Parrot Toy Angels: June 2009 Angel Wings
Parrot Toy Angels

Angel Wings

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

June 2009
Volume 4, Issue VI

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In this month's issue:
    Spring Auction Acknowledgements
    Bird Muffins
    ParrotNutz Quinoa Mini Muffins
    Feathered Funnies
    Angel Tribute
    Helpful Info
    The 411 on Mice
    Help Us
    Safety Today
    Featured Fid ~ The Illigers Macaw
    Presents for a friend...
    Severe Weather
    What Is A Parrot To Eat? Part 2
    Rikki Sez

Angel Toys For Angels

Featured Toys for June

Mini Macaw Medley
Mini Macaw Medley
Small Birds

Bagel Blast
Bagel Blast
Medium to Large Birds

Round N Round
Round N Round
Medium to Large Birds

Check out all the
Angel Toys for Angels


Spring Auction Acknowledgements Thank You

A heartfelt thank you to all our generous donators:

14 Karat Parrot
Alicia's Creations - Alicia Merritt
Avian Antics Bird Toys - Doug & Shelly Wing
Barb Arellano
Chocoversity - Margot Owen
Chopper's Toys - Claudia & Chopper
Cooka's Rainbow
Delta Holder
Denise Weinstein
Donna Dae
Dori Jacobson
Dr. Lauren V. Powers, DVM, Dipl ABVP(Avian)
Eastern Shore Antiques - Debra Edgington
Elizabeth & Peter Cirrotti
Eric & Debby Peake
Goldenfeast Gourmet Pet Foods - Anne Collier
Gretl Vegvari
Ilona Peterson
Jo Ann Diffee Gallery
Kathy Pietig
Lori & Robert Nelsen
Nancy & George Goulding
Nikki Slade
Parrotdise Gifts - Rhonda Sigrist
ParrotNutz - Adriane Chernus
Parrots on the Porch - Christina
Penny Patch-Bartnicki
Stacey Baker
Susana Emberg
Terri White
The Parrot Lady - Debbie Goodrich
Tri-State Pets Mfg. - Kim Perez
Toni Fortin
Verna Brisbon-Lucey
Wyspur Kallis

To all those that bid...we appreciate your support! Because of you we are

"Making a difference ...
one bird at a time"

♥ ♥ ♥

Bird Muffins
By Colleen Soehnlein

This month's recipe is my old stand by of bird muffins! I make these in a large batch. They freeze well and are good as a quick fix for the birds. They are nutritious and the birds here all adore them. I do use a scale and mix in a large bowl.

Yum-O Muffins

2 lbs. whole wheat organic flour
8 oz. quick cooking steel cut oats
8 oz. chopped walnuts (or your bird's favorites)
8 oz. dried organic mixed berries

Stir to distribute and coat nuts with flour.
Add in:
2 tbs. cinnamon
4 tbs. baking powder (optional)

Stir again to distribute.
In a smaller bowl
Mash 3 very ripe bananas
3 jumbo eggs (shell or not - your call)
Mix in:
4 cups organic blueberry juice (or apple)

Add wet to dry and mix just until moist. Do not over mix. You may need to add a little more juice. Spoon into large muffin tins or mini loaf pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. You may need to adjust your time based on the size of your loaves.

♥ ♥ ♥



Quinoa Muffins

Quinoa is one of the most nutritious grains there is!

♥ Loaded with protein, calcium and phosphorous ♥ Multi Grain Organic Flour ♥ Birds love 'em!

$15.95/15 mini muffins

Click Here to order

♥ ♥ ♥

Chibi & Dinky
Chibi & Dinky enjoying ParrotNutz Mash

♥ ♥ ♥


The Duck & Grapes

A duck walks into a convenience store and walks up to the counter. The duck asks"Got any grapes?". "No", said the puzzled store clerk. The duck smiles and walks out the door. A little while later the duck returns and asks, "Got any grapes?" The clerk replies, "No! Like I already told you 15 minutes ago, I don't have any grapes!" The duck smiles and walks out. A little while later the duck returns and again asks "Got any grapes?" The irate clerk yells, "No! We didn't have any, we don't have any and we're not going to have any. If you come back in here again I'll nail your webbed feet to the floor!" The duck smiles and walks out. Later the duck returns and asks the clerk "Got any nails?" The clerk says "NO!" The duck replies, "Good! Got any grapes?"

♥ ♥ ♥

Angel Tribute
By Susan Kesler

The Angels have a project,
that's nothing new.
The call went out and we answered,
wouldn't you?
There's birds needing toys
and sometimes food too.
Those signature wings aren't just for show,
they are there so all the folks will know
that there really are Angels.
Their call will be heeded
that Parrot Toy Angels
are around when they're needed!

