Sweet Mabel

Saturday, 19 December 2015


So you want to be a parrot owner?!!? Here's a MUST KNOW list that everyone should learn about to help be a responsible parrot owner. There is a lot more that could be added to it, however it has a good amount of information to start off with. Fortunately for me, compiled by awesome members in our bird groups. Thanks guys!

  1. Parrots are a LIFELONG COMMITMENT. That's right. It means they won't be moving out in 18 years from today to go out and get a job. Depending on the parrot species, high chances are that they may even outlive you. How do you feel about that?
  2. Parrots and Vet Bills are expensive to maintain. Make sure you can afford both before getting one.
  3. Parrots need appropriate and a variety of natural wooden perches for the health and comfort of their toes.
  4. Parrots can be VERY NOISY. That's NORMAL.
  5. Parrots need spacious cages, the largest you can afford.
  6. Parrots have extremely sensitive respiratory systems. Buy a high quality air purifier like the Austin Air. 
  7. Raw, shelled and unshelled peanuts are a NO.
  8. Happy Huts are a NO NO.
  9. Never try to potty train a bird. This is VERY dangerous for their health. Research Cloacal Prolapse. 
  10. Do NOT use Teflon, Non stick Products, scented candles, air fresheners and any other type of product that emits chemical fumes, odours and toxins. Scentsy products and essential oils are a NO NO too.
  11. Birds may BITE sometimes. Love your bird unconditionally and never take bites personally..
  12. Read and research EVERYTHING you can about POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT. Experts in the field are Dr. Susan Friedman, Barbara Heidenreich, Steve Martin. 
  13. There is no such thing as a BAD bird. Only BAD OWNERS
  14. NEVER purchase an unweaned baby bird. This would be both irresponsible and dangerous.
  15. Birds need your TIME. Regular out of cage time. Quality time, interactive and SOCIAL TIME. If you are OUT alot, do not get a bird.
  16. Enrichment is a NECESSITY, not a luxury or BONUS. It also does not mean your bird is spoiled, only properly taken care of both mentally and physically.
  17. Birds need to have the opportunity to fly for physical, emotional, mental and cardiovascular health. Flying is a form of enrichment. Do not clip their wings. If you want a bird that does not fly, buy a stuffed animal.
  18. Birds are MESSY. Embrace the mess! They need opportunities to forage and work for their food.
  19. Parrots require NUTRITION. Do NOT feed them junk food, fried food, meat, candy, etc. Join facebook group Feedingfeathers.
  20. Parrots are not for everyone.
  21. Parrots benefit immensely from flock socialization with other birds. They do not need to be best friends in order to enjoy each other's companionship from afar.
  22. Be an excellent student and observer of your parrot. Their body language will teach you a lot.
  23. Teach your bird independance and how to enjoy their own company. A parrot who is overbonded to their caretaker is not cute, nor is that psychologically healthy for them in the long run.
  24. Not all parrots talk and that doesn't mean they are less loveable.
  25. Do not smoke around your parrots. They will also absorb nicotine through skin absorption just by perching on someone who has been smoking. 
  26. Consider doing volunteer at a bird shelter before becoming a bird owner. Bird shelters are often  short handed and really appreciate the extra support in cleaning cages, socualizing with the bird etc,
  27. Always consider ADOPTION, before buying. Bird are regularly relinquished by bird owners who can no longer take care of them, are no longer interested in having a bird, got pregnant, the bird does not like the new spouse, the list goes on, ETC  ...
  28. Protect your birds. Keep them in a separate room with a closed door away from other pet PREDATORS, like dogs, cats, snakes, rats, ETC. Your parrot depends on you to keep her safe.
  29. Parrots need to be seen by an Avian Vet. Someone who specializes and sees birds on a regular basis. Not one who specializes mostly in other creatures, except birds. Besides a physical exam, your bird needs to also receive a full blood workup and chemistry to make sure their inside health looks as good as their outside health.
  30. Parrots benefit immensely from exposure to direct sunlight. Make sure they are either in a secure cage with the door closed or wearing a harness like the Aviator. 
  31. Parrots are sensitive, intelligent and emotional beings who are capable of feeling stressed, feeling pain and suffering. Treat them with DIGNITY.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

The Spunky Parrot = Awesomeness!

