Parrot Toy Angels: October 2007 Angel Wings
Parrot Toy Angels

Angel Wings

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

October 2007
Volume 2, Issue X

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Welcome Angels and Supporters!

Autumn has arrived. There's a crispness in the air and a warm glow in our hearts. Autumn is a time of transition, mother natures way of getting us ready for winter. Transition is good...Change is good. We continue to change and grow as well..

To celebrate the changing of the seasons, we have re-designed our website. We hope you find it "friendlier" to navigate and use. We'd love to hear your input on it. You can drop us a line here.

Congratulations to Dillon V. who's now a Junior Angel. He made some fantastic toys for the Sandy S. project. Pictures will be up soon. Congrats Dillon!!! You deserve it.

The October Auction starts on 10/15/07. We think you will be surprised at the fabulous items that are available here. Mark your calendars for Monday, the 15th!!! Bid high and bid often, there are many rescue birdies waiting for our toys. This is a wonderful opportunity to make a huge difference. Please help us spread the word about the auction by telling everyone you know. We're hoping for a great turnout.

~~ Lynn Williams

In this month's issue:
    Featured Fid ~ Blue-Front Amazons
    Thank You to PTA...and the story of V
    Moving with Birds
    Auction Preview!!

Angel Toys For Angels

Featured Toys for October

The Circle
The Circle
for Small to Medium Birds

for Small to Medium Birds

for Medium to Large Birds

Check out all the
Angel Toys for Angels



3rd Anniversary Sale benefiting the
Parrot Toy Angels
ends 10/10/07

3rd Anniversary Celebration.  ORDER NOW!!

Buy 15 muffins, get 5 free!!
View Details

Sale ends 10/10/07
Order Now!

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>>C O U P O N<<
10% off any item on the
Parrot Toy Angels site
Coupon expires

Offer not valid
for purchases made by Angels

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by Ilona P.

If your birds are like mine, they are unpredictable in their likes and dislikes. I don't want, EVER, to know the $ that has gone into the trash in mixes/soaks/cook'n'serves. Finally I have discovered how they will eat just about anything:
Scramble it up with an egg. Just add the mix they won't eat, throw in walnuts, chopped almonds, if yours eat raisins, drop a couple in, some spices, the list of what to toss in there is endless. It can be scrambled up in a pan, or put into a mug and microwaved. If you microwave, you can just pop it out and slice it. I usually make a batch big enough to have a few portions to freeze.

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October Auction
Auction Preview

Countdown to Auction
Auction starts 10/15/07!!

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Parrot Toy Angels will be at Parrot Palooza October 20, 2007. Our table will be manned by volunteers from Cooka's Rainbow,
a small service club from the New Jersey area. Won't you stop by and say "hey"?
Thank you Cooka's!!

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♥ South of the Border Mash ~ NEW ~ NEW ~ NEW!

♥ Photos of Ruth Ann & Tom La Rue Project

♥ Stockings ~ All species available!!

White Bellied Caique
White Bellied Caique
Black Headed Caique
Black Headed Caique
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PTA Supplier of the Month! WOW

Rockport Roost

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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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Parrot Learning and Behavior:
A Step Up and Beyond
Susan Friedman, PhD and Barbara Heidenreich
Come learn how your bird learns, and how to change behavior using positive reinforcement. This is a weekend you won't want to miss!!
November 10-11, 2007
Germantown, WI
For more info: www.avianbehavior

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Albus & Skittles
Albus, Grey & Skittles, Sun who own Jean O.

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Thank you to the Parrot Toy Angels...
...and the story of V

By Ruth Ann La Rue

Dear Lynn and all:
This is an open letter thanking you and your wonderful Parrot Toy Angels for showering Tom and me with toys for the birds we keep in foster care in our home.

The toys began arriving just as we took in an African Grey Parrot who had emergency wing amputation. We don't have the whole story of V. She arrived at The Oasis Sanctuary in a terrible state, with an open wound on her right wing. She was in obvious pain. Attempts to treat her by drugs and collaring failed. V became so focused on mutilating her wing that she nearly stopped eating.

