Parrot Toy Angels: May 2013 Angel Wings
Parrot Toy Angels

Angel Wings

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

May 2013
Volume 8, Issue V

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In this month's issue:
    It's Almost Spring Auction
    Fennel Medley
    From the Angel's Toy Chest
    How'd Your Bird Get His Name?
    No Eggs for You!
    Rikki Sez
    No Dirty Birdies!
    A View From the Rescued
    Help Us

This issue of Angel Wings is dedicated to Fuego, Parrotlet

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

May's Featured Footers

Bracelet Footz
Bracelet Footz
Medium Birds

Gonzo's Tongue Teazer
Gonzo's Tongue Teazer
Medium to XL Birds

Shake, Rattle & Beak
Shake, Rattle & Beak
Medium to Large Birds

Check out all the
Angel Toys for Angels


Spring Auction!!

Spring Auction is almost here

Spring Auction is coming!!

Spring Auction is coming!!

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ONLY 4 more days....and it'll be've been whispering about it...there's a buzz in the're so excited you can barely sleep! You've made your know that every purchase helps the birds! You've been saving your pennies, nickels and dimes...It's finally almost here! Time to shop!!
The birds are chattering, wondering what they're going to get! Excitement reigns!

But before the bidding begins, we would like to give a huge "Thank You" to all of our generous 2013 donors. We couldn't do what we do without your generosity year after year.

The eBay banner below will be active Thursday, May 9 at 10:00am PDT and take you directly to the auction.

Spring 2013 Auction

STARTS Thursday, May 9, 2013 and runs until Sunday, May 19, 2013

Have fun...and please bid often!

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Fennel Medley
By Toni Fortin

Fennel - what is it? Fennel looks like a cross between an onion and the base of celery with green stems and dill like fronds. It's crunchy, slightly sweet and licorice like, but not as pungent. These are available in your local grocery store from fall to early spring.

1 fennel stalk, chopped
fronds stripped, chopped
piece of bulb, chopped
2 mini red peppers, chopped
1 mini yellow pepper, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn
piece of broccoli, chopped

Place corn and peas in a strainer, run warm water on them for a few minutes. Blot dry. Add all vegetables and mix. You can add fresh fruit and more vegetables to your flock's liking.

Fennel Medley...yum!

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From the Angel's Toy Chest
By Wyspur Kallis

Silver Bells
Silver Bells

Silver Bells is a must for the larger birds that love to play with bells. This toy is approximately 11" long with three 2" stainless steel condiment cups adorned with nickel plated chain and hardware. This toy has no clappers inside and is a safe toy for large birds such as Macaws, Cockatoos, Amazons and birds similar in size. This toy and others are available for sale at

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WOW!  Lookie.... a PTA Coupon

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How'd Your Bird Get His Name?
By Bridget Wagenbach

I recently met five rescue birds belonging to a friend and became intrigued by their names. I did a Google search on "pet bird names", which resulted in several pages of bird name lists. These included lists for most popular, cute, and worst names. Here is one such link:

Every bird has a story of how it was named. For a bird that is a rehome or a rescue, perhaps, it has had several names in its lifetime. Many things can inspire someone to give a pet bird a certain name. Perhaps, it is the characteristic of color of the species: Ghost or Shadow for an African Grey, Mango for a Moluccan cockatoo. Perhaps, it is the country or geographic location native to the species: such as Rico for a Macaw (South America). Perhaps, it is a term of endearment: such as Sweetie or Sugar. Perhaps, it is the name of a famous person, a relative, a friend, or even the name of another animal: such as Fred the cockatoo in the 1970s TV show "Baretta".

Maybe if your bird is from a rescue or rehome situation, you don't know how it got its name. Sometimes, you discover your Fred is not a Frederick but a Fredericka.

For my own flock of two sun conures and a Lesser Sulphur Crested cockatoo, I did put some effort into naming them. I named my older conure, Tigger, after my favorite Winnie the Pooh story character and because of the bird's similar coloration. I named my cockatoo, Punkin, after my sister's childhood pet cockatiel. I loved the name and found it used by another friend for a pet cat. I do not mind when people get the name mixed up and call her Pumpkin instead. I named my younger conure, the unlikely name of Spooky. I am not even sure how I chose that name specifically. I loved the songs of the 1960s group, The Classics IV, which had a song by that name. I liked the word spooky because it reminds me of my childhood times at Halloween and the Charlie Brown special where the characters wear white sheets as costumes.

