Northern Parrots Blog http://www.northernparrots.com Thurs, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT http://www.northernparrots.com en hourly 1 2018 Parrot Shows in the UK http://www.northernparrots.com/2018-parrot-shows-in-the-uk-blog579/ http://www.northernparrots.com/2018-parrot-shows-in-the-uk-blog579/#comments Tues, 16 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT Northern Parrots http://www.northernparrots.com/2018-parrot-shows-in-the-uk-blog579/
There are lots of Parrot shows happening this year. Here are the biggest. 



The biggest event of the year will be Think Parrots on June 10th. New for this year is microchipping.

Birdfair will be running from August 17th – 19th. This fair takes a look at conservation projects around the world and has talks by wildlife experts.

Over the same weekend, August 18th-19th, it’s The Pet Show in Staffordshire. Bring your feathered friend along and learn more about other furry critters.

The Parrot Society have announced details for their three shows in 2018. They will be on July 1st, October 7th and December 2nd.

The Stafford Spring Show is on March 4th 2018. This is your opportunity to purchase everything you need for your birdkeeping hobby, such as supplements and accessories. 

Which show are you attending? Let us know in the comments below. 
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Happy Amazon Parrot Day http://www.northernparrots.com/happy-amazon-parrot-day-blog343/ http://www.northernparrots.com/happy-amazon-parrot-day-blog343/#comments Fri, 12 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT Northern Parrots http://www.northernparrots.com/happy-amazon-parrot-day-blog343/
As part of our continuing series celebrating our different Parrot species, on January 18th it’s all about the popular Amazon Parrot. We’ll be working with Feathered Friends again too. Show your support using the #AmazonParrotDay on social media. 

Amazon Parrot Facts
There are lots of different species of Amazon Parrots and you can read about several of them with Rosemary Low’s fact sheets. There’s Orange-winged, Yellow-naped, Yellow-fronted, Blue-fronted and Double Yellow Headed. 



If there’s a species of Amazon you’d love to read about get in touch and we’ll pass your ideas to Rosemary.

Each one has their own unique characteristics and appearance, so reading these fact sheets is essential whether you’re a new Parrot owner or have years of experience keeping birds. 



All You Need For Your Amazon Parrot
Whichever Amazon Parrot species you own or are planning to keep in the future, we have the perfect product for you.

There are delicious Amazon Parrot food, such as complete food that provide your Parrot with all the nutrition they require from a balanced diet, scrumptious treats that could be a snack between mealtimes, breeding and handfeeding food for Parrot parents and their chicks and finally seed for Amazon Parrots, that is a more natural way of eating. 
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Amazons need plenty of toys to occupy their time, so browse our Amazon toys section  for all the styles of toys you and them need, including swing and climbing toys, activity and trick toys and foraging toys where you can place some of the yummy foods listed above for your Parrot to retrieve.
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Your Amazon is bound to be enjoying these from the comfort of their very own cage. There are play top style cages that gives your Amazon an additional area to play, open top style cages that allows your Amazon quick access in and out the cage, solid top style cages that helps your Amazon feel secure and travel cages for when you and your Amazon are travelling.



Buy an Amazon supplement if you want to cure any illnesses your Amazon has or prevent illnesses in the future. Not forgetting the vitamins and minerals that are an important addition to any Amazon’s diet.

For everything else your Amazon needs, visit our accessories page. Here you’ll discover lightsperches and much more. 



Offers for your Amazon Parrot
Want to treat your Amazon with one of the fabulous items we’ve listed above? Well on our Amazon Parrot Day we’ll be having special offers on a small selection of these products. Make sure you’re following us on our social media sites to hear about them all. 


The PelletBerries, a complete meal for Parrots, were £11.99, now £9.49.


The Nut and Coconut Treat Stick was £6.99, now £5.49.


The Large Shredding Tower was £7.99, now £5.99.


The Cocotte Medium was £9.99, now £7.99.


The Wooden Twirler Perch was £9.99, now £7.99.








