Parrot Toy Angels: November 2010 Angel Wings
Parrot Toy Angels

Angel Wings

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

November 2010
Volume 5, Issue XI

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In this month's issue:
    Fall Auction!
    Angel Announcements
    Birdie Stockings
    Recycling, Angel Style
    RIkki Sez
    Butternut, Chestnut Muffins
    Featured Fid ~ Blue Crown Conures
    I "Wood" Never Have Guessed
    Bird Allergies
    Ch Ch Ch Chia
    Thanksgiving & Thanks Giving
    Bird Health
    A Day at the Zoo
    How To Stuff Your Parrot
    Help Us

Bridget W. from Ohio

Happy Thanksgiving
Angel Toys For Angels

November's Featured Toys

Wee Birdie Swiffer
Wee Birdie Swiffers
Small Birds

Toy Tote
Toy Tote
Small to Large Birds

Li'l Cowboy
Li'l Cowboy
Small Birds

Check out all the
Angel Toys for Angels


Parrot Toy Angels 2010 Fall Auction

Shopping from the comfort of your home is not a new idea. But have you ever wished your shopping could truly make a difference to someone? Stay right here! We have wonderful gifts for both the humans and the feathers...even a little something for Fido. Our Angels have truly outdone themselves with have our generous supporters. Please visit our Fall Auction November 11 thru November 21 on eBay. The gifts you buy will bring joy to birds who may be living in empty cages. Our gift baskets are better than ever, and we are offering a great variety. Besides gift baskets we will have bird toys guaranteed to keep your bird busy and happy, toy making supplies for those that make their own toys and birdie stockings to be filled. We will have cages and cards, books and bags, totes and toys, and playstands and prints.

Here's a sneak peak

Fall 2010 Auction

But before the bidding begins, we would be remiss if we did not give a huge "Thank You" to all of our generous 2010 donors.

The official kickoff of the 2010 Fall Auction will be Thursday, November 11 at 12:00pm PDT. The eBay banner below will be active then and take you directly to the auction.
Have fun...and please, bid often!

Fall 2010 Auction

Auction runs until Sunday, November 21st, 12:00pm PDT.

100% of the proceeds from this auction go to the cause we hold dear :
Making a bird at a time!

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



♥  New Items
♥  Fall Auction Supporters

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Stuffed Stockings Available NOW!

Special Pre-Holiday Pricing ends 11/15/10!
Order Now!

TIRED of sad little faces glancing at the mantle? Little eyes wondering "Where oh where will Santa Birdie leave my presents?"
Light up those faces now with our
Birdie Stockings!

*NEW* this year ~ "Stuffed" Stockings. Each stocking will have 20+ footers included. Ready to hang!
Personalization is also available.

Please allow 2 weeks plus shipping time to custom make your stocking. Not only will your feathers love their own...but they make great gifts for any occasion.

Reg Price: $23.00
Sale Price: $18.00

Reg Price: $20.00
Sale Price: $15.00

Stuffed & Personalized:
Reg Price: $37.50
Sale Price: $32.50

You can find all our Birdie Stockings at:
or, drop us a line if you don't see your birdie.

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WOW!  Lookie.... a PTA Coupon

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Recycling, Angel Style
Paper Shredder
By Wyspur Kallis

Shiloh Enjoying her Paper Shredder
Shiloh enjoying her Paper Shredder

Supplies you will need:
1 brown paper bag, newspaper, scissors and a piece of bird safe Paulie rope or vegetable tanned leather.

Paper Shredder

With scissors, cut paper bag down each side.

Paper Shredder

Place the two pieces of the bag together and lay the newspaper on top of both bags.

Paper Shredder

Roll both paper bags and newspaper so they are tight. Tie the bird safe Paulie rope around the center making a tight knot.

Paper Shredder

With scissors, cut two slits on each side of the roll and bend the two sides out.

Paper Shredder

Tie the paper shredder inside your parrots cage and watch the fun begin.

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Nick & Kermit
Nick & Kermit, who own Angel Nancy

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Rikki Sez

Rikki will try and answer frequently asked questions here.

