Parrot Toy Angels: April 2012 Angel Wings
Parrot Toy Angels

Angel Wings

A monthly journal for human angels who make a positive difference in companion birds' lives.

April 2012
Volume 7, Issue IV

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In this month's issue:
    Calling All Writers
    Angel Announcements
    Recycling, Angel Style
    The Rewards of Volunteering
    Quinoa Cookies
    Food & Poop Catchers
    Touched By An Angel
    Rikki Sez
    Featured Fid ~ Spectacled Parrotlet
    Do You Smell Something?
    Make Interesting and Safe Toys
    She Only Saw Beautiful
    Help Us





This issue of Angel Wings is dedicated to
"da King" Arty Quaker



Arty, you will be missed
Fly free, little one
Angel Toys For Angels

April's Featured Toys



Easter Beads
Easter Beads
Small to Medium Birds


Bunny Biscuits
Bunny Biscuits
Small to Large Birds


Bunny Toy Box
Bunny Toy Box
Medium to Large Birds


Check out all the
Angel Toys for Angels

now!


Calling All Writers!!



Have you ever wanted to see your Bird's name in "lights"?...Do you have a story to tell about how you and your bird met?



Over the years you have read our stories, seen our photos, looked at our toys and how we make them, hopefully shared some of our recipes with your feathered children. You have gotten to know us, well; we'd like to get to know you too.



Do you have a story to share?? Do you have a super easy toy you'd like to share instructions for? A recycled toy idea? How about your birdie's favorite recipe? A cute story? A sad story? We'd love to run it in an upcoming edition of Angel Wings. Please submit it to: editor@parrottoyangels.org.. (By submitting your article(s) you agree to allow the Angel Wings Committee to make any editorial changes deemed necessary.)



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ANGEL ANNOUNCEMENTS
Watch for upcoming events, news, website updates, etc. here


ON THE SITE:

♥  New Items  ♥
♥  Happy Flappers  ♥


Spring Auction


We're gearing up for our
2012 Spring Auction.
We appreciate any and all donations. Help us make this the best auction yet! All donations are tax deductible.
Contact us at: donations@parrottoyangels.org
if you'd like to donate.



Spring Auction Preview



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Bird Cages Galore


Why buy a Bird Cage from Bird Cages Galore?? Because we do not "just sell" top quality cages at reasonable prices, provide free shipping and a free toy with each cage; we offer first rate customer service and will answer your questions about most bird-related matters. Visit us on the web, browse our selection, join our discussion forum and sign up for our free Newsletter,
The Caged Bird Courier.

We are here to help, because we care about your bird!!


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Recycling, Angel Style
Spool Fun
By Wyspur Kallis


Spool Fun


Supplies you will need:
Wooden spools (as many as you would like to make - size appropriate for your bird)
Vegetable tanned leather strips (for large birds)
~ OR ~ Paulie rope (for smaller birds)
Leftover beads (size appropriate for your bird)
Scissors & Pliers


Spool Fun


Tie a knot on the end of the vegetable tanned leather strip and slide the bead onto the lace.


Spool Fun


Slide the leather lace through the spool.


Spool Fun


Slide a bead onto the leather lace and tie a knot in the other end. Leave no more than 1/2" of the lacing on each end of the spool. Leave less than 1/2" if the spools are for smaller birds. Pull both knots tight using the pliers and cut off any extra lace. Have fun introducing your feathered loved one to another fine toy you've made.


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The Rewards of Volunteering
By Leigh Anne Stewart



There are several of us who volunteer for charity groups such as the "Parrot Toy Angels," and parrot rescues. If you stop and think for a moment, volunteers keep the gears moving, so to speak. Those who volunteer genuinely want to give of themselves. They share their talents, time, and knowledge. The biggest thing each volunteer shares is their passion for the cause. Many parrot rescues, and other charities are completely run by volunteers.



Each of us has a talent that we can use when volunteering. There are several jobs that can be done to help the parrot rescue. Check out these ideas.



♥ Foster parrots -- Offer to foster the parrots that are up for adoption. This is great for the rescue and the bird. Each bird feels loved and cared for, and you are opening your home and your heart.



♥ Using your writing talent -- You can write articles or web content for the parrot rescue's website. Join the newsletter committee, this is a great way to share you knowledge of parrots.



♥ Cleaning Cages -- If the parrots are housed in one place, offer to clean bird cages. This can be a time consuming task, but it is important.



♥ Transport Parrots -- From time to time parrots need to be transported to the avian vet's office, or from one place to another.



♥ Fundraising -- Help with the fundraising efforts of the rescue. Have a brainstorming session with other volunteers and come up with new and unique ideas of making money.



