Northern Parrots Blog Sat, 29 Apr 2017 00:00:00 GMT en hourly 1 About Rainforest Cages Fri, 28 Apr 2017 00:00:00 GMT Northern Parrots

Rainforest Cages
began manufacturing in 2009. Ever since their inception, their cages have been designed by people who are Parrot owners themselves.

They have lots of special features, including a non toxic avi coat powder that is lead and zinc free, vertical and horizontal bars for climbing and secure locks to keep your Parrot safely inside their cage.

Parrot Stands

The Forest Jungle Play Gym is available in a medium or large size. It’s good if you want your Parrot to exercise away from their main cage.

The stands have metal seed catchers, tray and grille to catch any mess your Parrot makes, feeding bowls, swings and ladders for a fun playtime and hooks to attach lots of fun toys for an exciting playtime.

Play Top Cages

The Santos Cage is available in an antique or stone colour. As is standard with play top cages, it has a dedicated play gym section at the top, to give your Parrot extra room to play or eat.

It has a very tall access door, slide out grilles and tray, seed catchers, swing out doors and castors to move it around your home during cleaning.

The Bolivia Cage is ready to order in a stone or antique colour too. This features large entry/exit doors, castors, seed catchers, perches and slide out metal grille and tray.

Open Top Cages

As their name suggests, open top cages have a section you can open out for your Parrot to enjoy extra space for feeding and playing.

The Ecuador Cage is available in two colours, antique or stone. It has a wide door, for easy cleaning access and for your bird to move in and out of, seed catchers to collect waste, easy to move castors and two perches so your Parrot can see the world around them.

The Georgia Top Opening Parrot Cage has all the features your bird needs from a cage, with metal feeding bowls, seed catchers, perches, rolling castors and much more. 

The Santa Fe Cage, ready to order in an antique colour, has the addition of a stand for lots of space for your Parrot. It has a very deep base to reduce mess, large doors and pull out trays.

The Mini Santa Fe Cage is similar, but with smaller dimensions.

The Chile Cage is currently ready to purchase in a gorgeous stone colour. It has a very small bar spacing (only 10mm) so ideal for smaller birds. But it still has all the features you’d come to expect, like lockable feeder doors, removable tray and large front door.

Solid Top Cages

The Triple Cage is available in a Standard or Grande size. They’re a useful cage is you have a large flock, are breeding Parrots are just want to give your single bird lots of room.

They have large front doors with a clock face lock to keep your Parrot secure, wooden perches, stainless steel bowls, swing out feeders and slide out grille and tray.

They have high quality materials and have been painted with non toxic, zinc free avicoat to give a long lasting and safe coating for your bird.

The Double Cage is ready to order in an antique colour. It houses two Parrots maximum, unlike the Triple Cage which can fit three Parrots comfortably.

The Santos Cage is available in antique or stone. It has horizontal and vertical bars for climbing on. As well as that it has large front doors, four swing out feeders, slide out metal grille and tray, breeder doors and the whole thing sits on castors.

The Brazil Cage and Stand, in an antique colour, has four feeders so your Parrot has lots of delicious food and water, although they can be removed if needed, deep base to collect mess and two pull out trays for easy maintenance.

But on both sides of the cage there is a large door, which clock face lock for security, feeding bowls, feeder doors, seed catchers, pullout grilles and trays. The Castello can be bought in antique or stome.

The large Aviary with House has so much room for your Parrot, so they can spend time outside getting those essential UV rays. 

The Parrot Aviary has loads of space for your Parrot to spend time in the open air as well. 

Rainforest Cages: All styles of the highest standard Parrot cages and stands. 

Training A Parrot To Lie On His Back Tues, 25 Apr 2017 00:00:00 GMT Barbara
“Uh, excuse me! You need to stop being so cute. Really. I am having a tough time getting to all those other responsibilities I have.” 

I think that is the inner dialog I have whenever I am working with Jackson. But seriously look at that bird! How cute is he? Makes a person just want to play with Parrots all day long. Doesn’t it?

