Parrot Toy Angels: May 2010 Angel Wings
Parrot Toy Angels

Angel Wings

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

May 2010
Volume 5, Issue V

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In this month's issue:
    Spring Auction
    Angel Announcements
    Famous Feathers
    Recycling, Angel Style
    Touched By An Angel
    Apple Cinnamon Brown Muffins
    Safety Today
    Shopping For Safe Bird Fair Toys
    April Showers
    Rikki Sez
    Featured Fid ~ Bee Bee Parrot
    Feathered Funnies
    Help Us
    Pass On The Ethylene Gas

Angel Toys For Angels

May's Featured Toys

Beady 'Bells
Beady 'Bells
Small Birds

Stiks-N-Balls
Stiks-N-Balls
Small Birds

Parrot Lollis
Parrot Lollis
Medium to X-Large Birds


Check out all the
Angel Toys for Angels

now!


Spring Has Sprung!!!

And a little birdie told me that PTA's Spring Auction is on the way!!

The past 12 months have been hard, with so many with families and organizations hitting rough times. This has meant for many, parting with homes and beloved companion animals and birds. It's those times when PTA is a glimmer of hope for sanctuaries and rescues lending a hand, heart and smile.

We all know that a busy parrot is a happy parrot. Have you ever thought about who provides toys for parrots that have to live in rescues or sanctuaries because they are unwanted or their families cannot keep them any longer? Well, Parrot Toy Angels thinks about it constantly! And we're very proud to say we've been able to donate over 13,000 toys to help make their lives happier!

Our Spring Online Auction is one great way we are able to raise money to continue to be able to provide the toys, food and other resources needed by these wonderful organizations. This year our Spring Auction is scheduled for June 10 to June 20. Donations have been coming in and this year's Spring Auction promises to have something special for everyone. Gift baskets, gift totes and buckets, bird toys and toy making supplies, jewelry, clothing, artwork and lots of unique surprises. You'll find gifts for you, your family and of course, your feathered friends of all sizes.

Here's a sneak peak at a few of the goodies to be auctioned off:

Spring Auction Preview

It's through your support and that of our volunteers that we are able to do what we do for so many birds and make a difference in so many bird's lives. If you'd like to make a donation, please contact us at:
donations@parrottoyangels.org. All donations are tax deductible.

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Follow parrottoyangels on Twitter

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

   

ON THE SITE:



♥  Small - Medium Toys
♥  Medium - Large Toys
♥  Foot Toys

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FAMOUS FEATHERS

Here's a list of "famous feathers" and famous people who keep or have kept feathery friends.

♥ Alex - Dr. Irene Pepperberg's talking African Grey parrot.
♥ Snowball - of YouTube dancing fame.
♥ Einstein - African Grey parrot of YouTube and TV fame.
♥ The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill - stars of both a film and a book.
♥ Paulie - Blue Crowned Conure star of the 1998 movie Paulie.
♥ Fred - Tony Baretta's Triton Cockatoo.
♥ Theodore Roosevelt's Family - Hyacinth named "Eli Yale" kept at White House.
♥ Stephen Spielberg - "Blanche", the Panama Amazon parrot.
♥ Elizabeth Taylor - Yellow Nape Amazon parrot.
♥ Martha Washington, First Lady - "Polly the Parrot" (George is said to have hated the parrot).
♥ Paris Hilton - Bare Eyed Cockatoo and/or an African Grey parrot.
♥ Hillary Swank - African Grey named "Seuss".
♥ John F. Kennedy - Canary and Parakeets "Bluebell" and "Marybelle".
♥ Winston Churchill - Blue & Gold Macaw "Charlie".

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Recycling, Angel Style
Paper Taco
By Wyspur Kallis

Paper Taco
Finished Paper Taco

You will need one non-coated paper plate, one paper grocery bag, scissors, a hole punch and some treats.

Paper Taco Supplies

Fold the paper plate in half and punch holes one inch apart through both sides.

PaperTaco

Cut four 1/4" strips from the paper page. Tie two paper strips together. Do the same with the other two strips.