Glad to share that I received my Spunky Parrot Toys order this week and the contents inside of the box were pure delightfulness!  High quality handmade perches and toys, all stainless steel hardware, prices that are SO affordable and sales that are SO generous! Julie Turner, the woman behind this small business is so awesome to deal with. No hassles, no headaches and no complicated conditions attached to her sales. She is so customer focused, thoughtfully pays attention to detail and goes out of her way to make sure that shopping with her is not a convoluted ordeal. What I love most is that she understands that enrichment for our captive parrots is a necessity and doesn't market them as if they are a luxury that only certain budgets would be able to afford or that soneone would need to save for months befire being able to place an order from her. She is definitely one of my favourite bird toy vendors and I am so glad that I got a chance to shop and learn from her in 2015! Enjoy our photos!

Monday, 4 November 2013

Today's Bird Breakfast and I've got Dehydrator Fever!!!

Today's breakfast menu featured  mash, homemade dehydrated papaya, freshly chopped kale and a smidgen of almond butter. The amount that you see below feeds all 4 of my parrots. Once this has been entirely consumed they all get their Harrison's HP nuggets, nuts, fruits and other favoured treats. Last week I received my brand new dehydrator, Excalibur 3900! I can't believe how super happy it makes me and you can bet I've been putting it to excellent use! Below are photos of some treats I made for my parrots. So easy and in such a short time frame too! I used fabulous ingredients like Flax seed, bananas, oat grain flour, chili peppers, yellow bell peppers, kale, cayenne pepper, sweet potato ground sunflower seeds, papaya, bananas, swiss chard, fresh pineapple and grated fresh ginger, coconut oil, YUM!!  I'm having such a fantastic time that I must confess that I've actually placed a self imposed ban on producing more dehydrated goodness in order to take time to finish eating the current stash of goodies. Next on my list will be to create a banana blueberry flax seed cracker/biscuit for them. I'm going to experiment and see if I can form them in nice whimsical shapes for added foot food pleasure! Stay tuned.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Happy 3rd Gotcha Day Mabel!

This weekend is Thanksgiving in Canada. It was exactly 3 Thanksgiving weekends ago when Mabel arrived into my home. She's the bird who I welcomed into my life while shaking in my boots. She's the reason behind my blog. She's the reason for my face book account. She's also one of the biggest reasons why I'm a more well rounded parrot owner today. Below is our once upon a time story. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and may you all find something to be very grateful about. Today and every day.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Made my own homemade parrot toys!

A few days ago I posted a poll on one of the parrot forums asking parrot owners whether they'd rather buy their own toys or make their own toys? The results seemed to show that most folks like to do a little bit of both, buy and make. I generally prefer to purchase already-made toys from online toy makers. These crafts people do a better job at it and make beautiful fun toys in MUCH less time than I do. Most of all, the folks that I purchase from, also seem to feel so passionate about the whole toy making process. Me? Probably, not so much. I also usually don't enjoy how sensitive my skin feels after tying and undoing toy making knots, and of course the end product hardly ever looks as lovely and well done like the ones that are sold by the experts. Well, guess what? Today I actually felt motivated enough to see whether I could put together a half decent toy. I even went so far as to make 3 toys!? In total, the entire labour took about 2 hours of my time. I feel reasonably satisfied with the results and my parrots seemed quite appreciative too. Not sure when's the next time I'll feel like doing it again, however I like knowing that I CAN, if I want to. :) On a closing note, I'm very appreciative that there are folks out there who care about providing a service that makes my parrots happy. Gone, are the days when I used to think that the only place I could purchase fantastic parrot toys were from big box pet stores. :) Don't forget to support your online and local small business parrot toy maker!