Parrot Toy Angels: December 2010 Angel Wings
Parrot Toy Angels

Angel Wings

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

December 2010
Volume 5, Issue XII

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Happy Holidays



Happy Holidays from our nest to yours.
Have a safe and happy holiday season.



In this month's issue:
    Angel Announcements
    Fall Auction Acknowledgements
    Butternut Wiffle
    Deck their Halls
    Recycling, Angel Style
    Featured Fid ~ King Parrot
    Cranberry, Pumpkin, Nut Bread
    Rikki Sez
    'Twas the Night Before Christmas
    Materials
    Protective or Overly Protective?
    A Very Merry Birdy Christmas
    Holiday Safety
    Help Us
    Family Holiday for All
    Gift Wrapping
    Donation Information



Happy Holidays from Parrot Toy Angels!
Angel Toys For Angels

December's Featured Toys
"Limited Quantities"

Holiday Preening Balls
Holiday Preening Balls
Small to Medium Birds

Holiday Colors
Holiday Colors
Small Birds

Cookies for Santa
Cookies for Santa
Small to Large Birds


Check out all the
Angel Toys for Angels

now!


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

PERFECT FOR GIFT GIVING:



Gift Certificates
*NEW* PTA Tote Bags
Holiday Toys
Golden Blues CDs
Wildflower Angels



      

      

Fall Auction Update:

Our Fall 2010 Auction was a great success! We raised much needed funds so we may continue doing what we do best...
Making a difference...
one bird at a time!


We're already hard at work planning for our Spring 2011 Auction. If there's anything you'd like to see offered, drop us an email. We'd really appreciate feedback also...what did you like, not like, what would you like to see more of, etc. Please let us know.

Thank You!

A heartfelt thank you to all our generous donators:


Alicia's Creations - Alicia Merritt
Animal Art Studio - Cathe Ottero
Avian Antics Bird Toys - Doug & Shelly Wing
Best Birdy Toys - Steve & Joan Letter
Birdsnest Specialty - Jim & Candy Foxwell
Bonnie Bruhn
Chinook Avian Photos - Tina Chinook
Chopper's Toys - Claudia & Chopper
Delta Holder
Einstein & Marcia Kwarsick
Gail Armstrong
Goldenfeast Gourmet Pet Foods
Ilona Peterson
Jo Marie Ziegler
Kristie Rodgers
Lina Lind Christensen
Lori Nelsen
Lynn Edman
Meryl Sheridan
Michelle B. Horgan
Nancy & George Goulding
Shauna Roberts
Toni Fortin
Tri-State Pets Mfg. - Kim Perez
Twin Leather Co. - Rich Castano
Verna & Peter Lucey
Vicki Hartsfield
Wyspur Kallis

To all those that bid...we appreciate your support!

      

      

WOW!  Lookie.... a PTA Coupon

      

      

Butternut Wiffle
By Toni Fortin

Butternut Wiffle

Cut open a butternut squash and scoop out seeds. Wash them in a fine-screened strainer. Put them in the oven to roast for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Using scissors, make one hole in a golf ball sized wiffle a little bigger. Stuff seeds in. Will keep your guys busy for a while.

      

Deck "their" Halls

Deck the halls with boughs of millet
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Hang it near where we can get it
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Lay out all your decorations
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Chances are we'll rearrange them
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Everyone should have a stocking
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Filled with toys that keep us squawking
Fa la la la la, la la la la

And of course, we will do just that. These little feathered beings have changed our lives in ways we would not have believed possible. Our love for them extends well beyond our own homes and because of them we have opened our hearts to birds we will never meet, never see. Yet, we know that because of us one bird at a time will lead a happier life.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to all Angels and to our incredibly generous supporters

---ilona

      

      

Recycling, Angel Style
Holiday Tree
By Wyspur Kallis

Holiday Tree

Supplies you will need:
Scissors, non-coated paper muffin cups, drinking straws, 2 plastic buttons, a scribe or pointed tool for piercing the cups and straws, 1 plastic chain link and plastic craft lacing.