Rikki, There sure are some good smells coming from that thing my mom calls a stove. She says it's hot and that I can't play on it. Mom says she is baking pies and cooking all kinds of desserts and stuff for Thanksgiving and everybody is coming over here to eat. Do you think she would let my best bird friends come over too? We can eat desserts and pies too.
Signed, Ready to party for Thanksgiving

Dear Ready to party for Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving is the time when your parronts, family and friends gather together for a festive meal. Most of the items mom is fixing, for this meal, need to be adjusted for a bird. Tell mom, when she's shopping for this festive meal, to be sure to get some things that you can eat. I'm going to suggest some good smelling, great tasting, healthy, cranberry, pumpkin nut bread, baked sweet potatoes, roasted nuts, fresh celery and small bites of well cooked turkey. I'm sure she'll let you invite your best friend too. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Rikki, Mom said she was going to cook the bird for Thanksgiving. I am so afraid, I had to sneak out and write this. I have been real good. Why is mom going to cook the bird? Please help me ...
Signed, Shaking in my feathers

Dear Shaking, Calm down. There's nothing to be afraid of. It's traditional to cook a bird on Thanksgiving. The kind of bird your mom is talking about is a turkey. It's the bird that says gobble, gobble and no relation to you. Between us birds, this turkey guy has a pea for a brain. Humans have been eating turkey for many years You can get them fresh on the farm or frozen in the grocery store. Mom would never cook you. You're one of her family members and she loves you. Trust me, you will have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your Mom and family. I'm sure your Mom will have parrot friendly foods for you. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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

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Butternut, Chestnut Muffins
By Toni Fortin

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup steel cut oats
2 tsp. baking powder (non aluminum)
1 tsp. ground flax seeds
1/2 tsp. cinnamon **
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1 cup butternut squash, cooked and mashed (-or- use baby food)
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. molasses ** (unsulphured,black strap)
3/4 cup apple cider
1 cup roasted, chopped chestnuts

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except nuts.
In a smaller bowl, thoroughly mix eggs, molasses, butternut squash and apple cider. Fold wet ingredients into the larger bowl with the dry ingredients. Fold in 3/4 cup of the chopped chestnuts. Spoon into muffin tins, sprayed with cooking spray or use cup cake liners. Sprinkle remaining chopped chestnuts on top.
Bake at 400 degrees.
~ For mini muffins bake at 12 - 14 minutes. Yields 48.
~ For regular sized muffins bake for 20 - 22 minutes.
Check with a toothpick that comes out clean.

** If making this recipe for humans, add 2 tsp. cinnamon and 1/2 cup brown sugar in place of amounts shown above for cinnamon and molasses.

* Butternut squash can be cooked in a pot of water on the stove top or baked in the oven with some water in a roaster with lid for approximately an hour. Drain and scoop out of skin.
* Before roasting chestnuts, cut X's on one side of them to prevent exploding in the oven or when cooling. Place on cookie sheet (X sides up) and bake for 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size.
* You can bake both the butternut squash and chestnuts at the same tine in a 425 degree oven.

Sequoia enjoying his Butternut, Chestnut Muffin

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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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Featured Fid ~ Blue Crown Conures
By Kim Perez

Blue Crown Conure

The Blue Crown Conure, Aratinga acuticaudata, measures in at 14 - 15 inches in length and weighs between 160 - 185 grams. These South American natives are found across many countries including Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina and Venezuela. Their typical life span is 30 - 40 years.

The Blue Crown is a mostly green bird with a blue head and some pale blue on the chest. Their upper mandible is horn colored and the lower mandible a little darker, almost gray. They have a bare white eye ring, which adds a striking contrast to their darker colors.

The Blue Crown Conure is a fairly good talker and sound mimicker. They love to make sounds, although some may not be pleasing to the ear! They can have a harsh, shrill scream they omit when they are really excited, or really cranky. If you have one as a pet, you will definitely need to learn to read their specific emotions.

One of the main reasons people love their Blue Crowns is that they are so comical. It seems they have a great sense of humor and they just love to play. They play with toys, they play with other pets, they make toys out of things you wish they didn't and they will play with their toes if they run out of things to play with! They are really happy little clowns with a lot of energy and personality!