♥ Office Work -- Volunteer to work in the office. You can answer the phone, type letters, or file papers. This gives the President of the rescue time to do other things.



♥ Education -- Educate others about the parrot rescue. Have a class for those who have just adopted a parrot. Teach them everything from a proper parrot diet to cleaning their cages.



These are only a few of the things you can do for the parrot rescue. The payoff is the rewarding feeling that you get when you volunteer. It is a feeling like no other in the world. You get the warm fuzzies all over, and it lasts for your lifetime. Tell your friends what you do in your spare time, and ask them to join you.


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Quinoa Cookies
By Toni Fortin


Quinoa - pronounced (keen-wa)
The fids will appreciate its nutty flavor. Treat it like rice when cooking.
This recipe has only 5 ingredients and is easy to make.



2 cups cooked, cooled Quinoa
1 medium organic carrot, washed and shredded
1 cup of Broccoli, washed and finely chopped
2 eggs beaten
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
Sesame seeds



Mix all together. Using wet hands, make balls (about the size of medium meatballs) pressing down on the ball a little.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Place on lightly greased cookie sheet. They will not rise or run into one another.
Bake at 350 degrees for 22 minutes.



Yields 24 cookies depending on the size you make the balls.



...and as always my guys say, "I like it, I like it, it's good!"


Quinoa Cookies....tasty!



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Food & Poop Catchers
By Ilona Peterson



One of the most endearing habits of our sweet parrots is the "backing-to-the-edge" and, uhm, pooping on our floor. Not a tragedy if you have wood or vinyl floors, but carpeting...not so good. Having a long counter, I searched for a solution. It came in the shape of raspberry trays from Costco. These narrow long boxes don't stick out far at all (at most, 6") and are easy to line with newspaper.



Raspberry cartons



Having made this great discovery, I began also using the cartons from water bottles. In the February Angel Wings I wrote about putting a boing over your sliding shower doors for your parrot. This lined box sits right under the boing and catches her little gifts while she keeps me company in the bathroom.



Water cartons



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Touched By An Angel
By Connie Ivanuck
Feathered Nest Bird Rescue, Brighton, Illinois



Dear Parrot Toy Angels:

Parrot Toy Angels are true Angels to our rescueChristmas at Feathered Nest Bird Rescue. It is so nice to go to the mailbox and receive packages of new, beautiful and brightly colored toys for the birds. It was like Christmas for the birds. The parrots and larger birds are really enjoying the toys. The Cockatoos like the bells and toys that make noise. The conures love the paper toys, especially the ones made with register tape.



To us, the birds are truly a blessing from God and Angels like you make it easier to care for them and provideChristmas at Feathered Nest Bird Rescue them with the enjoyment they receive from the toys. Thank you so much for donating to our rescue. It is caring people like you that make running a rescue a little easier. It has helped financially by cutting the cost of buying toys. We would recommend your toys to any bird owner. The toys are well constructed, colorful, and safe for the birds. Once again, thank you so very much for your donations.



Christmas at Feathered Nest Bird Rescue



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Has this story got your toymaking talons twitching? Do you want to help make a difference in somebirdie's life? Come join our ranks! We have angels from all different backgrounds and walks of life, and there's always room for another generous heart.
As a Parrot Toy Angel, you will be asked to contribute on a monthly basis to help support our ongoing work.
Apply for membership:



Angel Application  ♥ ♥ ♥  Join our Yahoo! Group


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Rikki Sez


Rikki will try and answer frequently asked questions here.



This question is a tribute to Susan Kesler


Rikki, My mom just died and I am being moved to another home by this nice lady, however I am so afraid. What's a bird to do?
Signed, Sad in WA

Dear Sad in WA, We will miss your mom also. It will be a new experience being in a new home that will take some getting used to. No need to be afraid. I think that in time you will learn to love your new parronts and not be sad anymore. Remember the love and the great times with your mom. We will remember the good times we shared with your mom also.



Condolences to all those who have loved and now have a loss.


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Rikki, I got a new brother last week. Mom and Dad play with him all the time. I don't like him because I have to stay in my cage all the time. Was I bad? Why don't Mom and Dad want to play with me anymore?
Signed, Prisoner in my own home

Dear Prisoner, I don't believe you did anything bad. Your mom and dad are trying to bond with your new brother. Tell your parronts they should give you a special snack and a new toy so you don't feel left out. They can buy some great toys at Parrot Toy Angels. Before long you will be grateful for your new brother. Who knows? You might become buddies.