Let us know how you’re celebrating Amazon Parrot Day in the comments below. 

 

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New Year And A New Start For Your Pet Bird http://www.northernparrots.com/new-year-and-a-new-start-for-your-pet-bird-blog512/ http://www.northernparrots.com/new-year-and-a-new-start-for-your-pet-bird-blog512/#comments Thurs, 11 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT Bucktons http://www.northernparrots.com/new-year-and-a-new-start-for-your-pet-bird-blog512/ So it’s the start of another New Year and I am sure we’ve all made those New Year resolutions and promised that they’ll last longer than the end of January this time round!

It’s important to start the year as you mean to go on and that same approach can be taken when it comes to looking after your pet bird.

Different sized birds need different levels of maintenance.

A smaller sized bird, such as a Budgie or Canary, are easy to care for but give you less back by way of engagement. Medium sized birds, like a Cockatiel, are relatively easy to care for but generally are much more engaging. Then we have the larger birds, Parrots that are challenging to care for but they can be very entertaining.

We can learn a lot from the habits (and mistakes) of veteran bird owners. To keep your bird happy and healthy, and to make your life a little easier, try some of our helpful tips…


 
1.      Develop a healthy diet
When it comes to food, your pet bird needs a balanced diet as well as lots of clean, fresh water to stay in tip top shape. Feeding your bird correctly has never been easier than it is now…just buy them some Bucktons aviary food!!

Other varieties of food are available here.

In all seriousness, feeding a quality, clean seed mix, alongside fresh fruit and vegetables, perhaps occasional bird treats will give your bird everything they need nutritionally, and also help prevent boredom.

Now, did someone mention the word treats?

We all enjoy a nice snack from time to time and perhaps even a bit of cake or a baked treat. Well your pet bird feels the same way. They like snacks and treats too. Pieces of fresh fruit and veg appeal to many birds, as does some nice warm porridge.

See the beak-wateringly good treats here
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Unfortunately, as with most snacks and treats, they should only be given in moderation…sorry!
    
2.      Grooming and cleaning
There’s no getting around it, birds can be messy.

Given a chance and the proper tools, they keep themselves clean and well-groomed. Birds spend an average of a third of their waking time preening and grooming themselves, however, keeping the bird’s home clean is your responsibility.

The cage should be cleaned every day and the surrounding area will need to be tended frequently. However, it doesn’t need to be difficult.

Spreading newsprint or paper towels under your bird’s perches will catch most of their mess.

Find lots of cleaning products here
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3.      Bird training
Taking the time to train your pet bird can be a rewarding experience for you and your feathered friend as it’s a great way to spend some good quality time together.
Birds are more intelligent than most people give them credit for.

The insult “bird-brain” should actually be a compliment because they are extremely intelligent animals. Like most intelligent animals (including us of course), pet birds become bored and restless if they don’t have something to occupy their minds.

Be patient with them though. It will be fun and enjoyable but training your bird will take time and remember that not all birds will do the same tricks.

Find lots of training tips here.
 
4.      Give them respect
Though you expect many things from your bird, know when enough is enough.

Lights being on, noisy conversation, or leaving the TV on after your bird’s bedtime is a sure way to invite behavioural problems. We don’t like these things when we’re trying to go to sleep, and neither will your pet bird.

Remember that birds need a good 12 hours of sleep a night so try covering their cage with a dark blanket to make sure they get plenty of rest and aren’t disturbed.

In the wild, birds will often seek out hiding spots so try to provide them with a place that they can retreat too within their cage if things start to get a little too much for them.
Hideaways are perfect for this. 
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5.      Keep things interesting
From foods to grooming, from speech training to toys, prevent the mundane by adding variety.

Try switching the toys and perches in their cage frequently. See lots of toys here
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Present snacks and treats in challenging ways to sharpen their wits and to challenge them – make them work for it!

Play soothing music regularly.

Give them social interaction with people other than your family members and offer them
a variety of healthy foods. Your bird’s life will be richer for it.

