Parrot Toy Angels: July 2012 Angel Wings
Parrot Toy Angels

Angel Wings

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

July 2012
Volume 7, Issue VII

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In this month's issue:
    Angel Announcements
    Spring Auction Acknowledgements
    From The Angel's Toy Chest
    Angel Funny
    Whole Grain Blackberry Muffins
    Rikki Sez
    Featured Fid ~ The Fuertes's Parrot
    Feather Cysts
    How Our Pet Parrots Show Emotion
    How Clean Are Store Bought Toys?
    Dehydrated Mash
    Help Us

Angel Toys For Angels

July's Featured Toys

Small Fun Ring
Small Fun Ring
Small to Medium Birds

Small Birds

Small Birds

Check out all the
Angel Toys for Angels


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



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Spring Auction Update:

Our Spring 2012 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!

Thank You!

A heartfelt thank you to all our generous donators:

14 Karat Parrot
Alicia's Creations - Alicia Merritt
Avian Antics Boutique - Doug & Shelly Wing
Best Birdy Toys - Steve & Joan Letter
Birdie Road Creations
Birds in Hand - Ashley Dietrich
Birdsnest Specialty - Jim & Candy Foxwell
Bridget Wagenbach
Burge Bird Svcs. & Rescue - Dr. Julie Burge,DVM
Chopper's Toys - Claudia & Chopper
Coconut King - Gil
Denise Hosner
Goldenfeast Gourmet Pet Foods
Ilona Peterson
Little Perch Company - Danielle Renshaw
Lori & Bob Nelsen
Meryl Sheridan
Michael Smith Illustrations
Parroteelia Bird Toys - Delta Holder
Phoenix Foraging Rolls, LLC - Lucy Towbin
PJ Publications & Gifts - Paula Fitzsimmons
Toni Fortin
Verna & Peter Lucey
Vicki Hartsfield
Webmuskie - Laura Tisoncik
Wyspur Kallis

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

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From the Angel's Toy Chest
By Wyspur Kallis

Come Back Around

This fun toy is made from a plastic toy boomerang which is around 14" across the bottom and around 1-1/2" wide. There are three 1-1/4" plastic spools, 7 plastic flowers, 3 whiffle balls, 2 marbella beads, 2 plastic beads and 1 plastic fish all strung with bird safe Paulie rope. This toy has five 12" long hanging, fun filled stringers for your medium to large parrot to play with. Nickel plated hardware is used on this toy and comes in a variety of colors. This toy is suitable for Amazons, smaller Macaws and birds of similar size.

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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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Q: What did Polly Parrot want for the 4th of July?

A: A Firecracker!

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Are you on FACEBOOK? Then, COME JOIN US!

You WON'T be asked to join the Angels.

You WON'T be asked to make toys.

You WILL meet a great group of people, be part of a great group of volunteers and you WILL see what we do.

And maybe, you WILL find your own special way of wanting to help.

Parrot Toy Angels Volunteers Facebook group.

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Whole Grain Blackberry Muffins & Bars
By Toni Fortin

3 cups 6 grain cereal (I used Bob's Red Mill)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 TBSP. baking powder (non aluminum)
4 tsp. baking soda
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup organic peanut butter
4 eggs
2 cups almond milk
1-3/4 cups frozen blackberries

Mix first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix well all except blackberries. Pour small bowl into large bowl, then add blackberries and mix well, breaking some of them up into batter. Paper line your mini muffin pan (12) and drop batter by teaspoon filling 3/4 full. On a large cookie sheet 12"W X 16-3/4"L put the rest of the batter, spreading evenly. These will be bar cookies.

Bake at 400, mini muffins 10 to 12 minutes. When you take muffins out, lower the temp to 350. Bake large cookie sheet 18 to 20 minutes. Use the toothpick test.

As always, my fids say " "I like it, I like it and it's good!"

I tasted these- they are really good with a little jam on them.

Whole grain, blackberry mini muffins....YUM!

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Rikki Sez

Rikki will try and answer frequently asked questions here.

