Why your Macaw parrot will never win a blind taste test

LOL – Sunday I put my female DYH Amazon in the sink. she never preens herself like most birds do! I don’t know why! She is healthy, so??? Anyway, she was looking a little rough around the edges so I gave her a bath in the kitchen sink! She deals with it but it isn’t at the top her list of fun things to do!

 

The comment above was about the image below posted in parts of the black hole of internet known as social media.

 

that’s Popcorn our cockatiel who uses her tail

to dust the crown molding just below our 10 foot ceilings

…and loves to bathe

 

My response was: Amazons lack preening glands thus can not apply preen oil to their feathers. Since Amazon parrots lack preening glands and do not preen after bathing, the function of their bathing behavior is not entirely clear. – hope that helps.

 

That’s when the blog bulb turned on over my head and one of the several voices who wasn’t arguing with the other voices in my head whispered “maybe we should grow our knowledge base on preening?” This is what team brain came up with.

 

 

Most birds have a uropygial gland (click to hear the pronunciation) aka oil or preen gland found at the end of the tail and it comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In some birds nature provides tiny feathers to act as a wick for the oil emulating from pores in the central cavity of the gland. More commonly the secreted oil flows to the surface of the gland in ducts then being extracted by the bird through nipple like orifices.

 

 

Of course “most” birds means not all birds. The bird species we found that don’t have preening glands are kiwis, emu, ostriches, rheas, cassowaries, mesites, bustards, pigeons and doves, frogmouths, woodpeckers and as we learned early on in this post Amazon parrots have no preening glands either!

 

 

feathered factoid: cassowaries are known to have killed people

these handlers prefer 1 ton crocodiles to cassowaries

 

It’s no wonder that Amazons don’t bother to preen after bathing. So whats a uropygial glandless bird to do? There are alternatives to water bathing like dust baths and something we talked about recently – birds bathing with ants!

 

 

hey kids if you’re reading this tell your mom

mitch said its okay to play in the dirt – it’ll make you cleaner

 

In that the oil these glands produce what is the WD-40 (abbreviated from the phrase “Water Displacement, 40th formula”) of the bird world, it waterproofs feathers and helps make birds sexy to other birds. The oil helps keep feathers flexible and the tiny barbs found on many feathers, from breaking.

 

Feather barbules act like magic zippers for water birds sealing out water. On some birds it’s believed the oil is used much like you and I apply hand and body lotion to our appendages. Birds like the Hoopoe use the oil from the gland as a parasitic (lice) and bacterial barrier.

 

 

Another theory is that the oil contains the basis of what can become vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. Somehow the birds body knows the oil has been converted into vitamin D which is then “allowed” to be absorbed through the bird’s skin.

 

It has been postulated that similar to motor oil (think 5W20 multi viscosity motor oil) preening oil will get thicker and thinner based upon how intense a bird wants make its feather colors for courtship but this has not been proven. Another theory is that the uropygial gland produces pheromones to help attract mates. And what is this miracle potion made of you ask? It’s a combination of waxes, fats and fatty acids.

 

Begin micro rant: if you call us to have a discussion about wanting to get a full spectrum light to help your bird produce more vitamin D be prepared to answer the following question: “has your bird been to the vet lately and gotten the blood workup with results indicating that your bird is in fact vitamin D deficient?”

 

We don’t want to sell you something while making you a promise that the full spectrum light will fix a problem you are not sure you even have.

 

I bring this up because of the size of the Uropygial gland may increase in size because of a internal abnormal growth. This MAY occur when your bird has a vitamin A deficiency due to a 100% fatty all seed diet with no supplementation. This can be fixed with a veterinarian removing the growth and you putting your bird on a more nutritious diet.

 

now you know.

It used to be so easy – you would have a simple cable show and would say something like “this Macaw owner wrote in with the following question” holding up an index card (remember those?). Or “the next caller from Butte Montana asks……..”

 

But big shot celebrity like I am now with a media empire where the sun never sets sometimes forgets where some of these questions come from. Is the “Internet” a sufficient answer? Anyhoo, this question popped up on my radar and I thought it would be fun to investigate.

 

Is it true macaws don’t have taste buds? Are their preferences strictly based on texture?

