Parrot Toy Angels: January 2010 Angel Wings
Parrot Toy Angels

Angel Wings

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

January 2010
Volume 5, Issue I

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In this month's issue:
    Recycling, Angel Style
    Cage Cleaning Tip
    Angel Announcements
    Featured Fid ~ The Galah
    Happily Ever After
    Mangia, Mangia, Ah Beetz'
    Safety Today
    The Many Uses of Loofah
    Feathered Funny
    Hormones - fact or fiction?
    Rikki Sez
    Help Us

Candace C. from Canada
Jennifer D. and Adam M. from Oregon

Happy New Year!
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Recycling, Angel Style
By Stacey Baker

After ringing in 2010, those leftover party hats can be used to create a quick foraging toy for your feathered friend.

Start off with a cone-style hat (non glittered). Make sure to remove any elastic bands, tape or staples. Punch two holes in one side. Fill the cone with a few nuts, nutriberries, dried fruit and some small toys. Add some shredded paper, muffin cups or coffee filters. Attach to the side of cage with a piece of veggie-tanned leather, cotton string or zip tie.

Happy New Year!

Candy enjoying her party hat!
Candy enjoying her Party Hat!

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WOW!  Lookie.... a PTA Coupon
Cage Cleaning Tip
By Sandy and The Zippman

Take seed catchers off cage and cover with either Glad Cling Wrap or Saran Wrap. Cut each strip a little longer than seed catcher so it can be folded around the edges. Wrap all four of the seed catchers by smoothing out the wrap. Food and other solids will wipe off easily with a paper towel. Seeds slip right off. The tray can also be wrapped but make sure to keep it dry to avoid mold.

Seed catchers wrapped with Glad wrap

Seed catchers wrapped with Glad wrap

NOTE: Please don't allow your bird to chew on Glad or Saran Wrap.

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Shiloh, who owns Wyspur
Shiloh, who owns Wyspur, enjoying her "safe" toothbrush
Watch for upcoming events, news, website updates, etc. here

Angel Cornbread Mixes

Looking for an easy-to-make treat for your birds? Try our new
Angel Baking Mixes. Available in 2 flavors ~ Cornbread and Spicy Cornbread. Simply add eggs, liquid, and applesauce, mashed sweet potatoes or squash to a package of mix and you can quickly bake up 36 mini muffins or a 9" x 9" pan of yummy cornbread. No salt or sugar, just organic flour, millet and freeze-dried veggies are in our mixes. Your birds will think the muffins are "Heavenly"!

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Featured Fid ~ The Galah Cockatoo
By Sue Christie-Cox

Cassie, Galah 'Too
Cassie, Galah who owns Pam

Eolophus roseicapilla, Cacatua roseicapilla also known as the Rose-breasted Cockatoo, Galah Cockatoo or Roseate Cockatoo.

Australia's pink and grey Galah is probably one of our most recognizable birds. The word "Galaa" is actually an Aboriginal word meaning fool or idiot, which sums up the happy-go-lucky personality and attitude of this little cockatoo. For this bird, life is a party and it is out to enjoy every minute. They are a highly intelligent, social and very adaptable bird.

The Galah is about 35 cm (14 inches) long. It has a pale grey to mid-grey back, a pale grey rump, a pink face and chest and a light pink crest. They are very long lived. In captivity, Galahs can live to 80 years of age, so Galahs are definitely a pet for life!

These birds are found in flocks of hundreds of birds in the wild, foraging on the ground for seeds, grasses and bugs, with look-outs posted on the perimeter of the flock to warn of any dangers. They are spread across open country in almost all parts of Australia, including Tasmania, only absent from the driest areas in the center of Australia and the far north of Cape York Peninsula. They are equally at home in rural areas where they can be considered a pest because they destroy crops or grain stores, as they are in urban or city areas. I have seen small flocks grazing in the gardens next to the Opera House and on the grass under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

They are extremely playful and intelligent birds that need constant stimulation, interaction, toys and branches to chew on. They are not generally noisy, apart from early morning and evening. Both sexes can become good talkers, however the male is considered to be the better talker.