For even more information on how best to care for your pet bird, check out our video care guides here


This was originally published on the Bucktons blog





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Parrot Accidents Christmas Stories From Dot Schwarz http://www.northernparrots.com/parrot-accidents--christmas-stories-from-dot-schwarz-blog540/ http://www.northernparrots.com/parrot-accidents--christmas-stories-from-dot-schwarz-blog540/#comments Thurs, 04 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT Dot http://www.northernparrots.com/parrot-accidents--christmas-stories-from-dot-schwarz-blog540/
 
Parrots are sometimes referred to as feathered toddlers. Toddlers don’t fly and have not got tin openers on front of their faces. But similarities abound. Curiosity, self-centredness, need for love and affection and a blind disregard for danger. Absolute safety would entail a sterile environment a padded cage or a padded cell! Provide a safe environment for young creatures - with forethought you can avoid many accidents.
 
My African Greys, Artha and Casper tended to get into far more scrapes when they were younger. Artha is now 19 and Casper is 17.
 
Like many owners I like to shower or take a bath with the birds. Artha was 4 and Casper 2. A deep bubble bath and my favourite magazine. Artha and Casper were fooling about on the shower rail. I was absorbed. The bath water began bubbling near my feet. which I ignored for a few seconds.


It bubbled more. I looked up, Casper was flailing under water. He came up nice and dry with a towel. He still sits on the shower rail. But I don’t read in the bath when the birds are in the bathroom.
 
To keep birds safe round water is not difficult. Toilet lids are ALWAYS shut. Water in bowls never higher than the length of the bird’s legs. It’s not happened to me, but a friend’s Kakariki drowned in her water bowl.

Evening time is play time with the Parrot's free range indoors. In theory, we keep doors closed of non- bird rooms but in practice … One December night, Wal arrived with the Tesco shopping. ‘Close the door,’ I shouted from the kitchen ‘the birds are out.’
 
At nine o’clock, I put Casper and the 2 Cockatoos into the bird room; Artha was missing. Wal swore he’d closed the front door immediately. I turned the house upside down. Emptied every cupboard and drawer. The mess was indescribable. Then, I spent tearful hour in the garden, flashing my torch. If she’d escaped, she had to have been blown away.
 
I gave up the search; would get up at dawn to continue; felt despair.
 
At 10 pm, Boudicca, the tortoiseshell was curled up on our bed, enjoying the warmth from the electric under-blanket. I removed the cat. Under the duvet, I found a comatose African Grey, almost too hot to handle. She suffered no after effects. Why hadn’t she responded top my contact calls?


 
EB Cravens has written: When we raise our companion baby birds to be tame and trusting, the less “wild savvy” these chicks retain to warn and protect them from injury and life-threatening situations.
   
So, what are the major hazards that we should be aware of. For a start, windows, cages, toys, chemicals, human and animal predators and escapes.
 
Windows
My solution for birds flying into glass is to stripe the windows with Windowlene or any other cleaner. Also tap the bird’s beak against the glass. As they realise the glass cannot be flown through, you can gradually clean off the product. It may take up to six weeks with a new bird. Birds remember and a spin-off is nice clean windows. The same principal works for mirrors, too.


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Cages
 A mistake I’ve made is putting a small bird in a large cage.  Casper broke a fledgling’s wing when Little Flo stuck it outside. And a Kakariki broke a leg in the Macaw cage. (I managed to save the bird but once Stumpy went outside, living OK with one leg, a squirrel entered the aviary and killed her) For the cages, my solution is to attach mesh around the interior if I think the inhabitants can injure themselves on the bars.


 
Toys
 Expert advice is to provide plenty of toys for enrichment. But caution please. Source your toys carefully. I the paint safe to be chewed? Are there too many small parts that if detached can be swallowed. IS the plastic too thin and will make jagged edges?
 
