A monthly journal for human angels who make a positive difference in companion birds' lives.
Volume 7, Issue XI
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In this month's issue:
From the Angel's Toy Chest
Bringing Home a Rescue
Pumpkin Logs -- Corrected
Featured Fid ~ Zebra Finch
Introducing Toys to the Timid
Angel Toys For Angels
November's Featured Toys
Ducks in Space
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Angel Toys for Angels
Parrot Toy Angels 2012 Fall Auction
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The holidays are
You'll be running around
Til you're ready to pop
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Just for YOU:
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Here's a sneak peak:
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The official kickoff of the 2012 Fall Auction will be Thursday, November 8 at 10:00am PDT. The eBay banner below will be active then and take you directly to the auction.
Have fun...and please, bid often!
Auction runs Thursday, November 8th until Sunday, November 18th, 10:00am PDT.
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Making a difference...one bird at a time!
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♥ New Items ♥
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From the Angel's Toy Chest
By Wyspur Kallis
This fun filled toy is perfect for parrots who love to chew. Toy is 11" long and 7" wide with 9 pine slats measuring 3" x 1" and 1/4" thick wrapped in colorful bird-safe paper strung on bird-safe rope or vegetable tanned leather. Plastic beads are used to separate the wrapped pieces of wood. This toy is suitable for Caiques, Quakers, smaller Cockatoos and birds similar in size. This toy and others are available for sale at http://www.parrottoyangels.com
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Bringing Home a Rescue
By Angel Savannah
One of the best things I have learned from birds is how grateful a lonely bird is to be rescued. All of my birds are rescues. They are all different ages, with many of them being on the elderly side. Even a bird who has not been treated well during their life can learn to trust and love when they feel safe and loved.
When you first bring a rescue bird home, you should try to use the cage that they are familiar with, or a very similar one if the rescue does not send their cage with them. As with any new bird in your home, the rescue bird should not be allowed immediately around your other bird(s), but rather should be quarantined for a minimum of 30 - 60 days. When a bird has been in a rescue, they are exposed to birds from all over and there is no way of knowing what illnesses or diseases could be possible, which you do not want your birds exposed to. By keeping the rescue bird away from your birds, it also helps the adjustment period. The rescue bird may come with some bad habits that you do not want taught to your other birds. During the quarantine period, it is very possible that the rescue bird will forget some of the unwanted behavior. I have seen this many times. It also gives the rescue bird a chance to bond with you prior to meeting the other birds.
As far as vet care goes, either take the bird immediately to the vet from the rescue, prior to bringing him home (or on your way home) or bring the bird home and let him get used to you and your home for a few weeks, and then take him to the vet. It's hard on the bird's emotional state if you bring him home and then after a couple of days, take him out to the vet. By doing this, you are causing the bird a great deal of unnecessary stress. He doesn't know if you are going to dump him back off at the rescue, or if he will ever return to your home. For these reasons, I prefer to take them to the vet on the way home whenever possible. Otherwise, I like to let them come home with me and enjoy their new surroundings for several weeks before uprooting them, even though it is only for a few hours. You need to get a good "baseline" for where the bird starts in your care. During regular vet visits every 6 months or so, you will then learn if your bird has gained/lost weight (depending upon the need), health improvements and overall condition changes.
Giving a rescue bird a forever home is one of the most rewarding things I have done and I will continue to do this throughout my life. I highly recommend it to anyone. The love I get from all of my rescues far outweighs any inconvenience I may know as a parrot owner.
Gizmo, rescue Congo African Grey & Angel Savannah
Paulie, rescue Blue & Gold Macaw
Charlie, 20+ year old Cockatiel
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Pumpkin Logs -- Corrected
By Toni Fortin
Canned pumpkin was inadvertantly left out of this recipe last month. Our apologies to anyone who tried to make these logs.
1 cup Garbonzo beans (chick peas) soaked, skimmed and cooked **
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup old fashioned Quaker oats
1 tsp. agave nectar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
Using a food processor, add everything except the pecans. Put pecans in a small bowl.
Pulse until you have a thick paste. With wet hands roll into a ball the size of a large walnut. Then into a log 3/4" thick by 3" long. Roll in the pecans. Place on cookie sheet lightly sprayed with cooking oil. Bake at 325 for 25 minutes.
Yield: 15 logs
** 1 lb. of dry garbonzo beans, soaked, foam removed and cooked will yield 6 cups of beans. When drained and cooled, put into 1 cup bags and freeze. Take them out to go into recipes for cookies, mash and breads.
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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
"Stuffed" Stockings also available. 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.
Stuffed & Personalized: $39.50
You can find all our Birdie Stockings at:
or, drop us a line if you don't see your birdie.
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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 ~ The Zebra Finch
By Sue Christie-Cox
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Found in most parts of Australia, the Zebra finch has become a very popular companion bird.