Their diet is a typical hookbill diet. They will eat seed, pellets and a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Cage size should be no less than 2' x 3' and preferably larger, with a minimum height of 2'. They will lay eggs typically with the change of the seasons, spring and fall and around 3 eggs per clutch. When hand-fed, the babies are tame and cuddly and they make wonderful pets. They can begin talking very young, as early as 3 - 4 months old. (One of my personal favorite things about raising baby Blue Crowns is that they always look like they are smiling when they are little babies!)

Toys for Blue Crowns should include plenty of thin chunks of wood which they can easily shred. They should also have access to several different perch types and diameters for healthy feet. Because they have so much energy, you will want to offer a lot of toys and of different materials to keep them interested. They are sociable and get along well with most other conures and conure sized birds (moustaches, etc.).

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I "Wood" Never Have Guessed
By Kim Perez

We know there are several types of wood which are safe for our birds to chew on. We let our birds shred paper. We let them dispose of our junk mail and telephone books. I'll bet most of us have let our birds chew up boxes we receive our favorite supplies in, as well.

Recently, our Angel Safety Committee has been asked to review cardboard and its safety for our birds. Our findings surprised us all and I would like to share them with you.

There are two separate steps in the cardboard manufacturing process which include the addition of chemicals to the wood pulp product. Chemicals are what break down the wood into pulp in the initial stage of the manufacturing process. This process is what allows the manufacturer to make large rolls of stiff paper, referred to as Kraft Paper. To then make corrugated cardboard, they use two flat sheets of the Kraft paper and take a third sheet which is folded and then glued in between those two flat sheets. The glue used is a corn starch base, but there are chemicals added to form a strong adhesive.

After reading this process from more than a dozen different manufacturers and specialists in the field, I called a cardboard manufacturer. I specifically asked about safety in regards to birds chewing on cardboard. The information I received is that cardboard contains acids, sulfates and is not approved by the FDA to be used in direct contact with food products. The woman I spoke to specifically said that they would strongly recommend against allowing birds to chew on it.

Naturally, we wondered about boxes used in packaging foods. In speaking with local restaurant owners, I learned that the FDA does regulate certain packaging. Pizza boxes are required to have a certain wax coating and in many states, they are also required to put an additional food-safe paper between the pizza or other food and the box, so there is no contact.

In the case of most other boxes I find in the grocery stores, they are single layer boxes and they all have a sealed bag containing the food inside of the box. There is no direct contact.

My recommendation to our readers is, if you are unsure about a product's safety, to ask questions of the correct source. The manufacturer is the correct source of information. A retail seller is typically not the source for correct information. There are some out there that would make you think this is a safe product. If they do not actually MAKE the product, they do not know for sure every ingredient that is in it and they cannot possibly answer your question accurately.

Bottom line from our investigation is that cardboard is not a safe product to allow our birds to chew on.

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Bird Allergies
By Angel Savannah

Birds can have allergies to common allergens, such as dust, mold, food and even other birds! When people are experiencing allergies, they display some typical symptoms including sneezing, watering eyes and breathing difficulty. It shows up the same ways in our birds. If you notice your bird exhibiting an allergy symptom, I would first recommend having him/her checked by your avian vet to rule out illness, as some of the symptoms can be very similar. The next step is to try to isolate the allergen.

It is extremely difficult and sometimes impossible to find the exact allergen in a pet. However, there are things that you can do. The first is to try to remove any airborne allergens, such as dust. There are some wonderful air cleaners on the market to choose from. We have an extra filter and an ultraviolet air sterilizing light installed on our new furnace to help keep the air in our house clean and healthy for our birds and for my Mom who is also an allergy sufferer.

The next thing you can do is something that we all try to do anyway and that's to keep the bird room clean and free of any molds or bacteria. We use a cleaner recommended by our avian vet which kills mold and bacteria and prevents future growth. It is also imperative to remove old food from your bird's food dishes and replace with clean ones daily. A build-up of old food is a build-up of dust and fungi. These are some typical fungal spores which can also lead to aspergillosis.

