Northern Parrots Blog http://www.northernparrots.com Tues, 24 Oct 2017 00:00:00 GMT http://www.northernparrots.com en hourly 1 Benefits Of Owning A Pet Bird http://www.northernparrots.com/benefits-of-owning-a-pet-bird-blog516/ http://www.northernparrots.com/benefits-of-owning-a-pet-bird-blog516/#comments Tues, 17 Oct 2017 00:00:00 GMT Bucktons http://www.northernparrots.com/benefits-of-owning-a-pet-bird-blog516/
Unless you’ve kept pet birds before, it’s difficult to imagine just how much they can bring to your life.

If kept happy and healthy, these intelligent and beautiful companion birds will reward their owners in so many wonderful ways.

Let’s take a look at just a few of the ways that owning pet birds can benefit your life.



Companionship

Studies have shown that the companionship you get from pet birds can mirror some of the elements of human relationships that are known to contribute to your health, plus they don’t answer you back!

For some people, pet birds can provide a reason to get up in the morning, particularly if there isn’t anyone else around. It certainly helps knowing that there is always someone to talk to and to share little moments with throughout the day.

Worried about any awkward silences? No such thing when you have a feathered friend around. You can always rely on pet birds being happy and chirpy so there is never the sound of silence!

Medical research has even shown that the company of pet birds can improve your well-being, boost morale, reduce the symptoms of depression, and prompt social interaction.
 
Social Interaction

I am sure you all agree that social interaction, talking to people regularly, is good for your mental health. Keeping pet birds can help to encourage social interaction both with other bird owners and with your birds themselves.

It truly is a lovely feeling to hear your birds greet you when you come home each day or when you get up in the morning. Gives you a little spring in your step!
 
Reduce Stress

Nowadays, stress is the main cause of people being off work and is something that, unfortunately, a lot of people suffer with. Talking to and playing with your pet birds is a great way to help lower your stress levels and your blood pressure.

It’s the same with any pet, but you have the added benefit with birds of being able to just sit there and enjoy their beautiful singing. Pets have a way of cheering you up if you’ve had ‘one of those days.
 
Good for the Mind

Here comes the science bit folks…

Cognitive functioning is your brains ability to think, learn, and remember. As you start to get older, you’ll notice that your brain starts to slow down and it becomes harder to remember things.

It’s important to keep your mind working to help limit this effect. Teaching your bird some tricks will help to keep your mind sharp as well as providing some enrichment for your little feathered friend.

Exercising your brain in this way is actually better than medication in promoting healthy brain functioning and birds are particularly good because they require such a lot of personal attention and interaction.

Remember, looking after a pet bird is like looking after a 3 year old child, it’s very important to be a responsible owner in order to help you get the most from your pet.

If you are thinking of getting a pet bird…it’s important to choose the right bird. Choosing a companion is a big decision and different species of bird require a varied level of commitment.

To give you a little helping hand, we’ve produced our own bird selector tool to help you find the right bird for you. If you already own a bird, why not give it a go anyway for a bit of fun, it might help you decide which pet bird to get next!

There is more advice on choosing a Parrot here.

See the yummy Bucktons food here

This was originally published on the Bucktons blog
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Celebrate Your African Grey on African Grey Day http://www.northernparrots.com/celebrate-your-african-grey-on-african-grey-day-blog326/ http://www.northernparrots.com/celebrate-your-african-grey-on-african-grey-day-blog326/#comments Tues, 10 Oct 2017 00:00:00 GMT Northern Parrots http://www.northernparrots.com/celebrate-your-african-grey-on-african-grey-day-blog326/
African Greys are one of the most popular Parrot species we keep as companion Parrots, so it’s only right that we celebrate these wonderful birds with their own special day.

We’re going to be honouring African Grey Parrots on October 12th so use the #AfricanGreyDay to get involved on social media. Once again we are working with Feathered Friends too. 

Facts about African Grey Parrots
Did you know that although Greys are excellent mimics, they rarely speak their first word before the age of 10 months?



They are also more sensitive to their environment than other Parrots, so you need to be sure they live with the right temperature and take good care of their plumage.

Read up on more interesting information on African Grey Parrots with Rosemary Low’s fact sheet here.



