A monthly journal for human angels who make a positive difference in companion birds' lives.
Volume 9, Issue VI
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In this month's issue:
Frittata for Humans & Fids
Spring Auction Acknowledgements
Calling All Writers
An Angel Amongst Us
Foraging 101 - Part 2
ABC Blocks: Hazardous or Harmless
Keeping Your Pet Parrot Healthy
Angel Toys For Angels
June's Featured Toys
Large - XL Birds
Medium - Large Birds
Small - Medium Birds
Check out all the
Angel Toys for Angels
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Frittata for Humans and Fids
By Toni Fortin
2 eggs, beaten
2 large leaves of kale, washed, dried & chopped
1/2 carrot, washed, scraped & grated
Small piece of red bell pepper, chopped
Crushed red pepper
Beat the eggs. Add kale, carrot and red bell pepper to the eggs. Spray pan, cook for 10 minutes on low or until the egg is cooked. I used a 6-1/2" cast iron frying pan and did this on the gas stove top. Sprinkle the chia seeds and crushed red pepper on top.
You can use any vegetables you and your birds like. I added grated Romano cheese to mine.
My girls gave this a *beaks up*!
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Spring Auction Update:
Making a difference...
Our Spring 2014 Auction was a great success! We raised much needed funds so we may continue doing what we do best...
one bird at a time!
A heartfelt thank you to all our generous donators:
ARTdornments: By Clay Artist Alicia Merritt
Avian Antics Bird Toys - Doug & Shelly Wing
Chopperís Toys - Claudia & Chopper
Cockatoo Creations - Beth Anne
I Love Bird Things - Mimi Grzymala
Make Your Own Bird Toys - Deb White
Oliverís Garden Bird Toys - Susan & Oliver
Owls and Friends - Paula Fitzsimmons
Steve & Joan Letter
Twin Leather - Rich
Two Bird Lovers - Tammy Sims
Verna & Peter Lucey
To all those that bid...we appreciate your support!
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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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Calling All Writers!!
Have you ever wanted to see your Bird's name in "lights"?...Do you have a story to tell about how you and your bird met?
Over the years you have read our stories, seen our photos, looked at our toys and how we make them, hopefully shared some of our recipes with your feathered children. You have gotten to know us, well; we'd like to get to know you too.
Do you have a story to share?? Do you have a super easy toy you'd like to share instructions for? A recycled toy idea? How about your birdie's favorite recipe? A cute story? A sad story? We'd love to run it in an upcoming edition of Angel Wings. Please submit it to: email@example.com. (By submitting your article(s) you agree to allow the Angel Wings Committee to make any editorial changes deemed necessary.)
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An Angel Amongst Us
Parrot Toy Angels come in all shapes and sizes, and from all walks of life. Let us take this opportunity to get to know each other better and introduce you to one of our Angels.
This months Angel Amongst Us is Bridget W...
Bridget lives in Ohio. Her flock consists of 1 Lesser Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, 1 recently added U2, and 2 Sun Conures. (She doesnít have any other pets.)
Fun times between Bridget and her birds is letting them out to play on their play stand, and cuddle times!
Bridget became an Angel because she really liked the cause Ė helping parrots in need. She has been an Angel since November 2010. When she sees pictures of our deliveries, it makes her very happy to see all the toys we have contributed and especially seeing the birds enjoying them.
When not making toys, or cuddling with her fids, Bridget is employed as a Programmer/Analyst. Her hobbies/interests include: Reading, walking, exercising, watching movies, being at church and volunteering.
One thing that Bridget would like for us to know about her, is she feels being an Angel has given more to her life than what she has given to PTA.
That spirit is what makes Bridget one of our special Angels!