 

I like whiskey. My favorite is Jameson’s Irish whiskey. I have a discerning palate and can easily distinguish between Canadian whiskeys, Scotch whiskeys, American whiskeys and Irish whiskeys. So I’ve sent resumes to every whiskey distillery I can think of. Apparently drinking a lot of whiskey does not count for experience when applying for the head whiskey tasters position.

 

My ability to discern these flavors is due to that much like you, I have about 9000 taste buds. Your parrot on the other hand only has about 350 taste buds. One of the problems parrots have with their sense of taste is their taste buds were allocated by nature to the wrong part of their digestive tract being on the back of the throat (oops too late to decide if I like it?) as well as their tongues.

 

 

This doesn’t stop them from being able to distinguish between salt, sweet, sour and bitter. Their ability to taste bitter helps them avoid poisonous substances in the wild. Out of the 10,000 species of birds blanketing the planet only a few (hundred) species like parrots and hummingbirds can taste sweetness.

 

Macaw parrots come from a very inhospitable environment called the rain forest (a large but shrinking area in much of South America where Macaws come from – there are also rain forests in Asia, Africa & Australia). Food although plentiful is not easy to get and requires Macaws (and other species) to fly dozens of miles every day with as many as 50 or more stops for a potty break and “foraging opportunities.”

 

Evolution made Macaw tongues short and muscular and they have more taste buds than any bird we know. They also have a very muscular gizzard (see video below) which helps with the breakdown of some tough vegetables that you won’t find at your local supermarket.

 

 

Bird digestion tutorial video
 

The millennial’s can pontificate all day long about the wonderful selection of organic produce at Whole Foods (don’t get me started on organic). Being the big picture kinda guy that I am I like to point out that although we use more than 200 types of fruit from the rain forest like avocados, coconuts, figs, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, bananas, guavas, pineapples, mangos and tomatoes; vegetables including corn, potatoes, rice, winter squash and yams; spices like black pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, sugar cane, tumeric, vanilla and nuts including Brazil nuts and cashews – all of which are birds love, it (the rain forest) actually produces about 3000 different fruits! The remaining Indians who still dwell in the rain forest eat over 2000 of these fruits.

 

Something our birds know that many of us might not is that Rain Forest plants are rich in secondary metabolites, particularly alkaloids, many of which have proven to have medicinal benefits. Currently, over 120 drugs come from plant-derived sources. Of the 3000 plants identified by the US National Cancer Institute as active against cancer cells, 70% come from rain forests. Yes Virginia your Macaw instinctively knows this, so we can confirm for you that your Macaw is in fact smarter than your neighbor’s honor student.

 

Caveat: Many people have the belief that all the parrots who visit the clay licks in Peru do so to ingest the clay for counteracting toxic foods they may accidentally eat. Turns out they visit the licks for the salt. How do we know that? Science – and who can argue with science? Enjoy the video – The explanation about salt comes in at about 4:58, but if you haven’t seen this video you want to watch the whole thing. Watching the macaws flying in slow motion always gives me goosebumps.

 

 

 

micro rant ahead >> “my bird won’t eat anything new”, “I don’t want to upset my bird by changing its diet”, “my bird won’t eat anything unless it looks like a sunflower seed”, “the breeder said the only way this bird will survive is to eat – fill in the blank – food”

 

Just some of the googly-logic we hear when we put our ears next to our computer monitors. I’m not here to tell you what your bird will eat and or what your bird will like. I will tell you in the wild birds are scavengers and will eat anything! At the end of the day the equilibrium you are seeking is to provide your bird with as many calories as it is burning.

 

Your bird’s body is covered in feathers. Unlike humans who feel that Speedo’s, microfiber leggings and that halter top you’ve had from the 80s are body fat indicators, you’ll never be able to tell if your bird is over weight and is on a diet that matches its lifestyle, without weighing the gosh darn thing at least once a month!

 

You and your family are your bird’s flock. Your bird usually wants to eat what you eat which for you is usually not bird seed. It’s okay to work on getting your bird to eat fresh vegetables and fruits, but it’s important that you’re asking the question – is my bird getting enough protein and a nutritionally balanced diet?

