Parrot Toy Angels: December 2007 Angel Wings
Parrot Toy Angels

Angel Wings

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

December 2007
Volume 2, Issue XII

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It is our favorite season again! It is this wonderful time when our hearts grow generous in spirit and deed, and strangers wish one another "Happy Holidays". The difference with all of us 'birdie folks' is that this spirit is year round, else, why would we smile with poopies on our new blouse...tracks through our mashed potatoes...and shredded toys and newspapers all over our floors at the end of a hard work day? And even while we are cleaning this up, we are also thinking of the less fortunate birds who don't have the loving 'forever' homes.

For us angels, this is also the time when we say THANK YOU to all of our amazing supporters who make it possible for us to continue with our mission. You have been very good to us this year, again. A heartfelt THANK YOU for your donations, THANK YOU for your purchases, and THANK YOU for your generous bids at our auctions.

We wish you a wonderful holiday season. May you be in the warm circle of friends and family...may you have tiny nips and no hard bites...and may your journey into the New Year be a gentle one.

~~ Lynn Williams & Ilona Peterson


Angel Toys For Angels

Featured Toys for December

Fun Swing
Fun Swing
for Medium to Large Birds

Platform Perch
Platform Perch
for Medium to Large Birds


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Jade & Sylvester

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Feeling a little spicy?
A little sweet?
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>>C O U P O N<<
10% off any item on the
Parrot Toy Angels site
Coupon expires
1/05/08

Offer not valid
for purchases made by Angels

Feathered's Foodles

Olivia
Olivia, Parrotlet
(who owns Elizabeth)
waiting for foodles


Christmas Parrot Pasta


1/4 Cup Cranberries
1/4 Cup Frozen Green Peas
1/4 Cup Shredded Kale or other green
1 Cup Cooked Small Shells
1 tbsp Sesame Seeds
1 tbsp. Finely Chopped Walnuts
2 or 3 tbsp. Orange Juice to moisten

Toss all ingredients together and serve while singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas".

Roscoe, Quaker
Roscoe, Quaker, Nancy G's owner





♥ ♥ ♥ 
A very special "thank you" to The Birds of Zanesville, OH for their very generous donation of toy-making supplies!
♥ ♥ ♥ 
PTA Supplier of the Month! WOW

Prize Parrots




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!!





Send Rudolph Your Wish List
Mail Rudolph

Codee G talking to Santa
Codee G. telling Santa Birdie & Rudolph what he wants for Christmas!

Christmas Bird

Sara Smiles
By Susana Emberg

Sara

Last year, Santa brought me a birdie for Christmas... literally.

A month or so before Christmas last year, a lady here in town found a beautiful Lutino Cockatiel eating from her bird feeder outside her door, and coaxed it into the house. She bought it a small cage and made it cozy in her bedroom, but her cat was always jealous and was constantly stalking it. So, a couple of weeks before Christmas, she took it to our local pet store and ask the nice lady there to find a home for it.

The lady from the pet store posted a few notices hoping someone would claim the bird, and in fact, someone did call and properly identify the bird, but said that her boyfriend had let it loose on purpose, and they didn't want it any more. So she put the pretty bird in her cozy cage in the pet store and hoped someone would want to take her home.

But, on the day before Christmas Eve, the pretty Lutino was still there, and the pet store was going to be closed for a whole week starting the next day. She really didn't want to take the bird home, because it would have problems with her two dogs, and no one had room to board another bird for the holidays. About half an hour before they closed, my husband came into the pet store to pick up some goodies for the birds, and spied the beautiful Lutino sitting all alone. He forgot about everything else, and went to talk to her. She climbed all over the cage, banged on the doors and squeaked at him like crazy. He asked her, "Do you want to come home with me?" and she SQUEAKED really loud and stomped her little feet on the perch! He laughed and thought she was a wonderful birdie. About that time, the pet store lady came to see what all the noise was, and again, he asked the Lutino "Do you want to come home with me?" and she SQUEAKED really loud and stomped her little feet on the perch!

The pet store lady asked if he was interested, and he said "Yes, but...." at which point she told him the whole story, and said, if he was interested, he could take her home for the holidays, and if we weren't happy, we could bring her back then. She didn't want any money for the bird, just wanted her to have a good home. So he packed her up in her cozy cage, and took her to my best friends house, then came home empty handed, claiming the pet store was already closed when he got there.