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|Beak-A-Boo News - Issue VI
Yup, it's me, Boo, back on your screen again! Did ya miss me? I had an awesome month! Well, actually, it woulda been awesome except
that Dad decided to take a detour through some perfectly AWFUL place called a 'car wash' on the way home from a trip. Lemme tell ya, I didn't like that place one darn bit! All these THINGS were climbing all over the car making noises and spitting all over and I yelled at em, but it did no good at all! I was so mad (Mom's gonna say I was scared, but I WASN'T, darn it!) cause I thought they were trying to get my Mom and Dad and I couldn't beak em so I yelled and yelled 'til Mom wrapped me in my blankie AND let me cuddle under her shirt! When we got home, I beaked my Dad GOOD for taking me to such an awful place. Betcha he won't do THAT again!
So, before THAT awful place, we went to a place Mom called the Farm. She said we were gonna see lots of animals, and boy was she right!
As soon as we got out of the car, we saw a lot of chickens, big ones, little ones, all squawking and making noise. I tried to watch
em all at once, but there were lots of them, and even though I was on
Mom's shoulder, I still couldn't watch em all. We saw puppies, and rabbits, those I know, but then we saw cows and horses. WOW, those are big critters, kinda like dogs but LOTS bigger! I was glad Mom didn't get too close, they were big enough to EAT me, Errr, to beak Mom, that is!
The scariest thing I saw was something called an EMOO -- it's kinda like a bird, I think, but really really BIG with big long legs.
I have to admit, I was a little bit scared it would come closer, but Mom always keeps a fence and some distance between us. Still,
I wanted to beak it! It wouldn't talk to me!
After we saw all the critters, we had a picnic -- that was fun! Lotsa people to talk to and get scratches from, and they let me eat watermelon,
which tastes better than water, and something called aspergrass? I liked it!
Ooops, better get going, Mom wants to use the computer, but before I leave here's my Beak-A-Boo tip for the month: Stealth is a good thing! You should
practice being sneaky. I've found if I'm playing quietly on my cage when Mom is busy, I can usually sneak off and get all the way into the kitchen and BEAK
Dad's toes before anyone even knows I've moved!
Mom's Note: Lots of folks ask me about taking Boo out as we do, and there are a few things I think are really important for folks to know. First and foremost,
Boo NEVER goes out on an adventure without a harness, and I always carry a spare one as well, just in case. Second, we worked with her quite a bit before
we started exposing her to so many things. Not all birds are suitable for such adventures, and it's important you have a good understanding of what your bird
is likely to do in a situation, and understand and pay attention to his/her body language when in a new situation. And lastly...we NEVER get close enough
to other critters for Boo to get hurt or catch something, and we don't go into barns, stables, etc. We've had several discussions with our Avian Vet, and know our limits.
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Rikki will try and answer frequently asked questions here.
Rikki, Now that it's getting warm, I see all these birds outside flying. I want mom to take me out, but she'll only take me outside in a cage. Why won't she let me fly?
Signed, Jailed Bird
Dear Jailed, I know it might look like fun, but itís a big scary world out there. There are bigger, MEAN birds who might try to take off with you (as dinner!?!?!), cats who might pounce on you and WIND! Scary stuff, that wind! You can't see it, but it can pick you up and take you far, far away and you might never find your mom again! I hope you get time outside the cage and a chance to exercise your wings inside where it's safe.
Rikki, I had an accident and hurt myself. Mommy took me to the bird doctor, and now I have to wear this awful thing around my neck that makes it hard to walk and even harder to get to where it itches. She also keeps trying to make me eat something yucky. Why is she being so mean to me?
Signed, Mad (and Clumsy!)
Dear Mad, The thing around your neck is a protective collar to help your owie heal, and you shouldn't be scratching there anyway, you'll only make it worse. The yucky stuff is probably medicine to make you heal and not get infected. Listen, it'll be over soon, and the collar will come off and the medicine will go away and you will feel lots better. But right now, you should go for all the sympathy scritches and cuddles you can get!
Rikki, Mom got a new bird, and he's really pretty, but smaller than me. He's in his own cage, and mom takes him out and leaves me in the cage. Then she puts him in and takes me out. Why won't she let us play together?
Signed, Waanna Play!
