December 05, 2021

Milk thistle and Aloe Vera

MILK THISTLE FOR LIVER DISEASE 

Charlie was diagnosed with Liver disease when he was rescued

“Milk Thistle, sylibum marianum, is a wonderful herb for the liver. It has been shown to protect the liver and heal liver cells. Its active ingredients are found in the fruiting bodies, the seeds and the entire plant. The content of silymarin is highest in the fruiting body! Although there are fewer liver-healing properties in the seeds, birds will readily eat these tasty millet-size seeds, making milk thistle seeds an excellent addition to the diet for any bird with liver problems.

There is a nutraceutical extract of milk thistle called silymarin, which is a flavonoid having an affinity for the liver. It is used quite commonly in Japan and Europe for acute liver toxicosis. It’s primarily used to regenerate hepatocytes, where it improves the flow of bile and fat to and from the liver. If used in too high a dose, however, it can cause loose stools due to the increase in bile it produces. Milk thistle, or silymarin, is one of the best herbs for liver cirrhosis, hepatitis, acute toxicosis of the liver and fatty liver disease. It is also beneficial for bile duct inflammation and is a potent anti-oxidant. Glutathione is one of the most important hepatic detoxification pathways of the body, and milk thistle increases glutathione content in the liver by up to 35 percent.” David McCluggage, DVM


We use at the rescue, Milk Thistle seeds for maintaining liver support but when we have a bird with a liver health issue, we use ‘Silamarie’ by Bio-Health. This is Milk Thistle fruits (Silymarin) with no other added ingredients. These are 450mg (powder) per capsule.


Usage: Approximately ¼ of the MT powder, then divide in half (1/8th ) to give each dose per 1 soft hand feed x twice daily. If faeces become too loose, reduce the dose. Warning: it is possible the stools will turn very dark green to black. Don’t be alarmed, as the MT is doing its job, thus cleansing the liver and bile ducts of accumulated rubbish and toxins from the liver. 

Further information on Milk Thistle: http://www.herbs-hands-healing.co.uk/singleherbs/milkthistle.html


ALOE VERA HERBAL DETOX FORMULA FOR LIVER DISEASE


Another additional treatment, alongside Milk Thistle nutraceutical extract for liver (and kidney) disease is 'Aloe Vera Herbal Detox Formula' by Lily of the Desert http://www.lilyofthedesert.com/our_products/category/condition-specific-formulas/32

Usage: Aloe detox does not eradicate bacteria like antibiotics so you are not going to need a probiotic to follow the treatment. Dosing: start the bird out on 1 half capful to 1 pint of water. Once the bird is used to the taste, increase it to 1 capful to 1 pint of water. !f the bird is sick or you think he/she may have ingested something toxic, give the formula at 50/50, or stronger, as long as they drink it. Store the opened Aloe Detox bottle in the fridge, as it then has a long shelf-life.

We have successfully used Aloe Vera Herbal Detox Formula alongside the Milk Thistle nutraceutical extract with two parrots here at the rescue. One of the parrots had a severe kidney infection that later compromised the health of his liver. Both birds made a full recovery


Additional supporting links: 


http://www.avianweb.com/liverdisease.html 

http://www.birdsnways.com/wisdom/ww24eii.htm 

Compiled by Julie Hamilton, New Life Parrot Rescue & Helpline Service (UK) Charity Reg No: 1056409

July 03, 2021

Are parrot pellets healthy? [ parrot health]

Tops Pellets


Before we ask the question if pellets are healthy, we need to understand the history of pellets. 

In the 1980s, the pellets food was first developed for parrots and birds. Pellets were created because some people were only feeding their captive bird seeds which though have nutrients, lack all essential nutrients. Feeding just seeds causes the parrots to overfeed on seeds leading to health issues, like obesity and 
malnutrition

Pellets were encouraged by vets, only to fight against obesity and other health issues caused by an "only seed diet." 

So what are pellets?

Pellets are processed seeds with added vitamins, to simplify. 

So are pellets a source of balanced nutrition food? 

No. And here's why. First of all, every parrot and bird species are different and have different requirements. None of the pellets out there today are produced with your specific parrot species in mind.  It takes years of study and research to determine what individual species require. If your parrot has an unusual dietary need, it could become very dangerous to put your parrot on a general food.