Holiday Tree

Using scribe, make holes in the center of both the muffin cups and plastic straws. Cut 24" of the plastic craft lacing.

Holiday Tree

Take one of the 2 buttons and string the plastic lacing through making 2 lines of string.

Holiday Tree

String 3 of the muffin cups on both pieces of lacing followed by 2 of the straws. Repeat this until you have used up all the muffin cups.

Holiday Tree

Tie the plastic lacing to the plastic chain link. Cut off any extra lacing.

Holiday Tree

When you have finished stringing all the muffin cups, thread the string through the second button and pull the cups tight. Tie a good knot on the top of the button.

Holiday Tree

You've just made an awesome Holiday Tree. Just hang it in the cage and let the fun begin!

      

Featured Fid ~ King Parrot
By Sue Christie-Cox

King Parrot Wreath

King Parrots always make me think of Christmas with their red and green coloring.

The male King Parrot is the only Australian parrot with a completely red head. Its head, neck, chest and abdomen are bright red, wings are green with a stripe of light green, its upper mandible is red with a black tip, the lower mandible is black. Females are similar with the head and upper body being green, with a bright red abdomen. The bill is black. They are a large parrot up to 17 inches in length with a broad tail.

King Parrots are found all down the east coast of Australia and are often in small groups in flocks along with the Crimson Rosella.

Hand reared male King Parrots make good pets while females tend to be a little shy, but both are colorful and entertaining birds that exhibit bright and cheerful behavior. If kept in an aviary, size should be approximately 15 to 16 feet long by 6 to 7 feet wide aviary as they are an acrobatic aviary bird. As with all birds, cage size should be as large as possible, but if given an abundant time out of the cage, they are just as happy in a smaller cage. King Parrots can "talk" although they could not be described as excellent talkers. The King Parrot's natural diet consists of fruit, seeds, nuts, leaves and nectar. Aviary and cage birds are fed a combination of seeds, fresh sprouted seeds and fruit and vegetables.

Toys usually enjoyed are natural woods to chew and destroy. Time out of the cage to fly is probably the most important thing enjoyed by these birds.

The photos below were taken in my front yard. I have a pair of King Parrots that have brought their young to feed in a Camellia tree in December or January for the past 4 years.

Male King Parrot    Female King Parrot

      

Here are 2 recipes: one for the birds and one for you. Theirs will look just like yours, but much healthier for them. Shhh, don't tell them, but be sure to tell the other humans.

Cranberry, Pumpkin, Nut Bread
By Toni Fortin

** For the Birds **

1/2 cup natural applesauce (no sugar)
2 Tbsp. Molasses
1 jumbo egg
2 Tbsp. red palm oil
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup steel cut oats
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder (non aluminum)
1 cup chopped walnuts or other salt free nuts
1 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries

In a mixing bowl, mix applesauce, molasses and red palm oil. Add egg, beating well. Add pumpkin, mix well. Combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and baking powder. Add to pumpkin mixture, beating on low speed. Fold in walnuts and cranberries. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 65 - 70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack.

Cranberry, Pumpkin, Nut Breat....Yum-o!

** For the Humans **

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 jumbo egg
1/2 can solid pack pumpkin
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg, beating well. Add pumpkin, mix well. Combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add to pumpkin mixture, beating on low speed just until moistened. Fold in walnuts and cranberries. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 65 - 70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack.

      

      

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 giving Santa Birdie his wish list
Codee G. telling Santa Birdie & Rudolph
what he wants for Christmas!

      

Rikki Sez

Rikki will try and answer frequently asked questions here.

