Parrot Toy Angels: May 2014 Angel Wings
Parrot Toy Angels

Angel Wings

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


May 2014
Volume 9, Issue V

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In this month's issue:

    Spring Auction!!
    Angel Announcements
    Kale Pesto & Couscous
    Tips For Finding The Right Rescue
    Beak-A-Boo News
    Rikki Sez
    Foraging 101
    Parrot Tales
    Important Things To Know
      Prior To Adopting
    Shopping at Bird Fairs
    Angels Wanted
    Help Us





Happy Mother's Day
Angel Toys For Angels

May's Featured Toys



Wild Animals & Seagrass
Wild Animals & Seagrass
Large - XL Birds


Busy Basket
Busy Basket
Large - XL Birds


Froggy Toy Box
Froggy Toy Box
Medium - Large Birds


Check out all the
Angel Toys for Angels

now!

Spring Auction!!


Spring Auction is almost here


Spring Auction is coming!!


Spring Auction is coming!!


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ONLY 3 more days....and it'll be here....you've been whispering about it...there's a buzz in the air...you're so excited you can barely sleep! You've made your list...you 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 2014 donors. We couldn't do what we do without your generosity year after year.



The eBay banner below will be active Thursday, May 8 at 10:00am PDT and take you directly to the auction.


Spring 2014 Auction


STARTS Thursday, May 8, 2014 and runs until Sunday, May 18, 2014

Have fun...and please bid often!



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


   

ON THE SITE:

♥ New Items ♥
♥  Gift Certificates ♥


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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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Kale Pesto and Couscous Birdie Style
By Toni Fortin



1 cup organic kale
1/4 of a washed, peeled apple
2 TBSP. water
2 TBSP. chopped almonds
Chia seeds
1 cup cooked couscous (I used Bob's Red Mill)


In a Nutri-Bullet™, add your kale, apple and water. Let blend for just a tat. (NOTE: Tat=just a second ;-).


When couscous has cooled, add your kale mixture and the chopped almonds. Toss to mix. Sprinkle some chia seeds on top. This is just your base. You can add other vegetables and cooked beans to the mix.


Kale Pesto and Couscous

My girls gave it a beaks up!


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Tips For Finding The Right Rescue To Surrender Your Parrot
By A Very Sad Angel


When you find yourself in the difficult position of having to surrender your parrot, these tips will help you find a parrot rescue that will find the best possible home for your pet.


There are several rescues in just about every state. Research the rescues in your state, preferably close to your location. Most of this research can be done on the internet, since many of the rescues today have websites you can go to and learn about each one.


What to look for in a parrot rescue:
1- It is best if they have a 501 non-profit status.
2- Make sure that they will have the parrot taken to an avian vet prior to finding a home for him/her.
3- Make sure they have a quarantine facility to place your bird in before placing the bird.
4- Ask to do a tour of the facility. Many welcome you with open arms and they are very transparent about their rescue.
5- Ask about the types of food that they feed the rescues birds.
6- Ask if they follow up, and give educational support to those who adopt from them.
7- Ask about how they find the best home for your bird. Meaning, do they do home inspections, check references, and ask for adoption fee?


If there is something you don't like about that rescue, go on to the next one. You can find out about existing rescues from the Avian society in your area. They are a great resource for any topic related to parrots. If you are involved in any parrot forums online, they can also be of help to you.


On a personal note, I currently find myself in this very position. I have done my homework and researched the best possible place for my parrots. I was lucky to find a parrot rescue and sanctuary that is owned by a friend of mine. I feel very confident that they will care for my parrots as if they were their own birds, and do all the things that I listed above.


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Beak-A-Boo News - Issue V


Hey, all you wonderful birds! Boo here, enjoying some sunshine and, woohoo dandy-lions! Mom brought in this green stuff, and I normally shy away from green things, but this stuff was good to eat, and fun to shred. Wonder what else she is hiding from me?