When I buy baby toys from the charity shop I look for a safety label. Rope is marvellous for birds but must be inspected daily and discarded if edges are frayed. Even a material as innocuous as towelling can fray and catch a babies legs. Artha has lost a claw by sticking her leg through aviary mesh.
 
My birds love cardboard boxes, squares, bought objects or homemade ones. And they seem safe. 
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Fresh branches, flowers and weeds if you know they are on a safe for birds list make cheap and cheerful safe toys.
 
Chemicals
I have to be bossy to husband and family and refuse anything non-stick in the kitchen. Yet although the majority of Parrot carers know that non-stick pans if burning give off a poisonous gas fatal to Parrots, accidents are still occurring.

Someone recently posted on Facebook that they’d lost a bird to fumes given off by a self-cleaning oven.


 
If you use natural products like vinegar or lemon or environmentally safe cleaning products they won’t harm birds.
 
Again if your household products and toys come from a reliable source there shouldn’t be any potentially fatal zinc or lead to be ingested. A rule of thumb – if in doubt leave it out.
 
Predators
We share our lives with these fragile strong creatures. And yes, I do know of someone who squashed his Parakeet to death by plonking himself down on the couch.  I’ve fallen asleep with a Parrot on my lap but I’d never sleep in bed with one in case I rolled over.
 
Dogs and cats pet rats and snakes - their proximity to pet birds raises controversy. For perfect safety, allow no contact at all.  Dogs are a problem Our dogs and Parrots have been raised together. But I have known of Parrots unafraid of dogs who have been killed by an unfamiliar one. This is a risk with my free flying Macaws but they seem to be aware that stranger dogs are not friends
 
Cats’ scratches can be poisonous to Parrots. Again our birds and cats have been raised together. Even so I’d never leave different species unattended. That includes children. Children and birds ARE safe together with proper precautions, training and supervision.
 
Birds of course attack one another.  You can mix species but if you are a novice you need reliable advice. Aggression isn’t constant. Casper Grey had to be separated from my two wild caught Amazons. But after eight years, they coexisted in the bird room with no difficulty. Perdy Cockatoo loved baby birds. Artha Grey was never reliable to be left in proximity until they were agile flyers.


 
Escapes
 For the last three years, I’ve have been free flying Benni Macaw and now he’s joined by Mina the Military. One morning in May, two years ago, I’d put Artha and Casper in the king’s cage in the sitting room and took Benni out to fly. I came back at 1 p.m. to find Artha in the closed cage. Casper was not inside - a bewildering mystery.
 
 Artha (she is harnessed) and I searched the village for 4 hours. Someone had seen a grey Parrot chased by jackdaws out of a large tree in the opposite direction of our property.
 
Back home at 5 pm, I heard a West African wheep. Casper had found his own way home and was 30 metres high in the oak tree, overlooking the aviary. After 30 minutes, he condescended to fly down onto the aviary roof and step up.
 
The mystery of the closed cage was solved by closer examination.  The screw for the upper part was missing, so for some years, I’d used a piece of wire. Casper had untwirled the many turns of wire, squeezed out of the opening and flown out of the open kitchen door. The cage door slammed itself shut with the wire still in place. Artha hadn’t been either eager or bright enough to follow him.


               
Parrots don’t usually want to fly away. If your bird has been taken outside in a harness or in a cage or been in an aviary, should she get outside, unless she’s spooked or chased she’ll be nearby.
 
Clipped birds suffer a great disadvantage if they get outside. They cannot control their flight or avoid predators.
 
Let me finish with EB Cravens’ wise words: The longer we share our homes with them, the more “birdlike” we become—quick to notice change, adept at sensing threat, instantaneous in our warnings, and decisive in our reactions. Maybe those wild survival skills we unlearned so long ago are precisely the ones we are reacquiring through association with our Parrots.
 
Enjoy a safe and happy Christmas with your feathered friends.