Rikki, Lots of people are staying at my house for the holidays. I don't know all these people and they keep putting their faces and fingers in my cage. I don't like these people or their fingers in my cage. I get in trouble when I bite them. What did I do wrong? I'm protecting my home and my parronts. They tell me I'm naughty for biting them. When will they stop coming over and bugging me?
Signed, Mad about the Holidays

Dear Mad about the Holidays, Humans do a lot of gathering at holiday time. They sometimes forget how we feel with all this company in the house. You didn't do anything wrong. You need to tell your parronts to put you in a room prior to receiving company. This room should be where these people will not be going into during the holidays. It is their job to protect you. This will make you and their guests have a pleasant visit during the holidays. Dad or mom can turn the TV or radio on and give you some new toys. PTA has some wonderful Holiday Toys to keep you occupied. Happy Holidays!

Rikki, My family has put a big GREEN tree in the house that has a good smell. I want to play in the green tree, but mom says no. Why won't mom let me play in the new green tree? Oh, she keeps putting all these pretty glittery things and lights on it. I need to check it out, so why can't I?
Signed, Treeless in SC

Dear Treeless, That big green tree is a Christmas tree. Our human families like to celebrate holidays and Christmas is a big one. They decorate the Christmas tree and the house with all kinds of things to attract us birds, but then don't want us to touch them. I know it seems so unfair but they are only thinking of your safety. You are loved. The Christmas tree might have been sprayed with chemicals that help keep it from catching on fire should it get too dry and with other chemicals which can harm us birds. Also, many of the decorations are not safe for us to play with. Be patient and you will have some wonderful surprises on Christmas morning. Wishing you a wonderful Holiday experience!

Rikki, I smells sumpin' thats smells 'licious. I thinks me mum says it be's a candle thing. She says she loves these things around the holidays, and they make the house smell so good. It be's like a piece a punkin bread. I loves punkin bread. Cans I hab a candle thing?
Signed, Punkin' Lovin'

Dear Punkin' Lovin', Listen, you better get in the know! Are you too good for a bowl of fresh cut oranges or lemons? Those candles are an airborne hazard and are toxic to us. The air we breathe needs to be chemical free. I know they smell good, but they are not worth the risk. My cousin, Freddy, didn't make it because his mom used to have those candle things going. We may have a tough beak and can fly, but when it comes to our respiratory systems, we are fragile. Tell your mom to bake you some pumpkin bread that's healthy for a bird. You and her will get your fix for the punkin smell. Happy Holidays!

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

      

Happy Holidays from Gonzo!!
Happy Holidays from Gonzo!

      

'Twas the Night Before Christmas
By Chester P. Featherbutt

NOTE: This originally ran in the December '06 issue of Angel Wings. It's become somewhat of a "tradition" to run it every year. We'd like to thank Chester P. for granting his permission to use it once again. Thank you Chessy!