If you have carpeting in the bird room, you will want to make sure it is cleaned regularly. Never use harsh chemicals. Our vet has recommended a product to add to our steam cleaner that not only does a nice job on the carpets, but has a nice bird safe smell too.

When it comes to identifying food allergies, it is best to start with foods known to cause allergies, such as nuts and dairy, etc. For a week or two, cut out all nuts and see if it makes any difference. If not, add those back in and cut a different food group. You may even find that your brand of seed or pellets may be particularly dusty or have an additive which can definitely be an allergen. Vitamin-fortified seed mixes are common culprits, as they may contain a dry vitamin supplement. Try a different brand of seed and pellets.

When you try to isolate an exact food allergen, be sure to only change one food at a time. If you change more than one at a time, you can't identify just one allergen.

Don't forget to check your vitamins, if you use them. There is one brand of vitamin we avoid as my Mom is allergic to it! It is possible for a bird to be allergic to an ingredient as well.

We have a macaw who is allergic to cockatiels. She is in our macaw room and our cockatiels are not allowed near the macaw room. She does still have flair-ups, occasionally and our avian vet prescribes Benadryl for her. We use it in liquid form added to her water and in a very specific dose. This is calculated by the weight of the bird and should definitely be determined by a professional.

Many of these suggestions will also help people with allergies. We use the cleaner our vet recommends all over our house. It has a very pleasant light smell to it and we feel confident knowing that we are preventing mold and bacteria in the process.

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Make Your Parrot a Chia Pet??

By Lori M. Nelsen

The seed known for the infamous "Chia Pet" holds the keys as a super food. Chia is the vegetable source with the most omega-3 content with huge health benefits. Chia is an oilseed grown in the tropical and sub-tropical areas in the valleys of Central Mexico to the Northwestern valleys of Salta, Argentina. It has similar agricultural requirements of other oilseeds, like flax.

Benefits of Chia Seeds:
Omega Fatty Acids: Chia seeds contain about 32% Omega fatty acids which is very high for a seed. They are 61% Omega-3 (ALA) and 20% Omega-6 (LA). Both are essential fatty acids and aid in the prevention of heart disease.

Fiber: Chia seeds contain about 42% fiber; 5% soluble fiber and 36% insoluble fiber. Fiber is essential for a healthy gastrointestinal system.

Protein: Chia seeds contain about 21% protein and are high in essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein, for healthy cellular function.

Calcium: A one tablespoon serving of chia seeds contains as much calcium as two cups of milk. The calcium in chia seeds aids in bone health as well as para-thyroid, liver and kidney function.

Extras: Chia seeds also provide iron, magnesium, potassium (equivalent to 3 - 4 bananas worth), Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, phosphorus, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, zinc, naturally boost energy and are gluten-free.

Chia seed oil is much more stable than flax seed oil. In addition, whole chia seed has no cyanogenic glycosides, unlike flax seed. Chia seed does not require pre-milling and its seed is digestible without grinding. Like flax seed, chia also contains no gluten; however the protein levels in chia seed are much higher than those found in whole flax seed. Thus, if choosing a seed based high omega-3 oil, chia seed is the safe and healthy choice over flax. There are no limits to consumption of Chia in humans.

Flax is the main source of vegetable-3's among dietary supplements today. However, flax seeds need to be milled for absorption, but after grinding becomes rancid very quickly. Flax contains cyanogenic glycosides and a vitamin B antagonist, (both are toxins) making flax a poor health choice for omega-3 oil consumption. Flax seed oil also has its problems as a "health food" as it has been used for centuries to produce oil based paints and linoleum flooring (another common name for flax seed oil is linseed oil.)

You can find an interesting comparison of Chia vs. Flax seed at

Giving your parrots their daily dose of Chia along with their bits of nuts, sunflower seeds and greens will be a huge step towards their daily dose of Essential Fatty Acids.

Suggested approximate amounts seed:
1/8 teaspoon for birds 100g or under
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon up to 500g
1/2 teaspoon or more over 500g

Be sure to monitor your parrots weight when adding Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) to the diet. If there is a weight gain, reduce the amount of EFAs.