Dear Wanna, Your mom is probably worried that you will hurt the little guy, or that he might hurt you! I know that might seem strange, but sometimes little birds can bite toes and be mean if they are scared, and I'm sure you are scare to him, being such a big strong bird. Take it as a sign your mom loves you, and just be friends with the new guy from a distance, okay?
Do you have a question for Rikki?
Please send it to The Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Foraging 101 - Part 2
By 'Sana Emberg
Some birds, like cockatiels and budgies, are 'ground foragers', meaning in the wild they'd most often be seen poking around on the ground for their food. So bringing foraging
opportunities down to their more natural level is a good thing. But it also has it's own challenge. We all know what the bottom of a birdcage can be like. For my little ones
it's not much of an issue, they have the whole room to play in, and finding spots on lower
levels that aren't perched above is fairly easy. But for birds who spend all or most of their
time in a cage, it may not be so easy. You'll need to be creative, perhaps placing baskets or
boxes under platforms where they are not likely to get pooped on, or using a basket with a
handle and tying some fleece over the top as a shield. You can also provide 'temporary'
foraging treats -- a basket full of goodies, etc., and only leaving it in for a little while.
Also, though foraging is a natural part of a birds life, not all birds will GET it! Yes, some
birds will have to be TAUGHT to forage. I sat on the back porch just a few days ago
watching the mama birds doing just that, teaching their babies where to find food, and it
hit me. Most pet birds are hand raised, never really having a BIRD mama to show them
all this stuff, but instead ALWAYS being fed or having food right at hand. So, if you
think you bird just isn't into foraging, maybe he needs some lessons?
A good way to start is with what I call Peek-A-Boo treats. A nice clear surface with
no distractions, be it a cage top or a table, whatever, is a good place. Take a treat...something your bird really enjoys, whether it's a special food or a foot toy, whatever.
Show it to your bird, then place it under something, a napkin, a paper cup, anything
easy for them to move to get to the treat. Chances are, if your bird hasn't been
exposed to foraging, it's out of sight, out of mind. Uncover the treat, show it to them,
and give it to them. Then take another one, show it and hide it. It usually doesn't take
long for the bird to get the idea.
Anther simple step is to put their normal food in their normal bowl, letting them see you
do it. Then place a paper napkin over the bowl. They already know their food bowl, but you
may need to uncover it a few times before they get the idea. I do this (taken to another level)
with Boo. I'll take one of her food bowls and wrap it in layers of paper so she really has to
work at it.
Here's a few more simple foraging ideas. Remember, it's not just about food. It's about
keeping your bird mentally and emotionally alert and happy and not letting him be a bored
I love Balsa wood. It's soft and easy to work with. Poking a few holes here and there
and inserting almond slivers, beads, crinkled paper, anything fun. The idea here is that
they have to work to get it OUT.
For 'tiels and budgies, I grow small trays of wheat grass (instructions are all over the internet)
and I'll sprinkle hulled millet, pellets, beads and foot toys all over it, shaking the tray so they
settle down into the grass. They will literally spend HOURS rummaging through this.
Willow and grapevine wreaths have tons of nooks and crannies to stash stuff in (remember
that these are porous, so dry stuff, or remove them after just a little while). All my birds
love a wreath laced with dried peppers, cranberries, nuts, etc.
Use a cupcake liner as a 'wrapper' -- turning it into parrot candy. Simply place the
goodies inside, then twist it up tight. These can be strung on plastic chain, etc. as a hanging
toy as well.
Boo positively loves anything hidden in one of those 'finger traps', whether it's some chewy
wood pieces, veggie slivers, nuts, or just crinkled paper and beads. Doesn't matter to her,
she sees one and goes to town on it, to find what's inside.
Wiffle balls can be fun too. I like to hang the bigger ones on a piece of chain with broccoli and other
veggies slid into the holes, or give Boo a golf ball sized one with goodies inside (sometimes have to
make one of the holes a little bigger to get the goodies IN it) for a foot toy. She'll demolish the ball to
get to the good stuff, but once in a while, she'll just sit and turn and shake it till the goodies come out!