 

If you’re going to bother to spend the time, money and energy to keep a caged bird captive, tt’s important that you schedule least one annual board-certified avian veterinarian visit a year. Be prepared to spend anywhere from $100-$300 to get a blood workup.

 

By doing so you will make me less crazy by not calling me and asking me how full spectrum lighting will help your bird synthesize vitamin D? With the full avian blood workup you’ll know whether or not your bird is vitamin A and vitamin D deficient or not.

 

I won’t have to spend time with you on the phone explaining how your parrot instinctively expects blazing equatorial daylight and is finding the muted soffit lighting you saw in a Better Homes & Gardens How to article (now in your family room), a bit of a disappointment with how it interprets the world.

 

If you spend 30 seconds once a month weighing your bird, you’ll know in a heartbeat if your bird requires any sort of veterinarian intervention. Parrots in the wild abide by the 60/40 rule. They spent 60% of the time seeking food and 40% of the time trying not to be food.

 

A bird that looks sick is a target, so nature gave birds the ability to disguise most illness by always appearing to be healthy. If your bird is overweight you won’t know unless you weigh it regularly. You can find average bird weights here. If your bird has significant change in weight from a previous weigh in, you are looking at a low-tech but very accurate indicator that your bird is probably sick and requires a Board-certified avian veterinarian visit.

 

Like Ellen the very attractive but annoying dental assistant I used to visit in a previous life would repeatedly say “The mouth is a gateway to your body’s health” would do well to speak with some of the caged bird keepers we know.

 

written by mitch rezman

approved by catherine tobsing

 

 

Does that Macaw look happy or what?

 

written by mitch rezman

approved by catherine tobsing

 

Does that Macaw look happy or what?

 

 

 

Parrot-medics Real Life Drama in the Avian ER! Are you prepared?

I admit there are times that I struggle to find topics and content that would be interesting to caged bird keepers. Much of the time though, the blog writes itself. A little known but highly reliable source for content on our blog is “customer reviews”

 

Catherine likes calf’s liver. I won’t eat out of a pan that has cooked calf’s liver. That does not make calf’s liver inherently bad. I’ll tell you right off the bat that if you give a product one star because “your bird didn’t like it” (think calves liver) we treat it like a review on calves liver – love it or hate it , it’s still good for you and because I don’t like the taste of it does not make it a bad source of nutrition and the review won’t get posted.

 

If your bird doesn’t like the new toy, ladder or perch. It doesn’t make the product necessarily bad. In many cases birds are slow to adopt new accessories in their especially inside their bird cages. The more you change things in your birds environment the more readily they accept change which usually will manifest itself in a better behaved bird.

 

 

We look at every review holistically. You’ve taken the time to provide us with feedback on a product. No matter what you say we treat it as very important information.

 

When we read a review on the small wood platform perch – “My little parakeet only has one leg from a very unfortunate accident. This small wood platform is perfect for her to rest on when she tires from perching. Perfect modification accessory for her!!”

 

I responded with “we saw your review on the platform andt hought you might want to look at this http://goo.gl/0uz0gi with the referring URL resolving to a post about handicapped birds.

 

Julie, posted the review responded with:

 

Hi Mitch!

 

Thanks for the informational videos…very interesting and I really appreciate the thought!

 

Hope (injured parakeet) flew onto my BHC’s cage and one of them snapped her left leg. It was an open fracture! Thankfully I had medicine from my vet to stop the bleeding on hand and in turn got the bleeding stopped rather quickly. We tried to save the leg by having her wear a splint (that she picked at incessantly I might add) for 3 weeks.

 

That didn’t do the trick so the the leg/foot (from just above what we consider an ankle) had to be removed. I was so distraught and thought for sure I would lose her through this process. She proved me wrong (thank goodness) and did amazingly well for what she went through in that months time. She has adapted to live with one leg like a champ.

 

this is not Julie’s Budgie

but it gives you a sense of the mobility they keep

 

I modified her cage at first and she had nothing to do with it. I put it back to the way it was and she is fine and gets around very well. She does fly so that helps a lot!

 

I think we all can learn from an injured/disabled animal but, what I learned from the smallest of my birds I will carry with me every single day. If we can help anyone else through a life changing event such as this…please let me know I am willing to discuss what we did and went through on a daily basis to get her back to health 🙂

 

Thanks again so much!!!