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Northern Parrots Review Of 2017 http://www.northernparrots.com/northern-parrots-review-of-2017-blog577/ http://www.northernparrots.com/northern-parrots-review-of-2017-blog577/#comments Fri, 29 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT Northern Parrots http://www.northernparrots.com/northern-parrots-review-of-2017-blog577/
As another year comes to a close, it’s time to take a look back at some of the biggest events of 2017 and take a look at what’s to come in 2018.

Think Parrots 2017
One of the highlights of our year was Think Parrots on June 11th. It was fantastic to see so many of you at the show. We hope you had a great day out. Dot Schwarz reviewed the event in her blog.



Blogs
You enjoyed some interesting guest blogs this year. There was Avian Veterinary Services’s blog on preventative medicine in birds, TV vet Matt Brash answered your questions, Steve Hartman from Aviator revealed some of his secrets on how Aviator harnesses are made and there was a series of blogs from Bucktons on obesity, training tips and more.

Competition
We received dozens of entries to our Parrot picture competition. It was tough to choose the winner of our £50 voucher, but you voted in your hundreds on our Facebook page of the two Greys hiding under the table.

Catalogues
We released three new catalogues, including the most recent winter 2017 catalogue which has an exciting new look that we’ve received great feedback on.



2018
2018 is going to be a fantastic year too. The next Think Parrots is in June, and plans are already in place to introduce new speakers, masterclasses and demonstrations.

In January there’ll be our month-long sale, with unbeatable offers and deals on your favourite Parrot goodies. Plus, new products too, including a new ZuPreem range and small bird cages.

Thank you for your custom in 2017 and see you in 2018.

What have you enjoyed doing with your Parrot in 2017? Leave a comment and let us know below. 


 
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Northern Parrots January Sale Specials 2018 http://www.northernparrots.com/northern-parrots-january-sale-specials-2018-blog578/ http://www.northernparrots.com/northern-parrots-january-sale-specials-2018-blog578/#comments Weds, 27 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT Northern Parrots http://www.northernparrots.com/northern-parrots-january-sale-specials-2018-blog578/
Want to learn more about all the brilliant January Sale Specials 2018 from Northern Parrots? Then you’re in the right place. Read on to start saving yourself some money.


 
Up to 50% Off Perches
Exercise your Parrot’s feet and even trim their nails with this selection of perches.
 
These perches are made from a variety of textures and come in a range of sizes.



Take me to this money saving deal. 
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Up to 50% off Parrot Toys
Selected Northern Parrots toys are now up to half price.
 
There are foraging toys, chewable toys and a lot more.



Show me half price toys.
 
Half Price Parrot Accessories
Give your Parrot somewhere safe to retreat too with Polly Pipe Hideaways and trim their nails naturally with Pedicure Ladders. 
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Show me 50% off Parrot accessories.
 
January Sale Half Price Parrot Toy Pack
We’ve put together a toy pack especially for the January sale.
 
This pack has 8 fun toys for your Parrot to play with.



Take me to this toy pack deal. 
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20% off Paradise Toys
Save at least 20% on Paradise Toys and Accessories
 
Hurry, stocks are limited on many of these toys.



Show me this money saving offer.
 
Nearly 40% off Zoo-Max Toys
Save up to 40% on selected Zoo-Max Toys
 
With toys for preening, shredding and more, there is lots to occupy your Parrot in 2018.



Take me to this offer now.
 
At least 20% off Parrot food
There is at least 20% off ZuPreem Real Rewards and Lafeber NutriBerries Sunny Orchard 1.36kg.
 
Real Rewards are a great treat for Parrots and Sunny Orchard provide your Parrot with all the nutrients they need. 



Show me this Lafeber and ZuPreem offer now. 

 
Up to 50% off Parrot DVD’s
Learn all about training your Parrot, teaching them to talk and more with these DVD’s.
 
They’re a great gift for you or the Parrot lover in your life. 



Take me to this deal now. 
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20% off Oven Fresh Food
Get 20% off Oven Fresh Food, which has over 30 yummy ingredients.
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Unlike most other foods, these have been baked.



Take me to this fabulous deal. 


Northern Parrots Toys – More offers added
We’ve added even more NP branded toys to our January sale.