Chessy P. Featherbutt
Chester P. Featherbutt, bird with a 'tude

'Twas the night before Christmas, and Chester was awake,
thinking of all the plans that he would soon make.
He snuck from his cage, and hid in the tree,
behind decorations, and Christmas candy.
He had a new plan to get Santa this year,
that would not fail,and give Santa fear.
He was going to teach the jolly red man,
that Chester P. Featherbutt was taking a stand!
So he waited and waited, and then he heard a noise.
Sounds of crinkles of fresh wrapped new toys.
Chester stirred not a bit, and got ready to strike,
when from under the tree, came a four-legged, black little tyke.
A chihuahua puppy that looked like a rat, and was just as small,
except this one was chewing on a small tennis ball.
It barked real loud, and ran to the floor,
just then a big red Santa opened the door.
The little rat ran back under the tree and screamed,
"Chester!!" Help!!" You gotta save me!!!".
Chester smiled with a grin so wide,
you could have put in a whole kiddie slide.
He said "little black rat, go over there,
and hide in that red bag next to the chair".
So the rat went and hid, and did not make a noise,
as Santa drew near, and reached under the tree with toys.
Then a beak flashed out, and grabbed Santa's sleeve,
Chester beaked hard, and wouldn't let him leave.
He chuckled with glee, as his beak made a hole,
then he burst out laughing, and fell out of the tree....
into the dog's water bowl!"
"Yuk!!", Chester yelled, as he shook the water off.
"I've been big dog germed!!" and he let out a cough.
Santa said "Chester, you got me this year!"
You bit me so hard, I'm starting to tear.
But don't worry Chester, I wore big mittens,
just in case from last year,
that you might still be smitten!
I knew you were lurking. I know all these things,
and when you think evil thoughts, my naughty bell rings.
But I'll forgive, since it is Christmas Eve,
and here are the presents I'm going to leave".
Then he grabbed his bag and whisked right away
through the door, to the roof and into his sleigh.
As he yelled "On Donnor! and Blitzen!",
there was a short pause,
and Chester could hear.....a startled Santa Claus.
Then a yapping and barking, that just wouldn't stop,
he heard Santa jump from the sleigh with a big hop.
Santa yelled "Chester! WHAT DID YOU DO?"
Chester was giggling and laughing so hard
he knocked over momma's display of old Christmas cards.
He lay on the floor, covered up to his head...
if a quaker could be embarrased, his face would have been red.
Santa came back, with a black rat in his arm,
red in the face and not full of charm.
"Chester P. Featherbutt!! You can't sneak away,
cause I found your friend, tucked in my bag,
like a lump of clay".
But Chester was laughing loud as a bear,
so much so, that he was loosing feathers into the air!!
"Nice try", said Santa, "You're such a big sneak,
I'm watching you now, and especially your beak!!"
With that he left, with no time to spare,
up into his sleigh and high into the air.
"Just for you Chester P, before I go,
I leave you with good tidings
and a COLD CHRISTMAS SNOW!!"
"BRRRRRRRRRRR", Chester thought, as the flakes fell.
"Dis stuffs is colds, I no like what he's sent.
Maybeeeez next years, I better repent!!
Then he heard Santa say
"No hard feelings... and have a great day.
Remember my friend, don't loose your feathers when you jester....
'cause no one wants to look at a "no feathered" Chester!!"

Chester P. Featherbutt, Bird with a 'tude

      

Materials
By Kim Perez

We've all seen the cozies, cuddlers, snugglers, pacifiers, binkies, or whatever else they have been called. There are many toy makers selling these in their many sales outlets. They are also using quite a variety of materials on them, some which are cozy and safe and some which may not be quite so safe.

The most common material I see on these is fleece. Fleece seems to be a safe material to use with our birds and it has a consistency which birds love. They will preen it and snuggle in its warmth.

Flannel and cotton are other materials I see used, as well as some cotton ropes.

Here are the things you must do to ensure that your birds are preening and snuggling with safe materials. To start with, I would purchase new fabric. Please check to see if it is labeled "flame retardant." If it is, I would not buy it. Here is the process used:
Newer fire retardants, such as PBDEs, belong to a class of chemicals called halocarbons. They are extremely stable, making them useful for treating clothing. They will not break down when exposed to sunlight, water, detergents or other environmental factors, so the fabric will not lose its fire resistance over time. Unfortunately, this stability means that halocarbons that are absorbed into the body or the environment also do not break down. Instead, they build up through repeated exposure. Long-term exposure to these chemicals causes concerns regarding the potential for cancer and other health problems.

If the fabric states that it is not flame retardant, it is a much safer alternative.

When you buy fabric, it is wise to wash it prior to creating toys with it. I do not care for a lot of detergents, but there are some which are considered irritant-free that you may choose to use. I will use a little of that plus some bleach as a disinfectant. You must remember that these bolts of fabric are exposed to everyone entering the fabric store, and those people may have an array of health issues! You certainly don't want any of their germs transferring to your birds. And when you dry the fabric, do not use fabric softener sheets. There are a lot of chemicals there that are not safe for our birds either.

More safety issues include not making the strips too long or thin. Anything that can wrap around a bird's neck can create a hazard.

Bottom line, on this type of toy, is that the birds really do love them. If you make your own, take all of the necessary precautions. If you buy them, ask the necessary questions. The only ones who will be offended are the ones who do not take the precautions for you and you don't want their items anyway.