Paper Taco

Thread the strips through one side of the plate, add your treats and string the second set of strips through the other side of the plate.

Paper Taco

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WOW!  Lookie.... a PTA Coupon

Touched By An Angel
By Sherri Killeen, Director
Raven's Haven Exotic Bird Rescue, Inc.

To Parrot Toy Angels:

For 10 years, Raven's Haven Exotic Bird Rescue was an accredited rescue and funded by the public. We had a few volunteers and adopted out 400 parrots in 8 years. We were self supporting and all monies that came in went for the care of the birds.

This was pretty much a one woman show and I burned out quickly. The burden of finding homes for these little guys was tremendous. Making sure that they were getting forever homes with humans that would care for them in the best possible way was not always an easy task. In 2008, I decided to close my doors. Good in theory, but people would not let me and I could not say no to the birds in need. So, I am still rescuing on a much smaller level and all the money is now coming out of our own pocket. Food and vet care is first, which doesn't leave much, or any, for new toys. It was suggested by another lady that had helped us out with toys to sign up with Parrot Toy Angels. So, I did. I didn't know much of anything about them. So, when the first 2 boxes showed up on my doorstep, I was overwhelmed with joy that we had some new toys! I distributed toys to all the birdies and the 2 new ones we had just gotten in. I sent out a thank you to Lynn for the wonderful work her volunteers had done. Little did I know that in the next few weeks many more boxes would be arriving from all over the United States! Every box came with a note from the wonderful person that put their love and creativity in every toy made. We received 14 boxes total with toys for everyone and in one of the boxes there were even some toys for the rescued bunny rabbits in our care (my eyes got misty)! To know that there are so many people out there willing to help those of us that rescue, is a blessing. Raven's Haven has truly been "Touched by an Angel"!

Parrot Toy Angels is an amazing organization and a HUGE Thank You to each and every one of you for your creativity and generosity!

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Has this story 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.
As a Parrot Toy Angel, you will be asked to contribute on a monthly basis to help support our ongoing work.
Apply for membership:
Angel Application ♥  ♥  ♥ Join our Yahoo! Group

What's a parront to do when there is not enough time to bake for themselves and the fids? This recipe is for both of you.

Apple Cinnamon Brown Muffins
By Toni Fortin

3 cups of whole wheat flour
1 cup of graham flour
1/4 cup of milled flaxseed
1/4 cup of wheat germ
2 TB. cinnamon
1 TB. baking powder (non aluminum)
4 tsp. baking soda
1 can of coconut milk 13.66 oz. (for a lower fat muffin use a can of "lite" coconut milk)
2 cups of applesauce (natural unsweetened)
1 cup of black strap molasses
4 eggs beaten
3 large carrots, grated
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup of raisins, (unsulphured)

Preheat oven to 375.
Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl, set aside. In a smaller bowl beat eggs. Add applesauce, molasses, coconut milk and blend well. Take the smaller bowl and add to the large bowl. Mix well and fold in carrots, raisins and walnuts. Spray muffins pans with non stick cooking spray Bake for 15 min. in the middle of the oven. Use a toothpick to check for doneness.
Yield 24 muffins

NOTE: Muffins for humans go well with cream cheese, butter or jam. These muffins freeze well.

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Safety Today
By Susan Kesler
Safety Committee Chairwoman

Spring is in the air and thoughts are turning to picnics, camping and long rides in the country. I love this time of year and so do my feathered friends. We all spend as much time as we can on outings looking for babies in the fields and meadows. It is so uplifting to see all the new life springing up all around.

I used to just pack up the birds and their open car seat perches, jump in the car and go. All was well for years until last Spring when a large truck blasted his horn while passing me on a rural two lane road. The noise spooked my Umbrella Cockatoo and she flapped up in my face, into the back seat knocking the two birds there off their perches and ended up on the floor under my feet. I was very lucky as there was no other traffic on the road and I was able to coast to a stop. I got everybirdie under control and back on their respective perches.

