Parrot Toy Angels: July 2013 Angel Wings
Parrot Toy Angels

Angel Wings

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


July 2013
Volume 8, Issue VII

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In this month's issue:

    Angel Announcements
    From the Angel's Toy Chest
    Mango Salsa for the Fids
    Too Humid For Your Bird?
    Too Much Sun?
    Rikki Sez
    Suzie's Flock
    Help Us


Welcome

Cheri P. from Ohio

Angel Toys For Angels

July's Featured Toys



Cubes & Balls
Cubes & Balls
Large to X-Large Birds


Shiny Buddy
Shiny Buddy
Small Birds


Fishy Fun
Fishy Fun
Medium Birds


Check out all the
Angel Toys for Angels

now!

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


   

ON THE SITE:

♥  New Items ♥
♥  Happy Flappers ♥


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From the Angel's Toy Chest
By Wyspur Kallis


April Flowers
April Flowers


This oh-so-cute toy is made with 3 hard plastic flower shaped rings. Small plastic pacifiers are added for more hours of fun for your bird. Nickel plated hardware is used on this toy and it measures approximately 10" long. This toy is suitable for smaller birds such as lovebirds, parakeets and birds similar in size. This and other toys are available for sale at www.parrottoyangels.com.


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Mango Salsa for the Fids
By Toni Fortin



There's nothing nicer than some juicy fruits on a hot summer day. My girlies have a hanging cage under a huge pecan tree in our yard. They love to spend hours out there. I always bring them cold, juicy fruit and or vegetables to munch on.

1/2 mango, peeled and chopped
1 slice of cantaloupe, chopped
6 large strawberries, cut up
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/4 of an apple, chopped
1/4 of a pear, chopped
1/4 cup fresh blueberries
8 red globe grapes, cut in half
1 fresh jalapeno, sliced into thin rings


Combine all in large bowl. Serve ice cold. For variety leave the pieces larger and serve on a skewer.


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


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WOW!  Lookie.... a PTA Coupon


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Too Humid For Your Bird?
By Angel Savannah


Where I live in the Midwest, it can be extremely hot and humid this time of year. It is actually uncomfortable to breathe outdoors and people can hardly wait to get inside where it is air conditioned.


Birds are very different. They love and need humidity. The lowest recommended humidity level is around 40%. Most people think this is only for breeding birds to aid in hatching eggs. This is not completely true. Although humidity is helpful in the hatching of eggs, it is necessary for many other reasons.


Most parrots' natural habitats are lush and humid. It is extremely important that we replicate their habitat in these basic ways as closely as possible. High humidity levels encourage your parrot to preen, keeping their feathers shiny, healthy and clean. It keeps their skin moist and healthy, too. It is also very important to their ability to breathe. Unlike people, who may find it difficult to breathe in high humidity, it makes it easier for a parrot to breathe. Dry air sacs make breathing more uncomfortable for them, and can be at the root of breathing and other health problems.


For something that is so very important for our birds, you would imagine that providing a humid environment would be very tricky and maybe even difficult. Quite the opposite is true.


You can merely provide a basin in which to bathe. It seems like birds like bathing the most when you first put fresh cold water in their dishes. The bird will flap around in the basin, getting the humidity in their lungs and on their feathers and skin. I strongly recommend this water be changed daily, if not twice daily. The more frequent the water changes, the more you will encourage your birds to bathe.


Another way to increase the humidity in your birds' environment is by misting them. This puts an immediate surge of humidity into their air. You can do this several times a day for them. The only thing you will have to be aware of is whatever medium you use in the tray. You don't want any bedding to get moldy. So the more humid you keep the environment, the cleaner you will need to keep their tray.


Another way to keep the humidity at an acceptable level is to use a humidifier. This is something that will keep the humidity at a more consistent level and the humidifiers you find in the stores are reasonably priced and easy to use.


I recommend all of these ways to keep humidity up. I use a cold air humidifier in my bird room, give my birds their drinking water in large dishes and I spray them with a mister at least once a day. They are all very happy and healthy and their feathers look fabulous! Hopefully you can see in the photo of my Paulie (B&G Macaw) and Joey (CAG) how shiny their feathers are. My vet always comments on how beautiful they are.


Paulie & Joey
Paulie & Joey


Editor's note -- when using humidifiers, be sure to follow manufacturer's recommendations (as long as they are compatible with bird safety) on cleaning and filter maintenance. Most humidifiers need proper maintenance and cleaning to avoid health problems. Scum and film can build up inside humidifier tanks and are indications of bacteria and fungi which become airborne and can cause lung inflammation in humans, and more than likely in birds.


**Reprint from July 2011 Angel Wings


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Too Much Sun?
By Kim Perez


Is there such a thing as too much sun for our feathered kids? Actually, the answer is not as simple as you might think. Sunlight itself will not hurt birds, but the accompanying heat can cause them some problems.


You'll notice that excessive heat without direct sun is not good. Birds in the wild will find ways to cool down - bathing in lakes/streams/rivers, hiding in lower branches of trees, etc.