♥ ♥ ♥

Loco, who owns CaroleSue
recommends shopping at PTA!

♥ ♥ ♥

Helpful Information Just In Case...
By Pami Carter

I wanted to share some useful information that everyone should think about. My sister and I used to do "dog rescue" and my husband and I were transporters. Each dog in the rescue had a packet with all their personal information, somewhat like your doctor's office records. This information is very useful when pets are being transported by several "runners" so that they each know something about the pet; their likes, their dislikes, their behaviors and their feeding schedule. Sometimes the pets were overnighted with a runner, so this gave the runner valuable information on making the dog more comfortable in an already upsetting situation. Each runner received a copy and passed the original to the next runner when their leg of the run was complete. Upon arriving at the final destination, the foster/adoption family had all the information they needed to help make this pet's transition into a new family a little easier.

As many of us treat our pets like children, it could be a traumatic experience for them if something happened to us. I couldn't stand the thought of my babies, all of sudden, being away from me and with someone that knew nothing about how to care for them. Their pet perks, you might say, are very important and with knowing, at least the minimum, on their daily routines could help save them a lot of stress.

I keep a similar package for all my pets. This includes my birds, my dogs, my cats and my horses. In case of any emergency that takes me away from home, anyone who comes in to take care of my babies will know exactly what to do, how to do it and when to do it - according to the pets likes!

If I were to die today, there is documentation on what my babies need, their daily routine, their feeding schedule and menu, their preferred playtime activities, their bed time - their daily life is documented on a sheet of paper. At least someone will know their name, when they were last fed according to the schedule and when their next meal time is due and how to try and make them comfortable in a not so normal situation. I've never spent one night away from my Chihuahuas and the oldest are 9 years old. This could cause a traumatic experience for them and at least this package of information could help ease them somewhat.

Click here for a sample of
Tweety's general information.
(The complete form has dates of vetting, wing clippings, nail trims, etc.)

Thank you Pami Carter for submitting this article.

♥ ♥ ♥

"Alfalfa" Is Not Just A Member of "Spanky and Our Gang"
By Lori M. Nelsen

Centuries ago, the Arabs used a nutrient-rich grass - Alfalfa, named for "Father of Foods", as feed for their horses. They believed that it made them strong and healthy. The Arabs were correct in their belief.

As centuries have passed, Alfalfa has been proven to be one of the most nutritious green food and mineral provider. Alfalfa powder (Medicago sativa) contains: Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K. It is a rich source of calcium, silicon, phosphorus, iron, potassium, chlorine, sodium, magnesium, zinc and many additional trace elements. Alfalfa has eight known enzymes that promote chemical reactions that enable food to be assimilated properly within the body. Alfalfa has high chlorophyll content and is a good source of plant sugars, protein (approx. 25% by weight), fiber and beta carotene. Alfalfa contains important substances, including saponins, sterols, flavonoids, coumarins and alkaloids.

Alfalfa contains the properties to aid in the struggle of allergies and arthritic conditions of parrots by helping to remove toxins from the body, neutralize acids and purify the blood. Alfalfa stimulates the appetite and aids in the assimilation of protein, calcium & other nutrients. This small plant boasts a massive root system that travels up to 250 feet down into the earth to obtain its nutrients. Some studies have shown that the total length of the roots of a single plant would add up to almost 3,000 miles.

Alfalfa can be purchased as seeds, sprouts and the powdered plant as a bulk herb. Here we are concerned with the bulk herb for natural green supplementation for parrots. Powdered Alfalfa can be used as a natural supplement without the fear of synthetic toxicity. This is not to say that more is better. If feeding a mostly fresh food diet, you can add about 1%-2% green food supplements. These supplements can include other green supplements that we will study another time. Alfalfa, in capsule form, could be supplemented as: less than 1/8 capsule for birds under 100 grams, 1/8 capsule for birds up to 250 grams, 1/4 capsule 250-500 grams, 1/3 capsule 500-750 grams, 1/2 capsule 750-100 grams. If you feed pellets and and/or synthetically enriched seed or a mix it is best not to add more supplementation as malnutrition from vitamin toxicity can result.

On a side note, purchasing Alfalfa sprouts or other commercially grown sprouts from the neighborhood grocery or your Whole Food Store is not recommended, due to the recent recalls by the FDA because of the problem of salmonella in commercially grown sprouts.

So help your "Little Rascals" stay on their toes by giving them a daily dose of "Alfalfa".