Believe it or not, this is a behaviour I am training Jackson to do. (Not look cute. He does that on his own.) What I am training him to do is lie on his back. He actually learned to do it in record time. 

I will explain the steps I used to train this behaviour. Jackson will step up readily. He enjoys sitting perched on my hand for attention, treats and head scratches.

With Jackson perched on my hand I started the behaviour by gently bringing my right hand towards his back. I reinforced him for remaining calm and relaxed. Sometimes I reinforced with a treat and sometimes a head scratch or cuddle.

Over time he became quite comfortable with my hand resting on his back.

The next step was for me to bend slightly at the waist and support Jackson’s back with my right hand. I then straightened back up and offered him a treat. This method allowed Jackson to experience being on his back in tiny increments of time.

Eventually I extended these intervals to about 30 seconds. 

At this stage I wanted to work towards having Jackson hold this position without having his feet hold onto my left hand or using my right hand to support his back. This meant moving to the couch as seen in the picture. 


This time when I bent over, he rested on my palm on the couch. Over time I was able to slide my hand out from under him. He also began to gradually loosen his hold on my left hand with his feet.

This allowed me to cover him with head scratches which he adores. Next thing you know, Jackson doesn’t want to move from his new favourite spot on the couch. Ah, the power of positive reinforcement!

This was originally published on Barbara’s website in September 2009.

Barbara Heidenreich has been a professional animal trainer since 1990. Her company Barbara’s Force Free Animal Training ( provides animal training DVDs, books, webinars and workshops. She has been a featured speaker in over twenty countries and has been published in nine languages. Barbara works with the companion animal community and also consults on animal training in zoos.

World Parrot Day Sat, 22 Apr 2017 00:00:00 GMT Northern Parrots

We’re really excited about the 31st May, as the rest of the world celebrates the amazing Parrots we know and love, on World Parrot Day.

World Parrot Day was started on May 31st 2004 by the World Parrot Trust. Now in its 13th year, its aims are to highlight the threats to captive and wild Parrots around the world.


Zoos, charities and other organisations all get involved and some even hold special parades and parties to mark the occasion. As May 31st falls near or on the Bank Holiday Weekend every year, members of the public have more opportunities to get involved as more people are off work and school.

At the very first World Parrot Day the World Parrot Trust handed in a petition calling for the EU to ban the trade of wild birds in Europe. This has since come into force (in 2006/2007) so real action can be achieved on this day.

In the past celebrities such as TV presenter Michaela Strachan and former star of Vets in Practice Steve Leonard have given their backing to World Parrot Day.

Visit the World Parrot Trust’s website to learn more about their current projects and how you can continue to support the work they do saving wild Parrots from extinction.

You can improve your companion Parrot’s quality of life with our scrumptious foods, spacious cages, stimulating toys, exciting accessories and useful supplements.

What are you doing on World Parrot Day? Let us know in the comments.


About Savic Fri, 21 Apr 2017 00:00:00 GMT Northern Parrots Although Savic was initially a jewellery tools maker when they were founded in the 1950’s, they quickly diversified and began designing and making plastic pet accessories.

They bought out another company in 1999, which meant they could continue to manufacture cage accessories for many different companion animals, including Parrots.

Savic’s products are exported around the world and famous for their high quality specifications, large choice, impressive styles and innovative designs.

Parrot and Bird Baths

Keep your Parrot lovely and clean by bathing them in this Extra Large Bird Bath. A wooden perch fitted at the entrance of the bath makes it easy for your Parrot to grip when moving in and out the bath.

The hooded style of the bath prevents water from leaking everywhere and then once your Parrot has had their wash, the bath is easy to wipe down and clean.

The slightly smaller Savic Bird Bath has the same hooded style that reduces water leakage yet still ensures your Parrot gets enough water to clean themselves properly.


For smaller birds such as Cockatiels and Quakers there is this Cockatiel Fountain Feeder. It only allows a small proportion of the food to be accessed at any one time, so reduces mess and stops food becoming contaminated. Therefore, it stays fresher for longer.