What we, as bird owners, need to be aware of is the potential for too much heat on our birds. Sunlight itself is not harmful, unless it overheats the bird. Is sunlight necessary? Yes. Sunlight provides our birds with natural Vitamin D which allows them to be able to process and absorb the nutrients from their food. It makes their feathers look sleek and shiny and gives them the overall aura of good health. Is 'near an open window' good enough? No. Glass filters out all of the UV rays from the sun and does not allow for the absorption of Vitamin D.


What is recommended is to allow our birds direct sunlight with areas of shade. This can be accomplished many different ways, with something that almost anyone should be able to do.


Easiest Option: Set your bird's cage outside. Place the cage where part of the cage is in the shade, or if you have no shade, place a towel or similar on top of part of the cage to provide shade. Do not leave your bird in its cage unattended outdoors.


Medium Option: If you have an outdoor room/tent that may possibly be screened, you can have a play gym or tree in this area and take your bird there for some sun (shade available).


Totally Committed Option: Build an outdoor aviary, plant with safe trees/shrubs, with a water feature and allow your bird a lot of outdoor time.


Another option which allows you to not have to provide an outdoor enclosure is to have your bird suit up. You can take your bird in a flight suit or harness outdoors to enjoy the sunlight. Since you will be in the sun with him/her, you will be aware of when you should offer them shade. Do not forget that if you become thirsty, your bird surely will, too. Keep him/her well hydrated and hopefully the outdoor time will have an additional outcome and be a bonding moment for you.


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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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Rikki Sez


Rikki will try and answer frequently asked questions here.



Rikki, My mom's friend has a couple of human kids. The kids like me and I like them. But Mom watches me around them because I sometimes bite. Mom's friend wants to buy a 'Too like me for the kids. Mom tells her that would be a mistake because a 'Too isn't a good bird for a person whose never had birds before. Any words of wisdom for Mom to say?
Signed, A 'Too

Dear Curious but Smart 'Too, Your Mom is very right, a cockatoo is probably not a good first bird. There are very many cockatoos in shelters and sanctuaries because folks did not understand how much care they require, how noisy and messy they can be, and just what it's like to live day to day with one. Yes, they are great birds, and many families enjoy their antics and fun.


But even a happy and well adjusted 'too is NOISY - come on, admit it, you LOVE to be loud! I'll bet your neighbors hear you expressing yourself quite often. Cockatoos are also pretty destructive, and they have to be given lots of things to tear up, chew up, and destroy, and lots of messes to be cleaned up after.


And I've seen the aftermath of a 'too bite, more than once. Most often they don't MEAN to be mean, they just get frightened and try to defend themselves. But a cockatoo bite can often require medical attention, and leave nasty scars. They have incredibly strong beaks and very powerful bites that not only leave puncture wounds, but can tear skin and leave nasty bruises as well.


Then there's just the whole bird experience, in general, to consider. Daily cage cleaning, regular bathing, surprisingly expensive vet visits, toys, toys and more toys, not to mention trying to find someone to watch your bird so you can do things like going away for the weekend.


Also, cockatoos live a lot longer than your average dog, cat, or even smaller birds. A lifespan of 40 years or more is a long time to commit without a lot of consideration, and experience.


Maybe you and your mom should invite this friend over for a weekend, and the two of you should do your best to show her what life is REALLY like with a 'too. You can throw some food at her, poop on her, scream at her for half an hour or so, sneak up and bite her toes, chew holes in her purse when she leaves it in the wrong place - you know, basic 'too fun??


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Rikki, How did you get to have your own advice column? I am busy enough playing with toys, eating, and taking a lot of naps.
Signed, Curious

Dear Curious, It's cause I'm so very smart, special, and perrrty! And besides, no one else wanted the job, and mom gives me extra goodies for doing it!


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


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Suzie's Flock
By Bridget Wagenbach


In the last few PTA newsletters, I have written about several flock members (cockatoos Beaky and Fred) that live with my friend Suzie and her 11-year-old son Noah. Suzie is proud of her avian family, all rescued birds, and posts regularly to her Facebook wall. I thought I would share my favorite photos of the rest of her flock. Crownie is an 11-year-old Red Lored Amazon. His original name was Corona, named after beer by a prior owner. Shadow is a 7-year-old Congo African Grey. Finally, Sam is a Blue Fronted Amazon and probably aged 15 - 18 years; his photos are of him before and after a bath. I hope you enjoyed meeting Suzie and Noah's flock!


Crownie showing off after a bath

Crownie

Close up of Shadow

Shdadow

Sam before and after getting a bath

Sam before his bath   Sam after his bath


We'd love to run your "Favorite Bird Story". Send it to us at editor@parrottoyangels.org


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Help Us Help the Birds...



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

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

All donations tax deductible.

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

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

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

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©  2008-2013 Parrot Toy Angels • P.O. Box 34372 • Houston, Texas  77234
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