Pellets are made with heat treatments. Heat does destroy some enzymes, vitamins, and nutritional value of the raw ingredients. (seongeung lee, et all). 


Another reason you are not getting all the rich nutrients is because grinding up raw ingredients deteriorates the food faster. Eg. nutmeg. It is always recommended to buy the whole nutmeg and grind it yourself at home when needed. 

How should pellets be used?

I consider pellets to be just a supplement and shouldn't be the parrot's entire diet. We only use TOPs pellets at the sanctuary and I simply add them to their seed mix. Remember pellets are processed food, not real food, and shouldn't replace fresh food. 

Last thoughts

 Just think from a parrot's perspective: how boring to just eat pellets. 


Citation: 


Seongeung Lee, Youngmin Choi, Heon Sang Jeong, Junsoo Lee, and Jeehye Sung. Effect of different cooking methods on the content of vitamins and true retention in selected vegetables. Food Sci Biotechnol. 2018 Apr; 27(2): 333–342. 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6049644/
 

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cooking-nutrient-content

June 14, 2021

Apple seed: The truth to the core


Apple seeds harmful?




If you are active on social media you will come across people saying no to apple seeds because of cyanide poisoning. Though it is true that apple seeds have cyanide, is it enough to kill or cause harm? 

My first question to all my friends was: have you ever heard of a bird getting sick from apple seeds cyanide poisoning? No, one, not a single friend said they know of a bird killed from apple seeds.

I have an apple tree in my garden and birds are always eating the apples and the seeds. Besides the huge mess they leave behind, what can we learn from nature?

Whenever in doubt, Science comes to the rescue. A 100 gram bird will need to properly eat and chew over 50 seeds ( in one sitting) to make enough cyanide for it to become a problem. Also since cyanide doesn’t accumulate and gets broken down by the kidney and liver, the toxicity will be low. As many of you know, the kidneys and liver function as a detoxing organ.

Why I am saying this is because like you, I also freaked out when I thought one of my birds chewed an apple seed. With a little research found out tons of reliable information.
Apple seeds don't have enough cyanide to cause harm. So if you bird eats some, rest assure, he will not be harmed.

Please stay safe and birdie happy!

Citation:

https://peerj.com/articles/9232.pdf https://www.queenslanderaviaries.com/aviaryupdates/can-apple-seeds-kill-my-bird

https://sirdoggie.com/can-dogs-eat-apple-cores/


May 21, 2021

How to find cheap parrot toys


pds pizza box toy

Parrots are highly intelligent and therefore need mental and physical stimulation and agility. Toys encourage exercise, decreasing boredom, and keeps them happy and healthy. 

Finding cheap bird toys is hard, they don't exist or its made poorly and last only a few minutes.  As we all know parrots require all types of toys for entertainment and mental stimulation. Cheap parrot toys are just that, cheaply made, however, there are ways to get around this especially now since things are changing. 


As wood prices increase, wood parrot toys have and will also increase in price.  There are other options and creative ways to help our feathery friends stay happy and enriched. 


 1) Cardboard might be every bird owner's best friend right now. As wood prices increasing, making toys out of cardboard is easy and cheap. There are cardboard boxes, cardboard blocks, cardboard sheets. Check out all the fun, cardboard toys here: Pds parrot toys


2) Infant/ baby toys: Infant toys are not just for a human baby; your 20-year-old parrot might love them too. There are so many varieties of toys from wood to sound making. Go to your nearest thrift store or look at marketplaces online for used old baby toys.  (baby wood toys are safe since they use safe material for baby stuff) 


3) The Dollar Store: My favorite place where I find all types of goodies.  Wooden spoons to paper cups and rubber ducks. The dollar store or bargain stores are the best places to find all types of treasures for DIY bird toys. Remember to check out their baby section. 


4) Lumber Yard: Even with high prices you can find a clearance section at the lumber yard where they are selling off untreated pine wood for 70 percent off.  You might not be able to use the full length and throw away part of the damaged wood, but it's much cheaper than the full-priced stuff. 