They are simple to keep, feed and house, they have an easy on the ear "cheep cheep" type call along with other calls, none of which will get you in trouble with neighbors.
Zebra Finches are mainly grey, with characteristic black 'tear drop' eye stripes and 'zebra like' black and white barring on the rump and upper tail. The sides of the belly are chestnut or tan with many white spots. The remainder of the belly and the under-tail are white. The male is distinguished from the female by its chestnut/tan cheek patches. Both sexes have red eyes and bill. The legs and feet are orange/ yellow. Young are similar in plumage to the female, except that the clear black and white markings of the head are absent. The eyes are grey-brown and the bill is black. There are many color mutations now, including fawn, denim, grey, silver, black and white.
In the wild, zebra finches live in large flocks and forage for grass seeds that have fallen or are still attached to stems. They will also catch small insects from time to time.
"Zebs" will pair bond and mate for life. Nests are normally created by the female, with the male being the main gatherer of building materials. Prime "real-estate" in cage kept finches are the nests that are higher up so always provide choice if you use the woven basket nests. I usually provide two more baskets than the pairs I keep. Nest building is an extremely busy time, with pillaging of other nests and tug-o-wars over a prize piece of nest material. Always provide clean grasses, sanitized feathers and tiny scraps of non fraying material for lining the nests.
The young are in their nest for 14 days and can leave the nest after 21 days. With a time span of 70 - 80 days from hatching to becoming sexually active, the Zebra Finch is one of the fastest maturing bird species recorded.
Most zebras will live for about 6 - 7 years. As grass seed eaters, it is natural for Australian finches to spend time feeding off the ground. It is important therefore to ensure that the cage or aviary is vermin-proof.
Separate drinking and bathing water dishes are best. Finches love a bath but normally will not drink from water in which they have bathed.
A good quality seed mix along with fresh green seed grasses and millet sprays are the staple diet along with veggies such as broccoli, Asian greens, shredded apple and carrots. Madeira cake is also enjoyed greatly as a treat.
Toys such as shredders and whiffles stuffed with nesting materials along with swings are the only real "toys" used by finches as they are not "players".
Having kept finches for over 30 years I highly recommend them as a fun, low maintenance bird to enjoy.
Introducing Toys to the Timid|
By Kim Perez
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I have given permanent homes to several rescue birds and find that their actions around toys are not what we are accustomed to when we have well socialized birds. For many of these birds, it could very well be the first time they have ever had a toy and they are so frightened. I tend to start with unusually small toys for whatever size bird it is. For many parrots, I will give them a popsicle stick toy as their first toy. This is one made with alternating popsicle sticks and pony beads. The toy would be appropriate for parakeets, parrotlets, cockatiels and other small birds. Because it is small and very easy to destroy, it is a perfect first toy for an Amazon, African Grey or cockatoo.
My first African Grey rescue was terrified of every type of toy at first. I started her with the popsicle stick toy and could only place it within sight of her cage so as not to frighten her. After a week, I moved it closer. After another week, I hung it on the outside of her cage, and in another week, I put it inside of her cage for the first time. She timidly beaked it and realized that it wasn't going to cause her any harm. She chewed on it from time to time over the next month until she chewed up all of the sticks. When I gave her a new replacement toy, she was so excited and it only lasted for about a week. I gave her two of them the next time and worked my way up to giving her a few of those popsicle stick toys and one small toy made out of a little thicker wood. Over time, she learned to love her toys and will play with anything and everything now! I have had her for fifteen years.
Along with giving these birds smaller than normal toys, it is also important for the bird to come to the toy. Don't force it on them, as that will only cause more stress. Some of the small bead toys are exceptionally fun for them, but please remember that when you give them undersized toys, there may be safety issues because they are not the 'appropriate' size for the bird. You want to make sure there are no little beads that the larger birds could swallow, etc.
Once your bird has graduated from the popsicle stick toys, you can try soft wood toys and coffee filter toys. Although the coffee filter toys are soft, they are large and puffy and can be a little intimidating. You can try cutting them down or using cupcake papers to make them smaller. There is something about the texture of the coffee filters that really entices birds to chew on them, so maybe you could cut them down a little.
Following the above steps should help your rescue or other timid birds learn to enjoy toys and live a happier, more fulfilled life.
Rikki will try and answer frequently asked questions here.
Rikki, I love to be outside, but my parronts won't let me go out any more. I'm so sad and the only way I can tell them is to squawk. My parronts always tell me it's too cold outside for you, but I really want to go outside. What is cold?
Chilling in the house
Dear Chilling, No need to squawk. Believe me, you don't want to go outside in November. Parts of this country are cold this time of year.