 
Save up to 53% on selected Northern Parrots branded toys.

Let me see this fabulous deal. 

Zoo-Max Toys
There is up to 33% off Zoo-Max Toys. Be quick, stock is limited on many items.



Show me these brilliant deals now.
 
Paradise Toys
Save at least 20% on selected Paradise Toys.


 
These wood and rope toys are for Parrots of all ages.

Take me to these great deals now.


More Zoo-Max Toys
Even more Zoo-Max Toys have been added to the sale.


 
Shop this fantastic deal now.
 
More Paradise Toys
Save at least 20% on selected Paradise Toys, as even more offers have been added.


 
Go to these wonderful deals now.

Northern Parrots Toys – 50% off
You can now save up to 50% on even more Northern Parrots toys.


 
Go to this terrific offer now.

 
Zoo-Max Toys
Now there is up to 33% on Zoo-Max Toys.



 
Toys added include climbing toys, swings and preening toys.

Show me them all now.

AviCakes
Mix and match Original AviCakes and Fruit Delight AviCakes for £10.
 
These biscuit shapes are the perfect way to reward your Parrot. 



 

Show me this deal now. 

See all the January Sale offers here.

 
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Winter Wellbeing For Pet Birds http://www.northernparrots.com/winter-wellbeing-for-pet-birds-blog513/ http://www.northernparrots.com/winter-wellbeing-for-pet-birds-blog513/#comments Fri, 22 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT Bucktons http://www.northernparrots.com/winter-wellbeing-for-pet-birds-blog513/
If you think you’re getting stressed by the forthcoming festive season you might not be the only one, spare a thought for your pet bird.

A house full of strange relatives, alcohol fueled frivolity, visits from carol singers and brightly coloured lights are enough to bring on a migraine for the best of us, so just imagine how your Parrot, Budgie or Cockatiel feels!

Everyone needs a safe corner in which they can retreat, so make sure you provide them with somewhere to relax and recharge, like a hideaway
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Here’s our top tips for keeping your pet bird happy this Christmas and throughout the winter period:

·         Make sure your pet bird doesn’t get too cold during the winter months. Try locating their cage away from doors and drafty windows.

·         Cover them over with a blanket at night, especially when the central heating goes off.

·         Make sure their cage is well away from central heating/radiators so that they don’t get too warm. 
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·         It’s important to keep them hydrated. Winter’s decreased humidity means your bird’s skin and feathers will become much dryer.  Daily fresh clean water will do the trick.

·         Watch out for toxic fumes from non-stick frying pans. With the doors shut because of the cold weather, fumes could build up and can cause severe respiratory problems for pet birds.  Simply move them out of the kitchen, into a different room to avoid the fumes.

·         Birds are neophobic and don’t like change. Christmas trees and decorations can spook them out, so keep a close eye on your bird and move them if they show any signs of distress.

·       Stick to their normal routine – Parrots in particular need a good 12 hours sleep at night so make sure you put them somewhere nice and quiet in the evening if you have visitors.

·         The festive season comes with lots of tasty food and treats for us but remember that your pet bird should stick to their usual diet. Don’t share your Christmas dinner leftovers! There is more on foods your Parrot should avoid eating here.

·         Some of our food can be extremely poisonous to pet birds, such as chocolate and avocado. There’s always chocolate around at Christmas so make sure you keep it out of reach.

For tasty food your Parrot can eat, check out the Bucktons range here.  
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This was originally published on the Bucktons blog
 
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Non-toxic Branches For Parrots http://www.northernparrots.com/non-toxic-branches-for-parrots-blog537/ http://www.northernparrots.com/non-toxic-branches-for-parrots-blog537/#comments Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT Northern Parrots http://www.northernparrots.com/non-toxic-branches-for-parrots-blog537/

We all want our Parrots to have a natural as environment as possible and that means giving them wood to chew on, like they’d enjoy chewing on in the wild.