I drove straight home and collapsed in a terrified, hysterical heap. I trembled every time I thought about what could have happened. I went through days of the "what if's." What if there had been a lot of traffic and I wasn't able to stop? What if one of the birds had gotten under my brake pedal and was injured when I put on my brake? What if I had panicked when the U2 flew in my face and I ran off the road? What if I got into an accident and my door flew open or I got injured and had to be taken to a hospital?

That was the very last time my birds were allowed to be on an open perch in the car.

I still love Spring, and I am looking forward to our country drives, but this year all animals in the car will be confined. I bought the birds wire travel cages and the dogs wire travel kennels, and they will be buckled into seatbelts. Everyone can see out the windows and if we find a nice little park, we can all get out and enjoy the fresh air safely.

Please play it safe and keep your feathered friends caged when traveling in the great outdoors.

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Shopping For Safe Bird Fair Toys
By Angel Savannah

When you are shopping at a bird fair for toys, obviously safety should be your top priority, with fun running a close second. You would like to assume that all of the toymakers at a bird fair know what they are doing and that they offer toys that would be completely safe for your birds. In a perfect world, this would be true. The unfortunate aspect of this assumption is that there are too many people out there in need of the almighty dollar. Because some care more about money than they care about your bird, the components to their toys are not always safe. It may not be fair to say that they don't care, but perhaps they do not care enough to make sure that everything they use is truly safe.

The components you should stay away from include: brass parts (bells, chain, rings), foam pieces, craft pom poms, split key rings, and used parts. You should also be aware of how the toys are made. You need to watch for lengths of rope or chain that are too long and could pose a strangulation threat. You should also look for gaps on the toys. If there is a gap large enough that they could get their foot or head caught in, you should avoid it. These are some of the obvious things you can look for when shopping for toys.

A note about what I call "used parts": Although my birds enjoy playing with certain household items, such as bottle caps, I would never pay money for someone else to string together their used bottle caps! There is no guarantee as to how they were sterilized and prepared for sale, and I would not take such a risk with my birds.

Plastic, wood, metal, paper? How do you decide what is best when you are faced with such an array of choices? You need to know your bird first! If your bird prefers very thin wood pieces, then you will undoubtedly be looking for a seller with a variety of thinly sliced wood toys. Simply inspect the toy for any problematic pieces (brass, key rings, foam, etc.) and TALK with the seller. A knowledgeable seller who cares about birds will be grateful that you asked them questions. I come from a family of toy makers and I can tell you that my Mom smiles every time someone asks her why she considers one of our toys a "fun" or "safe" toy, and I know it's because she does really care about her own birds (the toy testers) and the buyer's birds by default. The caring toy maker will have a lot of first hand bird knowledge, as well. They will be able to recommend specific toys or types of toys that your bird will enjoy.

I recently attended a bird fair and spoke to a woman who makes toys using almost every item that I have listed as something to avoid. I spoke with her for a little while about why she would recommend them. She told me her "bird" (red flag) likes them and that he has never been caused harm by her toys, so therefore, they must be safe. Common sense would dictate that one bird does not comprise an entire toy line tester. It also whispers in my ear that this person did not have enough experience to give me - or anyone else - advice about birds.

My advice is to find a toy seller who has a lot of first hand bird knowledge and experience, seems genuinely happy that you cared enough about your bird(s) to ask questions, and offers you sound advice that you are comfortable with. I like to ask questions I already know the answers to, just to be sure that they pass my "test." Remember that you know your bird and his or her habits the best. If your bird likes wood and not plastic, then buy wood toys! Don't let someone tell you that they will "only play with x." You already know that's not true. But do try to get a nice variety of toys, and give your bird(s) a chance to try out the different parts so that you will know what they will or won't play with. Even if all your bird likes is thin wood, you can really get quite a variety of toys made with it. Variety is important to prevent boredom in our birds - and that's why we give them so many toys!

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April Showers
By Jan Lewis

Bring not only May flowers as the saying goes, but beautiful plumage and healthy skin for your feathered companion. Showers or baths are an important part of life for all living things. Showers or baths for birds not only help to keep the feathers clean by removing dirt and dander but help improve the skin.