Feeding Feathers

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Thanksgiving & Thanks Giving!
By Jan Lewis

November and Thanksgiving always bring to mind the start of the holiday season. This year, fall and the holiday season also remind me even more of my best friend from college. The holiday season and especially Christmas were her favorite times of the year. This year will be the first time I cannot call to wish her a Happy Thanksgiving or Merry Christmas since she recently passed away from cancer. So what has this to do with November or Thanksgiving? It is just a reminder to make sure you take the time to love, appreciate and be thankful for the loved ones in your life; your human, feathered and furry family members. With that said, I would just like to share some of my thoughts on how to make the holiday season easier and fun for both you and your birds.

Too busy and your birds are experiencing birdy boredom? Okay, I admit it I'm a big kid at heart. I love to play with toys and my birds give me the perfect excuse! A new toy added to your bird's cage before all of your holiday activities begin can help give him or her something new to play with while you are busy with holiday preparations and parties. Be sure the toy is safe for your bird to play with alone in its cage without supervision.

♥ Holiday Mealtime:
While preparing your holiday menu, don't forget that feathered family member. Many foods can be made that are healthy for birds and humans. PTA has recipes included in our newsletter that are healthy for birds and humans too. If your feathered family member will be joining you at the table, be sure that all foods him or her can get to are safe for them to eat or drink. Cranberries are in season and are a great treat for the birds. Pumpkin is high in Vitamin A and full of nutrients for health.

♥ Music:
My birds love music. It is another great way to spend a little time with them. My birds love singing and dancing. They really have a good time and expend that excess energy from being kept in their cages while I am cooking and doing things that require them to remain safely in their cage.

♥ Holiday Decorations:
Before decorating think about your birds! While the decorations aren't up too long, it is quite a change. To birds, change is both stressful and something to be cautious of. It may be good or it may be dangerous. Talk to them about the decorations and show them from a distance. Remember, if your bird can be out around your decorations, the decorations need to be safe for them. Tinsel is lovely to decorate with, but can be deadly to a bird.

♥ Your Holiday Parties:
I prefer to have my birds in another room away from guests. Most of the time parties start just before their bed time, so it is easier for them to be in their room with lights out for the night.

♥ Take Time Out to Relax/De-stress with Feathered Family Members:
Fix some air popped popcorn and make it movie night with a video for you and the feathered family members. Who doesn't enjoy popcorn and a good movie? It is one way I enjoy relaxing with my birds.

Whatever you do for the holidays, remember safety for both you and your birds! Make it fun by including them or having special toys and spending some time with them. Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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Bird Health - Preparing for Winter
By Angel Savannah

Now that we are down to the last couple months of the year and much of the country goes through a cold winter, it's time to think about what you can do so that you don't have to take your birds out in the cold. It is the perfect time to get a 'well bird check-up.' The vet will check the bird for overall health - feathering, breathing, clear eyes and nostrils and condition of the droppings. If anything looks out of the ordinary, additional tests can be run. The bird will be weighed so that you can monitor his/her weight and either compare it to the previous weight on record or get a baseline weight on record.

Most of these vet visits are strictly routine and everything goes quickly and smoothly. Since your birds should be molting with the weather change, it is also a great time to have their wings clipped and nails and beak groomed if necessary.

Once everything has been taken care of at this vet visit, you should be able to go through the winter months without necessity of taking your bird outside in the cold.

If something should happen over the winter that you do have to take your bird outside, there are definitely ways to do it that will keep your bird safe. First, you need to know that brief periods of cold exposure will not harm your bird. We have friends in Wisconsin who have their birds in buildings which have doors so they can stay in the building or go outside into a large flight area. Bird CarrierWe see their birds in the outside flights year round - even the budgies! They love to play in the snow! For those of us whose birds are not exposed to the cold regularly, you can use a plastic kennel carrier like this one and put a thick towel in the bottom. Put your bird on the towel and cover the entire carrier with another thick towel or blanket while you are between the house and car and the vet's office.

These carriers are much safer for bird transport than actual cages, as birds can easily fall off of a perch during transport and sustain injuries.

