Parrot Toy Angels: September 2007 Angel Wings
Parrot Toy Angels

Angel Wings

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

September 2007
Volume 2, Issue IX

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Happy September Angels and Supporters! We hope everyone had a safe and restful Labor Day weekend.

Please join me in welcoming our newest Angels, Tiffani H. and Penny B. A warm Angel welcome to you both!! More talons to make more toys!

We'd like to thank all that made our July Auction a resounding success! Both the donators and the purchasers. By now, everyone should have received their winnings. We do hope you're enjoying them! Because of the great success of our July Auction, we are planning another one for October. We'll have alot of great gift items listed...a little something for every-birdie. The holidays are right around the's never too soon to start shopping for the bird-lovers in your life. If you'd like to donate anything for the upcoming auction, please contact us and we'll make arrangements to receive it. All donations gratefully accepted and appreciated.

As always, we appreciate your support.

~~ Lynn Williams

In this month's issue:
    Featured Fid ~ Blue-throated Macaws
    Christmas in April
    Parronting a Parrot
    Fatty Liver Disease
    Little Stevie Wonder's Pancakes

Angel Toys For Angels

Featured Toys for August

Big Fun
Big Fun
for Large to X-Large Birds

Fuzzy Heart Preener
Fuzzy Heart Preener
for Small Birds

Jewel Wiffle
Jewel Wiffle
for Small to Medium Birds

Check out all the
Angel Toys for Angels



ParrotNutz Presents...

Yam Mini Muffins

The yams are here! Made with the freshest yams, our yam muffins are going to make that picky bird beg for a taste.
Human's give them a beaks up also!!

Yam Mini Muffins

Available with or without nuts

Try some today
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Only $14.95 for 15 muffins
(Approximately 1 - 1.5 lbs.)

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Dinky & Gaby Love Their Greens!
Dinky & Gaby Love Their Greens!

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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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Angel Tip by Laurie K.
Drying Leafy Veggies

Don't let your fresh leafy veggies go to waste! Wash and dry well. Put them in the oven on a cookie sheet. Bake at 200 degrees for approximately 30 minutes (or until well dried. Oven temps will vary). They can be added to things like eggs, bird bread, mash, some of the fresh fruits and veggies. They can even be added to the seed mix. Store in a Ziploc bag. Works great on kale, spinach, mustard greens, basil, parsley.

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Baby Diana
Baby Diana, 7 weeks old,
a "Roseanna" baby Ekkie

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Feathered's Foodles

Little Stevie Wonder's Pancakes

Little Stevie Wonder's Pancakes..yum yum!

~Organic is Better if Possible~
Any organic flour which can be found in any health food store, or, if you are one of the lucky ones, in your grocery store. I like to mix my flours so that I have a combination of grain flour and legume flour.

1-1/4 cup flour
2-1/2 teaspoon baking powder (non-aluminum)
2 tablespoons Sucanat
2 eggs beaten
3/4 cup (6 ounces) organic oat, almond or hazelnut milk
3 tablespoons melted Red Palm or Coconut oil
1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or almond extract - optional
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon (depending on your preference) - optional
Small to medium acorn or butternut squash
Very generous handful of raw sesame seeds or raw hulled sunflower seeds - optional but very much appreciated by your feathereds
Generous handful of well rinsed uncooked quinoa - optional

Mix flour, baking powder, and any other dry ingredient until thoroughly mixed. Make a well in the center. Pour milk, eggs and extract into well and mix. Add melted oil. Make sure the oil is not hot. Add 1 small to medium acorn or butternut squash pulsed in your food processor. Mix well.

Cook in a lightly greased pan or griddle. I use extra virgin olive oil. Slightly lower heat than you would regular pancakes. This batter is very dense and most probably will not produce the tell-tale bubbles to let you know when to turn over. Depending on the ingredients, I cook approximately 5 to 7 or more minutes per side.

I do not like to substitute fruit juice for the milk, as the fruit juice tends to make the pancakes burn if not carefully watched.

You can experiment around and substitute raw fruits and veggies like broccoli, red or green bell peppers, apples, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, kale or collard greens or shredded coconut. I always pulse the veggies or apples using my food processor. Do not liquefy. Small chunks are very much appreciated. You can also put a peeled, quarter sized raw ginger root in your veggie or fruit when pulsing. Be careful not to overdo the ginger.

Be creative with your combinations, but always keep in mind that if the pancake does not taste good to you, it will not be welcomed by your parrot as they have very discriminating taste buds too.