It may take a bit of time for your bird to learn to like to bathe or shower. If your bird isn't used to bathing, start with a shallow pan with an inch or so of water. Also, try different water temperatures. Just like people, birds have their preference in water temps too. Make bath time fun to encourage a hesitant bather. Take your hand and gently splash the water around while making sounds like you are having fun. This may help to entice the reluctant bather into the water. Hey, why not throw in a little rubber duck as a bath buddy to play with?

Misting is a quick and easy method of getting the bird used to getting wet. It doesn't provide the soaking that a good shower would but it still helps. It is especially good for those days when you don't have time to give your bird a good shower. Be sure that you spray the mist up and over their head and not directly on the bird. You wouldn't enjoy someone spraying you straight on and neither does your bird.

Last, but one of the favorites, is showering your bird. My birds and I like to shower together! It is fun and they reap the benefits of a good soaking shower. This actually gets the water down to the skin. (I shower my birds first and then after I place them on a perch outside of the shower I take my "real" shower with soap and shampoo.)

After the bath, shower or misting, be sure to keep your bird away from drafts. Also, be sure they are warm. I gently pat my birds with a towel to help get some of the water off, especially after a soaking shower.

Helpful Hints:
Some birds may need not only the water or the shower or mister, but the sounds of a rain storm to put them in the mood for that shower or bath.

Morning baths, showers or misting are best to allow time for your bird to dry before it gets dark. I prefer to allow my birds to dry naturally.

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Rikki Sez

Rikki will try and answer frequently asked questions here.

Rikki, The sun feels really good on my feathers. When my parront and I walk by the door, I say to her "Zigger Outside". She says "not yet baby, it's still too cold for you". When can my parront let me go outside and soak up some wonderful sunshine and fresh air? I really want to go outside now.
Signed, Cabin Fever Zigger

Dear Zigger, Yes, the sunshine feels wonderful and makes one think that spring is here. Unfortunately, while it may feel warm while you are in the sunshine in your home, it can be deceptive and still be too cool outside for you. Outside breezes and shady spots can make it colder than you think. Your parronts listen to the weather on TV or Radio and often go outside to do things, so they know what it is like outside. Be patient and listen to your parronts. Spring will soon be here! In the meantime, why not play some fun indoor games with your parronts, so you will be in shape for outdoors springtime fun!

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Rikki, I am perfectly happy just sitting on my perch listening to my soap operas in the afternoon, but lately my mom has been taking me out of my cage making me walk around and even making me flap my wings. She calls it exercise and I don't see how it can be good for me. Can you make her stop?
Signed, Tired in Tucson

Dear Tired, A healthy bird is one who gets plenty of exercise. Flap those wings, climb all over that cage, run around on the floor. Show Mom you can do it on your own. Try it in the morning after your vittles .That way Mom (maybe) will let you listen to your soap operas. You will need her help though. Ask Mom to put some wiffle balls on the floor so you can chase them. Also ask her to let your wings grow in and she can teach you to fly. Imagine that, fly. You'll love it! A climbing net or plastic chain from your cage to your play gym will give you something to climb on. You will feel so much better. Happy exercising.

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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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Featured Fid ~ Bee Bee Parrot or Pocket Parrot
By Vicki Hartsfield

Bee Bee Parrots

The compact little bird known as a Bee Bee Parrot or a Pocket Parrot, is a member of the genus Brotogeris. They are found in most of the Latin American countries. They are friendly, dainty birds about six to eight inches in length. There are many subspecies in this group with the most popular being the Canary Winged Bee Bee. It's coloring is green with yellow wing feathers.

This friendly little bird is easy to train and is growing in popularity as a pet. Though an energetic bird, they can be trained. With patience, these little birds can be taught tricks. They can mimic sounds and can be taught to talk, although not as clearly as a Grey or a Quaker. If left to themselves without interaction they can be demanding, loud and stubborn.

They are fearless little birds, often compared with Caiques for their stubbornness and for having an inquisitive nature that is sure to get them into trouble. They should be constantly monitored out of the cage as they tend to be accident prone. They think they are as big as larger birds or other pets. Their toys should be constantly checked for strings or loose ends.