It's been warm and sunny, and we've been going for lots of rides. We even went to the park! It's been a while since I've been there, but there are so many fun things to see I can hardly sit still! Probably a good thing mom makes me wear my harness, or I might get too excited and fly around like a crazy bird! I watched dogs playing something called frisbee, and this plastic thing came flying over my head! I thought it was gonna crash into me, so I ducked down and hid under moms hair, and when I peeked out, there was this BIG dog running around my mom! I barked at him good, and let him know this was MY MOM and he needed to get his own, and he ran away real fast - good thing, or I might have had to try and beak him!


Mom and some friends went out to fly kites. I didn't know what a kite was, but when I saw Mom's, I recognized it. It's usually hanging on the wall over her nest. I didn't know it could fly, but it did! Way, way up in the sky, I saw it go up and up - some others too! I tried to talk to them but they never answered, and I've tried to talk to it since, but nothing! They sure are pretty, and fly good, but they aren't very smart. I think maybe I should beak it next time I see it, maybe it'll talk then!


Shhhh...don't you tell anyone, but I got a boy-friend. His name is Max and when I visited with him and his mommy, he whistled at me and called me pretty! I hope I get to visit with him again soon. Maybe I'll share my broccolini with him!!


Well, I better get going. It's dinner time, and if I don't get over there, mom will try to feed me something good for me and leave out the yummy stuff...you gotta keep these mommies in line, ya know! But first, your Beak-A-Boo tip of the month: You know your moms don't have much for feathers, and have to cover themselves with stuff called shirts and pants and oh, my favorite, socks!!! Well, let me tell you this little secret: Moms really love it when you 'decorate' their faux-feathers. A little poop and a few well placed chew marks - maybe even a berry stain or two - not only make them look and feel better, but they announce to the world that this human is owned and loved by a REAL BIRD! So be stealthy, and chew!


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Rikki Sez


Rikki will try and answer frequently asked questions here.



Rikki, Mom wants to switch my water cup to a water bottle. Then I won't be able to take a bath in my water. Why would she switch to a bottle?
Signed, Wet Feathers

Dear Wet, I hear some birds do quite well with a water bottle, others never get the hang of it, and some learn to make real messes with them (I would NEVER do THAT *wink wink*). It does keep most birds from bathing in their water, but since you really should have fresh water several times a day, I don't really see the point. I like having a couple of water dishes instead, so that if I do get the urge to bathe in such a tiny space, I do still have clean drinking water. Nothing's perfect, and everyone has to find what works for them. I like it better when mom mists me, lets me take a shower with her, or gives me a big bowl to bathe in every day.


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Rikki, I love berries, just love 'em. But Mom takes them out after while if I don't eat them right away. She said it is not good to leave fresh food in my food cup for a long time. Why?
Signed, Berry Unhappy Birdy

Dear Berry, Oh, I love berries, too! So fun to get them all over the place! Your mom takes the berries away after a while because they can get yucky and make you sick if they stay out too long. Something called back-terria or something like that - all I know is, it can make you feel bad and need to go to the vet. My mom brings me goodies several times a day and she always takes them away after a little while, so you gotta get them while they are fresh. Most birds get the idea pretty quick if the goodies are offered on a consistent basis – say, always at a certain time of day, in the same bowl, etc.


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Rikki, I am scared of new toys. Any ideas on helping Mom and me so I get used to new toys?
Signed, Scaredy Bird

Dear Scaredy, First, mom should never just put a new toy RIGHT into your cage. She should hang it outside your cage, somewhere where you can see it, but not have to run away from it. Maybe move it a little closer day by day, and even play with it herself so you can see how much fun it is. My mom always puts new toys on a play stand that I can go to when I'm ready, and won't move them into my cage until I'm not afraid of them any more.


Do you have a question for Rikki?
Please send it to The Editor at editor@parrottoyangels.org


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Foraging 101
By 'Sana Emberg


I've heard and seen a lot of questions pertaining to parrots and the need for foraging, and sometimes I'm amazed at how complicated it can sound, when really, it's quite simple. In the wild, a bird spends a large portion of the day actively looking for food.