5) DIY bird toys: If quarantine had taught us anything, it's how to youtube and google new skills. There are many DIY parrot toy videos.  Many places are selling wood blocks with drilled holes. All one needs to do is string them with a sisal or chain. Done.  


pds egg carton toy




 



February 26, 2021

Ginger Bars [ healthy recipe for birds]




ginger bar recipe for parrots



Ginger is loaded with antioxidants, relieves pain, prevents stress and damage to DNA. Ginger fights off chronic diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diseases of the lungs, plus promotes healthy aging. 

Adding ginger to your parrots' diet is a great way to get benefits from this root. Along with ginger, there will be sweet potato or pumpkin which adds the much-needed vitamin A, and other vitamins and minerals for a healthy parrot recipe. 

Ginger Bars

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup of pumpkin or sweet potato puree 

2 1/2 cup of flour ( chose one or a combination of: spelt, kumat, brown rice) 

2 Tablespoon of seeds ( chose one or a combination of: Flax seeds, chia, and  sesame ) 

1 Tablespoon of finely grounded fresh ginger 

1 tsp of red chill flakes

(you can also add 1/2 tsp of molasses) 



Directions: 

Oven Tempture @ 350

1) In a bowl, add your homemade 
or can pumpkin/sweet potato puree.

2) Add ginger and molasses to the puree and mix well. 

3) In another bowl add your flour, chill, and seeds, mix well. 

4) Mix in your puree to your flour mixture. 

5) Roll out our dough until you have a 1/4 thick rectangle and cut into any shapes.  

6) Bake for 40 minutes. Cool completely 




 
ginger bar recipe for parrots




December 28, 2020

Raw Food Chop Recipe

raw chop recipe


Parrot food can be very nutritious with just a little time. Depending on ingredients, you either have to soak and cook a soak mix or you can just soak and NOT cook. Not cooking allows for an easy raw food recipe that is packed with nutrition. Today, we will be making this raw food chop recipe which is not only nutritious, healthy, and natural but so easy to do. (for a cook chop recipe click here

First of all, a little bit of science. 

As we all know, seeds have all the nutrients necessary to grow a plant. When we soak seeds or grains, in water the seeds start absorbing the water. The intake of water signals the seed to use its stored energy for growth through the activation of enzymes. 

In other words, the water intake releases large amounts of nutrients for the seed to become a plant. 


For this noncooking recipe, we are going to be using nature and science to create a nutritious meal for our companion birds and parrots. 


First of all, we need a list of seeds and grains we can use as a soak mix. We can use all or some mixture of these grains/seeds.



raw chop recipe



Grains and Seeds 

Barley
Farro
Rye Berries
Spelt
Kamut
Buckwheat
Hulled Millet
Pumpkin Seeds 
Sunflower 
Wheat Berries
Green Split peas
Yellow Split peas
green lentils
red lentils
sesame seeds
fennel seeds
poppy seeds


raw chop mix


Directions

Rinse your soak mix a few times.  Then add three times the amount of cold water than your soak mix and let it soak overnight. Your soak mix is going to absorb the water so make sure it is submerged all the time. Add more water if needed. 

In the morning, rinse well. Add cut-up veggies and fruit to the soak mix. I also added greens which were chopped in the food processor. 

Mix in some healthy seeds like chia and flax. Mix in some spices of our choice. 

Mix and serve. 

PS: For any leftover soak mix, you can start the sprouting process by rinsing the soak mix three times a day, until it starts to sprout. Parrot sprouting is ideal however not necessary for this recipe. Sprouting seeds for birds provide all the essential amino acids.



healthy raw chop



October 05, 2020

Pumpkin birdie bread


healthy parrot bread




There are two different recipes here. The original by our friend, Rose Essex, and a more eclectus friend friendly which I made. Both recipes are amazing and full of Vitamin A, protein, micronutrients, and other essential vitamins.

Every bird I ever met loves it including seed or pellet-only eaters. All of them eat it right away.
Healthy, made from scratch Pumpkin Birdie bread.