Their favorite thing is climbing, therefore an assortment of different size perches in various levels should be provided. They do get bored easily, so they should be given lots of toys, such as braided fabric, leather and rope. A hanging bed or sleep hut is suggested for them as they love snuggling, particularly in their owner’s shirt pocket, hence the nickname Pocket Parrot.

The suggested diet for the Bee Bee is a varied diet consisting of :
A dry parrot mix
Sprouted seeds
Fresh fruits
Edible flowers
Nectar
Vegetables
Green foods, such as dandelion greens and clover
Bird safe branches with buds and flowers
Animal protein such as dried shrimp.

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FEATHERED FUNNIES

Tweeting

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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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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.

You can also help PTA by using GoodSearch, a search engine toolbar that's totally spyware free.
Every time you use it we get a penny...you can download it here:

GoodSearch: You Search...We Give!

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Pass On The Ethylene Gas or Food Spoilage 101
By Lori M. Nelsen & Wyspur Kallis

Ethylene gas is the ripening agent that many fruits and vegetables produce naturally. It causes them to ripen--and then decay. While refrigeration and humidity slow the effects of ripening, they don't stop the production of ethylene gas. The more the fruit ripens, the more ethylene gas it makes.

In some parts of the country, the winter weather is giving way to warm spring days and hot summer. There are other destinations that are hot all year round. It is these hot spots where ethylene gas produces quickly and bacteria grow faster. Most bacteria does not grow rapidly at temperatures below 40 degrees F or above 140 degrees F. The temperature range in between is known as the "Danger Zone." Bacteria multiply rapidly at these temperatures and can reach dangerous levels. Some foods must be cooked to destroy these bacteria and held at temperatures that are either too hot or too cold for these bacteria to grow.

With parrot food, the thought of rotten food in cages while you are at work is not a small worry. While cooked food can not be left in a cage more than 2 hours, due to the bacteria working on destroying it, fresh whole food and live growing sprouts can be left for several hours. If you are adding citrus slices, apple cider vinegar, or even some frozen berries the food will stay fresh and last longer. No one knows the magic time to pull fresh food. Each situation is different along with the temperature, humidity, cleanliness of the food and eater, or dunker, as it may be. Whole carrots, grapes, radishes, etc will last longer than finely minced mash or cooked beak food.

The following precautions can be taken to help avoid problems in your cages.

Tips for avoiding food spoilage
♥ Wash your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before you handle food.
♥ Purchase produce that is not bruised or damaged. Wash your produce and dry thoroughly before refrigeration. Remove all bands or ties and sort out any damaged leaves or goods. Always store them in plastic bags, ethylene absorbing bags or clear containers with moisture absorbing paper towels and place in your crispers.
♥ Refrigerate the vegetables and fruit separately.
♥ Refrigerate or freeze your leftovers within 2 hours after you have cooked them. This will keep your fresh and frozen foods free from bacteria producing on its surface.
♥ Any cooked food or prepared food can not be left in the refrigerator more than 4 days says the USDA.
♥ It is important to store perishable fruits and vegetables in a clean refrigerator at a temperature of 40 degrees F or lower with a fresh box of baking soda.
♥ Large lettuces and greens will do well to have their outer leaves removed and can be stored washed or unwashed, but they must be dried properly before storing. Once the greens have been dried properly, wrap small batches in dry paper towels and place in a resealable plastic bag. Do not over pack the greens so they will have room to spread out. Then gently press the air out of the bag and seal it. The paper towel will help to absorb moisture that may still be on the greens. Exposure to excess moisture and air will cause the greens to deteriorate quicker. After the air is removed and the bag is sealed, place it in the crisper drawer.
♥ Well-drained sprouts can be kept in the refrigerator for 4 - 5 days as they continue to grow. Check them to see if any mold is present and smell them for their fresh clean green smell. Remember, these are still live growing plants and will smell like they are fresh and alive.

In the end, you are responsible for the safety of what you feed your parrot. This adage has truth to it: When in doubt, throw it out and .... Pass on the Ethylene Gas.

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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.

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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©  2008-2010 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
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