 

when I talk about the need for caged bird keepers first-aid kit it’s easy to look at the information in the abstract. Julie’s story brings things into focus. Sh*t happens!
Are you prepared for an avian first-aid emergency?

 

written by mitch rezman

approved by catherine tobsing

 

today’s zygodactyl foot note

Why does your bird preen & how the heck do you pronounce Uropygial?

Congo African Grey Parrot preening tail feathers

LOL – Sunday I put my female DYH Amazon in the sink. she never preens herself like most birds do! I don’t know why! She is healthy, so??? Anyway, she was looking a little rough around the edges so I gave her a bath in the kitchen sink! She deals with it but it isn’t at the top her list of fun things to do!

The comment above was about the image below posted in parts of the black hole of internet known as social media. 

that’s Popcorn our cockatiel who uses her tail

to dust the crown molding just below our 10 foot ceilings

…and loves to bathe

 My response was: Amazons lack preening glands thus can not apply preen oil to their feathers. Since Amazon parrots lack preening glands and do not preen after bathing, the function of their bathing behavior is not entirely clear. – hope that helps.

That’s when the blog bulb turned on over my head and one of the several voices who wasn’t arguing with the other voices in my head whispered “maybe we should grow our knowledge base on preening?” This is what team brain came up with.

 

 

Most birds have a uropygial gland (click to hear the pronunciation) aka oil or preen gland found at the end of the tail and it comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In some birds nature provides tiny feathers to act as a wick for the oil emulating from pores in the central cavity of the gland. More commonly the secreted oil flows to the surface of the gland in ducts then being extracted by the bird through nipple like orifices.

 

 

Of course “most” birds means not all birds. The bird species we found that don’t have preening glands are kiwis, emu, ostriches, rheas, cassowaries, mesites, bustards, pigeons and doves, frogmouths, woodpeckers and as we learned early on in this post Amazon parrots have no preening glands either!

feathered factoid: cassowaries are known to have killed people

these handlers prefer 1 ton crocodiles to cassowaries

 It’s no wonder that Amazons don’t bother to preen after bathing. So whats a uropygial glandless bird to do? There are alternatives to water bathing like dust baths and something we talked about recently – birds bathing with ants!

 hey kids if you’re reading this tell your mom

mitch said its okay to play in the dirt – it’ll make you cleaner

 In that the oil these glands produce what is the WD-40 (abbreviated from the phrase “Water Displacement, 40th formula”) of the bird world, it waterproofs feathers and helps make birds sexy to other birds. The oil helps keep feathers flexible and the tiny barbs found on many feathers, from breaking.

 Feather barbules act like magic zippers for water birds sealing out water. On some birds it’s believed the oil is used much like you and I apply hand and body lotion to our appendages. Birds like the Hoopoe use the oil from the gland as a parasitic (lice) and bacterial barrier.

 

 

Another theory is that the oil contains the basis of what can become vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. Somehow the birds body knows the oil has been converted into vitamin D which is then “allowed” to be absorbed through the bird’s skin.

It has been postulated that similar to motor oil (think 5W20 multi viscosity motor oil) preening oil will get thicker and thinner based upon how intense a bird wants make its feather colors for courtship but this has not been proven. Another theory is that the uropygial gland produces pheromones to help attract mates. And what is this miracle potion made of you ask? It’s a combination of waxes, fats and fatty acids.

 Begin micro rant: if you call us to have a discussion about wanting to get a full spectrum light to help your bird produce more vitamin D be prepared to answer the following question: “has your bird been to the vet lately and gotten the blood workup with results indicating that your bird is in fact vitamin D deficient?”

We don’t want to sell you something while making you a promise that the full spectrum light will fix a problem you are not sure you even have.

I bring this up because of the size of the Uropygial gland may increase in size because of a internal abnormal growth. This MAY occur when your bird has a vitamin A deficiency due to a 100% fatty all seed diet with no supplementation. This can be fixed with a veterinarian removing the growth and you putting your bird on a more nutritious diet.

now you know.

 

written by mitch rezman

approved by catherine tobsing

 

enjoying your summer? this Hyacinth macaw sure is!

 

 

 

What’s our opinion on DIY birdie pedicures?