"I love you mom" Love, Rikki


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Do you have a question for Rikki?
Please send it to The Editor at editor@parrottoyangels.org

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Featured Fid ~ Spectacled Parrotlet
By Steve Letter



Zeus and Hera, Spectacled Parrotlets
Zeus and Hera, 4 yr. old Spectacled Parrotlets who own Steve



The Spectacled Parrotlet, Forpus conspicillatus, is a small parrot, 4 to 5 inches long. They hail from southern Central America and northern South America. They are abundant in their native habitat, but are difficult to find in the pet trade in the U.S. They are somewhat more abundant in Europe where they were imported for a longer period.



The males are dusty green with deep blue rumps, primary flight feathers, and underwing feathers. Adult males have a blue ring around their eyes, which is why they were named Spectacled Parrotlets. Adult females are also dusty green but do not have the blue markings. They do have an emerald green ring around their eyes.



They are classified as common, or of least concern by the IUCN. These birds are considered pests in some of their habitat, as flocks are known to invade farmland and destroy crops. They prefer lowland forests and areas that are reverting back from agricultural lands where food is abundant. They eat flowers, seed, grain, insects, leafy vegetables, fruits and berries.



They have been the focus recently of much research, particularly in recognition by vocalization and vocal patterns. It has been determined that they learn their vocalizations from their parents and that individuals in social groups can discriminate each other from their calls. There has also been some amount of research into their cognitive ability.



They are one of the few birds that can hover, fly sideways, and fly backwards. They approach the ability of the hummingbird's flight.



Shrek and Fiona, Spectacled Parrotlets
Shrek and Fiona, 5 month old Spectacled Parrotlets
(not yet mature with their adult markings)


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Do You Smell Something?
By Angel Savannah



There are many odors which are harsh to smell, some that smell great and some things you cannot smell at all but can be deadly.



Bleach is a very harsh odor. Although it can be tough on our sense of smell, overall, it is a safe product. We use it on virtually every non-porous surface in the vet clinic. My friends on the EMS use bleach on everything in their ambulances as well. When using bleach around your birds, make sure the area is well ventilated so the harsh odor doesn't linger. Otherwise, you can clean things with your bird removed to another area of your home.



One of the 'good smells' in many people's homes includes candles or air freshener sprays. I have grown up knowing that candles are not safe around birds. I understand that their wicks and the essential oils in the candles themselves can give off harmful gases. The flame itself can also be an issue. Most air fresheners also have ingredients and propellants which are harmful. To be safe, you can use soy candles, but you still have the flame issue. There is an air freshener that is safe around pets which is orange based and does not have the same propellant that the rest of the sprays have.



Another idea for something safe and good smelling is to simmer a small pot of water on the stove, using a ventilated cover (keeps birds out and lets the good smell out at the same time), adding cinnamon, orange peels, other fruits and spices. This will release pleasant smells and it is safe as well.



There are some odor-free kitchen fumes which can be deadly for your birds. The toxins emitted from heated non-stick pans are deadly, even though you can't smell them. The alternative to using coated pans is to use uncoated, such as cast iron, or only cook in a well-ventilated kitchen, far away from your bird.



Keep in mind how small and fragile your bird's respiratory system is and try to implement the safe product alternatives from above in order to protect them as much as possible.


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Make Interesting and Safe Toys
By Kim Perez



What makes a toy interesting for a bird? I think an interesting toy would have different types of parts on it including wood, plastic, rope, fabric, leather and more! My birds will play with these types of toys and when they have chewed what they each like the best, I will exchange the toys with other birds based on what they have left on their toys. It seems to work well and the birds end up destroying everything I give them.



You can use soft and hard woods in combination, such as pine and maple. You can add soft and hard plastic pieces, such as blow-mold plastic parts and acrylic parts. There are even soft and hard ropes - cotton and sisal. Fabrics I use on my toys include fleece and cotton. You can also use leather lace and larger leather shapes. When you put all of these things together in one toy, it really gives your bird a lot to choose from to keep him busy!



Some birds will choose only the particular pieces that they prefer to play with/chew on. With those birds who only like certain things, I make toys completely out of just that medium. I have several birds who only like to chew on wood and I do make a lot of wood toys for those birds. I have one bird who prefers soft plastic parts to chew on and I make sure he has plenty! The rest of my birds really like a little of everything, and their toys reflect that.



In using the above mentioned parts, please observe the following guidelines for safety.
♥ Use only safe woods.
♥ If you can break a piece of plastic and it has sharp edges, it is not something to use on your toys.
♥ Leather must be vegetable tanned, and no other type.
♥ Make sure the rope and fabric lengths are short enough that the bird cannot wrap them around their necks.
♥ Fabric should be pre-washed with a natural detergent or a very small amount of bleach added to the water only.