♥ ♥ ♥

The 411 on Mice
By Gwen Scamardo, Director
Pampered Parrots Rescue & Aviary

Since it's nearing summer and there are lots of mice out in rural and urban areas, I wondered if you knew the following:

♥ Mice droppings are toxic to your companion birds. They can even be lethal to you.
♥ Mice carry serious diseases that may affect both humans and animals - such as typhus fever, trichinosis, plague, infectious jaundice, Salmonella food infections and possible Hantavirus.
♥ Hantavirus has killed humans and is carried even by your "every day" house mice. Hantavirus is shed in the urine and fecal droppings of rodents, typically mice. Humans can become infected by inhaling dust that contains dried contaminated rodent urine or feces.

I'm sharing this because we recently had a mouse problem...of course, we are in the country, but my sister-in-law has mice problems as well and she lives in the city. Did you know that a SINGLE mouse can have 200 babies in 3 months? If you truly have a mouse problem, a trap isn't going to help. Given a choice between my safety and the safety of my flock or an outside animal, would be me and my flock.

I'm sure some think this is a drastic measure. I assure you, that if you never had an infestation of the little critters, you wouldn't think so. If you have ever walked into a bird building and seen a little critter run out of one of your companion bird's cages, you should be worried.

To make it clear...we have tried traps, poison, catching live mice, NOTHING ever worked.

We prefer not to set poison that they take back to the nest because they die within your walls! You could use the electronic devices that don't kill anything but the mice or other similar animal. I personally have found they do not work for me.

I thought I'd share what we use to kill mice. This works wonderfully and unlike other poisons where mice crawl up in your walls and die, this bait makes them leave the house and building in search of water. They die almost always outside and not inside.

Make sure all your birds are locked up at night with no way to escape! If you have small children or pets in your home, be sure to place out of their reach.

Mix 1 part Plaster of Paris to 1 Part Nestle POWDERED Chocolate mix. Use 2 cups of each and keep stored in a plastic container clearly marked and out of reach.

The mice will eat this up!!! Within a week, you won't have any more mice problems. Inability to use poisons in the bird room is what makes them so attractive to mice and that's why the best defense is prevention. If you will place peppermint or bay leaves around your walls they will stay away as well...They hate the smell of peppermint!

Thank you Gwen Scamardo for submitting this article.

♥ ♥ ♥

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♥ ♥ ♥

Safety Today
By Susan Kesler
Safety Committee Chairwoman

O Rings

To protect our savings and our children's college fund, many parronts have taken to making toys for our feathered little termites. It's a great money saver and something that can be fun to do together. Nickel plated and stainless steel "O" rings and chain are becoming ever popular in making "indestructible" toys, or toys that will last a little longer than wood and rope.

Used properly, the "O" rings are very safe, but can be an accident waiting to happen when used improperly. It is important to choose an "O" ring that your parrot can't crush or open easily. Equally as important is opening and closing them correctly.

The easiest way I have found to open them is with two pair of needle nose pliers. First, cover the jaws with electrical tape to prevent scratching the finish and then grasp each side of the "O" ring with a pair of pliers. With a twisting motion, push the jaws of one pair of pliers away from you and pull the jaws of the other pair towards you, opening it just far enough to accomplish your goal (connecting to a piece of chain, attaching to a toy, etc.).

Closing them can be a bit trickier. Grasp the "O" ring with the pliers in the same manner as opening them and put a little pressure towards the middle when bringing the ends together. Please be sure the ends of the "O" ring join together snug and even. There should be no gap between the ends and no overlapping. An improperly closed "O" ring can catch a nail, beak or tongue possibly causing injury.

So play it safe and close those "O" rings tight!

♥ ♥ ♥

Featured Fid ~ The Illigers Macaw/Blue Winged Macaw (Ara maracana)
By Shelly Wing
Avian Antics Bird Toys

Size: Medium, 16 - 20 inches (half of which is tail)
Native Region: Central and Eastern Brazil, through Paraguay, and into North East Argentina
Life Expectancy: 30 to 50 years
Noise Level: Moderate
Talk/Trick Ability: Good. They learn and enjoy performing tricks and can be very good talkers.

Angus, Bentley & Rocco
Angus, Bentley & Rocco

Status: Extremely endangered in the wild, listed on CITIES Appendix I. Until recently, the Illigers proved to be very difficult to breed in captivity. Up until the mid '90's, the Illigers was virtually unknown in aviculture. There was little interest in this delightful little Macaw, due to their rather non-descript coloring. After 1995, there were a few breeders having minimal success with breeding the Illigers. For many years, most breeders would only release males to the pet trade because roughly 80% of all Illigers chicks were male. Females were reserved for breeding purposes. Since the 90's, breeders have become more interested in working with Illigers and today, while certainly not common, they are generally readily available.