Whether it's digging a worm out of the ground, poking around in trees for insects or finding seeds and fresh foods, it takes a lot of work and time out of their day, and it's part of a bird's instincts to actively look for food.


Captive birds don't have to look for food - they have humans who provide their nourishment. Yes, it's a good thing, but it leaves a void in their day when that food is right there in a dish waiting all the time.


So, how do we both provide the food they need AND exercise their minds and bodies to prevent boredom? Foraging! And it doesn't have to be complicated, expensive, or time consuming.


First, let's wipe out one myth: In my opinion, foraging doesn't have to be all about food. Any time you hide a treat, whether it's a piece of food or a small toy, and your bird goes on the hunt to find it, he's using those foraging instincts.


And, let's wipe out a second myth - foraging is just as important for smaller birds as it is for big ones. Both my cockatiels and my cockatoo enjoy foraging for treats and toys.


Here's a few of the fun things we do to give our birds foraging opportunities. I hope you can find some ideas among these to help you get started. The main idea is to make it less like going to a fast food restaurant and more like actually having to shop for food...be creative!


My cockatoo loves sprouts...and beads! So I sometimes give her a bowl of the two, together, in layers, sometimes the sprouts are on top, hiding the beads, sometimes the other way around. She just loves to pick through the beads to get some sprouts, then she'll take a break and play with beads, back and forth.


A nice leaf of kale or some other leafy green works well wrapped around some yummy food stuff or a small foot toy. Both my 'too and my 'tiels will go investigate a kale-wrapped bundle clipped to the side of their cage any time.


A small folded paper box, or a penny candy bag, filled with nuts, other dry treats, air-popped popcorn, crinkled paper, beads, toys, etc. will keep any of my birds working at it for quite a while. So will a small basket of the same.


I give my cockatoo small easy-to-open plastic containers that she can see into. I'll put blue beads in one, for example, a couple slivers of almond in another, a third might have crinkled paper hiding a treat she can't even see – or nothing but crinkled paper. I'll put 6 or 7 together and put them in her 'toybox' – a big basket that hangs in the front of her cage and every day I change stuff in it. She'll check it out, finally decide which one she wants to open first, and I'll enjoy the quiet for an hour or two.


I also hide duckies. Boo has a serious thing for duckies, and when she's away from her cage, I'll hide a duck or two. Sometimes she finds them right away, sometimes not, but she's always scoping out what might have changed while she was away.


We rearrange where the food is often – always in sight, but maybe in two or three bowls, and the favorite furthest away – this can be amusing with the cockatiels, because they'll all flock to the first bowl, then one will see the second and go there. Next thing you know they are all flitting from bowl to bowl so as not to miss anything!


I hope this gave you a few ideas. There are tons more ideas online, and special toys to encourage foraging as well. Have fun!


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Parrot Tales - Parrot Funnies


Boo always has to try one last time to avoid bedtime. We've got a routine, and she knows how it works. But every night, after all the cuddles and settling in, after her cage is covered and we're just about to tuck ourselves in bed, we hear, quite loud and clear..."WAIT!!! You forgot to feed the Birrrrd!!!" I have no idea where she got this from, but it makes me laugh every night.


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And there's Dilly, who belongs to a good friend of mine. He's a young Amazon, and he's also an escape artist. They say it's quite hard to keep him in a cage. He's good at removing screws and even doors from his cages. But what makes everyone laugh is his favorite party fun. Any time they have company over, he likes to stomp down the hallway carrying a plastic animal or car, then drop it and yell "I...AM...IRONMAN!"


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Do you have a Parrot Funny or story to share? Send it to: editor@parrottoyangels.org
and we'll include it in an upcoming Angel Wings.


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Important Things To Know Prior To Adopting A Parrot
By Leigh Anne Stewart


If you are currently looking to adopt a parrot and have never owned a parrot before, there are a few things you should know before you take a parrot home with you.