The Large Water Fountain for Pet Birds keeps water clean too and prevents water from being mixed with other liquids, food or waste.

Savic: Making mealtimes and bathtimes much more exciting for Parrots. 

Meet My Parrot - Casper The Budgie Tues, 18 Apr 2017 00:00:00 GMT Northern Parrots
Tell us about your Parrot
Casper is just under a year old, and is a cobalt blue dilute spangle Budgerigar. He likes tassels and loose strings, and hiding under my collar when he's tired. He also loves to shred up paper, and talk to himself in mirrors. He's a cute little fluffball, and loves to preen his beard. He sits on the curtain rail and climbs up and down the curtains too! He also hangs upside down off the lights, then dive bombs down. 

Why did you choose a Budgie?
They are quite small, and not too expensive either. They're also really cuddly and cute, but they're a bit of a pain when untamed! After a week of each catching tactic, he would catch on and escape. It took us about to two months for him to react and fly back to us when we call him. 

What is his favourite food? 
Casper eats a half-and-half mix of Harrison’s super fine bird pellets which the vet recommended from Northern Parrots, and Trill. He also loves apples and leafy greens like spinach and lettuce. He also loves herby leaves, like basil and oregano. 

Does he have any favourite toys? 
He likes bells, and anything that makes a noise. The vet receptionist said Northern Parrots have the biggest selection, so we tried it out and Casper has loved everything! He also loves toys with strings or mess-making opportunities! He likes taking baths and playing in water. He also likes sharing food; so far he's tried granola, bran flakes, shreddies, pizza, bahjis and his distant relatives, tandoori chicken. 

Does he have any games he likes to play? 
He enjoys talking to his keys, and chattering non-stop in front of a mirror. He also likes throwing bells from the top of his cage to annoy us all, because then he squawks until we pick them up. He thinks it’s really funny to dance on the keyboard, because of all the clicking sounds! 

Does he speak? 
Yes! We taught him to say 'Cheeseburger' and 'Budgie', but he gets mixed up and says 'cheesebudgie' instead. He also says 'I love you!' 'Gimme a biiiiiiiig kiss!' and the basics, like 'pretty Budgie' and 'hey gorgeous boy'. 

Do you have advice for new Parrot owners? 
Don't give up! They're a nightmare to tame, but it's worth it in the end. They're gorgeous and cuddly and sooooo sweet. A good persuasive technique is to use millet, or the seeding grasses from Northern Parrots, because they really can't resist it, and they're so cheap online!

If you’d like to be featured in a future Meet My Parrot, please email us at

You can also answer these questions

About TOPS Parrot Food Thurs, 13 Apr 2017 00:00:00 GMT Northern Parrots

TOP'S began in 2003. The founders wanted to create a Parrot food that was healthy, wholesome and perhaps most importantly Organic and use pellets that have been processed as little as possible. Totally Organic Pellets (TOP'S) only use the highest quality, human grade ingredients that have been chosen from the best companies available.

That’s because unprocessed foods gives your Parrot much more nutrition. When your bird has the correct levels of nutrition they lead a happier, healthier life.


TOPS also believe that more natural Organic food is more readily absorbed by the body than other, man-made processed foods and birds are more likely to eat it too. TOP'S food contains no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives either to add to the nutritional benefit that your Parrot gets from them.
TOP'S Food

TOP'S food is available in a crumbled pellet for small Parrots and a standard pellet for
medium to large Parrots.

TOP'S food for medium to large Parrots comes in a 1lb, 4lb or 10lb bag. The 100% Organic food contains good amounts of protein, fat and fibre that helps your bird develop strong muscles, gives them a burst of energy and aids their digestive system respectively.

All the food has been cold pressed and not extruded or baked so that the levels of enzymes, vitamins and other nutrients stays at the highest levels possible. Rosemary, lemon and orange peel have been added to preserve the nutrition rich content.

TOP'S Crumbled Pellets for Small Birds
are available in 12oz or 3lb bag. It’s suitable for Budgies, Lovebirds and Cockatiels.