The Illigers Macaw is inquisitive, loving and playful. They enjoy games and toys that involve thinking and can be very mischievous. Young hand raised Illigers Macaws make wonderful pets and their small size makes them easy to handle. They have a very friendly nature, but need to be kept well socialized with regular interaction. They are highly intelligent birds, so they do need constant stimulation. They love flying and make excellent aviary birds providing they are kept in a large flight cage. They enjoy company and will thrive if kept with a companion bird.

Challenges: Illigers are extremely active - always doing something. Boredom and lack of exercise can lead to behavioral problems such as screaming and nippy behavior. A large cage, lots of toys and adequate daily out-of-cage time will go a long way toward keeping this clownish, activity junkie happy.


Care Needs: Although the Illigers is small, it still requires more play space than most similar sized parrots. An Illigers will fit in a cage designed for an Amazon, but it will feel confined and restricted unless the cage is used only for sleeping. The ideal cage size for an Illigers would be the same as for a large Macaw with appropriate smaller bar spacing. Illigers also require an abundance of toys of all types, with particular emphasis on puzzle and wood chew toys. Without proper exercise and stimulation, these little guys can become sullen and over-dependent, or develop and almost constant Conure-like contact call.

Safely (and I emphasize "safely") accommodating the Illigers high activity level, exercise needs and inquisitive nature are the biggest concerns. These compact, little Macaws are into, on top of and underneath everything. A bird-safe household is a must. You've got to watch where you walk! Illigers are very affectionate and love their people and will often hop down to the floor to follow you. They are also notorious for crawling under blankets, pillows and cushions. They'll hop into the dishwasher, into an open cabinet, or out the door.

Angus & Rocco
Angus & Rocco

Dietary Needs: A varied, high quality diet consisting of pellets formulated for Macaws, fresh vegetables, fruits, sprouted seeds/legumes, quality nuts and other healthy foods are a must. Like all Macaws, Illigers relish cracking and devouring nuts. Due to the relatively small beak size, compared to larger species, they may need larger nuts started with a nut cracker.

An Illigers Macaw needs to be a member of the family, which will become its flock. Illigers enjoy accompanying their people on trips, in a proper carrier and meeting new people. Their agile minds appreciate learning and performing tricks for praise or applause. They are easily potty trained, learn basic manners - step-up & down commands - in a flash and enjoy cuddling and wrestling. A life of constant confinement in a cage would be unsuitable for any bird, but especially so for an Illigers Macaw. Illigers are a good choice for first time bird owners that have done their homework and if handled properly are excellent in family situations. However, if the family is noisy and boisterous, the Illy will also be noisy and boisterous.

♥ ♥ ♥

"Presents for a friend...
Are you giving more than a toy?"

By Wyspur Kallis and Susan Kesler

Making toys for your bird can be a fun activity to do together! Gather a bunch of toy parts together in a box and let your parrot pick out their favorites. String them on some rope or hemp and Tweety has a toy he's sure to enjoy.

When you make toys for someone else's bird though, it is very important to keep in mind where your toys and toy parts are stored and made. A separate room away from your birds is the best place to store your toy parts to prevent dander and germs, or to prevent toy parts from being chewed by your birds. If you store your toy parts in the same room as your birds, they should be stored in tightly sealed, bird proof containers. Make sure you clean the dander and dust off the containers and move them to another room before you open them. Assembling the toys in a room separated from your birds is very important. If your birds are frequent visitors to this room, a quick wipe down of your toy making surfaces may be in order. These are a few ways to prevent the spread of any unknown illnesses from leaving your home and going into another home, whether you are making toys to exchange with friends or donating them to an organization that shelters parrots.

♥ ♥ ♥

Severe Weather and Your Parrot
By Wyspur Kallis

With the coming of spring comes the not so nice weather. Preparing for this season's round of severe weather is an important task for your entire household. Many of us are aware of the severe storm warnings that affect us all; with having caged animals it's important to take some necessary steps when warning sirens go off. Move all cages away from windows and if at all possible into an inside room with no or few windows. Keep heavy blankets handy to place over the cages and keep a battery-powered light handy at all times. Avoid the use of candles when birds are in the room, as many candles give off toxic fumes and are a fire hazard as well. Have bottled water on hand and plenty of dry food. If your power goes out, your birds will have food and water. A battery-powered radio is a great asset to have on hand not only for information, but because our households are usually very noisy from every day life. With a power outage, everything is unusually quiet and your birds may not be comfortable with that. Take extra time and care with your birds, as this may be a very difficult and stressful time for them.