The next night, we'd just gotten back from Mom's house for the usual Christmas Eve get-together, when there was a knock on the door. Cliff said I'd better get it, 'since we didn't have a chimney' and I thought he was nuts, but I opened the door. And to my suprise, there was Santa, albeit a somewhat short and not very stout Santa, carrying something draped in heavy Christmas fabric and tied with a big bow. 'He' handed me the 'package', wished me Happy Holidays, and flew off in 'his' Cadillac, which looked suspiciously like my best friends car.

I sat the package down on the table, and sat pondering it for a moment, until it SQUEAKED! I hurriedly untied the bow and removed the fabric to find the most beautilful Lutino cockatiel, who squeaked really loud and stamped her little feet to be let out, promptly crawled up my shoulder, settled in underneath my hair, and promptly went to sleep.

Needless to say, we kept her, and named her Sara Smiles, because she is always such a happy bird, always looks like she's smiling, never gets grumpy. And she STILL squeaks really loudly and stomps her feet when she really wants something. :)

Have these stories 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


Scrabble
Scrabble Babble, Devi's owner
patiently waits for gifts!!
Rikki Sez...
Rikki will try and answer frequently asked questions here.



This article was orginally published in the December 06 issue of Angel Wings. We felt it was important enough to run again.

Arty asks: Rikki, can you tell me if the pretty red Christmas flowers are safe to chew on? (Poinsettias)

Rikki sez: Well Arty, I wasn't sure...so I asked my pal Holly Nash, DVM, MS, Veterinary Services Dept., Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc. and here's what she had to say:
Pet accidents increase dramatically during the holidays. We do not mean to spoil your fun with these cautions, but hope to keep your holidays safe.
Prevent exposure to electrical wires, which could cause dangerous burns or electrocution. Conceal them oruse pet-proof covers. Otherwise, your pet may mistake them for a chew toy.
Prevent access to holiday plants. Never allow your pet unsupervised access to poinsettia, holly (leaves and berries), mistletoe, or other plants commonly used to decorate during the holidays.
A decorated tree is a magnet for birds, but unfortunately has the potential for causing problems. Do not allow your bird to have access to the tree. Tinsel, flocking, and artificial snow can be dangerous. The tree may also be coated with potentially harmful fire retardant, fertilizer, or insecticide. Larger decorating lights can become hot and cause burns. Some decorations may have small pieces that could be broken off and swallowed, causing digestive problems.
Many of the foods we set out during the holidays can be toxic to pets, including chocolate (bakers, semi sweet, milk, dark), sugary cookies, salty snacks, and other favorites left out for nibbling and, of course, alcoholic drinks.
Perfumes, potpourri, adhesives, glues, aerosol sprays, cleaning products, and of course, teflon, can all be toxic.
Do not let your bird out of its cage when you have open flames in the house. Stoves, candles, and fireplaces always pose a serious threat.
Do not tie ribbons on your pet or its cage, or leave them lying around. The inks and metals used in gift wraps and ornaments can be toxic. These items also pose choking and entanglement risks.
Discourage guests from bringing their own dog or other pet into your home. If they do, understand that your pet and theirs are sure to be anxious. Keep them separated and do not relax your vigilance.
We hope these tips help you and your bird enjoy a happy, fun, and safe holiday season!

©  2006 Foster & Smith, Inc.
Reprinted as a courtesy and with permission from PetEducation.com
On-line store at
Drs. Foster & Smith
Free pet supply catalog:
1-800-323-4208


Happy Holidays

Featured Fid ~ The African Grey
By George Goulding

Budster
Budster, CAG, owns George & Nancy

Anyone who has been a companion bird enthusiast for even a short time is most likely a fan of the Congo African Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus erithacus). "Greys" or "CAGs" as they are commonly called are considered one of the more intelligent of all parrot species. The CAG is one of 2 sub species of Psittacus erithacus, the other being the Timneh African Grey (Psittacus erithacus timneh), somewhat smaller than the CAG. The CAG is found in the wild in the primary and secondary rain forests

The CAG is grey in color with a whitish face, light grey underbody and red tail. The combination makes for a beautifully marked bird about 12-14 inches long and one of the most easily recognized of all of the Parrot species. The Timneh is somewhat smaller with a horn-colored beak and maroon tail. The Grey has a reported lifespan of 40 to 60 years or more in captivity. Our CAG, Budster, will probably outlive us, and we have made provisions for him in our wills .