V was seen by our sanctuary veterinarian and taken the same day to his office for surgery to remove her wing. The damage was so extensive and severe that it was best to amputate rather than save what remained.

View V's Photos
Warning, these are very graphic pictures!!

V came into our care a few hours after surgery. I had received the coffee filter toys from the Parrot Toy Angels the day that V arrived and I put a couple into her hospital cage. V seemed to be on the road to recovery for the first 4 days after her surgery. It was obvious that she'd been in extreme pain prior to surgery and that she was relieved to be free of the painful wing. We thought all was well.

Then, very suddenly, the nerve endings must have healed enough to cause a return of severe pain to V. She began attacking her wound and was ruthless in tearing at it. I put her in a collar again, but she was miserable. I literally surrounded V with the coffee-filter toys so that she had them touching her on all sides. She chewed and ripped and tore at the coffee filters. She found some sort of solace by having something to tear at.

We had about 6 weeks of trial and tribulation. At one point V chewed through her collar and ripped into herself. She lost a lot of blood and I had to take her for an emergency evaluation. We put her on a form of morphine and antibiotics. We tried different kinds of collars. Through it all, I kept providing various chew toys, all compliments of the Parrot Toy Angels.

Tom and I have cared for a great many Oasis Sanctuary parrots in our 9 years of volunteer work. We have some Oasis parrots in our long time care. Some have come to us to get well, some just to freeload for a time before going on to the main sanctuary, some while awaiting reunion with their owners after becoming lost, and some have come to die. I was very afraid that V had come to us to die, or rather to be euthanized because a human would not be able to provide any quality of life for her.

Through all the concern about V's future healing and well being, Tom and I continued to do what we do best - look after V's needs and shower her with love and attention. The Parrot Toy Angel's Toys were such a help to us. Having the quantity and variety of toys to offer to V made a huge difference in her recovery.

Angel Toys for Tom & Ruth Ann
A few of the toys sent by PTA

As I write this letter to you all, I'm optimistic that V has turned the corner and has embarked on a new healthy life. She has completely healed from her surgery. Her amputation wound is now covered with feathers, so V doesn't even see the stub. V still over preens her feathers, so she has a fuzzy body. But, she continues to play and chew her toys. I hope that she will again have a tail, once her tail feather stubs molt and new feathers can grow in. Overall, V has regained her life, and in good part it is due to the timely arrival of new and interesting (and SAFE) toys from the Parrot Toy Angel organization.

I'm sharing several pictures with Lynn so she can choose which might be appropriate to share with the Angels and with those who might consider supporting such a wonderful organization.

Tom and I thank you so much for your consideration of us as recipients of your wonderful toys.

Ruth Ann La Rue
Foster Care Center for The Oasis Sanctuary
Scottsdale, Arizona

The Oasis Sanctuary is located in rural Cascabel, Arizona.
You may view their website here The Oasis Sanctuary

V 9/29/07
V Looking Good 9/29/07

View Photos of Angel Toys

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Has this story got your toymaking talons twitching? Do you want to help make a difference in somebirdie's life? Come join our ranks! We have angels from all different backgrounds and walks of life, and there's always room for another generous heart.
As a Parrot Toy Angel, you will be asked to contribute on a monthly basis to help support our ongoing work.

Apply for membership:

Angel Application ♥ ♥ ♥ Join our Yahoo! Group

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.

Other ways you can help:

GoodSearch: You Search...We Give!


Support This Site

Support PTA, purchase a Parrots-at-Play Calendar Today!

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JoJo & Chickie Enjoying Fresh Poms
JoJo & Chickie, who own Saroj, enjoying fresh poms

Poms are pure bliss!