Original

Ingredients:
4 cups of flour, you can use spelt, brown rice, almond, buckwheat, oat, chickpea four, etc
3 cups mashed fruits/veggies (frozen or fresh) including organic baby food.
1 cup small or ground pellets if you want or have.
3 mashed bananas
1 32 oz can of organic pumpkin or cooked pumpkin, sweet potato.
2 T almond butter or coconut oil.
1 cup quinoa
1/4 c hemp hearts
For the nutty bread..
1 cup raw, shelled sunflower seeds
1/2c raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 c almond slivers
3 beaten eggs with ground shells or 1/2 c flax seeds soaked
1 T non-aluminum baking soda

Directions:

Put all dry ingredients together and stir
Put all moist ingredients together and stir
Add moist ingredients to dry and mix well.
Add extra moist ingredients almond milk or any healthy liquid to mix to make it easy to spoon up. A little moist is better than too dry.
Grease or use baking paper(easier to clean )3 muffin tins and extra bread pans.
3/4 fill each
Bake at 400 for 25 mins for muffins and 40 mins for bread pans.
Test with a dry knife to the center to check if done. It will come out clean if done.
Almost all of these ingredients can be substituted according to what you have. Experiment and use what you know your birds like.

PS. I also add
Christine Wood
herbs and spices.
Milk thistle (about 6,000 my) and CalSisu or cal, mag, d3 balanced mix. Around the 4,000 mg.

Healthy parrot bread


Eclectus Friendly recipe:

Ingredients:

4 cups flours, you can use spelt, brown rice, almond, buckwheat, oat, chickpea fours etc..
2 cups fruits/veggies
1 mashed banana
1 32 oz can of organic pumpkin or cooked pumpkin, sweet potato.
1/2 cup quinoa
1/4 c hemp hearts
2 Tbls flax seeds
2 Tbls chia seeds

Directions:

Put all dry ingredients together and stir
Put all moist ingredients together and stir
Add moist ingredients to dry and mix well.
Add extra moist ingredients almond milk or any healthy liquid to mix to make it easy to spoon up. A little moist is better than too dry.
Grease or use baking paper(easier to clean )3 muffin tins and extra bread pans.
3/4 fill each
Bake at 400 for 25 mins for muffins and 40 mins for bread pans.
Test with a dry knife to the center to check if done. It will come out clean if done.
Almost all of these ingredients can be substituted according to what you have. Experiment and use what you know your birds like.

PS. I also add
Christine Wood
herbs and spices.
Milk thistle (about 6,000 my) and CalSisu or cal, mag, d3 balanced mix. Around the 4,000 mg.

Healthy birdie bread



August 17, 2020

DIY Sock Sweaters for your Parrot

DIY parrot sock sweaters

Sock Sweaters are great for Pluckers, who need more warmers during the winter season. They are safe and comfortable for most parrots. You can customize the socks and designs for your liking with ease. We start out with a Trouser sock. For a medium-sized parrot, I will go with a women's sock. They come in different designs and colors. Just remember to buy the 100% cotton socks. 

We will be making the sock sweater from the top portion of the sock only. I am cutting to about 5 inches in length for my medium size parrots (see picture below).  Depending on if your parrot is shorter or taller, you will adjust the length. You want to cut it straight across.

sock sweater for parrots





We will be left with the ribbing part of the sock which is the neckline of the sweater. 


sock sweater for parrots




The next step is making cuts for the wings. We need to make slits on opposite sides of the sock sweater for the wings. I use the natural crease of the sock to mark and cut the wing slits. 
I marked around 1.5 inches long slits in the middle of the sock sweater and cut. 

sock sweater for birds







Sock sweater for pluck birds




After doing both sides, making your wing slits, your sock sweater is ready. 

sock sweater for pluckers




Instructions on how to put this on your parrot: 

I first put this whole sock over the head (with of course extra hands, or sometimes parrots wrapped in a towel.) 

Then stretch the sock sweater down over the body. 

Then gently pull the wings through the slits. 

Soon you will have a good-looking gang in fashionable sock sweaters. 
 

parrots wearing sock sweaters


By prego dalliance Sanctuary (PDS)

July 23, 2020

MASH- birdie baby food [ recipe ]



Bhodi, an indian ringneck


Mash: pretty much homemade baby food. That's how we make it at our sanctuary anyways. After surgery sometimes parrots stop eating because of side effects from meds, the surgery itself or pain, can all be the cause. When they need at this time is wholesome nutrition for a faster recovery. We discovered that this Mash recipe is a great alternative to baby food. 