♥ ♥ ♥

What Is A Parrot To Eat?
Part 2

By Dori Jacobson

Well..CANDY of course! My birds love their fact my CAG, Gracie, is calling for her candy right now. I love my licorice and my Heath bars, so why not give my parrots candy? They love it and two of them even call for it by name. What better way to follow up a dinner of Mexican Parrot Pizza (see last month's Angel Wings Newsletter)?

Of course, I don't mean the yummy, chocolate coated goodies that we love so much. I make their candy for them and it's much easier than melting, mincing and cooking the Heath bar candies I make at Christmas. How about some chewy, "nougatty", crunchy candy to finish off their evening meal, or to give as an afternoon pick-me-up.

First, you'll need to make some sprouts (recipes in previous newsletter also). I make the sprouts the night before, or use the refrigerated left-over sprouts I may have on hand. The other ingredient is Wonton wrappers. These are also called Spring Roll wrappers or Lumpia wrappers in some areas of the country. You can find these in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores and health food grocers. Dislodge a single wrapper from the package (once you've tried this, you'll understand what I mean!). Take a spoonful of sprouts (amount depends on the size of your bird). Place the sprouts on the wrapper (if you position it carefully, you can make several pieces of "candy" from one wrapper). Roll the wrapper around the sprouts. I like to mold the sprouts and wrapper into a block shape. Wrap tightly, overlap the layer, and trim it from the rest of the wrapper piece. Dip your finger into water, and seal the edge. Fold the open sides over and seal also. I've been told you can just let the wrapper dry, and it will dry hard, but I haven't found this method to be 100% reliable. I dip the wrapper briefly into boiling water, remove quickly and set it onto a cake grate to dry. When dry, just feed it to your bird. They will love to destroy the hard sort of crunchy outer layer, and get to the sprouts inside!

If I forget to make my sprouts the night before, or don't have any leftovers, I have also used an almond, carrot section, fruit section, etc. I think mine prefer the sprouts. They chew the top off the wrapper, then hold the "candy" between their talons and scoop out the innards. You are only limited by your imagination and your parrot's preferences. If you aren't adept at making the "brick candy", you can simply wrap the sprouts, etc. in a wrapper and then twist the end closed (think Wonton shape). Take a piece of cotton string and tie it closed before dipping into the water. Then just untie the string once it's dry and discard; your Parrot Wonton should retain its shape.

Next installment, "real" foodstuffs...seeds, pellets, or whatever my fids tell me I need to cover.

♥ ♥ ♥

Rikki Sez

Rikki will try and answer frequently asked questions here.

Rikki, OWWWWWW, I so skeered! Somethin' outside just went KA BOOM and da house shook and it got all dark and water started fallin' from da sky and all da lights went out and I skeered. Did I do that when I shook my new toy?
Signed, Runnin' and hidin' and skeered

Dear Skeered, That big KaBoom you heard is something called thunder. Lots of times the thunder is accompanied by lightning...great big flashes of light. The lights happen up in the sky. When those lights heat up, they make that big KaBoom. The reason the lights inside your house went out are because the lights outside hit a special electric box. It is pretty skeery, huh? Especially when you hear it for the first time. The younger fids in my house don't mind it too much anymore. Our human Mama explained it to them so they aren't so skeered. She said it's the Angels up in the sky playing a game called bowling. The Angels roll this great big ball in the clouds (and you can hear the rumbling). When the big ball hits the bowling pins, it makes a big KaBoom and then the wooden bowling pins fall down. Our Mama makes us bowling game toys out of plastic instead of the wooden balls and pins. It makes lots less noise that way, so our Mama can sleep late in the morning when we play bowling. She is a Parrot Toy Angel and she sometimes makes bowling toys for the rescue birds too. So, don't be's just the Parrot Toy Angels playing around in the sky! (No, I don't know how they get up there...maybe a plane?)

♥ ♥ 

Rikki, How come mom doesn't worry so much about her weight? She eats whatever she wants and that scale in the bathroom just gets dustier and dustier. But me...She keeps weighing me all the time. Is she worried I'll get chubby like her?
Signed, Being Weighed Heavily

Dear Being Weighed Heavily, Your Mama is concerned about your weight because you are very precious to her. The birdie doctors tell our humans to weigh us frequently so that they will see any weight changes early on. Weight loss can be a sign that you could be sick. I would suggest showing her how much you love your veggies, fruits, sprouts and other healthy foods that she feeds you. She will probably start eating these foods with you at the table and then your Mama won't be so "fluffy".

♥ ♥ 

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

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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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©  2008-2009 Parrot Toy Angels • P.O. Box 34372 • Houston, Texas  77234
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