To keep it fresh and appealing for your bird, lemon, orange peel and rosemary have once again been added to this food.

Their other benefit is they preserve the nutrition rich content. The all natural food has large quantities of natural enzymes, vitamins and other nutrients and as the pellets haven’t been extruded or baked during the manufacturing process, only cold pressed, the level of nutrition remains very high. Only natural, human grade ingredients go into the food.

TOP's Parrot Food: All natural source of nutrition for a happy and healthy bird.

Endangered Species Day Weds, 12 Apr 2017 00:00:00 GMT Northern Parrots

Endangered Species Day on May 19th is very important, because although Parrots are very popular as companion animals, in the wild their numbers are decreasing.  

Popular bird website The Bird Channel compiled a list in 2013 of all the endangered species of Parrots globally. Sadly it seems that many of these species are still under threat.

You can see how Parrot populations are increasing or decreasing by looking at this useful list by Rainforests Monagbay on Parrot species with the least and most concern attached to them.

We’ve reported on numerous projects going on around the world and our bloggers have visited some of them first hand (or should that be first wing?)

Barbara Heidenreich dyed her hair blue to show her support to blue-throated Macaws in Bolivia. Nest boxes have been built in the El Beni region of Bolivia, to encourage the Macaws to breed and these have been very successful, so fingers crossed this species won’t become extinct. There are currently approximately less than 1,000 in the wild.


Barbara’s other project involved visiting Kakapo’s in New Zealand. She helped collect data on young Kakapo’s and trained them when she visited them in the wild in summer 2014.

The World Parrot Trust and other organisations run lots of projects round the world to increase the population of Parrots in their natural habitat and keep the numbers steady by stopping poaching etc.
Another of our bloggers, Heather Scott, volunteered in Costa Rica for a couple of months earlier in 2015. She worked with the Macaws that lived in a sanctuary there, training them, feeding them and more. Again this was all to increase the numbers of the species.


Dot Schwarz has shared her thoughts on conservation and visited a project in The Philippines which cared for and protected the Red Vent Cockatoo from extinction.

We’ve written our own piece on Parrots, wildlife and conservation which you can read here.

The WWF (World Wildlife Foundation) run a myriad of projects designed to increase the numbers of Parrots in the wild. Read about some of them here.

Are you doing anything to fundraise or raise awareness of endangered Parrots? Let us know in the comments.


What Does Your Bird's Poop Tell You? Tues, 11 Apr 2017 00:00:00 GMT Dot

Should the study of Parrot poop be considered an art or a science (or a waste of time?)

One authority I consulted named the study Poopology - so here are some guide lines for the Parrot owner. Parrots can become unwell and show few signs until the condition is far advanced.

Case Study

Carla, one of a pair of wild-caught Orange-winged Amazons, had lived here as a rehome for 18 months, when she began to stay in her nest box. This surprised me because she was not a healthy-looking bird. I did not disturb her.  Her mate fed her.

After one week, I looked in. What I had mistakenly taken for nesting behaviour was fatal illness. The shavings were thickly covered in noxious smelling droppings. Poor Carla had a bowel tumour. There was nothing a vet could do.

In the wild, a sick bird attempts to behave normally for as long as possible so that it’s not shunned from the rest of the flock or doesn’t become a hawk’s dinner. By the time signs of illness are apparent, the condition may have advanced. Is there anything Parrot carers can do to mitigate such events in the home environment?

Weekly weighing provides a good indication of health. I’ve found investing in a scale has been worth it; I’m a worrier by nature. Popping Casper on the scale and seeing his weight unchanged reassures me and avoids an unnecessary vet visit.

If the Parrot’s weight veers too much up or down, vigilance is required. My benchmark is 10%; others may go for less. The daily examination of Parrots’ poop is another indication and should become as routine as changing cage papers or refilling water bowls.

Physiological changes cannot be hidden; weight is one sign and poop is another. So, what is healthy poop? What is abnormal? And what should we do?

The healthy bird

Her feathers are shiny; she stands alert and curious. Her eyes are bright.  How often will she poop? That depends on the species.