Cold means a low temperature outside, lower than your body temperature. A bird could freeze out there. Notice your parronts are wearing pants, boots, gloves and hats.
Maybe your parronts should have a play gym, atom or a climbing net for you to get some exercise on.
Rikki, All I've heard for the past 2 weeks is cooking the bird. My mom talks about it to my Dad and to whoever she's on the phone with. Is she referring to me? I need to be sure she's not going to put me in the oven for hours. I thought she loved me.
Jazzy in NC
Dear Jazzy, Humans celebrate Thanksgiving in November. Most cook a bird, but the bird is a turkey. It's usually eaten with things like sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy and cranberry sauce. Don't worry your feathered head off. I'm sure your mommy will give you a taste of the turkey. When next year comes, you'll remember which bird she's talking about.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving, Jazzy.
Do you have a question for Rikki?
Please send it to The Editor at email@example.com
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By 'Sana Emberg
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It's always around this time of year my thoughts drift often to our third cockatiel, Trinity, who was also our first 'rescue', of sorts. We had two wonderful cockatiels at the time, and one day we got a call from the gal who ran our little home town pet store. Someone had left a cage at the back door of the store sometime between Saturday night and Monday morning, and in it were 3 cockatiels, 2 relatively healthy males and 1 truly pathetic little female. They were looking for someone who knew cockatiels to take care of the little girl, and we rushed right down there to see what we could do.
We fell in love immediately, she was so sad, huddled in the bottom of the cage, plucked almost bald and so tiny! When my husband picked her up out of the cage and held her against his chest, she squeaked at him once and cuddled right up against him and went to sleep.
We took her home and set up a cage for her right in our bedroom, away from our other birds. We really didn't know if she'd even survive, and at the time we didn't even have a vet who would deal with birds. All we could do was keep her warm, give her lots of fresh and healthy foods and clean water and lots of love! And oh, was she a lover! She'd let anyone hold her, cuddle up under your hair or on your chest, and grind her little beak – a sign of cockatiel happiness, any time of the day or night.
My hubby had seriously bonded with Trinity, and if he was at home, he was holding her. She regularly slept on his chest, and it was about the only thing that made her mad, if someone interrupted her nap with him. It's amazing the things you can learn to do with a cockatiel firmly attached to you!
Trinity was the first of our birds to do the infamous 'shower dance'. We'd read lots of stories from other cockatiel owners about how their birds did it, but we'd never seen it!
Sure enough, the very first time she got a misting, her little wings went up and she danced, danced, danced! She loved to bathe, all you had to do was grab the mister and she was dancing! She also loved to sit in front of a fan when it was warm and dance for an 'air bath'.
We had to teach Trinity to fly. We'd had her for 6 months, and she'd never even tried to fly, though our other two cockatiels were constantly flitting around from the cage to their window perches or playstand, but she'd just watch and squeak at them when they did. Her wings were really under-developed, and she had tons of feather problems, but we really wanted her to be able to fly. After talking to numerous folks, we started doing 'flapping' exercises with her, and she really loved it. We'd hold her on one finger and tell her, 'Flap Trinity, Flap!' and she'd get those little wings going , squeaking the whole time. Finally, one day, when we'd had her for almost a year, she was flapping for us and got so excited, she took off! It scared her at first, and she crashed into the couch, but just as soon as Cliff ran over and picked her up, she took off again, landed for a second and off again. Finally, after a couple of minutes of flying around the room, she landed on Cliff's chest, panting heavily, but squeaking her typical happy squeak. She never did fly much, but when she did you could tell she was really happy.
I think what I'll remember most about Trinity was her fearlessness and incredible curiosity, and her happy-go-lucky clownish attitude. We have more funny pictures of her doing really silly things than any of our other birds, and this is one of my favorites. She was always so happy and goofy. She loved to sit in the window when it was snowing and just chatter away, and one day I heard her just squeaking away at the window. There, on the other side of the glass was a little outdoor bird, chattering at her. One of my other cockatiels saw it and screamed, and Trin looked at him like he was nuts and kept chattering to the visitor.
I'll always remember how much Trinity loved thunderstorms. She'd sit in the window and watch the rain, and dance, and squeak. I'd sometimes take her out on the porch with us, and she'd sit cuddled up against my neck, and watch the sky between the trees. When the lightning would flash, she'd turn her head to look at me and squeak, as if to say, 'Hey! Did you see that??' Then she'd turn to stare at the sky waiting for the next one.
We lost Trinity a couple of years ago, and we really miss her, but I'm so happy we got to share those years with her. She taught us a lot, not just about cockatiels, but about life and love. I think of her every time I hear that quote from 'The Shawshank Redemption' -
"And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up DOES rejoice. But still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone. I guess I just miss my friend."
I do miss my friend, but I cherish the memories she left us with and the lessons she taught us. :-)
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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.
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