What distinguishes the CAG from other parrot species is its superior ability to talk and mimic sounds as well as their cognitive abilities. As with any of the more intelligent avians, a stimulating environment is essential. This means consistent, meaningful interaction between the Grey and its owner as well as a wide variety of toys including chew toys, puzzle toys, foot toys, colorful hanging toys, foragers, etc. The Grey is intelligent and a good problem solver. Toys should challenge its intellect and be size-appropriate and safe.

Moose
Moose, one of Roseanna's babies

CAGs can be shy and quite reserved around strangers, but also very affectionate in familiar surroundings with familiar people. Like other birds, CAGs may form strong bonds with a single person, especially if not socialized on a regular basis. We adopted our Grey Budster at age 15 or so, and are fortunate that he has bonded with both of us. As with other companion bird species the CAG can act out aggressively at times, although we have seldom seen this behavior in Budster.

We try to spend quality time with Budster every morning and evening. He enjoys light head and neck scratching, usually just before bed time, but he also loves to entertain himself by climbing the indoor "trees" we have made for him and our Amazons. Budster loves to whistle all sorts of tunes, some of his favorites are Music Box Dancer and the theme song from the Andy Griffin show. This gives us an opportunity to whistle along with him. He enjoys making up games such as Peek-a-boo and loves shredding paper. He also loves to sit by the PC with us and watch Einstein videos. His favorite pastime is ringing bells and chewing paper rolls.

Proper diet and nutrition is essential to the well being and longevity of all companion birds. The diet of a companion bird is a subject worthy of separate treatment, but the basic diet should provide some of the following: a quality pellet such as Harrisons or Roudybush, vegetables (green, yellow, orange), pasta, brown rice, sprouts, fruits and beans. Our Grey's favorite snack is his bed time peanut (the only one he gets each day). Food should be organic whenever possible. Never feed parrots avocados, chocolate, caffeine, or onions, and be careful of the bird around plants, as some plants are toxic to companion birds.

Anyone wanting to understand the potential intelligence of the African Grey should read the accounts of Alex, who was the subject of a 30 year experiment in Avian intelligence conducted by his owner, animal psychologist Dr. Irene Pepperberg. Alex died unexpectedly in September 2007, but over the years of working with Irene, he was able to show that he had a level of intelligence not unlike dolphins and great apes. A foundation has been set up to further the work that Alex and Irene began. Learn more at
Alex Foundation.

Ruby
Ruby, CAG, loves her candy cane!

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The Night Before Christmas

T'was the night before Christmas, and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring not even a mouse
(the cat ate it).

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that Santa Parrot soon would be there.
(what, you were hoping for a fat man?)

The birdies were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Birdie Bread danced in their heads.

And Papa in his bandana, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap.
(we had spent hours cleaning cages).

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprung from my bed to see what was the matter.
(had the sheep escaped the barn again?)

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
(well, I tried...bay windows don't open).

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave the luster of gold to objects below.
(freshly cut & dyed 2x4s for the cockatoos).

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a red wooden sleigh, and eight fids dressed like reindeer.
(food-grade dyes and pony beads of course!).

With a Scarlet Macaw driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be Santa Parrot.
(what, you want I should rhyme???)

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled and shouted, and called them by name.

"Now, Conure! Now, Sennie! Now, Cockatiel! Now Cag!
On Cockatoo! On Budgie! On Hyacinth and TAG!

To the top of the Perch, oh, watch out for that wall,
Now dash away, dash away! Dash away ALL!"

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of bird toys and Santa Parrot too.

And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof,
The tapping and dancing of each tiny little foot.

As I drew in my hand and was turning around,
Down the chimney Santa Parrot came with a bound.
(too many seeds in his diet I found).

He was dressed all in feathers, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.

He had a broad beak and a round little belly,
That shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly.
(yup, sunflower seeds).

He spoke not a word (obviously not a Grey)
And filled all the stockings with footers
and bagels and Seagrass hay.

And laying his wing-tip to the side of his beak,
He gave a nod and up the chimney he sneaked.

And I heard Pepperberg's Alex exclaim as he drove out of sight,
"Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good night!"

~~Dori Painter 2007

We'd love to hear from you...

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


©  2007 Parrot Toy Angels • P.O. Box 34372 • Houston, Texas  77234
www.parrottoyangels.com