Parrot Toy Angels: March 2013 Angel Wings
Parrot Toy Angels

Angel Wings

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

March 2013
Volume 8, Issue III

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In this month's issue:
    Spring Auction is Coming
    Angel Announcements
    From the Angel's Toy Chest
    Calling All Writers
    Whole Grain Blackberry Muffins & Bars
    Rikki Sez
    Avian First Aid
    The Importance of Quarantine
    Help Us

Happy St. Patrick's Day from Parrot Toy Angels!

This issue of Angel Wings is dedicated to Bonnie, Eclectus

Bonnie, you will be missed
Fly free, little one
Angel Toys For Angels

March's Featured Footers

Flower Bouquets
Flower Bouquets
Medium to Large Birds

Truman's Treat
Truman's Treat
Medium to Large Birds

Large Birds

Check out all the
Angel Toys for Angels


2013 Spring Auction is Coming!

Dear Parrot Toy Angel SUPPORTERS,

Look what you have helped accomplish:

19,000+ toys and supplies have been delivered!

Without you, this would not have been possible. We hope you too are amazed at this huge number, and we want to gratefully acknowledge you. You gave, and we worked hard and delivered. How we wish our job was done. We dream of the day when not another bird is abandoned, mistreated, or malnourished. But the truth is that daily, somewhere, a bird is found in an undersized cage, sometimes in a dark garage, barely surviving.

So, once again we come to the people who have been here, whom we can count on, and ask to support us in our auction. You already know that no money goes anywhere except directly to the birds. We have just two fundraisers a year and they are very important.

There are ways you can help:
♥ Do you own or work in a store that is willing to donate something to us? We are non-profit and your donation is tax deductible.
♥ Do you have a new item that you think someone might like and bid on?
♥ Are you willing to tell your family and friends to support our auction...take a look at our items, think of future birthdays/Christmas that could be shopped for, maybe even a bird you know whose life would be made better by buying one of our auction toys?
♥ Can you donate a gift certificate? Starbucks? A movie basket with AMC tickets and candy?

You have been generous, we have counted on you in the past, and now we hope with all our hearts that you stay strong with us and continue with our commitment to help "ONE BIRD AT A TIME".

Please drop us a line at if you would like to help out.

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



♥  New Items ♥

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WOW!  Lookie.... a PTA Coupon

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From the Angel's Toy Chest
By Wyspur Kallis

Come Back Around
Come Back Around

Come Back Around is made by using a 15 inch boomerang and loading it with 15 small whiffle balls, 15 colorful plastic spools, 35 small flower shapes, 10 jumbo beads, 5 plastic fish, and 5 straw beads all strung together using Paulie rope. These provide lots of fun shapes to beak and bop. Your feathered friend will love to tear into this awesome toy. This toy and others are available for sale at

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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: (By submitting your article(s) you agree to allow the Angel Wings Committee to make any editorial changes deemed necessary.)

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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 1st 5 ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix remaining ingredients (except blackberries) well.
Pour small bowl into large bowl, then add blackberries and mix well breaking up some blackberries into batter.
Paper line your mini muffin pan (12) and drop batter by teaspoon, filling tins 3/4 full.
On a large cookie sheet 12" x 16-3/4" spread the rest of the batter evenly. These will be bar cookies.
Bake the mini muffins at 400 for 10 to 12 minutes. When you remove these from the oven, lower the temperature to 350. Bake the large cookie sheet another 18 to 20 additional minutes. Use the toothpick test.

Whole Grain Blackberry Mini Muffins

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

Note: I tasted these and they are really good with a little jam on them.

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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, Our Mom lets us out to play. All 4 of us have such a good time. Just when we're having the most fun, she puts us back in our cages because she's going out.

We all hate this. We have lots of toys, but it's not as much fun as being out. Why does she do this to us?
Signed, Unhappy 4some

Dear Unhappy, Your cage is your own little home. Your Mom puts you back in to keep you safe while she is gone. It's not as fun as being out but she does not want you to get hurt when nobody is home. Anything could happen. You could get hurt playing with your siblings. So try to have plenty of fun playing with your toys while you are out. Enjoy the time when you are able to play outside your cage with Mom and your siblings.