Rikki, A long time ago, my Mom got me a nice stand to sit on. I think it's made of something called PVC pipes. Problem was I had a hard time sitting on it when my nails were clipped. Mom tried sanding it down, but that didn't help. She now uses it to hang clothes on. Any ideas?
Signed, Punkin in NY

Dear Punkin, Tell mom to remove the clothes on your stand. There are several options your mom can choose from to make you more comfortable while sitting on your stand.
1) She can wrap vet wrap around the PVC pipe so you can grip it better.
2) Wood perches attached to the PVC stand will work and also give you something to chew on.
3) Using a dremel tool on the PVC pipe to rough it up will also work.
Hopefully one of these ideas will work for you. Good Luck and happy sitting.

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Rikki, There are three of us birdies at home. Last year, Mom tried to adopt but ended up "sponsoring," whatever that is. She was sad for a while. Now she's thinking the same thing again. What can we do? We don't want another brother or sister in the house. Our home is not really big. Some days Mom does not get home until late and we hardly get to spend time with her.
Signed, Happy As We Are

Dear Happy, That's a hard one. It sounds like your Mom was trying to do a good thing by adopting. There are a lot of things to consider before bringing a new sibling into the home: is there enough space for another cage? Can you afford the extra money for vet, food, toys, etc.? Most importantly, how would your family change with a new bird? Would everybody be happy and get along? Hopefully your Mom will make the best decisions for all.

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Do you have a question for Rikki?
Please send it to The Editor at

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Featured Fid ~ The Fuertes's Parrot
By George Goulding

The Fuertes's Parrot (also known as the Indigo-winged parrot and the Azure-winged parrot) is a critically endangered (CITES, Appendix II) parrot found only in Columbia and living in a restricted range within cloud forests at higher altitudes on the west slope of the Andes. This bird was thought to be possibly extinct until as recently as 2002 when it was rediscovered by a team from ProAves Columbia, a conservation group based in Columbia whose mission is to protect birds and their habitats in Columbia through research, conservation actions and community outreach.

Fuertes's Parrot

According to ProAves, the Fuertes's cannot exist in captivity because it is a highly specialized bird with a diet consisting of mistletoe berries and other fruits that exist within its limited range. According to information appearing on the BirdLife International web site, the Fuertes's is a smallish bird being about 24 cm or about 9.5 inches long and rather chunky. Its coloring is mainly green with an orange-red frontal bar, yellow fore-crown and face, blue rear crown and nape. It has green in the wings, red near the shoulder, as well as blues, olive, and purplish hues in its wings. It has a yellow-olive breast with a violet-tipped red tail. As the photo illustrates, the Fuertes's parrot is very colorful and quite beautiful to behold. Much information on feeding and breeding has been gathered since rediscovery, and it is now known that the nesting period takes place from January to May. The average clutch size is three eggs. Incubation is conducted solely by the female, but post-hatching care is from both parents.

The first discovery was in 1911, when collectors from the American Museum of Natural History in New York - Leo Miller and Arthur Allen - visited the same area where the Fuertes's parrot is found today. They discovered what they then referred to as a "distinct and interesting" parrot previously unknown to science. The species was named the following year becoming Hapalopsittaca fuertesi, or Fuertes's Parrot. Amazingly, between the original sighting in 1911 and 2002, there were no more sightings and the parrot was assumed by most to be extinct. The rediscovery of the Fuertes's in 2002 by ProAves was supported by American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and the World Parrot Trust (WPT). Their initial find was limited to around 14 individuals including 3 juveniles in a remote area of the central Andes close to Los Nevados National Park. Later, more were identified bringing the total to 60.

Although current population estimates vary depending on source, thanks to ongoing conservation efforts, the total population of Fuertes's Parrots has grown from 60 individuals to as many as 250. There is a known population of 160 birds. Hatching and fledging success rate are now around 90% due to the strenuous conservation efforts of ProAves and others.

The discovery in 2002 has attracted additional support from other notable conservation groups including the British Museum of Natural History, Instituto de Ciencias Naturales - Universidad Nacional de Colombia. During the decade since rediscovery, protected reserves have been established including the Giles-Fuertesi Reserve which was established with the support of Fundación Loro Parque. It comprises nearly 750 acres of Andes cloud forest. This reserve is a base for research into habitat use, behavior, and reproduction. It is located at between 10,000 and 12,000 feet altitude where the average temperature is around 51 degrees F.