If you feel the need to include food on the way to the vet, it is best not to give them fruits or vegetables. (Actually, no fruits the morning before you go.) The problem with going to the vet is that the bird is already a little stressed, which can make their droppings runny. Watery foods will add to that and your bird could give a symptom of being ill when in fact they are healthy and could cost you extra in testing just because of the runny droppings which would otherwise be solid.

One other health/safety tip is to pick up some "Save My Pet" stickers. The vet clinic where I work has them and we post them on all of our doors at home with the location of our birds so they will be rescued in case of home tragedy.

These few tricks will make for a safe and warm trip to your Vets office.

Now all there is left to do in the following winter months, is to kick back with your bird and enjoy each other's company because you know your bird is healthy and ready for anything.

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A Day at the Zoo
By George Goulding

On Thursday, September 16, Nancy and I participated in a program offered by the North Carolina Zoological Park, whereby, for a donation to the Zoo's veterinary department we could "shadow" the Senior Veterinarian as he made his rounds for a day. The senior vet is Dr. Ryan DeVoe, DVM, MSpVM, Dipl. ACZM, Dipl. ABVP (Avian). The NC Zoological Park is in Asheboro, NC, roughly the middle of the state. It is located on a 1,500-acre tract of land in the Uwharrie Mountains (which are really just big hills). Approximately 500 acres of this property have been developed into one of the largest "natural habitat" zoos in the United States. What is truly impressive and makes us proud of our zoo is the absence of cages made of steel and concrete. Rather, the animals are given enclosures that mimic their natural habitats to include trees, ponds, rocks, grass and dirt.

The Zoo staff graciously put us up overnight at its Valerie H. Schindler Valerie H. Schindler WIldlife Learning CenterWildlife Learning Center (left) which is a new facility used for meetings and events. It has several well furnished rooms normally used to house interns working at the Zoo.

We arrived at the Veterinary Center at 9.30 am and after donning scrubs and masks were escorted into a procedure room where Dr. DeVoe was already in the middle of a procedure on a Lemur that he suspected had been bitten by something around the face and had some swelling around its mouth. The Lemur had been given anesthesia to allow the exam. After examination Dr. DeVoe administered antibiotics and Benadryl and it was decided that a follow up would be needed if the swelling got worse or did not improve.

We then observed physical exams and radiographs on 2 Auklets. Whiskered AukletsAuklets are a cold water bird found along the rocky coast of Alaska and are relatives of the Puffin. There are 6 species of Auklets that inhabit this area. The birds were each placed in a small cardboard box in order to contain their movements while the x-rays were taken. Once the exams were completed, the Auklets were placed back in their carriers with ice packs (to keep them cool while away from their normal zoo environment).

Saddle Bill StorksAs we headed out from the Veterinary Center, we observed a couple of Saddle Bill Storks (pictured left) in holding cages behind the center. The Saddle Bill is a large wading bird that lives in the wetlands of Sub-Saharan Africa. It gets it name from the orange and yellow "saddle" seen at the top part of the beak.

Bateleur EagleOur first stop was at the Zoo's avian area where Dr. DeVoe examined bumble foot problems on both feet of a Bateleur Eagle. One foot had already had surgery. The other presented some blood and pus when examined so surgery would be scheduled. The Bateleur Eagle is a large raptor that lives in the tree and bush savannah of Africa south of the Sahara. Its colors are striking as can be seen from the photo.

We proceeded to meet with the zoo keeper in charge of the Grizzly Bears. One of these large, majestic bears was already in a large area in the rear of the public viewing area, so we were able to get up close and personal with it and hand feed it apple slices. These are not "tamed" bears, but had become used to contact with humans and human food before being "exiled" from Yellowstone National Park due to bad behavior, i.e. stealing food and becoming a nuisance.

The North Carolina Zoo has a wonderful wildlife rehab program for injured wild birds and other animals. The Valerie H. Schindler Wildlife Rehabilitation Center provides free veterinary and rehabilitation services to orphaned and injured wild animals, but is not open to the public. We were able to observe exams on a small possum and a box turtle whose shell had been cracked and repaired at the center. Neither animal can be released back to the wild, so the zoo will try to place in an education program. We also saw a talking crow. It had been injured in 2007 and could not be released back to the wild. It had learned to say "I'm a crow".