You can feed mash by adding it on top of chop, on top of birdie bread, or with a spoon. Sometimes we just add it to their bowls. 

Since parrots seem to lack vitamin A, we use sweet potato (orange flesh) with various other veggies and fruit to provide a boost in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

We start with steaming peeled, chopped sweet potatoes. With the sweet potato, we add guava or berries or broccoli and greens. 

Once they are completely cooked. More like overcooked, it goes into the food processor. Using the water under the steamer,  food processor the sweet potatoes until a baby food consistency. 

You can add some flax seeds meal, almond meal for some extra protein, omega 3, and fat (yes fat is important).  

July 18, 2020

We rescue

african grey

We rescue parrots. We fight for them. We dedicate my life to them.

I rarely put myself first. I never put them last. I always try to do right by them.

I am optimistic, but also realistic. I am a positive person, who has been beaten down by the negativity of the world. I am happy most days, but with a constant underlying sadness.

I have opened my heart to more parrots than I can count. I bring them into my home. I return the life that was taken from them.

I have accepted the craziness of my world. I take the insanity in stride. I have given up any hope of having a normal life or a perfectly clean house.

I live each day, for the parrots. I wake up, prepared to save more. I go to sleep, thinking of those I couldn’t reach.

I hate my phone… it never stops ringing. I answer and listen to yet another plea for a parrot that no one cares about, no one will help.
I look into the eyes of the neglected. I feel their pain in my own heart. I hear their silent cries.

I apologize for the awful things that have happened to them. I say “I’m sorry” for things I didn’t do. I say, “I love you,” because no one else in their life ever has.

I try to talk sense into senseless people. I try to educate the ignorant. I fail at these attempts on a daily basis.

I can’t save them all. I can’t even save most. I live each day knowing that, no matter how hard I try, it will never be enough.

I know that even when I succeed, I fail. I know that for everyone I save, there’s another I lose. I know that no matter how much I help, my work is never done.

Even still, I save all that I can. I love more than I thought possible. I smile… because they smile.

I take on their pain, so that they may have happiness. I allow my heart to hurt, so their’s can heal. I become the one who is wounded, so they may be restored.

I know the cruelty that exists. I’ve seen the faces of abuse. I witness the senselessness of the world… and know that change is always just beyond my grasp…

I ask for help… it rarely comes. I pray for hope… it rarely appears. I beg for mercy… it rarely arrives.

I sometimes lose faith in humanity. I often cry. Some days, I crawl into bed and pull the covers over my eyes.

Sometimes, I sob. I hurt so much… but I cry b
ecause they hurt more than I ever could. The helplessness drives me to say, “I can’t…”
Then, a foster baby's kiss says, “You can…”
So, I get out of bed. I brush off the despair. I vow to make a difference.
I do make a difference.

I never give up. I fight for change each day. I pray for relief from the pain… not for me, but for them.

I rescue parrots. In turn, they rescue me. Everything in between... is so worth it!

~Author- unknown, could be any rescuer!

indian ringneck


June 09, 2020

What your Parrot is trying to tell you [ Body Language]

[Body Language] 

What your Parrot is trying to tell you

eclectus parrot



Behaviour


Pet birds have been described by some as moody: playful and loving one minute, demanding and aloof the next. Sometimes very obvious and sometimes very subtle, a bird's body language can give you insight into what your bird needs and wants. Although parrots and other birds communicate through different body languages, the following behaviours are observed in most pet birds, some more often than others and some more prominently than others. Observing your bird's eyes, vocalizations, wings, tail, beak, and overall posture can be very telling.


Eclectus Hen


Eyes

Unlike humans, birds are able to control their irises, enlarging and shrinking their pupils rapidly. This display is called "flashing" or "pinning" and birds may do this when they are excited, greatly interested in something, or when they are angry, frightened, or aggressive. Eye pinning should be taken into context with the bird's immediate environment and body posture to get an accurate emotional reading.

