safety as they can quickly get out of harms way if necessary.

On the other side of the feather…. if you live in a house with young children or forgetful spouses who are always leaving the doors open, then perhaps a careful wing clip will be advised. Better to have a clipped bird than a lost bird. When we perform a wing clip for our clients we only clip the 4 outside flight feathers on each wing. This is just a light clip and allows the pet bird to fly safely in a horozontal manner and softly land on the floor.

However even with a clipped bird we do not recommend taking the bird outside as a bit of adrenalin and a rush of wind can soon see a clipped bird fly off and leave you standing there doing a Jig. The question of a Bird Harness?…..mmm…. it can be done with a lot of patience. The best one we find is the Aviator Harness. However in our experience, our pet birds dont really like them anyway.

Happy Birding   Kaz

BIRD CAGES  PALACES or PRISON?

The Bird Cage to a Pet Bird or Pet Parrot is the equvilent to their home. We all know from our own experience that the quality of our “Home” depends on the time and effort we put into making our home a wonderful safe place to be. We can live in a run down neglected dump, or we can add those extras that make us feel like we are living the dream.

The same with a bird cage. The bird cage is where a pet bird can feel secure and safe, chew up and destroy toys and branches, dine on delectable delights and view the world from a safe and warm environment. We always recommend that you purchase the BIGGEST CAGE you can afford. That way there is a lot of room for your pet bird to stretech its wings, rummage around, hand upside down and enjoy themselves. You can have fun making toys from natural products such as paper and branches and hang these toys  in the cage for you pet parrot to enjoy.

Of course, when you are home your pet bird can come out of their cage and enjoy one on one quality time with you.

The question of whether a bird cage is a Palace or a Prison?…… Totally up to you and your efforts

Happy Birding   Kaz