The three components, faeces, urates and urine, are expelled from the cloaca in a tidy blob. My Greys’ poop weighs 10 grams in the morning. I confess to never having weighed Benni the Blue and Gold Macaw’s, morning effort. Some wag remarked Macaws are flying cows. That’s exaggerated but they do poop a lot fortunately not so often.

Usually the faeces are coiled around the chalky white urates and the colourless urine surrounds the blob. Urine and urates and usually separate but if mixed together is not a cause for alarm. However, and how lucky for those of us who keep multiple birds,

Parrot poop - unlike that of mammals like us or and our beloved pet cats and dogs - does not smell. If it does - as it did with my unfortunate Amazon – that’s a danger signal that something is wrong.
Colour will vary depending on what type of food was ingested.

                      Credit: Alan Jones
Case Study

Lucy rushed to her vet in emergency mode. Molly, her gentle Mollucan hen, had excreted scarlet droppings. At the vet’s consultation, Lucy’ face went scarlet red as well, when it transpired Molly had eaten half a pomegranate the previous day.
One September, the mixed Parakeets in my aviary had black streaks in their poop; the indoor birds had not. Before I began to worry, I recalled that the aviary birds had been given a bowl of blackberries. The indoor birds hadn’t had theirs yet.

Normal poop from Benni Macaw Credit: Dot Schwarz 

What do healthy droppings look like?
  • Droppings don’t smell
  • Faeces are solid but soft. They are formed in the colon and consist of digested food. Faecal matter may be straight, coiled, of even broken up in to smaller yet still tube shaped pieces
  • The colour’s dark brown or green, depending upon the species of bird and the diet. If the staple diet is seed, faeces are dark green; when pellets form the staple diet, the colour if brown. When faeces dry, they harden and appear black
  • Urine should be clear
  • Urates should be creamy-white, almost chalky in appearance.

Tip  Wiping up Parrot poop straightaway leaves no stain. If it has been left, one tip is to cover with a wet piece of newspaper and wipe it off 30 minutes later.

Cage papers. Shavings do look nice but they are not much use in keeping an eye on dropping which become buried. Brown paper or waxed paper is the best. These papers are also useful if you need to take a sample to the vet.  At home, we use newspaper.
Does healthy Parrot poop involve any health hazards for carers?

The answer seems to be that with good hygiene, it should not. The dust from dried up poop can contain fungal and other spores and cause reparatory conditions.

What is abnormal?

This is where good daily observation is key. When poop shows a striking difference in colour - maybe the bird ate two slices of beetroot, the reddish colour won’t remain the same once the vegetable is digested. But should there be red or black in the poop because of blood, that will remain the same. 

So, you get the odd situation that consistency in funny- coloured poop is more worrying. You need to be able to distinguish between a temporary change, for example, a bout of diarrhoea or excess urine if the bird has consumed a lot of fruit or a change due to some more serious cause. Also, watch for changes in colour, volume, consistency, and number of droppings.

Some abnormal signs include:
  • Faeces light in colour, mustard yellow, rusty brown, or containing blood
  • Unusually large faeces or faeces that are coarse-textured, watery, or mushy
  • Faeces that contain undigested food or have a bad smell
  • Urine with any colour at all
  • White urates showing yellow or green tinges
  • Much fewer or far more number of droppings
  • A bird suffering from heavy worm infestation may have bits of dead worm expelled with the poop

To avoid misinterpreting signs, take your bird's recent meals into account. Blueberries or beets, pomegranates, cherries, currants and similar will significantly alter the colour of faeces. A diet high in moisture, such as fruits and vegetables, will increase urine output.

If the droppings changed through diet once the food is digested (24 hours max) the colour will return to its habitual one. Urates should remain chalky white and urine clear.

Different colours in the different components of the poop indicate various conditions some are treatable and some not. Owners by themselves cannot make the diagnosis without the help of their avian vet. Luckily for most of us, on most occasions, the changes are due to diet not morbidity.