After lunch, it was off to the Rocky Coast Exhibit which houses cold climate animals such as polar bears, seabirds, arctic fox, peregrine falcons, harbor seals and sea lions. We were able to observe a large polar bear up close in a holding area with its keeper and then watched as Dr. DeVoe did an exam on a female sea lion with a skin infection they were treating with antibacterial ointment. This was interesting because the keeper would feed the sea lion fish to get it to lie over on its side, so the vet could examine the animal's underside where the infection was.

Dr. DeVoe received a call asking him to return to take another look at the Lemur treated earlier in the day because the keeper thought the swelling had become worse. Dr. DeVoe felt it was progressing well, but gave another injection of Benadryl as a precaution.

Baby ChimpanzeeA baby chimpanzee (left) was born at the zoo on August 2, and is being hand-reared by zoo staff because its mother, although not outright rejecting it, was unable to care for it properly. We were able to observe the chimp though a viewing window. This was a big deal for us because the public is not able to view her at this time. The photo is from the Zoo's web site.

Our next stop was the elephant barns where we were introduced to a young female and an adult female elephant and then a very large bull elephant named C'sar. C'sar is 36 years old and was wild caught. The NC Zoo obtained him in 1978 from another facility. He weighs in at 13,400 lbs. We were able to touch his trunk and feel this guy blow air and "spit" through his trunk (some of which landed in Nancy's face).

We then visited a pair of rhinos (2 of 7 the zoo has). We were amazed at how large both the rhinos and elephants are when viewed from ground level 5 feet away. The Elephants and Rhinos are part of the African Grassland Exhibit that is comprised of 35 acres of mostly open grass land and houses a variety of hoofed animals.

We were truly honored to have this behind the scenes look at one of North Carolina's greatest resources. Dr. DeVoe, his staff and all of the keepers were extremely gracious and went out of their way to answer questions and make us feel welcome.

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How To Stuff Your Parrot On Thanksgiving
Author Unknown

1 Turkey
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
Corn Pudding
Green Beans
Sweet Potatoes
Relish Tray
Cranberry Sauce
Hot Rolls
Pumpkin Pie & Whipped Cream
Hot Coffee

Get up early in the morning and have a cup of coffee. It is going to be a long day so place your parrot on a perch nearby to keep you company while you prepare the meal.

Remove parrot from kitchen counter back to perch. Prepare stuffing; remove parrot from edge of stuffing bowl. Stuff turkey and place it in the roasting pan, remove parrot from edge of pan. Have another cup of coffee to steady your nerves.

Remove parrot's head from turkey cavity and re-stuff voided area. Prepare relish tray; remember to make twice as much so that you will have a regular size serving after the parrot has eaten his fill. Remove parrot from kitchen counter. Prepare cranberry sauce; discard berries accidentally flung to the floor. Peel potatoes, remove parrot from edge of potato bowl. Arrange sweet potatoes in a pan and cover with brown sugar and mini-marshmallows. Remove parrot from edge of pan and replace missing marshmallows.

Brew another pot of coffee. While it is brewing, clean up the torn filter and old coffee grounds from around the pot. Pry coffee bean from parrot's beak. Have another cup of coffee and remove parrot from kitchen counter.

When time to serve the meal: Place roasted turkey on a large platter, cover beak marks with strategically placed sprigs of parsley. Put mashed potatoes into serving bowl; rewhip at last minute to conceal bite marks and footprints.

Place pan of sweet potatoes on sideboard; forget presentation 'cause there is no way to hide the areas of missing marshmallow. Put rolls in decorative basket, remove parrot from side of basket along with beaked rolls, and serve what is left. Set a stick of butter out on the counter to soften - think better of it and return it to the refrigerator.

Wipe down counter to remove mashed potato foot tracks. Remove parrot from kitchen counter and carve the pie into serving slices. Wipe whipped cream off parrot's beak and place large dollops of remaining cream on pie slices. Whole slices are then served to guests, beaked-out portions should be reserved for host and hostess. Place parrot inside cage and lock the door. Sit down to a nice relaxing dinner with your family - accompanied by plaintive cries of "WANT DINNER!" from the other room.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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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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