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Moving With Birds
2500 Miles in 5 Days with 19 Birds

By Shelly Bohannon, Avian Antics

In the Summer of 2002 I made the decision to accept a unique and unusual job opportunity and move from the San Francisco area of California to Southwest Michigan. The move was scheduled for mid-November. The job opportunity was to assist in breathing new life into a Dog/Cat Boarding Kennel and run/grow an online Parrot Supply Store.

The move took place in the midst of the Newcastles scare, thus more preparation than usual was necessary. All birds had to have a clean bill of health which included cultures, bloodwork and of course a Health Certificate. In addition all but the youngest babies were microchipped prior to leaving California.

As part of my preparation I researched and compiled a list of qualified Veterinarians along our route. If I had an emergency I didn't want to be thumbing through a phone book trying to find someone qualified to see a 2 week old Timneh baby!

Four of us made the move; myself, Diane and Brenda of "Wranglers Roost" fame and my Son, who came along to help if needed. We were a caravan consisting of a 36' motor home towing a boat, a pick up truck towing a 6 horse trailer, which contained bird cages and Wranglers Roost Inventory, and 2 passenger cars. In addition to birds, we had 2 cats, 1 Border Collie and 7 Poodles traveling with us.

Our Feathered cargo included; 3 Blue Throated Macaws, (2 adults and 1 - 5 month old baby), 2 Red Fronted Macaws (12 weeks old), 2 Umbrella Cockatoos (1 adult and 1 - 7 month old baby), 1 Ducorps Cockatoo (10 weeks old), 5 African Greys (3 adults, 2 - 8 week old babies), 2 Timneh Greys (2 weeks old), 2 Solomon Island Eclectus (1 adult, 1 - 2 week old baby), 1 Blue Headed Pionus (4 weeks old) and 1 Sun Conure (adult). For a total of 19 birds.

All birds were transported in airline carriers designed for dogs. Babies still in tubs were left in tubs and the tubs were placed inside a carrier. The tiny babies traveled together in one tub; the 2 week old Timnehs, 2 week old Ekkie and 4 week old Pionus baby were all together in one tub for warmth and security. Both the tub and the front of the carrier were covered with a dark towel. A large bowl containing a small amount of water and a thermometer/hygrometer were placed inside the carrier, to make sure temperature and humidity were adequate. It worked very well.

Carriers were outfitted with a perch, toys, 2 heavy crocks for food and water. I lined each crate with newspaper and topped the newspaper with a thick layer (about 4-6 inches) of Care Fresh substrate. This allowed me to change the crates every other day and kept moisture and feces away from the birds. I used the same substrate for the tubs containing babies although those were changed daily.

The water tank on the motor home was filled with water from "home" and we brought along an additional 100 gallons of water in 2 separate containers. I kept several large squeeze bottles filled with drinking water for the birds, as this allowed me to fill their water bowls from outside the crates. Crocks were filled just about 1/4 of the way to minimize splashing.

Like most motor homes this one had a table that made into a bed. I removed the cushions and set it up as a bed. The crates for the birds were placed in a U shape along the edges and stacked 3 high. The entire "bank" of crates was bungeed together and secured to eye bolts that were screwed into the frame of the table/bed. This way they would not shift or slide.

Each of us had a Walkie Talkie and were thus able to easily communicate with each other. On the occasions we would get too far apart for the walkie talkies to work, my son would drive back and forth between the vehicles and pass messages onto us from the others. We were 5 days on the road, we spent most nights in Wal-Mart parking lots, although one night we did stay at a Truck Stop.

We established a routine as follows; We were up very early in the morning, usually by 6am. As I prepared "breakfast" for the birds and cleaned/changed their water bowls, Diane, Brenda and Doug (my Son) would take the birds that were not in a tubs out of their crates and let them play on the play gym and just around the motor home, making sure that each bird got several minutes of flapping exercise, handling and cuddling. They were then tucked back into their cages with their breakfast. While the "big guys" were eating their breakfast, the tubs with babies were brought out, each was dumped, wiped out with a weak bleach/water solution, dried, refilled with clean newspaper and substrate. The babies were handled and cuddled while their tub was being changed and then they were fed and put back into their clean tubs.