      
Protective or Overly Protective?
By Angel Savannah

I spend a lot of time teaching people about safety when it comes to birds' health. I also see a lot of pet owners who are not only protective of their pets, but what I would consider overly protective.

When I take birds outside in cool or cold weather, I put them in a plastic pet carrier with a towel on the bottom and drape a towel over the carrier. Their time outside is very limited, as they are usually only going from the house to the car, or back. My family and I have been doing it this way for as long as I can remember and we have never had a problem. I learned this from experience growing up. Unlike the people in the following scenarios, I was very fortunate to have grown up in a family who had been raising birds for 20 years before I came along.

Scenario 1: We had a customer put four of the "Hot Hands" hand warmer packets in the bottom of an ice cream bucket, place a wash cloth over them and her cockatiel in the bucket. She cut a few slits in the lid and placed it on the bucket. She then wrapped the bucket in a blanket several times. By the time she arrived at the vet clinic, her cockatiel was almost dead of heat exhaustion. We had to keep him overnight and administer fluids every so often until he could drink water on his own and begin to act normal again. She only lived about 10 minutes away, so this is something that could have easily killed her bird if she had not arrived here as quickly as she did.

Scenario 2: An acquaintance of my family had some baby birds she was hand-feeding in a brooder. In order to clean her brooder, she removed the babies from it and placed them in a metal coffee can with an incandescent lamp over it. When she had finished cleaning the brooder and returned to the coffee can to retrieve the babies, they were all dead from the high amount of heat.

Scenario 3: We had one customer bring a parakeet wrapped in a towel (not in a container of any kind). I wasn't told how long the bird had been in there, but he was dead when she unwrapped him. I personally think he had a heart attack because small birds can't really take that much stress. He may have suffocated. She refused a necropsy.

These are just three examples of birds whose owners were being overly protective and thought they were doing the right thing. All of these situations could have been prevented had the owners asked someone with experience how they would recommend doing those things. My recommendation to any bird owners who does not have a lot of experience, is to find someone they know who does have the experience and a good reputation and who is willing to answer their questions. Two familiar quotes now come to mind: No question is a silly question. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Make the calls. Ask the questions. These birds could be alive had their owners asked a knowledgeable person for advice.

      

A Very Merry Birdy Christmas to All!
By Jan Lewis

The holiday season is upon us and no matter what "holiday" you celebrate, don't forget your feathered family members. I thought I would share with you some of my birds' and my favorite things for the Christmas holiday season. I hope it will help you and your feathered family members have a very merry and safe holiday.

Holiday Decorations:
Everyone loves to decorate for the holidays. When doing your holiday decorating, don't forget to make it safe for your birds. Make sure decorations are bird-safe. Tinsel, mistletoe and other favorite decorations are not safe for birds or any family pet. Christmas lights can be frightening to our birds, as well as dangerous, if they chew the electrical cord. Even the beloved Christmas tree and holiday wreaths can be dangerous. Christmas trees may have been sprayed with both pesticides and a fire-retardant which can be harmful or fatal to birds.

One example of fun is to make bird-safe decorations simple - plain paper snowflakes that you cut out yourself. I have made them from childhood. Just use plain uncolored paper, take your scissors and cut out snowflakes in your own design. You can share them with your bird, or even hang them on a bit of Paulie rope in their cage.

Holiday Scents:
Those wonderful scents that remind us of the holidays and bring back childhood memories can be hazardous to our birds. Scented candles, aromatics (room air fresheners, etc.) and candles are not safe for birds for various reasons. According to the Quaker Parakeet Society "Some candle manufacturers still use lead core wicks. When heated, lead emits VOCs; Volatile Organic Chemicals. You may be familiar with VOCs if you have read a paint can label. (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short and long term adverse health effects." Also from the Quaker Parakeet Society, "Plug-in, hanging, or stick-on air fresheners can prove fatal to birds. Essential oils, especially when heated, are also dangerous to our birds. An essential oil may or may not be "natural." Essential oil is simply what is left after the extraction process. It is the concentration of the essential oil and its make-up which can compromise the avian respiratory system." Scent your home the natural way with holiday baking or by heating cinnamon sticks, cloves, orange/lemon peels or other spices in a pot on your stove.