The Eastern Rosella above has very long nails while sitting on an undersized perch. In the not-too-distant future the nails on the front toes can irritate and/or puncture the rear toes causing sores known as “bumble foot” possibly leading to a foot infection.
 
From last week’s Birdie Brunch table 19 writes – Hi WCP folks,
 
I really enjoy the birdie brunch. I have tried to search the archives but can’t figure out how. I’m wondering what your opinion is on nail clipping for lovebirds. It seems like some people swear that it’s critical, while others suggest only if they get long. But how long is too long? I’ve had my bird for over a year and haven’t clipped her nails. (She’s about 18 months old.) They are about 5 mm long, and don’t appear to be getting in her way, or curling all the way around any of her perches, but I’d be happy to do it if it’s the right thing.
 
Thanks! Talia a Customer
 
amazon parrot on back with feet up on lounger
if only my bird was this cooperative
 
Before Catherine answers this question now is the perfect time to bring toweling to the discussion. if you going to have a big bird you’ll need to master the art of toweling. Simple tasks like nail trimming will go smoothly if you’re able to restrain your bird in a towel or Avistraint. A helper will always be welcome too.
 
Small birds can be restrained quite easily as illustrated below. You probably still need a helper because as you’ll find out toenail trimming requires two hands.
 

small Conure parrot being retriained at the neck by index and middle finger of veterinarian tech

For small birds, use your thumb and last two digits to cradle the wings and restrain the head with the second and third digits

 

 

Buy Lafeber Bird Products find them all here

 
Dear Talia
 
All caged birds may need their nails clipped. The smaller birds have so little weight, they usually grow their nails long as they cannot rely on their weight to help them keep them filed on a pedicure perch.
 
If your birds nails are getting hung up in things, fabric, carpeting, clothes, they should be clipped. If their nails prevent their toes from closing onto a perch well, then they need clipping. If they are starting to curl, they need clipping. A curve is fine but if they are starting to curve beyond a 1/3 of the way around a perch (imagine a circle) then they need clipping.
 
Yes, get started clipping using the proper nail scissors, just do the very tips to start, it will help you get used to it and ease your tension, you can always clip a bit more.
 
Be sure to have a styptic product like kwik Stop styptic gel with Benzocaine for bleeding from bird nail trimming before you do the nails. If you nick a nail vein you can pack it with the powder or gel and move on to the next nail.
 
 
 
Feathered factoid: in an emergency should you not have any blood clotting agent in your bird keepers toolkit you can drag the birds nail along the top of a bar of soap. It’s an old caged bird keepers trick.
 
As time goes by, you will become better at it, clip a bit, look at the nail, you may be able to see inside and if you see space with no vein, then give it a bit more of a clip.
 
Thank you – Catherine
 
I’m going to jump in here and advocate a rotary trimmer as a more humane method for birds. it’s much less likely to cause any bleeding because it is far less guessing as to where the quick is. The problem of knowing where the quick is is illustrated below
 
illustration of how the quick grows in an african grey parrot's nails
 
 
The rotary trimmer can also be used for many projects and hobbies around your home so it becomes small but worthwhile investment. With that commercial announcement out of the way let’s come full circle and talk about the implications of a parrot pedicure.
 
It’s not uncommon for people who keep their birds wings clipped, to clip the wings and trim the nails at the same time be it done by a professional or DIY. After a wing clipping and or a nail trimming session you’ll want to watch your bird closely for the next few hours (day or 2 ??) especially in his or her cage cage.
 
Birds with trimmed nails may not be able to grip certain perches in the cage is easily is they had with the longer nails. A parrot with clipped wings is a bird with a reduced sense of balance. Don’t allow your bird to injure itself with this perfect storm of reduced grip and reduced sense of balance. A loud noise or a thunderstorm in the middle of the night could startle your bird causing him or her to easily slip off of perch and fall somewhere in the cage potentially injuring itself – you’ve been warned.
 
written by mitch rezman & catherine tobsing
 
woman's feet with bird themed pedicure
“I’m sorry I thought we were talking about bird pedicures today”

 

How to get your bird used to toweling for restraint & why it’s essental

This is a follow-up to our recent post about learning how to restrain your bird using the zombie death grip.