No matter how your beloved bird was named, its name will be a part of you as long as you have your bird and thereafter.

Punkin     Spooky & Tigger
      Punkin                             Spooky-left, Tigger-right

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No Eggs for You!
By Kim Perez

It's that time of year when birds want to breed. For people who raise birds, this is wonderful news, but for people who have a couple of pet birds, this can be a dreaded season. Just how do you prevent your birds from having babies? It can actually be quite easy.

The first step is to cage them separately so they do not have access to each other. If they are allowed out to play together, keep an eye on them to make sure they do not mate. Either way, do not give them a nest box in which to lay any eggs. If there were a tent or other sleep area in the cage, it would be a good idea to remove it in order to discourage egg laying as well.

If your female happens to lay an egg, you can just throw it away. Birds will lay an egg every other day. If she continues to lay, you may want to replace the real eggs with fake eggs. Plastic eggs are available at bird supply stores for this purpose. She will get it out of her system if you let her sit on the fake eggs until she becomes bored with them. The average incubation time is approximately 3 weeks. I'll let mine sit on them for 3 - 4 weeks and then pull the eggs. Usually this will satisfy their desire, but once in a while they might start laying again.

There are birds who are considered chronic egg layers. For these birds, it is strongly recommended to do everything the opposite of what breeders do to encourage egg laying. You can decrease the hours of daylight your bird has, and they can go down to 12 hours a day. You could offer distractions in the form of new toys, changing around everything in the cage, or moving the cage to a different location. If you have more than one bird, you could switch their cages or put the birds on opposite sides of where they usually reside.

As far as food goes, high protein and calcium, fresh sprouts and other fruits and vegetables are what encourage them to go to nest. You can decrease the amounts and types of these foods you offer. Most birds go to nest during or immediately following their natural rainy season, when everything is sprouting, so sprouts would be something to cut out of their diet.

If you do end up with a chronic egg layer, definitely, seek medical attention. There are treatments available in the form of an injection or supplement.

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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, It's so pretty outside with the grass green and the pretty yellow flowers growing in it. Can I have some of those danda-lons? They look so good.
Signed, Wondering in NC

Dear Wondering, Yup, those danda-lons are yummy, and good for you too. Just make sure they haven't been treated with yucky chemicals, and aren't growing near busy roads or traffic. They can pick up bad stuff that way. Have your parront pick you some of the greens and flowers, wash them just like any home-grown veggie before offering them to you. Ciao!

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Rikki, A macaw cousin of ours gets chicken wings to eat sometimes. He likes to chew on the marrow. Yuck, sounds cannibalistic to me! What do you say?
Signed, Unsure

Dear Unsure, Wild parrots are opportunistic eaters. That is, they will eat whatever is available at that time. Parrots are known to eat insects and carrion, sources of animal protein. Some necessary protein building blocks are not easily produced in animals and are usually obtained intact from the food they eat. Animals are a good source for these protein building blocks. This does not mean our parrots should eat a lot of meat but a small amount could help maintain health. Besides cooked chicken, they can also enjoy occasional pieces of cooked fish and cooked seafood. Boiled or scrambled eggs are good also. In homes where reptiles are also kept, a mealworm or two is an especially prized treat!

Avoid salty foods and food that are high in animal fat. Otherwise, an occasional chicken wing is fine.
P.S. You might want to avoid the hot sauce!!

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Rikki, It's starting to get warm and I get more time outdoors. I like this, but my humans have been putting this net around my cage that scares me. They tell me it is to protect me from West Nile Virus. What do they mean and how can my humans make it less scary?
Signed, Not liking netting

Dear Not Liking Netting, The netting is to keep those nasty bugs away from you. In some parts of the world, the mosquito's bite infects animals and then they can pass the disease on. You must be in one of those places and your humans don't want you to get sick. Just get up on your favorite perch and scream at the netting. It is there to keep you safe and won't mind your screaming.

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

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No Dirty Birdies!
By 'Sana Emberg

Over the years, I've heard a lot of folks say "My Bird doesn't like to bathe!" and I'm convinced they simply haven't found the bathing combo that appeals to their bird. With my first two cockatiels, I'd tried several things, but it wasn't until Trinity came along that I finally got to see that infamous 'shower dance'.