Galahs are especially prone to fatty tumors and require a balanced, low fat diet and plenty of exercise. Encouraging flying is one great way to exercise your Galah, as well as providing foraging activities and placing food dishes in places that will require the bird to climb or fly to reach them.

Things you may not know about the Galah
♥ A group of Galahs is referred to as a flock, pack or mob.
♥ Sexes are similar, differing only in eye color: the male has a brown iris, the female red.
♥ Recent research into parrots seems to indicate that Galahs can develop the communication and problem solving skill level of a two-year old child.
♥ Galahs are strong, fast flyers and reach speeds exceeding 30 miles per hour.
♥ At Kimba, in South Australia they have the Big Galah, as a tourist attraction.
♥ A pair of Galahs will bond for life and will be capable of breeding for up to 40 years.

Georgie, Galah 'Too
Georgie, Galah 'Too

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...Happily Ever After...
Angel the Moluccan Cockatoo

By Susan Kesler

Angel's owner brought her to the vet saying she'd been 'injured' and later refused to take her back. "Just put her to sleep" was the answer the office got when asked about Angel's care. Angels' injuries were consistent with having been beaten and possibly hurled against walls. She was unable to hold her head up and was lethargic.

A woman heard of the Cockatoo's plight and answered the vets' plea to take the bird home when Angel was well enough to be released.

The doctor reduced his fees and donated many services to assist Angel. It took more than 6 months for Angel to heal enough to hold her head upright and steady and just about as long to be able to eat without assistance. While she was recuperating at the vet's office, the kind woman that had offered to take Angel home fell upon difficult times and could no longer offer her home.

A member of a Yahoo bird group, Seattle Parrots, knowing the circumstances, offered to take Angel, but at the time had no place to keep her. He committed to doing everything he could to make a place for this amazing bird.

Mollywood, a Cockatoo sanctuary, stepped in and offered safe housing until the man could arrange to bring Angel into his home.

Over the next months at the sanctuary, Angel continued to regain strength, began to play and responded well to others. Bob visited her often, bringing special things for her and helping her practice good social skills.

Bob was ultimately able to bring Angel home about 6 months later. Today this formerly brutalized Moluccan is happy, healthy, lively and beginning to fly about the house.

This "Happily Ever After" was made possible by many Angels in the wings coming together to help one little bird.

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Mangia, Mangia, Ah Beetz'
(Eat, Eat, Pizza for everyone!)
By Toni Fortin

Parrot Pizza

1 whole grain English muffin
2 tbsp. finely shredded carrots
1 tbsp. fresh or frozen corn
1/4 cup cooked pasta
Olive oil

Split muffin in half. Lightly brush the muffin halves with olive oil. Spread vegetables on the muffin halves. Cut pasta into very small pieces and place on muffin. Microwave for 12 seconds just to heat.

English Muffin Pizza....yum-o!

Human English Muffin Pizza

English muffins
Shredded mozzarella
Grated Romano cheese
Favorite marinara sauce
Olive oil
Sliced pepperoni
Optional: diced green peppers, onions, black olives

Preheat oven to 400. Split English muffins. Toast in the toaster. Brush with olive oil. Apply sauce to muffin halves and top with mozzarella and Romano cheeses. Add pepperoni slices. Heat until cheeses are melted.

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Safety Today
By Susan Kesler
Safety Committee Chairwoman

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year. Now it's time to pack away all the ornaments and decorations for another year and it's time to check all those neat Christmas toys your feathered friends have played with. I know we discuss this every January, but I think the reminder is important.

Clip any long length of rope, string, or raffia that has become exposed. This will help prevent the bird from getting entangled.

Toys made with chain also need to be checked. Are there bare exposed lengths of chain? You might want to string more parts onto the chain to help prevent toes getting caught in the links.

These periodic toy inspections are just as important as the safety of the toy it self. It will help prevent injury or an even worse tragedy.

You might also want to think about rotating toys now too. This prevents birds from getting bored with their environment. If your bird has a very favorite toy though, best leave it alone. My Hahn's has one toy that he will protect with his life. I tried taking it out once and have never touched it again!!

So readers play it safe and check those holiday toys.