Holiday Foods:
I enjoy making special holiday foods for my birds. Pumpkin is a wonderful holiday food. Both birds and humans can have the pumpkin seeds roasted, but no salt for the birds. Pumpkin can be made into wonderful bread and other tasty foods for humans and birds. Don't forget to check out the wonderful recipes in this and other PTA newsletters.

Also, during the holidays and colder months, I like to give my birds a few healthy nuts. Almonds are an excellent nut for vitamin and mineral content with less fat than other nuts. My birds all love almonds. Their next favorite nut is the pecan. My bigger birds love nuts whether shelled or unshelled.

Another holiday favorite food for me and my avian family are Clementines. The large birds all get a nice slice of a Clementine and my Quaker gets to eat part of a piece every other night as our special treat. You do not want to give too much citrus fruit.

Cranberries are a favorite of my Moluccan Cockatoo, Tory. He would eat a whole bag of cranberries if I let him. They are nutritious and a great addition to the fall/winter mealtimes.

Popcorn (air popped) is a fun food anytime for you and your birds. We love to relax with a good DVD and munch on some delicious air-popped popcorn.

Whatever you are planning for family meal gathering, be sure to include bird-safe foods and recipes to share with your feathered family members!

Holiday Toys:
When I think of the holidays, I think of Christmas and gift giving. I like to make sure that there are birdy presents under the tree. I like to use the brown lunch bags as my birds' Christmas gift bags. They are safe for the birds to chew on and play with as well. Check out the wonderful, bird-safe toys available at Parrot Toy Angels: www.parrottoyangels.com including the Christmas and Holiday Toys. I like to get each of my birds a foraging toy, educational toy and a fun, chewable/destructible toy. In addition, I make sure that we have a fun toy to play with together.

I recommend making sure your bird does not feel neglected during the busy holiday season by giving them a new toy (or one they haven't seen in a while). Remember to give them time to become familiar with a new toy before leaving it in their cage and make sure it is safe for your bird to play with alone, in his cage, while you are gone.

Holiday Music:
Music is another great entertainment for you and your birds, while you are busy with your holiday preparations. Put on your bird's favorite holiday music and let him sing, dance, or just relax with the music. Have even more fun by taking some time out every now and then to sing and dance with your bird to the music.

Make the holidays fun and safe for you and your feathered family members. May you and your feathered family members have a very merry Christmas holiday!

      
Holiday Safety Tips
By Holly Nash, DVM, MS
Veterinary Services Dept., Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.

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 or use 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

      

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Roscoe enjoying the Holidays

Roscoe and Kermit wish you a Merry Christmas

Kermit


Gracie wishes everyone a Merry Christmas!
Happy Holidays from Gracie and her babies

      
Family Holiday for ALL
By Lori M. Nelsen

NOTE: This article originally ran in the December 2009 issue of Angel Wings. We feel the information is valuable enough to re-run it in its entirety.

The holidays are upon us and there is a lot of preparing to do. The presents need to be wrapped, the house decorated and the meals prepared. There are not enough hours in the day to get it all done. So, you need to make your list and check it twice and buy presents for all that were either naughty or nice. Your parrots may fall either in the naughty or the nice category but probably some of both. I can guarantee you that you will not be forgiven if they are excluded in the Holiday spirit. So, to make your life a bit easier at this time of year, I have suggestions for both decorating and dinner prep that will put you at the top of the “parront” list this holiday season.

Now let’s get the tree up and ready to decorate. Get the man of the family away from the football game and have him put the tree in the stand and get the lights on.