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Rikki, I hit the side of my cage and broke one of my feathers. Some red stuff came out. I screamed for Mom. She looked scared and wanted to take me to the emergency vet but she was able to get the rest of the feather out. She said I broke a blood feather. What is that? Mom said she needed to be better prepared and have a First Aid Kit put together in case something like this happened again.
Signed, One Less Feather

Dear Feather-Less, A blood feather is basically a 'baby' feather that's still growing, and is more fragile than your full-grown feathers. The red stuff is the 'blood' still in it, helping it to grow. It's the same stuff that comes out if you break a toenail (or mommy accidentally clips it too short), and if you lose too much of it, you'll feel sick and woozy. So it's important that if you break a blood feather, your mommy takes the feather out. It really didn't hurt, did it? Nahhhh, she just needed to grip the bleeding feather firmly with a tool and pull it right out. And if she can't...ohh, you better go to the vet! He can fix it right up! Now, be careful! You need those feathers to be so bee-you-tee-ful and WARM! Tell your Mom to read the article in this March issue "Avian First Aid". It will help her put a First Aid Kit together to have for you, your brothers, and sisters.

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

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By Bridget Wagenbach

Punkin is my 14-year-old Lesser Sulphur Crested Cockatoo. When she was much younger, I would try to "pose" her in cute photos, being the proud "Mom" that I was. This Punkinphoto is a result of that.She was not too keen on small stuffed animals. It was a bit of a struggle to get her to stay still, especially between two toys. But, the photo has always been a favorite of mine. A few years ago, I submitted it to a pet supply/food company as an entry for their annual bird calendar. After a few months, I was thrilled when I received a package that contained a gift certificate and several calendars because the photo was selected to be featured in the calendar. I hurriedly looked through the calendar to see which month Punkin would be "bird of the month". But that was not to be. I got a laugh and a surprise when I saw the photo on the back of the calendar along with other photos of pet birds. Today, I am much wiser and appreciate Punkin for the creature that she is and photograph her natural personality.


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We'd love to run your "Favorite Bird Story". Send it to us at
Avian First Aid
By Kim Perez

We've heard about Birdie First Aid Kits. Are they important and should you have one? This bird owner/breeder says yes and yes.

I got my first bird 46 years ago. There was no such thing as a First Aid Kit for birds available at that time. In fact, there was little (if any) reliable information about birds at that time. Most of the so-called information was old wives' tales and rumors about what to do, most of which were most certainly false.

Since those days, there has been a great increase in the number of pet birds and veterinarians who specialize in them. Research has been done in all areas of their health, feeding and breeding. Because of the sheer volume of birds owned, we know what the most common accidents and ailments are, and how to best prepare for them.

The first accident many people have to deal with is removing a blood feather. A blood feather is something all birds have - it's when they are growing in new feathers, the shaft of the feather is filled with blood until the majority of the feather has grown in and the blood is absorbed. However, if a bird hits that feather on something and causes it to bleed, you will need to remove the feather in order to stop the bleeding. The first tool in my kit is a hemostat. This is a device which can get a perfect grip on the base of a blood feather for easy removal (and the least amount of stress/pain for your bird). I have seen these at bird shows for $2 to $5. They are not expensive, especially considering that you can control a bird's bleeding in a few seconds.

I keep toenail scissors in my First Aid Kit because it's a handy place to keep them. I also keep Kwik Stop, which is a styptic powder, and a few q-tips to apply it. If you happen to cut a nail a little too short and it bleeds, you pack a little Kwik Stop into the end of the nail and the bleeding should stop immediately. Also, following the removal of a blood feather, you may want to put a little Kwik Stop on the area where the feather came out to prevent the skin from bleeding.

I also include a thin roll of gauze, vet wrap, popsicle sticks/tongue depressors, electrolyte powder, scissors, clear medical tape, syringes and antibiotic powder in my kit. I write the name and the contact info (telephone, cell phone, e-mail, etc.) of my vets on the inside cover of the First Aid Kit. If someone else is watching your birds, they will be able to find that information quickly.