♥ Most parrots have a long life span. Some parrots, such as macaws, can literally live 70 plus years. They are known "willed" birds. Some of the smaller parrots, such as the parakeet live a shorter time.

♥ Parrots can be very loud and messy. They will chirp, scream, and throw food on the floor.

♥ Parrots are not domesticated animals like a dog or cat. They are intelligent beings and require a lot of attention.

♥ If they get sick, they will require an Avian Veterinarian to care for them. They should be seen once a year for regular blood work and gram stain.

♥ If you found the bird you want to adopt, it is best to spend some time with that bird before you bring them home. This way, you can begin to bond with him.

♥ Read everything you can get on keeping a parrot as a pet.

♥ Parrots require lots of toys, fresh foods, and a pellet diet to keep them healthy.


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Shopping at Bird Fairs
By Kim Perez


Bird fairs can be both wonderful and devastating places to shop. I see it from both perspectives on a frequent basis. As well as having my rented space from where I sell my baby birds and a line of toys, I also shop for those items that I need for my flock.


The biggest benefit in shopping at a bird fair is the money you will typically save. Bird fairs are full of vendors selling practically wholesale to the public. You will find an array of bird products, both necessities and frivolities, ranging from food to gifts for bird people. The monthly items that most bird owners shop for, including food and toys, can generally be found from several vendors. This gives you the added benefits of having a huge variety from which to choose and competitive pricing.


Something that many new bird owners take advantage of at a bird fair is obtaining advice from bird breeders. It is always beneficial to bird owners to get practical advice from those who have kept and raised birds for decades. This networking can lead to advantageous relationships where you can put together people looking for birds with people who are selling birds and can also furnish you with new friendships.


One of the negative aspects of bird fairs is the fear of the obtaining a disease and bringing it home to your birds. Although this is possible, the reputable fairs will have an avian veterinarian who inspects all birds prior to their availability to the public. One of the fairs I attend monthly has a network of experienced breeders who silently inspect the birds at the fair. Any vendor with birds of questionable health or with dirty cages is ejected from the fair before it begins. These measures have kept the fairs I have attended safe for bird owners.


If you ever do attend a fair where you see birds who don’t look at their peak health, you should definitely change your clothes and shower prior to handling your own birds again.


Another buyer beware situation at bird fairs includes knowing who you can trust. This is a broad area and includes the obvious, such as someone selling a bird as a “4 month old baby” when it turns out to be a 30-year-old dried up breeder. Sometimes the misrepresentation isn’t that extreme, but perhaps you are told a breeder bird is 2-3 years old and it ends up having a leg band you didn’t see till later establishing that the bird is 15 years old. It can also include who is hand-making their products versus who buys and resells. I have seen people who will buy bird toys at Wal-Mart and take them to a bird fair, doubling the price.


How do you know who to trust? In recurring bird fairs, such as the monthly one I attend, you can ask the person running the fair for a list of vendors who attend every month and then you can ask those vendors for their recommendations. I put myself into that situation frequently, as I believe in helping people whenever I can. I always tell people if they have questions about a bird (or product), and it does not have to be one of mine, that they are welcome to ask me. I have helped steer customers in the direction of reputable breeders and away from flippers. This helps everyone, as the flippers end up not returning because nobody will buy from them, and helps out the honest breeders who put their time, effort and money into their babies.


All in all, my personal experience tells me that the benefits of shopping at a bird fair far outweigh the negatives. The health risk, which is everyone’s biggest qualm about attending fairs, truly is minimal. Take basic precautionary measures – wash hands and change clothes – and you should have the same positive results as I have experienced for four decades.


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Angels Wanted!!


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.


Click here for: Angel Application


Click to join Parrot Toy Angels Yahoo! Group: Click to join ParrotToyAngels


Not a toy maker? Come join our Facebook Group:

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 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: editor@parrottoyangels.org

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©  2008-2014 Parrot Toy Angels • P.O. Box 34372 • Houston, Texas  77234
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