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PTA Supplier of the Month! WOW

Aussie Bird Toys

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Our July Auction was a great success. We're already planning our next one for October. If you have something you'd like to donate, please contact us Donations gratefully accepted!
Don't forget to watch for our announcement!

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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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Little Stevie,
the Wonder Caique!!

Little Stevie Wonder

See Little Stevie Wonder's baby pictures

Little Stevie's Cyber Shower

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Parronting a Parrot
By Susan Kesler

Raising parrots is much like raising children. In fact, children and parrots are very much alike in many ways. Both go through different stages in their lives. From babies they grow into toddlers, from toddlers to youngsters, from youngsters to adolescents, from adolescents to teens, and from teens to adults.

They each have mood swings, throw temper tantrums, are demanding, push their limits, break the rules, and can make you wonder why you wanted them in the first place. Children and birds can also be loving, sweet, want to snuggle, make you smile when you're sad, make you laugh when you want to cry, be your friend, give you a reason to get up in the morning, and make you wonder how you ever got along without them.

Come and spend the day with me and my flock and I think you'll see how much caring for birds is like caring for children.

Our day always starts with a wake up call. I go through the house singing, "Wake up, wake up you sleepy heads, get up, get up, get out of bed." Some of the birds wake up with a song and a smile, while others are grumpy and try to snap at me. This is the time of day when the birds are most vocal. Sometimes the chirping, chattering and yelling is almost deafening. When every bird is up and awake, it's time for baths. Some go willingly to the bathroom for a shower, some prefer I mist them in their cages, and the rest do everything they can to avoid the water all together!

While they are preening, themselves or each other, and drying their feathers, I head to the kitchen and start breakfast. We usually start the day with a warm cereal of some kind. Today I chopped apples, peaches, and grapes for the larger birds, and the smaller ones get bananas and raisins in their mash. Some come into the kitchen to eat, while others are happy with breakfast in bed. There is always one bird that demands to be spoon fed. While they are eating I try to clean the kitchen. I usually get about half done before I have to break up a squabble.

After breakfast it's off to the playroom. There is a jungle gym and ropes to climb for the acrobats, blocks and balls for those that are not so brave, and of course, no playground is complete without a swing. There is some bickering going on over who is going to play with what, but they soon settle down. It's pretty quiet now and every bird is quietly chewing wood into toothpicks, swinging like Tarzan on the swing, or trying to figure out how to get that bell out of the ball.

This is when I have a break. I get a nice hot cup of coffee, sit down with the paper and hope I can finish both before some bird is screeching about an emergency, real or imagined. Some days I can, some days I can't, but every day I try.

By now playtime is over and it's time for a snack and a nap. Each bird gets a scritch on it's head and a small bowl of seeds. I blow them all a kiss before they tuck their beaks under their wings. I always get called back once or twice before they are settled down.

Okay, now it's time to make toys for the birds. I sneak out to my workshop and begin cutting and sanding, drilling and painting. Today I am making toys to keep my own birds occupied. Tomorrow I will make toys to send to less fortunate birds in a sanctuary in Colorado, or an avian rescue in California. Birds are very intelligent creatures and need toys to stimulate their minds and keep them from getting bored just as children do.

I hear screeching and screaming coming from the bird room and I know they are saying, "We're awake, can we get up?", and "We're awake, can we come and play?" They know it's time for our walk, and they all love it when we go outside. I take two birds at a time, it's all I can handle at once, and we start our fun-filled adventure in the great outdoors. We walk the quarter mile of fence line and say "hi" to the wild critters that are about, flap our wings, and enjoy the fresh crisp air.

When all the birds have had their time outside it's time for dinner. Just like children they all want something different and they all want it now. So it's more washing and peeling, and grinding and chopping. There's fresh fruits and vegetables, some beans and legumes, some peanuts for some and walnuts too. Some want theirs with rice and some would rather have pasta.

When dinner is over and they have eaten their fill it's back to their cages for some quiet time while I attempt to clean up the mess made today. One by one each of the birds wanders out to see what I am doing. This is the time I try to spend a few minutes with each bird separately, to reinforce our bond, and to let every bird know that they are special to me.

Next on the agenda is cleaning the cages. The old paper comes out and new goes in. The food dishes are washed and fresh water is put in their bottles. The cages get a quick wipe down every day and a thorough cleaning weekly.

It's getting late and almost time for bed. I hide a treat in a paper sack under a toy in each cage. The birds really enjoy searching for their treat. It's like the foraging they would do if still in the wild. Like most children some take themselves off to bed, some want to be carried, and one always wants to stay up, "Just a little longer please." When all the flying and fussing is through they all want their goodnight kisses. "Night night", I say as I turn off the light. As I'm closing the door I hear some bird saying "night night" to me too.