Food bowls containing the bird's breakfast in the crates were replaced with a bowl of pellets, nuts, Avi-Cakes and Nutriberries. The bowls used for breakfast were dumped, washed and put away for use that evening.

Breakfast and dinner consisted of a cooked mix I make containing, Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Beans, Legumes, Sweet Potato, Corn, Peas, Carrots, Eggs, etc. I had prepared a large batch of this prior to our departure, had some in the motor home's freezer and some in the refrigerator. Each bird got about 1 heaping tablespoon which was heated for 12 seconds in the microwave.

Because of the risk of babies aspirating due to the motion of the motor home, they were fed small amounts frequently. About every 3 hours we would stop, let birds out of crates, refresh water bowls, and I would feed the babies. Every day when we made the first stop to feed babies, I would cut up fresh fruit and veggies for the big birds, and place that fruit/veggie salad on top of their bowl of pellets. That gave them a wide variety of things to munch on and toss around throughout the day.

When we stopped for the night the morning's routine was pretty much repeated, although the birds were out of their crates for 2-3 hours before being tucked in for the night. All 4 of us slept in the motor home, as did all 8 dogs and the 2 cats. As the big birds were tucked into their carriers for the night, they were also given handfeeding formula, for the additional nutrition and to help prevent weight loss.

We left California at 8am (PST) on a Monday and arrived at our destination in Michigan at 9pm (EST) on Friday. On Wednesday, we stopped for the day at about 3pm. At that time we pulled all the crates out, dumped them and wiped them out with a weak Bleach/Water solution. We cleaned toys and replaced those that had been destroyed.

All cages had been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to dismantling and packing them in the horse trailer. Thus, once we arrived in Michigan we were able to unload them, re-assemble them and get the birds back into their cages! We had birds back in their cages by 11pm on Friday and you never saw a happier bunch of birds!!! Within minutes all you could hear was beaks grinding!

We all showered, had a cup of hot chocolate and very shortly after that the sound of snoring blended with the beak grinding. At 5:00am the following morning a very sleepy Mom drove her equally sleepy Son to the airport in South Bend, Indiana and he flew back to California and his family.

I am happy to report that the move could not have gone better. Everybody weighed in within 5 grams of normal weight the next day. The babies gained weight just like they should. No injuries, no apparent stress issues, not even a lost feather. Jazz, Stewart, Tessa, Stella, Dolly, Apollo, Bogie, Katie, Sara, Mongo, Izzy, Cisco, Kethry, Truman, Fajita, Sugar, Lily, Cricket and Ava. All seemed to take everything in stride and treated it as it adventure!

I attribute the smooth move and transition to meticulous, advance planning and being prepared for just about any circumstance. In addition, the extensive socialization I do with my birds undoubtedly contributed to their ability to weather the move with no ill effects.

10 months after my arrival in Michigan and just 2 months before I planned to return home to California. I met the Man I will marry this December. Hence, I remain in Michigan and not once have I regretted the move.

Featured Fid ~ Blue Front Amazons
By Dori Painter

The Blue-Front Amazon comes from the tropical rainforests of South America. There are several subspecies of Blue-fronts: A. aestiva aestiva and A. aestiva xanthopteryx, and the Intermediate.

The Amazona aestiva aestiva (Brazilian Blue Front) is found in Eastern Brazil. Length: 14 inches. Weight: 300-420 grams. The plumage is bright green to olive green, with a blue cast to the feathers, and edged in black. The forehead is blue, and has more blue than the xanthopteryx variety, and the blue may extend down into the chest. The face and cheeks are yellow. Shoulders are red at the bend of the wing, with various hues of green on the wings. The tail has a red band which spreads into a semi-circle when the bird is "on display". The A.a. aestiva is less common since Brazil halted their exportation in the 1970's.