The grip goes hand-in-hand with toweling a bird when you need to restrain it for maintenance like nail trimming or a first-aid emergency.

Speaking of emergencies. You have to love technology (or not). It’s been a very wet summer so far much of which has come in the form of storms.

Read moreHow to get your bird used to toweling for restraint & why it’s essental

The skinny on Lafeber Nutriberries and Avi-cakes

As you read this, the conflict between the Hatfields and the McCoys is probably still raging but in keeping up with the times it probably sounds something like “Hey Edgar McCoy, stay off my Facebook page or my family will hashtag you with some really bad stuff” tagged Ralph Hatfield – 18 likes – two shares – or something like that. 

And so the debate rages about how a seed diet is bad for birds. Pellets are are the only thing you should feed your birds, saving seeds only as treats is something that I read a lot on the Internet – so must be true. Tell that to the parrots who for generations in the rain forest never once fed off the Mystical Magical Pellets tree.

Read moreThe skinny on Lafeber Nutriberries and Avi-cakes

I lost my bird or I found a parrot are 2 problems w/ interchangeable solutions – think, don’t panic & have a plan

While cruising one of my sub reddits – parrots (yes Virginia there are more social media sites than Facebook) a woman posted she had found an African grey parrot who is now locked in a room by itself so her dogs don’t get to it. 

She was seeking “care” advice and people were giving it to her. No matter that the bird might’ve had a microchip that could be scanned by a local veterinarian. No matter that the bird’s human family is probably freaking out.

sigh

Many people are under the false impression that a clipped bird can’t fly. In a modest wind a 100 g cockatiel can be swept away and airborne on it’s way to the next state regardless of the severity of wing trimming. They don’t need a whole lot a lift to defy gravity – they’re birds!.

Find all windy city parrot kalorofcolrado bird treas here

A bird that never leaves your shoulder under any circumstances may change the rules of the game once you walk out of doors. A loud noise in unfamiliar surroundings like out of doors can trigger panic flight.

Window screens are not a barrier to the outside world for any bird and make for easy escape routes after a couple of pecks with a razor sharp beak.

With this being the time of year we take vacations it is not unusual to hire a pet sitter. But much like avian vets are more attuned to birds, bird sitters are far more appropriate than general pet sitters.

Bird sitters will know that birds will want to follow you from room to room and it is less likely the bird will get crushed in a doorway.

Bird sitters should also know that unlike terrestrial pets, when doing a visual sweep of a room for the bird they know to look up as well as on the floor.

You’ve been warned.

I can bore you with a list of ways to prevent your bird from flying out an open door or window. I find it easier to follow one simple rule.

Find all windy city parrot kalorofcolrado bird treas here

Know where your bird is in the home 100% of the time. If you don’t know where your bird is don’t open an exterior door or window – problem solved.

A relatively inexpensive safeguard ($50 – $150) is to have the bird microchipped which we talk about here

Like all emergencies the key ingredient is to keep your presence of mind. There’s no right way to secure a bird that’s flown away. That said you need to put things in perspective. In other words a bird whose wings have been clipped for the majority of its life is not a good flyer.

This can work to your advantage because the bird may be intimidated by its surroundings and not want to have to go through attempting to fly again which he finds uncomfortable and tiring.

Another factor is the degree of socialization your bird has experienced in its lifetime. A bird that has been isolated will be scared of other human beings and not likely seek food in a strange household. Conversely a bird that is used to interacting with humans may very well end up in another humans open window when he or she gets hungry.

Find all windy city parrot kalorofcolrado bird treas here

The bird may be close and very scared. A temptation may be to get a ladder at this point but think about how you bird will react when it sees 20 feet of aluminum coming at it in a tree.

If you have a frightened bird in a tree that you’ve located you may want to wait until nightfall because parrots do not see so well in the dark and stay put longer.

Shooting water at it to wet it down, may work at a bird show where you’re an enclosed building but much like the ladder the water may push the bird to fly farther away.

If the bird is close make sure you or somebody stays with the bird around the clock. Have food and treats with you, maybe a favorite sleeping cage. If the bird is watching you, start eating. They may want to share just like they do at home.

If the bird is close, moving the birdcage the outside of the home may be helpful. Bringing out a trusted sleep cage could be helpful with lots of food to tempt the bird.