bhodi, indian ringneck


Vocalizations

In the wild, birds use various vocalizations to warn others of danger, attract mates, protect their territory, and maintain social contacts. Most birds are highly vocal and many times may be trying to communicate with you.
  • Singing, talking, and whistling: These vocalizations are often signs of a happy, healthy, content bird. Some birds love an audience and sing, talk, and whistle the most when others are around. Other birds will remain quiet when others are watching.
  • Chattering: Chattering can be very soft or very loud. Soft chatter can be a sign of contentment or can be the practice of a bird learning to talk. Loud chatter can be an attention-getter, reminding you that she is there. In the wild, birds often chatter in the evening before going to sleep to connect with other flock members.
  • Purring: Not the same as a cat's purr, a bird's purr is more like a soft growl that can be a sign of contentment or a sign of annoyance. When purring, the bird's environment and other body language should be taken into consideration to determine what the bird is expressing.
  • Tongue-clicking: By clicking her tongue against her beak, your bird may be entertaining herself or asking to be petted or picked up.
  • Growling: Not heard in all pet birds, growling is an aggressive vocalization. If your bird is growling, examine her environment and remove anything that may be bothering her. Growling birds should not be handled as they do not want to be touched.


    Eclectus parrot

Wings

Wings are not always meant for flying; they often are used to communicate.
  • Wing flapping: Wing flapping, or flying in place, is used as exercise, to get your attention, or just display happiness. Birds may often simply lift their wings as a means to stretch or to cool themselves.
  • Wing flipping: Wing flipping can mean many different things such as being angry or in pain. Flipping can also be used to fluff the feathers or get the feathers to lay just right. Wing flipping accompanied by hunching of the shoulders and head bobbing is attention-getting and often means that a bird wants to be fed. Flipping may also be a mating behaviour. In this case, giving attention will stimulate egg laying and should be avoided.
  • Wing drooping: Young birds must learn how to fold and tuck in their wings and often let their wings droop before learning this. However, in older birds, wing drooping may indicate illness. If the bird has just physically exerted herself or has recently bathed, she may let her wings droop from tiredness or to let the feathers dry.
Charile, red-lord amazon


Feathers

A bird's body language includes how she holds her feathers.
  • Ruffled feathers: Birds will ruffle or fluff their feathers during the preening process. This helps remove any dirt or feather dust, and also helps to return the feathers to their normal position. Birds may also be observed fluffing their feathers as a way to relieve tension. If cold, a bird may also fluff her feathers. Finally, if a bird's feathers remain fluffed, it could be a sign of illness and she should be checked by your veterinarian.
  • Crest position: Birds such as cockatoos and cockatiels have a large, expressive crest. A contented, relaxed bird will usually have the crest held back, with just the tip tilted up. If she is excited about seeing you, a new toy, food item, etc., she will often lift her crest. If, however, the crest is held very high, it indicates fear or great excitement, and should be taken as a warning. An aggressive or alarmed bird may hold the crest flat while crouching and hissing.
  • Quivering: Quivering may occur when the bird is frightened, overly excited, or part of breeding behavior.

Doc, african grey


Tail

A bird's tail feathers, like other pets' tails, are also used to communicate.
  • Tail wagging: A bird, like a dog, may wag her tail to tell you that she is glad to see you. Tail wagging can also be a precursor to defecating. This is often helpful if you are trying to house train your bird. For more information on house training your bird, see the article House training.
  • Tail flipping: Tail flipping is a general sign of happiness and can be seen when she is happy to see you, plays with her favourite toy, or gets a treat.
  • Tail bobbing: Tail bobbing accompanied by rapid breathing that follows strenuous exercise is your bird's way of catching her breath. If, however, your bird is bobbing her tail feathers and breathing hard without activity, she may be showing signs of respiratory distress or infection. If this occurs, see your veterinarian.
  • Tail fanning: Fanning the tail feathers often accompanies other behaviours in a show of aggression or anger. Spreading out the tail feathers is a show that displays the bird's strength and vitality.

lotus, indian ringneck at pds


Legs and Feet

The legs and feet are not used as often as other body parts to communicate but they are some of the most interesting of bird behaviours.
  • Foot tapping: Some birds, especially cockatoos, will tap their feet as a sign of dominance over their territory. This usually only happens when they feel their territory is threatened.
  • Weak legs: Some birds that do not want to stand or perch for themselves display the sudden onset of "weak legs." This most often occurs when you have been handling them and must put them back in their cage; it is their way of resisting. Simply hold and pet the bird a while longer and, when she feels she has been given adequate attention, her legs will suddenly become strong enough to perch. Some birds become very good at this behaviour and make it routine.
  • Hanging upside down: Some birds consider hanging upside down a natural part of their behaviour. When doing this, they are happy and content with their environment.
  • Scratching on the cage bottom: Birds from those species who normally forage on the ground for food, like the African Grey, may scratch on the floor of the cage, much like a chicken.