The Amazona aestiva xanthopteryx (Yellow Wing Blue Front) is found in Paraguay, Northern and eastern Bolivia, and northern Argentina. Length: 15 inches. Weight: 450-520 grams. They have a yellowish cast to the green plumage, more yellow and less blue on the head, and longer tail feathers. They have large yellow patches at the top of the wing, and may have some yellow on their back and chest area.

Intermediates are a cross between the A.a. aestiva and the A.a. xanthopteryx. This cross occurs naturally in the wild where their territories meet. Size and color come from either or both parents.

The Blue-Front Amazon is a very affectionate parrot. They are very loving, but can become aggressive and very territorial at breeding time. Thus they need good, structured socialization when young. They are very affectionate, comical, and very entertaining. They are one of the best talking parrots, second to the African Grey. They love music, love to sing, and many will perform for strangers. They can have a very large vocabulary, and will not just mimic, but will use phrases in context. In addition to their great speaking ability and vocalization, Amazons can be screamers.

Blue-front Amazons have a lifespan of 25-80 years.

The Amazon's diet in the wild consists of seeds, fruits, vegetables, leaves, and nuts. In captivity, Amazons have a tendency toward obesity, and the amount of seeds and nuts in the diet should be limited. Their diets should consist of a variety of good quality pellets, and a plentiful source of fresh foods including vegetables and fruits.

The very minimal size of cage for a Blue-front Amazon is 36" high x 24" wide x 24" deep. Larger and taller is better. Their wings must be able to fully extend within the cage. Blue-front Amazons are tree-top dwellers in the wild, thus cage height is important. Bar spacing should be 3/4" or 1".

A very regal Tiki

As with most species of parrots, toys are a vital part in their socialization. A varied toy supply helps prevent many parrot "misbehaviors". When introduced at a young age, toys help Amazons keep themselves entertained when the humans are gone. Amazons love preening toys such as paper, bamboo shredders, as well as wood and plastics. Parrot toys must be made of safe materials. Metals in toys should be nickel-plated or stainless steel, woods should be unpainted...either natural or dyed with food-safe dyes, no kool-aid. Care must be taken that components cannot become caught in their beaks, nor around their heads or necks. "Ropes" should be bird-safe hemp, untreated jute, Supreme cotton, or Paulie Rope. They love toys that stimulate them mentally, such as puzzle toys, and foraging toys.

Life with a Blue-front Amazon
The morning sun shines into the bird room. The two African Greys make their morning pops, beeps, crackles, and running water noises. Then comes the sweet "helloooo" and "good morning" from the greys. I rustle my bedclothes, and arise to the regal "Hellew...Hellew..." of Tiki my Blue-front, in the same voice you'd imagine coming from Queen Elizabeth. Tiki somewhere acquired a courteous, upper crust British accent for that phrase. The greys are placated by my mumbled "good morning" as I stumble off to the shower. Tiki however must see physical proof of my presence; otherwise I get the famous loud Amazon squawking in rebuff. Next comes breakfast..the greys dine quietly, and Tiki sits on her perch over my shoulder dining on oatmeal or a warm mash and helps me read the paper. In between nibbles, she will entertain me by singing "Row row your boat" or "Old MacDonald". When a cat streaks past the bird room, she does a perfect Tweety Bird imitation of "I tot I taw a puddy tat". Tiki spends most of the day chatting with the greys (who mostly do their own voice things and ignore her), with various short periods of squawking/hollering. She had an uninteresting toy or two when she was rescued at the age of 12 years, and toys have not played an important part in her life yet. Her verbal interactions, quick pick-up of new words and tunes that sound appealing make up most of her day. Her one favorite toy though is me, and she would sit for hours on my shoulder preening my hair (into knots!) if I were to let her. My greys tell me "nite nite" when they are ready for bed. Tiki gives me several minutes of the loud Amazon call of the evening, then she tells me a sweet "bye bye...see you in the morning", and it is bedtime for my little green Angel.

Tiki loves her mama!

We'd love to hear from you...

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:

©  2007 Parrot Toy Angels • P.O. Box 34372 • Houston, Texas  77234