Take the Wii away from the kids and have them decorate the tree while you are making the popcorn in the air popper and clean the cranberries. (Popcorn is a whole grain food which makes it an energy-producing complex carbohydrate that is low in calories, but a good source of fiber. Popcorn has no artificial additives or preservatives and is sugar free.) (Cranberries contain many Phytochemicals that may assist in maintaining health. Some of these phytochemicals act as antioxidants; compounds that help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. These antioxidants reduce oxidative damage to cells that can lead to cancer, heart disease and other de-generative diseases. For example, anthocyanins, compounds that give cranberries their red color, are powerful antioxidants that may be stronger than vitamin E. Cranberries contain measurable amounts of oxalates. Oxalates may interfere with absorption of small amount of calcium from the body. With the oxalates, a high amount of Vitamin C is present so cranberries should be served in moderation.)

Well, with the decorating done, it is time to prepare a holiday feast to share with family and feathers. Let’s get the squash washed and ready to bake. Cut the squash in half and dig out the seeds. Rinse the seeds in cool water until they are clean and place on a paper plate to dry. You can rescue a slice of squash before it goes into the oven if your feathers prefer it raw. (Winter squash is an excellent source of vitamin A ,in the form of beta-carotene, a very good source of vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and manganese. In addition, winter squash is a good source of folate, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B1, copper, vitamin B6, niacin-vitamin B3 and pantothenic acid. One of the most abundant nutrients in winter squash, beta-carotene, has been shown to have very powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Beta-carotene is able to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the body. Since oxidized cholesterol is the type that builds up in blood vessel walls and contributes to the risk of heart attack and stroke, getting extra beta-carotene in the diet may help to prevent the progression of atherosclerosis.)

While your squash is baking, you can clean your pumpkin for your pies. The pumpkin can be sliced raw or cooked and fed to your feathered friends. Try rolling it up in a piece of collard green or a fat free tortilla to create your version of parrot pumpkin pie. (The bright orange color of pumpkin is a dead giveaway that pumpkin is loaded with an important antioxidant, beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is one of the plant carotenoids converted to vitamin A in the body. Current research indicates that a diet rich in foods containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and offers protect against heart disease. Beta-carotene offers protection against other diseases as well as some degenerative aspects of aging. Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are small, flat, green, edible seeds. Most pumpkin seeds are covered by a white husk, although some pumpkin varieties produce seeds without them. Pumpkin seeds have many health benefits, some of which include a good source of protein, zinc and other vitamins. They are even said to lower cholesterol and can benefit the liver and can increase immune response.)

Have you washed your yams yet? It is time to get them washed and cooked. This is another vegetable that can be fed raw if preferred. (The yam or sweet potato has yellow or orange flesh and its thin skin may either be white, yellow, orange, red or purple. There is often much confusion between sweet potatoes and yams; the moist-fleshed, orange-colored root vegetable that is often called a "yam" is actually a sweet potato. Sweet potato contains unique root storage proteins that have been observed to have significant antioxidant capacities. In one study, these proteins had about one-third the antioxidant activity of glutathione - one of the body's most impressive internally produced antioxidants. As an excellent source of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene and a very good source of vitamin C, sweet potatoes have healing properties as an antioxidant food. Both beta-carotene and vitamin C are very powerful antioxidants that work in the body to eliminate free radicals. This may explain why beta-carotene and vitamin C have both been shown to be helpful for preventing these conditions. Since these nutrients are also anti-inflammatory, they can be helpful in reducing the severity of conditions where inflammation plays a role, such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin B6, which is needed to convert homocysteine, an interim product created during an important chemical process in cells called methylation, into other benign molecules. Since high homocysteine levels are associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, having a little extra vitamin B6 on hand is a good idea.)

So, you think that you still need to make a holiday dinner for your feathers? I think you already have. Take your green salad (full of tomatoes, carrots, radishes, cucumber, but NO raw onions) and toss it into your food processor. Add the slices of squash, pumpkin and sweet potato you have already prepared, along with a couple drops of flax oil and Apple Cider Vinegar. Then pulse to make sure everything is in very small pieces. Place this mixture along with sprouts in their food bowls, hang up a small cotton cord of popcorn and cranberries and you are on your way to making a Holiday Feast for the feathers.