Recently, an effort led by Fundación ProAves (the UK based foundation funding ProAves Columbia), and supported by World Land Trust-US, Robert Giles, Loro Parque Fundación, and American Bird Conservancy resulted in the acquisition of an additional several hundred acres of land to double the size of the existing Giles-Fuertesi Nature Reserve. This will include a series of reserves known collectively as the Threatened Parrot Corridor, all to be managed by ProAves. With the new additions, these reserves conserve over 18,000 acres of key habitat, and protect approximately 70% of the Fuertes's Parrot population, as well as populations of four other species of imperiled parrots: the Yellow-eared Parrot, Rusty-faced Parrot, the Golden-plumed Parakeet, and the Rufous-fronted Parakeet.

The rediscovery of the Fuertes's parrot and the efforts of ProAves and its partners underscore the fact that with effective cooperation and support between conservation groups and governments, some of the threatened parrot species can be saved and preserved in the wild, and it illustrates clearly the need for both private and public support for conservation groups without whose dedication many parrot species would vanish.

BirdLife International
World Parrot Trust
American Bird Conservancy
Photo is open source from Google

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Feather Cysts
By Angel Savannah

A feather cyst is similar in concept to a human's ingrown hair. This condition occurs in birds when a feather cannot exit the skin from its natural opening. It then develops in a little pocket under the skin and forms a bulge, or cyst. The cyst is yellow in color as it is comprised of the keratin material that makes feathers. This pasty substance can be removed by an avian vet by either expressing it from the bird's body or surgical removal. The substance itself is the consistency of toothpaste.

This is one of those health issues that not all aviculturists see in their flocks. I have seen this a few times over the years while job shadowing with an avian vet. The vet has expressed the yellow substance from the birds and then applied antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.

The causes of feather cysts vary. It could be anything from skin or feather trauma (including plucking) to infection and malnutrition. For the very basic causes, you can prevent these. Make sure your birds are well fed and infection free. Provide your bird with toys and plenty of things to do to keep him mentally and physically stimulated. These ideas will help in the area of prevention.

One of the down sides to feather cysts is that they will many times reform. They will have to be treated again. You will be able to feel a feather cyst on your bird. It will feel like a lump under the skin. The most common places to see cysts are on the wings. I have seen people's birds with cysts on their wings, chests, backs, and once on a leg. Some birds are more prone to feather cysts than others, and the two most common birds with cysts are canaries and Blue & Gold macaws. Some birds get multiple feather cysts at the same time.

Do what you can to prevent feather cysts. If your bird gets them, get him to your avian vet for treatment. Be vigilant about checking for future cysts, and be very careful about them becoming infected. And if you tend to get a little queasy, don't watch the vet!

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How Our Pet Parrots Show Emotions
By Leigh Anne Stewart

It may come as a surprise to some people that parrots do possess emotions. Many parrot owners know that their parrots experience happiness, sadness and even love. My blue and gold macaw will share his food with me, as he believes me to be his mate. He will attempt to preen my arm or my hair. This is his way of showing me his love.

Parrots that experience fear will show it by either screaming, or biting and flying (fight or flight). When they have fear, it is generally due to something new in their environment. It could be a stranger, or someone moving a large piece of furniture and they have to pass the parrot cage. These two examples show how my macaw reacts to that type of stimulus.

Anger is another emotion that he shows. When he gets mad about something he will try to bite the bars of his cage, grab a toy and shake it until he gets tired. He will occasionally hiss or posture and may even flap his wings aggressively.

Many times, when you have a bonded pair of parrots and one dies, the bird that is left gets lonely, confused, and it seems lost. They begin looking for their mate, and they go through a grieving period. Sometimes they will stop eating and drinking. It is just like a married couple in their golden years, when one dies the other is left to carry on. It is truly a sad thing to watch a parrot go through that period.

When parrots are happy, they have a happy screech and occasionally make a purring type sound. Their whole demeanor changes. They get a gentle, softer look about them. The bonding between the parrot and owner is easiest when the parrot is happy.

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How Clean Are Store Bought Toys?
By Kim Perez

I saw some pictures posted online of bird toys bought at large discount chain stores for their birds. The question arose, are they clean and safe for our birds?