If there is a leg injury, you can splint and wrap it (either with gauze and clear tape or with vet wrap). You'll need scissors to cut these items and it's easier to have them right there, as opposed to having to go look for them when you are stressed out. If a bird seems 'run down', you may want to give them some electrolytes. Many people use Pedialyte, but this has a short expiration time. You can get a powder form of electrolytes and keep those to mix with water. A syringe can be used to give to the bird.

Birds are quite gifted in the art of hiding illnesses. When you notice your bird looking ill, it is usually after he has been ill for a while. I keep a broad spectrum antibiotic powder on hand at all times to mix with water. It can be put in the drinking water or given to the bird via a syringe.

I also have on hand: hand-feeding formula, Baytril, Marvel Aid, small carriers, brooders and olive oil. The ingested items on this list expire, so I don't keep them in my kit, but always available for "just in case." I use hand-feeding formula for any bird who might be under the weather and not eating well. I also use it to hide their medicine in if they need it. Baytril and Marvel Aid are antibiotics. The carrier is for taking a bird to the vet. The brooder is a great heat source for an egg bound bird, which is what the olive oil is also for (a little in each end, and then on heat and they will usually pass any stuck egg).

We cannot, unfortunately, be ready for every emergency there is, but this will certainly prepare you for most of the common ones.

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The Importance of Quarantine
By Angel Savannah

Is it really necessary to quarantine a new arrival in your home? There are two schools of thought on this subject: The first says you must quarantine any new bird away from your other bird(s). Period. The second says if you do not have a separate area of your home with its own heating/cooling on a separate line from your birds, then anything the new bird brings in will enter the air space of the birds you already own. So there is no sense quarantining the new bird.

I much prefer the first school of thought. Even if you have only one heating/cooling system for your house, as most of us do, keeping any new arrival separate is recommended for more than just keeping airborne diseases away from your current birds. A bird can bring in far more than just an airborne disease. There are parasites and bacteria as well. These can be transferred from the new arrival to your birds by way of your clothing and unwashed hands, so it is important to maintain hand washing vigilance. I feed, water, play with, etc. all of my birds before I go into the room with the new arrival. If I go back to my birds after tending to the new arrival, I will change clothes especially for the first couple of weeks. Once I feel more comfortable, I will let down my guard a little.

The other benefit of quarantining a new bird is for the new bird. If you bring in a bird from a home where there was only the one bird, it could be very stressful for that bird to come into a home where there are multiple birds. Or vice versa. You might be bringing a bird who has been rescued from a hoarding situation into your home with one other bird. It takes the new arrival a bit of time to become accustomed to the new situation.

The other benefit for the new arrival during quarantine is they can get used to you. For them, to get new owners is also very stressful and they require an adjustment period. It's beneficial to you, as well, as you will be able to learn their moods, idiosyncrasies, etc. without the influence of other birds around them.

I quarantine any new bird for 30 - 90 days, depending upon the situation the bird is coming from and/or the person the bird is coming from. I have reliable sources for baby birds - people I have known for years and have seen their breeding conditions, etc. I would trust that bird's health after the first 30 days and allow them in my bird room at that time. Birds coming from a rescue I typically quarantine for a minimum of three months, and typically at a separate location. (We are fortunate to have family owned empty rentals nearby, which we have taken advantage of in quarantining a few birds who have come from risky situations, so they do not share air space with our flock.)

Sometime during the quarantine period, we have the new arrival checked by our vet. If all is well during the vet check, we usually wait for about another week and then put the bird in with our birds. We wait because stress also plays a role in health. A bird can look and act healthy in every way. But if that bird becomes stressed, any one of many diseases can present itself. The stress of going from one living environment to another is typically enough to bring out any disease that may be dormant. That is why the quarantine period is so very important. Even if your birds share circulated air with the quarantined bird, not allowing the germ transfer on your hands and clothing is very important and can definitely prevent a lot of sick birds.

There aren't a lot of avian vets available, so one of the things I always ask of someone I buy a bird from is who their vet is and if they mind if you ask them questions. It's also the first information I volunteer when selling a baby bird. Our avian vet is well known in the area and we encourage customers to ask him questions and move the bird's records from our name to the new owner's name with the vet.

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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:

©  2008-2013 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