And probably my favorite foraging thing: Folded paper! You can find tons of instructions for making
paper boxes, envelopes, etc. on the internet. No glue, just paper...and goodies to go inside.
Hopefully this has been helpful, and your bird is happily foraging away!
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ABC Blocks: Hazardous or Harmless|
By The Safety Angel
There has been some heated discussion on different groups lately concerning high levels of lead paint in children's alphabet blocks. This has admittedly been a problem and one we all need to be aware of, but please don't panic. Most, if not all, of the unsafe blocks have come from China, but that doesn't mean that all blocks have unacceptable levels of lead paint.
In the course of my research, I discovered that many online retailers get their blocks from distributors that buy them from China. Most assured me that theirs were safe and had no lead in the paint. As a safety precaution Parrot Toy Angels has taken all painted ABC blocks from our list of acceptable materials for assembling bird toys. But again, I have to say not "all" alphabet blocks, even the ones from China, are tainted.
There are retailers that have bird safe, untainted blocks for sale. Before purchasing them I would advise asking for confirmation. They should be happy to provide it. If you have ABC blocks you previously bought and are worried, I suggest buying a lead testing kit, available from most large hardware stores, and checking the paint on one or two blocks. If you bought them from more than one store, check a block from each store.
Other than testing the blocks yourself, the only way that I know of to be absolutely, positively, 99 and 44/100ths percent sure that your blocks are safe is to make them yourself. It's easy! Just take a length of 1" x 1" or 2" x 2" untreated pine and cut to the length you want. Many hardware stores will cut it for you, charging a small fee. Birds love them natural, but if you want them colored just use food grade coloring such as Wilton's Frosting Dye, VitaCritter, or just plain old McCormick's food coloring diluted with water or alcohol to suit the color intensity you want. You can also try FooDoodlers, available here to create your own designs.
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Keeping Your Pet Parrot Healthy With The Right Diet
By Leigh Anne Stewart
In order to keep your parrot happy and healthy, it is important to feed them the right diet. This means adding fresh vegetables and fruits, in addition to their pelleted diet so that your bird gets all the vitamins and nutrients that they need. Below are some basic foods that you can add.
Vegetables such as kale, broccoli, squash, corn, carrots and sweet potatoes are all great for your parrot. If you bird is not used to eating these types of veggies, continue to offer it until they begin to consume them. Many of the fresh vegetables can be incorporated in their birdie bread. This is a great way to get your parrot to try the different varieties. There are several websites or cookbooks (Polly Wants More Than A Cracker) that give you recipes for new parrot dishes to offer your bird. It will be a trial and error until you discover what you bird likes the best. It is well worth the time you put into this task.
Pasta and grains are also great to add to a parrot diet. You can introduce a variety of beans, legumes and brown rice. Dried beans are inexpensive and easy to cook for your parrot. You can freeze portions to feed at a later time.
Fruit is also a great thing to give your parrot, in moderation. Parrots love oranges, apples, peaches and the like. Some fruit have more sugar in them, so it is best to feed sparingly. You can also add whole nuts such as Brazil nuts, pecans, hazel nuts, almonds and the occasional peanut. These make great treats for your pet parrot.
Many parrot owners feed a good quality pelleted diet. There are several on the market right now. Some will often choose to give a quality seed mixture along with the pellets. That is a decision that the owner should make after researching the facts about adding seed to the diet.
When your parrot eats a nutritious, balanced diet it will show in their feathers and body. It will allow them to live a longer lifespan. Remember they depend entirely on humans to feed them the right diet.
For more information on providing a good diet to your bird, it is best to discuss it with your avian veterinarian.
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Have these stories got your toymaking talons twitching? Do you want to help make a difference in somebirdie's life? Come join our ranks! We have Angels from all different backgrounds and walks of life, and there's always room for another generous heart.
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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 avian 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:
© 2008-2014 Parrot Toy Angels • P.O. Box 34372 • Houston, Texas 77234
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