Once you collect a slew of safe parts, use your imagination and experiment with different ways of putting them all together for your birds' maximum amusement.


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She Only Saw Beautiful
By Deborah FeatheredAngels



Beautiful!


Someone is in the Sanctuary today, I overheard the humans say that she is looking for an Angel to adopt. I wonder if she might like me. I wonder if she will even look my way. I am not so special and I have some missing feathers. I don't say many words and I don't have any fancy dance steps. I am a very good girl though, and I have a lot of love to share with someone. Should I try to stand a little taller and fluff up my feathers a bit. Maybe she will notice me if I sit here looking as pretty as I can. There are so many other beautiful fully feathered birds here, why would she ever notice me.



Oh I see her coming, and she looks very nice. She has a special love in her eyes that I can see from here. Oh I hope she will stop and talk to me. I hope she will give me a scritch or two. Then she will see how gentle I can be. I hope she wont notice that I am not perfect. Maybe she wont mind that I can't sing or do any tricks. I shouldn't get my hopes up, but I sure would like to know her. Something about her just looks like a gentle human I would like to know. Maybe just maybe, she will be the one... I have been waiting for such a long time now.



She is looking my way, she is smiling at me. Oh and she is coming closer, now is my chance to show her what a special Angel I can be! Could it be that she hasn't noticed some of my feathers are missing? Maybe her eyesight isn't so good, and she just can't tell from across the room. She is still heading my way though, and getting very close. Oh could this be the one I have waited for? Maybe she wont mind that I am less than perfect? Will she be able to see past the missing feathers and know that my heart is still so full of Love and Hope?



She stepped right up next to me and smiled right at me! I could see tears gently filling up in her eyes and she said "Hello Beautiful". Does this human see me differently? Has she not noticed that I am not as beautiful as some of the other birds here? She slowly reached to give my head a scritch. I closed my eyes and laid my head in her hand. I felt something so special, maybe this person will love me for who I am? Even if this only lasts for a minute, I want to remember it forever. This wonderful person is loving me right now. I feel the love inside of her as she caresses my head. Oh if only this moment could last forever.



She leaned in and whispered softly to me "would you maybe like to come home with me?" My heart jumped with joy, could it be that finally someone wants to love me? Could this beautiful human actually want to share her life with me? Will she change her mind, or notice another bird that is prettier than me? I trembled ever so slightly as I stepped up onto her arm, could this possibly be real? All of my fears quickly dissolved, as she and I walked away together. As I looked into her eyes, all I saw was love and I knew that she only saw me as Beautiful!



As we left the rescue that day, my heart was full of joy and sadness. While I had waited so long for someone to love me and finally found it, I also knew that there were so many others still waiting. For them I will pray every night that they too will find their special someone, who will see them as beautiful and a place in their heart forever!



I dedicate this story to Clementine, she will forever be in my heart and is now loved by Julie Brock who also "Saw her as Beautiful!"



Copyright © 2011 Deborah FeatheredAngels. All rights reserved.

Reprinted with permission in its entirety.


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Help Us Help the Birds...




Our Angels generously donate their time making toys for our needy feathered friends. Quality toy-making supplies are expensive and shipping charges are outrageous. That's why we need your support to help keep us going. Every dollar amount, large or small, is gratefully accepted. Donations are tax deductible.

We also welcome donations of toymaking parts and supplies. A receipt will be issued for every donation. Contact us at Parrot Toy Info for further information on donating.

All donations tax deductible.

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This is the official newsletter of the Parrot Toy Angels. Members and subscribers are encouraged to submit articles/photographs for publication. PTA reserves the right to reject, edit, or use only portions of items submitted. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the PTA Editor, Directors, Officers, or the general membership.


While PTA at all times tries to ensure any information provided in this newsletter is accurate, all articles are submitted by volunteers, and we are not avian professionals and make no claim as to the suitability of featured products, food, or toys for your particular bird. PTA strongly recommends that you ensure that all toys are safe, that you make sure your bird is fed a well balanced diet, and that you always provide continuing medical care through your avain vet.


Do you have a question or comment? Perhaps you have an idea for our newsletter, or simply want to share a
story on how an Angel has touched your life. Drop us a line at: editor@parrottoyangels.org

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©  2008-2012 Parrot Toy Angels • P.O. Box 34372 • Houston, Texas  77234
All rights reserved. No part of this newsletter may be reproduced by any means, print, electronic or any other,
without prior written permission of the Editor or author.
For permission to reprint, please contact us at Editor
www.parrottoyangels.com