With that done, you are also half way to feeding the rest of the family with no extra time or effort. Enjoy your holidays. Make some time for yourself.

Happy Holidays from Lori and Gonzo

Happy Holidays from Gonzo!

      
Gift Wrapping With The Help of Your Bird
Author Unknown

Please Note - This is a humorous look at life with our beloved birds. Please do not try this at home!

Mango & Peanut

1.   Clear large space on table for wrapping present.
2.   Go to closet and collect bag in which present is contained and shut door.
3.   Open door and remove bird from closet and put back on stand.
4.   Go to cupboard and retrieve rolls of wrapping paper.
5.   Go back and remove bird from cupboard, place on stand again.
6.   Go to drawer, and collect transparent sticky tape, ribbons,
      scissors, labels, etc.
7.   Lay out presents and wrapping materials on table.
8.   Go back to drawer to get string, remove bird that has been in the
      drawer since last visit and collect string, being sure to untangle
      bird from it and place back in cage this time.
9.   Remove present from bag.
10.  Remove bird from bag.
11.  Open box to check present, remove bird from box. Replace present
       as well as replacing lock on bird cage that bird unlocked.
12.  Lay out paper to determine size to cut.
13.  Try to smooth out paper, realize bird is underneath, unlock cage, actually put
       bird in cage this time and get back to work.
14.  Cut the paper to size, keeping the cutting line straight.
15.  Throw away first sheet as bird chased the scissors, and tore the paper.
16.  Cut second sheet of paper to size - by putting bird in the bag
       the present came in.
17.  Place present on paper.
18.  Lift up edges of paper to seal in present. Wonder why edges don't reach.
       Realize bird is between present and paper. Remove bird again.
19.  Place object on paper, to hold in place while tearing transparent sticky tape.
20.  Spend 20 minutes carefully trying to remove transparent sticky tape
       from bird while getting the beak of death as tape pulls on feathers.
       Place band-aids on hands and nose.
21.  Seal paper with sticky tape, making corners as neat as possible.
22.  Look for roll of ribbon. Chase bird down hall in order to retrieve ribbon.
23.  Try to wrap present with ribbon in a two-directional turn.
24.  Re-roll ribbon and remove paper, which is now torn due to bird's enthusiastic
       ribbon chase.
25.  Repeat steps 13 - 20 until you reach last sheet of paper.
26.  Decide to skip steps 13 - 17 in order to save time and reduce risk of losing
       last sheet of paper and any more skin. Retrieve old cardboard box that is the
       right size for sheet of paper.
27.  Put present in box and tie down with string.
28.  Remove string, open box and remove bird.
29.  Put all packing materials in bag with present and head for a room with lock.
30.  Once inside locking room, lock door and start to relay out paper
       and materials.
31.  Remove bird from box, unlock door, put bird in cage, close and relock.
32.  Repeat previous step as often as necessary (until you can hear bird from
       outside door!).
33.  Lay out last sheet of paper. (This will be difficult in the small area of the toilet,
       but do your best!).
34.  Discover bird has already torn paper. Unlock door, go out and hunt
       through various cupboards, looking for sheet of last year's paper.
       Remembering that you haven't got any left because bird helped
       with this last year as well.
35.  Return to lockable room, lock door and sit on toilet and try to make torn sheet
       of paper look presentable.
36.  Seal box, wrap with paper and repair by very carefully sealing
       with sticky tape. Tie up with ribbon and decorate with bows to hide
       worst areas.
37.  Label. Sit back and admire your handiwork, congratulate yourself
       on completing a difficult job.
38.  Unlock door and go to kitchen to make drink and feed bird.
39.  Spend 15 minutes looking for bird until coming to obvious conclusion.
40.  Unwrap present, untie box and remove bird.
41.  Go to store and buy a gift bag.


HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

      

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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