Well, after spending a day with me and my feathered kids can you see how parronting a parrot is much the same as parenting a child?

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"Christmas" in April
at Mountain Spirits Bird Rescue

By Stacey Baker

When I first joined PTA, I read that sometimes, Angels got to make deliveries. I never really thought that "I" would be one of the Angels making a delivery! When Lynn asked me how I felt about making a delivery, I was pretty excited, but didn't really know what to expect. I was very fortunate to have another "Angel", Diane, and my two smaller "Angels" Joel and Sammi to help make the delivery.

We arrived and Charlie and his wife, Sue (the folks who run the rescue), along with several members of their bird club, were there to greet us. As each package was opened, so many comments were heard! Every person who was opening a package looked at the label to see which state it was from. They could not believe how far apart we "Angels" are spread out! They also could not believe the quality of the toys that were sent.

There were so many presents, it DID feel like Christmas, and we got to be the "Angel Elves". But, there was something else...we didn't realize WE'D be receiving a gift that day too.

Our gift was not a monetary gift, nor was it a package tied up with a pretty bow. Our gift was being a part of Parrot Toy Angels, representing the organization by doing an Angel delivery. It was a gift, because it made us feel just like a gift makes you feel...thankful, happy, amazed, and it even brought a few tears to my eyes. Watching each person's face when they opened a package, was a true gift. To see the smiles, and hear the laughter warmed our hearts, to say the least. For a group of "Angels" to be so far apart, it surely felt like we were all in the same room that day! I am still in awe of everyone's creativity and generosity. I am so proud to say that I am an member of this group!

Some of the birds there were hardship stories, some just needed a little "help" learning better manners. Some of the birds will live with Sue and Charlie because they have been through so much already. While we were there, many of the birds stole our hearts!

I just want to thank you all again for your generosity! It made our delivery an awesome experience! Kudos to our head Angel, "MS", who makes all of this happen for so many different organizations!

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!

Featured Fid ~ Blue-throated Macaws
By Shelly Bohannon

The Facts
MoulaThe Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis; previously Ara caninde) is a bird endemic to a small area of north-central Boliva known as Los Llanos de Moxos. Recent population and range estimages suggest that 100 individuals remain in the wild. The main cause of their demise is capture for the pet trade to supply the aviculture in the USA and Europe. They are currently considered critically endangered by BirdLife International. Several breeding and conservation schemes in zoos have now been set up to save this species. Other projects have been started to protect the remaining wild population, but at present numbers are still decreasing.

They are not a forest dwelling bird, but live in the savanna of the Beni Department of Bolivia, nesting in "Islas" (islands) of palm trees that dot the level plains. Their colours are vivid with turquoise-blue wings and tail, and bright yellow underparts. They have a large black bill, a long tail, a bare black-streaked white face, and a pale yellow iris. They can be separated from the similar-looking Blue-and-Gold Macaw by the blue (not black) throat, the blue (not green) forehead and the lack of contrast between the flight feathers and upperwing coverts. In the wild these species often compete over nesting-holes, with the Blue-throated Macaw typically losing due to its slightly smaller size.

The Basics
♥ Size: 32 to 36 inches, half of which is tail.Baby Blue-throated macaw The average weight for females is 550 to 650 grams. Males range from 600 to 750 grams.

♥ Lifespan: One of the rarest Macaw species. These Macaws are on the Endangered Species List. It is estimated that there are less than 100 left in the wild, and not many more in captivity. The BTM was virtually unknown in Aviculture until the 1970's, and the first captive breeding took place in 1984. Until recently this species has been very difficult to breed, however, at long last a limited number of handfed babies are becoming available as pets.

Stewart, BTM♥ Loudness Factor: I find these birds to be relatively quiet as far as volume. They have a softer and more pleasing voice than most of the large Macaws. They do tend to be more "chatty" than the other Macaws. Usually carrying on conversations for most of the day. They do not seem to be prone to screaming and even so, do not attain the volume of the other Macaws.

♥ Cage Size: They require a large cage, at least 30" x 40" to meet exercise requirements. The cage should be a heavy gauge wire.

♥ Diet: Pellets, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, high quality nuts.

♥ Talking Ability: As with most Macaws, they will generally learn a few words and phrases. A few have shown exceptional talking ability, learning as many words and phrases as an African Grey. Those that choose to be "exceptional" talkers, also show exceptional, human-like, clarity in their speech.