Trinity loved to get wet. Give her a warm bowl of water, or a warm spritz from a mister bottle and she'd start flinging water everywhere. There was no such thing as 'too wet' for that girl. Watching her have so much fun in the water finally got Gromit and Kali into bathing as well. She really loved it when, in the middle of a hot summer, I'd give her a bowl of room temp water to bathe in. While she was splashing in it, I'd mist her as well. About the third time we did this, Gromit and Kali both came to watch. In the process, Trinity managed to splash water on them as well. Next thing I know, first Gromit, and then Kali, edged closer so they could get into the mist as well too. It wasn't more than a minute or so and all three of them were 'shower dancing'. Gromit soon decided water was a lot of fun, and I had to watch him. One day, I was brushing my teeth in the bathroom (something he was normally fascinated with) and found him standing on the edge of my water glass attempting to bathe in it! It was not uncommon for him to come watch me do the dishes in the evening. I had to set aside 'his' bowl full of warm water so he could play in the water while I was 'playing' in the water. If I didn't, he'd be trying to jump in the sink full of dishes.

My Quakers were always funny to watch bathe. At first, it was just Emmy, and I gave her a nice big, deep dish to bathe in. I literally had to have a shower curtain on the wall behind her. She'd start with almost 3 inches of water in her bath bowl, and by the time she was done, it was nearly empty! You could be standing 5 feet away and still get wet. When Inara came to live with us, she'd bathe whenever Emmy did. Later, Bob had to bathe with them. I tried giving them separate bowls, or a bigger one, but they always wanted the same one, so it sometimes took 2 or three refills to keep them all happy.

It seems that different birds prefer different bathing methods. Some are happy with misting, some need a nice big bowl to splash in, and some prefer to shower with their parronts. When we got our cockatoo, Boo, they told us she LOVED to shower. I set up a shower perch, tried and tried to entice her in, to no avail. Then one day, I was showering and my husband was playing with Boo. He got involved in something else and didn't notice when she snuck off her cage and came looking for me. She stood outside the shower, calling for me, and I figured she'd run when I reached for her. Much to my surprise, she climbed up my arm to my shoulder and started dancing in the mist from the shower. I laughed so hard, she was just so darn happy. She'd finally made me understand that she wanted to shower with me! Now, when I shower, I first get in with a tee shirt on, to give her something to hang on to, and then I adjust the shower to a soft spray. She'll turn around and around, raise her wings, shake her tail, and babble up a storm. When she's done she'll climb up onto my shoulder away from the water. I call my hubby to come get her, and then I can finally get a shower myself.

I've known a few birds that prefer a greener bath, literally. Their parronts hang a wet bunch of vegetable greens in their cages, and the birds rub and roll on the veggies till they are just soaking wet. I've also known birds to like a grass bath. I started growing wheat grass back when I raised finches. The finches loved it when I brought in a new tray of wheat grass, or misted the one they had already. As soon as they saw the wet grass, down they all flew to roll and play in it. Some of my cockatiels love this as well. Every time I bring in a fresh, damp tray of wheat grass, they come running to play in it, roll in it, and, of course, mow it.

Whatever manner you finally find to get your bird to bathe, some things are universally important. They need clean water to bathe in. Unless your vet recommends something else, they need only water (no soap or other additives). If you are offering them a bowl or pan to bathe in, it needs to be not slippery and shallow enough for them to easily get in and out of.

If your bird is an exuberant bather, you'll need to protect the area around them. You do not want to have their bathing dish over food dishes, etc. You'll also need to make sure they aren't bathing in a drafty area, and have a warm place to preen and dry off afterwards. Birds can get quite wet, and take a longer time to dry than it might seem. They can look dry and still be wet under their feathers. So make sure they have time to get really dry before bedtime.

One of the most important things, in my opinion, is to never force your bird to bathe. Give them options and try to make it fun. Never make it seem like some kind of punishment. Bathing is an important part of your bird's life, and it can be a really fun part of their life as well.

Gromit bathing   Gromit's bowl   Inara and Emmy bathing

Xander bathing   Sequoia bathing   Gracie Girl bathing

Clockwise from top left: Gromit trying to bathe in glass, Gromit in 'his' bowl at dishwashing time, Inara and Emmy bathing together.
2nd row: Xander doing his shower dance - looks like he's sniffing his pits, huh?, Sequoia totally enjoying her bath and Gracie Girl enjoying her bath

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We'd love to run your "Favorite Bird Story". Send it to us at
A View From the Rescued
By Bob Kaegi

Today I entered the world. I was raised in a warm place, and was given good food. In a few days my eyes will open and I will see the wonders of the world, that now I can only hear. As I grow there are feathers growing, and I can see the world and the kind person who keeps me warm and gives me my nourishment. There are a bunch of us called clutchmates.