Being in that environment, they could have everything on them from people's cold germs or worse (walking by and sneezing or coughing) to being pooped on by the wild birds flying around inside of the stores! There could be some potentially hazardous germs traveling with these toys to your home and if you put the toys directly into your cage, those germs will be in contact with your birds.

Toys can be cleaned in many different ways prior to giving them to your birds. The following list contains suggestions by many bird owners around the country. Choose a method based on what you and your avian vet feel is the best way to prepare these toys.

Bleach water: You can mix a 10% bleach to water solution in a spray bottle and spray your toys. Wait for the spray to dry and then give to your birds.

Steam: You can use a portable clothing or floor steamer to steam the toys. Once the toys are cooled and dry, they can be given to the birds.

GSE: Grapefruit Seed Extract mixed with water as a disinfectant spray. Some recommend this to be given in the birds' water, so there is no need to rinse.

Vinegar: White vinegar and apple cider vinegar were advised by different people to be mixed with water and used as a solution to clean toys.

Baking Soda: Baking soda mixed with hot water makes a good cleaner, but must be well rinsed because of the heavy residue.

Lemon: Lemon juice and water makes a great smelling spray for cleaning. (I personally would not use anything with a flavor without rinsing, as you don't want your bird to ingest something because it smells like food.)

Dish wash: Wash in the sink with hot water and dishwashing liquid. Rinse well.

Dishwasher: Place your toys in the top rack of the dishwasher and run through a regular washing cycle.

Sun dry: Clean with any cleaner you prefer and lay toys in the sun to dry.

With all of these suggestions, you should be able to find one that fits your comfort zone and works for you.

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Dehydrated Mash
By Lori M. Nelsen


1/3 cup amaranth
1/4 cup quinoa
1/3 cup hulled barley
1/4 cup millet

Place the grains in strainer and rinse until clear. Soak grains overnight. Drain and rinse again. These soaked grains can either be sprouted, or cooked by bringing to a boil in pan of fresh water. After the grains reach a boil, turn off the heat and let sit, covered for 10 - 15 minutes. Drain any excess water, allow grains to cool, and set aside.


1/2 cup lentils
1/4 cup mung bean

Place legumes in strainer and rinse until clear. Soak legumes overnight. Drain and add fresh water to cover the legumes in an appropriate sauce pan. Boil the legumes for 10 minutes (adding more water if necessary) skimming off the foam. Simmer for 20 minutes, drain off any water and allow legumes to cool. Place cooled legumes in food processor and whirl and set aside.


1/2 cup radish tops/greens
1/4 cup radish
1/3 cup fennel
3/4 cup cauliflower
3/4 cup romaine
1/4 cup collards
1/2 cup carrot and top/greens
1/4 cup orange bell pepper
1 cup purple kale
3/4 cup dandelion

Wash and trim all vegetables. Drain and pat off excess water. Place the produce in food processor and process the produce as you would normally for your mash. Blanch produce by placing processed veggies in a microwave safe bowl. Add a few tablespoons of water and cover with a cover or plastic wrap to steam. The blanching is done quickly. The length of time of blanching depends upon the amount of processed produce in the bowl. Microwave until about half cooked about a minute or so. Place blanched processed produce in fine strainer under cold running water to stop the blanching process. Drain off excess water and set aside.


1/4 pink grapefruit peeled

Place grapefruit in food processor and whirl.


1/2 TBSP. ground flaxseed
2 capsules Berry Green
1 capsule Barley Grass
1 capsule alfalfa
1-1/2 TBSP. pumpkin seed

Mix all mash components together along with the supplements listed. Spread mixture out thinly on parchment paper lined dehydrator trays (so it does not fall through). Measure the amount for either one meal or one day's meals on each tray. Weigh the amount of mash placed on the trays both before and after drying. It dries to about 50% of its original weight. This weight will give you an idea of the amount of water to use to re-hydrate.

Dry at 105 degrees for a minimum of 9 hours or until very dry. Store each meal or day's meals in vacuum sealed bags and store in a cool dry place (pantry or refrigerator).

Re-hydrate: Place contents of bag in a covered bowl and add the amount of water that was lost during dehydration. Start with less water and add more as needed. The grains are slow to re-hydrate. Shake or stir until re-hydrated. Refrigerate.

**The mash recipe was provided by Shauna Roberts of Feeding Feathers

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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:

©  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