♥ Pet Potential: EXCELLENT x 2!! These are lovable, comical, somewhat crazy, and highly entertaining birds. They love to show off and seem to enjoy meeting people. They will test your intelligence regularly and you will find yourself spending a good deal of time trying to outsmart them!

♥ Personality: Extremely active and playful, and "extremely" is putting it mildly. They border on 'hyper' in a fun sort of way. They need lots of Yogi, Sheba, Tessa Relaxingexercise, toys and diversions. Both hard and soft wood chew toys are a must! A large, well put together play gym for exercise outside of the cage is a necessity. BTMs can be as demanding as other Macaws, however, they are also quite content occupying themselves with challenging toys, or uninstalling the new toy, feed bowl or perch you just installed in their cage. Exceptionally tame and friendly. Wild-caught adult birds have been known to "tame down" enough within a couple of weeks to be easily handled. Handfed babies generally adjust to new surroundings and people within a few days, and make very loving, cuddly pets. Highly inquisitive, they are into everything. BTMs are very social and like to be part of the family activity. Not a particularly "nippy" bird, they can, however, become quite cranky during moulting, particularly their first full molt. Highly intelligent, they can be manipulative, bossy, and a bit jealous as most intelligent species can. Training is essential. These guys are the class clowns! It is not uncommon to find BTMs sleeping on their backs, or just lying about on their back. They seem to enjoy hanging from the top of their cage by one toe nail, and will eat, sleep, and play in this position.

These photos are of the same bird, taken the same day.
    A very good example of how lighting changes the color that you see

(2)Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia
For more information about the Blue-throated Macaw, see the November, 2002 issue of Bird Talk magazine.

Fatty Liver (Hepatic Lipidosis)
Holly Nash, DVM, MS
Veterinary Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.

What is hepatic lipidosis?
Hepatic lipidosis is a disease in which large amounts of fat are deposited in the liver. It is most common in budgies, cockatiels, Amazon parrots, Quaker parrots, lovebirds, and cockatoos. It is a very serious condition, and death may occur if treatment is not started early in the course of the disease.

What causes hepatic lipidosis?
There are many possible causes of hepatic lipidosis in birds. These include:
High fat content in diet (all-seed diet)
Too frequent feedings, or eating too much at each feeding
Nutritional deficiencies such as biotin, methionine, and choline
Thyroid disease
Toxins such as lead, arsenic, carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, phosphorous, aflatoxins, and ethionine
Hereditary factors
Diabetes mellitus

What are the signs of hepatic lipidosis?
Birds with hepatic lipidosis generally have a sudden loss of appetite, are lethargic, and depressed. Many are overweight and the liver is enlarged due to the additional storage of fat. This results in a distended abdomen and difficulty breathing. They may have diarrhea and abnormal droppings (green in color). Birds may have poor feather quality. If the liver function is greatly decreased, birds may develop central nervous system signs such as seizures, loss of balance, and muscle tremors. Budgies may have overgrown, soft beaks. Some birds with hepatic lipidosis may develop few signs before they die suddenly.

How is hepatic lipidosis diagnosed?
Results of a physical examination, including the palpation of an enlarged liver often raise suspicion of hepatic lipidosis. The diagnosis can be supported through liver tests, radiography (x-rays), and confirmed through liver biopsy.

What is the treatment for hepatic lipidosis?
Birds with hepatic lipidosis must be placed on a low-fat diet which includes high quality pellets and fresh fruits and vegetables. It is sometimes difficult to get them to eat, so tube feeding may be necessary during the beginning of the treatment. They usually need additional supportive care such as supplemental heat and fluids. Additional medications, such as lactulose, may be given to treat or prevent central nervous system signs.

References and Further Reading
Altman, RB; Clubb, SL; Dorrestein, GM; Quesenberry, K. Avian Medicine and Surgery. W.B. Saunders Co. Philadelphia, PA; 1997.
Oglesbee, BL; McDonald, S; Warthen, K. Avian digestive system disorders. In Birchard, SJ; Sherding, RG (eds) Saunders Manual of Small Animal Practice. W.B. Saunders Co. Philadelphia, PA; 1994.
Olsen, GH; Orosz, SE. Manual of Avian Medicine. Mosby, Inc. St. Louis, MO; 2000.
Rupley, AE. Manual of Avian Practice. W.B. Saunders Co. Philadelphia, PA; 1997.

© 2006 Foster & Smith, Inc.
Reprinted as a courtesy and with permission from
On-line store at Drs. Foster & Smith
Free pet supply catalog: 1-800-323-4208
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