Find all windy city parrot kalorofcolrado bird treas here

We have a friend who’s Sun Conure escaped in a 300 acre camp ground on New Years Eve. Talk about a nightmare scenario!. Her first instinct was to drive around with a split open 25 pound bag of bird food on the roof of her car. Didn’t work. She finally turned around and walked away, which ended up bringing the bird down out of the trees and onto her shoulder.

If you don’t immediately see your bird, start using your ears with the hopes that your bird will vocalize. If you have other birds in the household bringing one or more out in cages may encourage vocalization & communication.

In the worst-case scenario where you don’t see nor hear the bird, take that inmate like picture of your bird that you saved on your desktop for this very moment. In fact if you can take a picture of the two of you together together (before the bird was lost) it is a better way to show and prove it is your bird.

The following information falls under the category of lost OR found birds

Create a flyer that you can distribute throughout the neighborhood.

Post at local stores in the post office and cast a wide net. Parrots can fly very far very quickly.

Whether you like your neighbors or not, they can be your best friends at this point. Kids love looking for lost cool stuff. Think about offering a small reward to make it even more interesting.

Notify the authorities including the police (file a police report), animal control and then move on to local pet stores & veterinarians. Someone who finds a bird many times will make queries to veterinarians or social media about what to feed and how to handle a parrot they most recently acquired.

Other venues to pursue are bird clubs, radio stations and newspapers, bird rescues in your area and local zoos.

On the found side if you get your bird to a vet or rescue or anyone who has a microchip scanner they can determine if the bird does in fact have a chip. If the chip is there a reunion is probably more imminent.

If you found a bird or know someone that has, your first thought should be that this is someone’s pet and they are probably out of their mind and highly stressed.

You can also contact a local avian vet to have it scanned for a microchip – some rescues have the micro-strip chip scanners as well. A bird with a microchip is more likely to have a reunion than not.

Whether you found a bird or lost a bird these sites can be helpful in recovery I have personally seen them work on several occasions.

  • http://www.911parrotalert.com/
  • http://www.birdhotline.com/
  • http://www.flealess.org/lostpets/
  • http://foundandlostpets.com/
  • http://lostandfoundpetsamerica.com/
  • http://www.parrotalert.com/

Should your bird not be micro chipped nor banded when you travel be prepared to have proof of ownership for other reasons like USDA agricultural check points in the southwest. Parrots are under the authority of the USDA (just like poultry) A picture alone won’t work because most birds of many species are identical looking.

A more realistic scenario might be your African grey flew away and you live close to a state line. Thank goodness somebody close, right across the state line found the bird, paid their due diligence, notified the authorities and because you were smart enough to have had the Grey micro-chipped you got the call it on and you’re on the way.

Your thrilled and excited your Grey is in the hands of a veterinarian close to where it was found. You’re practically skipping out of the car in and can barely wait to see your bird while time stands still in the waiting room. Finally you are reunited. You hand the veterinary tech your manila envelope that you’ve come with proving ownership of your now very happy African grey.

The veterinarian quite cheerful moment ago comes in a bit glum. “I can’t release the bird to you if you going to be taking it across the state line without a federal breeding license – it’s the law and I’m obligated to up hold it”

I’ll let that sink in

You’ve now got the memo If you want to learn more about how the government is outlawing our birds please click here.

You’ll want hatching papers or recent veterinary exam documentation. These documents should always be easy to find and part of your caged bird keepers toolkit.

written by mitch rezman
approved by catherine tobsing
approved by nora caterino

your zygodactyl footnote

via GIPHY

Control your bird with the amazing zombie death grip!

We buy mortgage insurance for our homes and auto insurance for our cars.

We buy cars with airbags because they’re safer

We wear bicycle helmets.

We make our kids wear bicycle helmets.

When we have a babysitter watch our children we provide a list of numbers where we can be reached.

We bring a bird into our home who could conceivably be with us for decades and yet we fail to take the fundamental steps to help us cope with avian emergencies that will – eventually happen.

Read moreControl your bird with the amazing zombie death grip!

Page 1 of 2
1 2
Click to email me when this item is back in stock We will inform you when the product arrives in stock. Just leave your valid email address below.
Email Quantity We won't share your address with anybody else.