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The Many Uses of Loofah
By Toni Fortin


♥  Clean grates and wooden perches with a 4" slice of loofah
♥  Take food off of walls (if you have enamel paint on them)
♥  Will bring a shine to stainless steel sinks
♥  Wash them out and use again, or throw them away
♥  Slices of loofah make great additions to your bird toys

You can purchase your loofahs from the PTA Website.

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Hormones - fact or fiction?
By Angel Savannah

You may notice that your bird seems a little moody during certain times of the year. Of course, all birds are different, but there are times of year when you might notice a little more unusual behavior from your pet.

Spring seems to be the time of year that many people's birds tend to 'act hormonal'. What does this mean? They may be uncharacteristically naughty. They may bite their favorite person or they may go out of their way to be particularly aggressive to other members of the family, whether they are human, fur or feather. They may be just the opposite. Some birds tend to get a little overly friendly. In the Spring, depending upon where you live, there is typically a climate change. For those of us in the Midwest, the snow melts, the temperature tries to stay above freezing, buds appear on the trees and the birds start returning north from their southern winter.

Along with all of these changes, there truly are changes taking place in your bird. Do we attribute these changes to hormones or are we going to blame the already abused scapegoat, climate? Let's examine the Macaw. In their natural habitat in the spring, daylight hours are lengthening and there are heavy rains taking place. Coinciding with the rains, the trees are a little easier for them to carve out their nests. Following the rains, there is an abundance of sprouting foliage and insects for them to feast on. With all of these necessities falling into place, is it then due to the climate? Or can we still say hormones?

In my bird room, the lights are on timers. I add an hour of daylight weekly until I have them up to 15 hours a day which falls around April. The birds have already begun to work their nest boxes, building nice nesting sites for future eggs. They still have all of the good foods I make for them daily, but are now truly gorging themselves with the soft foods, including hard boiled eggs and sprouts. Typically, from late April through June is the time our birds tend to nest most readily. But did I provide them with the necessary climate? Or are their hormones working overtime?

If it were only climate, the single bird might not be affected. A bird owner would most likely not try to induce breeding behavior in the single pet, as we do with our breeder pairs. Since single pet birds are showing off their territoriality, their aggressiveness, their affection and their rage and single female birds are preparing nest sites and laying eggs, we cannot simply label them with a psychological disorder, but more appropriately they should be labeled 'hormonal.'

I find that winter is a hormonal time for my African Greys, and although we have breeding occur in the spring, winter is also a very important time for them. Although our cockatiels will breed all year long, with seeming indifference to the seasons, they do still become quite moody in the spring! I imagine that people who specialize in one type of bird or another will notice slight differences in those particular species.

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Rikki Sez

Rikki will try and answer frequently asked questions here.

Rikki, My family used to give me peanuts in the shell all the time. Now after reading on the darn net something about peanuts they won't giv'em to me anymore. Do you know the reason?
Signed, Pining for Peanuts

Dear Pining for Peanuts, Get your mom to read the last few issues of Angel Wings again. There have been articles on nuts and all the different types, with information on the health benefits of all of them.
There have been concerns about peanuts as they can be susceptible to molds and fungal infestations. Of particular concern is aflatoxin, a poison produced by a fungus called Aspergillus flavus. The fungus grows when the temperature is between 86-96 degrees F (30-36 degrees C) and when the humidity is high. Roasted peanuts are thought to offer more protection against aflatoxin, plus roasting is also thought to improve peanuts' digestibility. Peanuts can be roasted at home to reduce or minimize aflatoxin exposure. If roasting peanuts at home, do so gently -- in a 160-170 degree F (about 75 degrees C) oven for 15-20 minutes -- to preserve the healthy oils.

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Rikki, Since it is getting cold outside my mom is bringing her house plants inside the house so they won't freeze. Why does she let me chew and tear some of them up but the other ones she tells me NO and puts in the other room? I thought green stuff was good for me...
Signed, Perplexed with the House Plants

Dear Perplexed, Some green stuff is good for you, but some of it is poisonous. Your mom has done her homework on toxic plants and is being a good parront by moving those plants into another room. She loves you and wants to keep you safe. Don't fret and enjoy the ones she does give you.

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Do you have a question for Rikki?
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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.

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