It's been 12 weeks now and the feeding has stopped, I'm expected to eat and drink stuff out of a bowl. I'm now in a thing with bars. Everyday people come and look at me, and hold me. But it's not the person who raised me. All but me and my brother is gone. I don't understand. I thought this person loved me.

At 15 weeks someone came and took me away from my family and my brother was left behind. These people that took me seem nice, but I am scared. We got to this place called a new home. It's different from where I was. But the people play with me and call me by a name. I still get good food. But during the day I am alone.

At a year I don't see the people who brought me here except to feed me, water me and clean my cage. I am left alone alot. When they get home I get excited to see them and call to them. Then they get mad at me and yell at me, and throw things at my cage, you know the thing with the bars. Today someone let me out of the cage, and I got so excited, and I went to grab on with my beak, I guess I held on to hard. I was put back in the cage. My cage was put in another room, where it is dark all the time, and I only get food and water. I thought these people loved me.

Time has gone on, and it has been 8 years now, and today a new person I have never seen before has come to see me. They seem nice. They talked to me gently. They told me what a good bird I am. In a few minutes they put me in a box with a towel, and a cage front. We got into this thing called a car. We went for a long ride. I fell asleep. When I woke up, I heard all these noises, just like mine. I was placed in another cage, but this had things called toys. I was told they were mine. When I chewed them up, I thought they'd be mad at me. But no, they gave me more. He they let me out of the cage every day, and they feed me several times a day. I get things called treats, and nuts. They come and talk to me, and they rub my head.

A few days later I go on another trip to a thing called a vet. I'm not sure I like him much, but I am told it's for my own good. I wonder if I'll be left here. But after a little time, I go back in my box called a carrier, and we arrive back at what is now called my foster home.

A few weeks later I am moved with my cage into another room. And there are a whole lot of other things who look a lot like me but not. There are a few who do look like me. It's noisy but fun. My door is opened, and I come out and get greeted by the others. I am watched to see if I will get along. We make noise, and get into trouble, but no one is yelling at us. We see this person smile, and laugh at us.

One day I got up on the person and they rubbed my head it felt good. They kissed my forehead, and made me feel good just like I was young. I felt a feeling that I had only felt for a short time in my life. The other day I was listening to the person talking on this thing called a phone and I heard them say that we were all rescued. I don't know what it means, but I think it's a good thing to be rescued.

Everyday another arrives, and another leaves. But I'm still here. People come in and see us, and once in awhile one of my kind leaves with a new person, but only after they have made visits several times. I hear things like forever homes, and how important it is to go to the vet, whom I don't like to do, but it's for my own good. I come back here, so I guess its okay. I hear the word commitment alot.

After a time someone came to visit who makes me happy they have come to play with me, and then they leave. A few days later they come back, and I can't wait to see them. It's a man and a woman, they play with me, they call me sweetie. One day they asked me if I want to come live with them. They hold me and love me and keep me warm and no matter how loud I get, they just laugh and smile, and hold me close. But then they leave again. I thought they loved me.

Today those people, who come to visit me, came to get me. They put me in my carrier. I'm scared but excited at the same time. I leave this world I have known for several years, I leave the person who cared for me. I leave the place where I got all those good things like fresh food, treats and toys. I see water drop from their eyes, but yet there is still smile on their face. They say "good luck in your forever home".

Today I have a great life in my forever home. I get all the good things that I got in my foster home. There is another like me here, and we play together, but today I enjoy the hugs, scratches, and time with what they call humans. Every day I am glad to be rescued. Today I am loved. I hope it lasts forever.

(Not every bird is this fortunate to be "Rescued". Not every bird gets to live in a loving home. Sometimes they are sent from one home to another, to another. Sometimes they die unloved, and uncared for by those who once loved them. This story could be any bird's story, just as it is the opposite. But this story is dedicated to those who do what is right. Those who do "The Good Work". Those unselfish groups, and individuals who take on yet another bird, that needs to be rescued. Those called Advocates, Heroes, and Voices, those simply called Rescuers.)

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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:

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