If you have noticed changes in droppings, make sure that it is not a temporary diet problem and be aware of other tell-tale signs of ill health.

These include:
·         Not eating
·         Sitting on the bottom of the cage
·         Huddled up, with or without ruffled feathers
·         Rattled, wheezy, or open-mouth breathing
·         Lethargy

I asked my vet when he thought I should bring the bird in when I’ve noticed changes in the poop. He told me to consider the bird’s general demeanour. And if there were other signs as well as the poop bring her in for an examination. He reiterated that when a bird is obviously unwell, the illness may have progressed.

Sadly, many conditions such as liver, kidney failure are not treatable but many are – so become a good poopologist. Bringing a sample of the poop is also worthwhile. Any change of colour that cannot be explained by the diet should be investigated by your veterinarian.

Below is how different droppings look...

Normal droppings - credit Alan Jones

Colour from ingested seeds chillies and peppers credit Alan Jones

Colour from ingested seeds chillies and peppers credit Alan Jones

Diarrhoea - slimly very little urine credit Alan Jones

More green urates. Possily serious liver damage. Very likely Psittacosis credit Alan Jones

Galah cockatoo. Melaena - dark with partially digested blood from upper intestine (plus roundworms) credit Alan Jones

Undigested seed passed indicative of digestive disturbance credit Alan Jones

May your birds be well.

Toilet training is also a possibility but that’s a blog for another day. 

Get Involved With Eclectus Parrot Day Sun, 09 Apr 2017 00:00:00 GMT Northern Parrots
It’s April, so it’s time to celebrate another of our popular Parrot species. This month, on April 20th, we’re celebrating Eclectus Parrots, together with our friends over at Feathered Friends.

Facts on Eclectus Parrots
Eclectus Parrots are famous for being one of the few species of Parrot where it is easy to identify males and females. The male is bright green and the female red and blue.


Feeding the right food for your Eclectus Parrot is vitally important and they aren’t very tolerant of incorrect feeding. We have lots of delicious Eclectus Parrot food for you to choose from. There is seed, complete food, treats and breeding/handfeeding food.

The other crucial part of caring for your Eclectus Parrot is plumage care. Eclectus Parrots need regular baths and do not like being in a dry environment. We have an extra large bath for your Eclectus Parrot to wash in. 

Read more interesting facts like this on Rosemary Low’s Eclectus Parrot fact sheet.

All you need for your Eclectus Parrot
As well as the Parrot baths we mentioned earlier, there are lots of other handy accessories for your Eclectus Parrot. Pick from perches, stands, harnesses and many more.

We have an impressive selection of cages for your Eclectus. There are play top cages, open top cages, solid top cages and travel cages to choose from. 

Something else they’ll need a lot of in their cage is toys to occupy your Eclectus Parrot’s time. Browse toys made from fun materials like acrylic and metal and willow and palm, and a big array of other styles. 

If your Eclectus Parrot is ever unfortunate enough to become unwell, our supplements should help.

There are vitamins and minerals to add to their diet, illness and emergency products to treat them when they are unwell, treatments and cures that also relieve other common Eclectus Parrot illnesses and breeder products for Parrot parents and their chicks.

Don’t forget that feeding your Eclectus the right diet is essential for their wellbeing. We have a wide selection of food available. 

Get everything you need for your Eclectus right here. 

Special Offers on Eclectus Products
To mark this special day, we’ll be having special offers on a selection of products for your Eclectus Parrot. Follow us on our social media pages or sign up to our Newsletter to make sure you hear about them first! These offer will only be available for the day so don’t miss out.

Save over 20% on the Palm Fruit Extract Oil, that is a delicious treat you can spread over your Parrot’s food. Was £4.99, now £3.99.

Get over 20% off the Large Boing, that has over eight feet of material for your Parrot to enjoy exercising and climbing on.

The Loads Of Legs Toy was £12.99, but will be reduced to just £9.99 to celebrate #EclectusDay.

You can also save over 20% on the Garden Veggie NutriBerries. Were £8.99, now discounted to £6.99. 

Happy Eclectus Parrot Day to you!