eclectus parrot in pds sanctuary


Beaks and Head

The beak is used for several functions from grooming to cracking nuts and seeds. It can be used as a weapon or to build a nest. There are also many ways a bird uses her beak to tell you things.
  • Grinding: Beak grinding is often a sign of contentment in birds and is heard most often as the bird falls asleep. It is characterized by the side-to-side sliding of one beak over the other. It is believed by some experts that birds grind their beaks to keep them in their best condition.
  • Clicking: Clicking of the beak, or the back and forth sliding of one beak tip over the other, can mean several things. If she clicks once and pins her eyes but is otherwise unthreatening, she is greeting you or acknowledging something. If she clicks several times in a series, she is giving a warning and should not be handled. Beak clicking is seen most often in cockatiels and cockatoos.
  • Wiping: It is common to see a bird wiping her beak after eating. Often, the bird will wipe her beak on a perch, the cage floor, or the cage sides to get it clean. Some birds use beak wiping as a way to mark their territory. This behaviour may be seen in birds when introduced to others or kept in areas in which other birds are near.
  • Biting: Birds will bite for several reasons so it is important to observe other behaviours and the bird's immediate environment to determine the reason behind it. Defending territory, being fearful, or being angry can all cause a bird to bite. An open beak combined with a crouching position and hissing is a definite indication that the bird is prepared to bite.
  • Chewing: Most birds enjoy chewing and do it for many reasons including to condition their beaks and to entertain themselves. A variety of chew toys should be provided to keep your bird stimulated and interested and to keep her from chewing, and possibly ingesting, inappropriate things.
  • Regurgitating: Regurgitation is the expulsion of contents from the mouth, esophagus, or crop. If your bird pins her eyes, bobs her head and stretches out her neck, then regurgitates her dinner, she is showing you a great deal of affection. Birds feed their young by regurgitating food and breeding pairs often do this for each other as a part of bonding.
  • Mouthing: One way birds play is to grab each other's beaks and wrestle. They will often use their beaks to joust at one another during play.
  • Head shaking: It is very common for African Greys to shake their heads. The reason for this is not well understood.
  • Head bobbing: Birds, who want attention, may bob their heads back and forth.

Eclectus parrot, sanctuary


Postures

Overall body posture is important in determining what your bird is trying to tell you. Some postures have specific meanings; below are a few of the common bird postures.
  • Relaxed: If the bird has a relaxed body and her head and body are at attention, she is happy and content.
  • At Attention: If her head and body are at attention but her body is rigid and her feathers are flared, she is letting you know she owns that territory.
  • Bowing: When a bird is crouching with her head tipped downward toward you, and perhaps bobbing her head, she is asking to be petted or scratched.
  • Head down: If she is crouching with her head down with a relaxed body and raised wings, she is trying to attract attention, either from you or from a potential mate.
  • Aggressive: If a bird is crouching with her head down, eyes pinning, flared tail feathers, ruffled feathers, and a rigid body, weaving from side to side, she is giving a warning and won't hesitate to bite if provoked, even in the most minor way. If this stance is accompanied by an urgent walk toward you, it is best to get out of the way until she has time to cool off. Hissing and a raised crest may be additional clues that the bird is in an aggressive state.
  • Lying on back: Though probably uncommon in the wild, some pet birds will lie on their backs, and may even sleep in that position.
  • Elimination posture: Prior to defecating, a bird may take several steps backward, crouch, and lift her tail.
eclectus parrots


Birds use their body and body parts to communicate messages to others. These messages are sometimes very obvious and almost any animal could interpret their meaning. Other body language may be subtle and experience will be needed to interpret it correctly. Many species have their own body languages, while many body languages cross the bird-species border. Communicating with your bird by observing and interpreting her body language will make your relationship much easier and satisfying for you both.

By Angela Kemp

Prego Dalliance Sanctuary . Theme by STS.