Here’s or handy list of some of the non-toxic wood your Parrot can enjoy perching and chewing on. Have a look and see what you can find outdoors.

Apple tree wood. Apple wood can be made into many different shapes and has the strong texture Parrots love.

Bamboo wood.  It’s water resistant, strong (great for keeping your Parrot’s beak trim) and it’s a renewable resource too. The perch below is made from bamboo wood. 
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Cork wood. It’s lightweight yet durable, perfect for your bird.

Elm wood. Although tough, it’s easy to carve or gnaw into different shapes.

Fir wood. It’s strong and durable and inexpensive too. Christmas trees have fir tree wood, but it’s advised Parrots don’t chew on their leaves.

Grape tree wood. Not only is it popular in reptile aquariums, it’s a hit with Parrots too. It has a natural look and feel.

Manzanita. Parrots As it hardens, it splits, so you can hide treats inside. This tropical hardwood is very durable too. See some of our manzanita perches here.  
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Pine wood. It’s fairly soft and is easy to change into any shape for your bird to play with.

Palm wood. It’s strong enough to resist most bird’s chewing attempts and it’s light enough for your bird to carry around in their feet or beak.

Ribbon wood. Common in New Zealand, this wood is fun to stand on and just as fun to chew on.

Rose wood. Has a varied texture Parrots like to explore.

Sycamore. This fine wood is strong with an uneven texture your bird can investigate.

Willow. It contains natural asprin to keep your Parrot fit and healthy. See more toys containing featuring willow here

Please remember that wood sprayed with chemicals or insecticides will make them unsafe for your bird.

For all our safe wood and rope toys and delicious foods visit our website. 


 
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Parrots and Sense of Smell http://www.northernparrots.com/parrots-and-sense-of-smell-blog376/ http://www.northernparrots.com/parrots-and-sense-of-smell-blog376/#comments Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT Barbara http://www.northernparrots.com/parrots-and-sense-of-smell-blog376/

I always find it interesting how knowledge changes. We are told one thing for years and then suddenly Whammo! There is undeniable evidence that what you have heard for as long as you can remember is inaccurate.

Remember when everyone used to think Parrots were trying to dominate you? Thankfully that notion is for the most part eeking its way out of the Parrot community.

But here is one that I have often thought about and finally have evidence! Do Parrots have a sense of smell? Certainly the physical evidence shows they don’t have a lot of receptors for scent. We are also told their taste buds are limited compared to ours. However we certainly see Parrots respond eagerly to foods they appear to like.

We can only assume taste must be involved in there somehow.

Scent on the other hand has still been a big question mark for me. I often ask myself if they have a poor sense of smell why do Parrots emit such interesting odours? Those of you who have Amazon Parrots certainly know what I mean. There is a very strong odour that seems to emanate from their respiratory system.

That odour must mean something to someone. And my guess that someone is another Amazon Parrot. 

I have had this discussion with many veterinarians and we often come to the conclusion that perhaps they have scent receptors for that particular odour.

However even with that information I have never noticed a Parrot actively smelling something. I had never observed a Parrot investigating something with his nares in the way a mammal might with his nose.

On a recent trip to New Zealand I finally met a Parrot who clearly responds to smells. The bird in question is called a Kaka. They are similar to a Kea, but smaller and browner in coloration. The keeper told us this bird responded to smells. And she was right!

 


He would press his nares against your hair or skin, inhale and then preen himself. You could actually hear him inhaling as he did it. The keeper mentioned they often offer strips of fabric with different scents on them for enrichment. She said he responds with great enthusiasm.

We were also told that a researcher is currently working on testing scent detection with Kakapo, Kea and Kaka and has some interesting results. I can’t wait to read that paper when it is ready. Time to perhaps officially change one of the truths we have often held to be true about Parrots. Exciting!

This article was originally published on Barbara’s blog in May 2011.

Barbara Heidenreich has been a professional animal trainer since 1990. Her company Barbara’s Force Free Animal Training (www.BarbarasFFAT.com) 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.


 
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