African Greys need plenty of calcium in their diet. Choose from a huge variety of foods, many of which provide your Grey with this important mineral, in the form of complete food, treats, seed and breeding/handfeeding food. 



African Greys are intelligent and active birds, so when buying them a new cage purchase the biggest one you can afford so they have lots of room to play and exercise. We have roomy cages for you to choose from, in a play top, open top or solid top style, along with travel cages.

Clever Greys require a big choice of toys to occupy their time and prevent birdie boredom. Foraging toys help them replicate their natural wild behaviour, but there are many other styles to choose from too, like cardboard and paper toys and bells and musical toys.



For even more for your Grey, look at our accessories for African Greys. There are lights and so your Grey can receive regular amounts of sunlight and darkness, air purifiers to keep the space around your Grey lovely and clean and a whole lot more.

Finally there are African Grey supplements that keep your Grey looking and feeling healthy and support them when they become unwell. 



Special Offers on Your African Grey Parrot Goodies
To mark this, our first African Grey Day, we’re going to be running special offers, available for a short time only during the day itself. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ to hear about these offers before anyone else. The page Feathered Friends on Facebook are also getting involved. 

Buy the Snack Tray and Refill together for only £15.98 (usual price £24.98.)

The Bamboo Foraging Perch was £9.99, now only £6.99. 

The 1.36kg bags of Sunny Orchard, Garden Veggie and El Paso NutriBerries were £34.99, now £24.99. 

Finally the Palm Fruit Extract Oil was £4.99, now £3.99. 

Don’t forget to use the #AfricanGreyDay when you log in.

We hope you and your Grey enjoy African Grey Day on October 12th
 . Let us know how you’re celebrating in the comments.



 

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Building Trust With Your Parrot http://www.northernparrots.com/building-trust-with-your-parrot-blog374/ http://www.northernparrots.com/building-trust-with-your-parrot-blog374/#comments Mon, 09 Oct 2017 00:00:00 GMT Barbara http://www.northernparrots.com/building-trust-with-your-parrot-blog374/

Today I was stroking my Yellow - naped Amazon Parrot Delbert’s foot. I was marveling at how such a little tiny creature would sit there so relaxed while I gently touched him.

Seriously, it really is a moving experience when you think about it. An animal that can easily fly away from me or perhaps bite me hard enough to draw blood is allowing and enjoying me touching his feet. I think that is really cool.

And in a weird way, a proud moment. The pride comes in because I know it is the choices I have made when interacting with my Parrot that allows me this wonderful privilege. 

 

Building trust with your Parrot is a very realistic goal. What it requires is tossing out those old school notions about how to interact with animals. You are not going to be the boss, your bird does not have to obey you, and your Parrot doesn’t have to do anything right this second.

Instead you are going to be your Parrot’s partner, his provider of all things wonderful and most of all, you will be his friend. 

Here are a few tips to help you start building a trusting relationship with your Parrot.

1. Avoid using force to get your Parrot to do something you want. 
2. Avoid doing anything that creates a fear response. (You will need to learn to be very attentive to your bird’s body language so you know what the slightest fear response looks like.)
3. Avoid doing anything that creates aggressive behaviour. (Just as with fear responses you will want to become very familiar with aggressive body language to avoid creating it.)
4. Empower your Parrot to choose to participate. Let him walk or fly away when he wants to.

Some may be thinking “With my Parrot having all that freedom to choose how in the world will I get him to be well behaved and do what I ask when needed?”….like step up when it is time to go back in the cage. This is where learning about how to train with positive reinforcement will be very important. 

Positive reinforcement training will teach your Parrot that when he does cooperate with your requests wonderful things happen. Like he gets treats, head scratches, cuddles or attention. Or all of the above!

When you use this approach you get a Parrot who can’t wait to do what you ask. And best of all you get a Parrot who really enjoys interacting with you. 

Follow these tips and not only will your Parrot learn to trust you, but you will also find your relationship will blossom.

Making that connection with a Parrot is very rewarding for you both when you train with positive reinforcement. You can learn more about how to train your Parrot and build trust from my DVDs Parrot Behaviour and Training: An Introduction to Training and also my Live Workshop DVD The Basics of Parrot Training.

Also check out the DVD Understanding Parrot Body Language to fine tune your sensitivity to fear and aggressive behaviours.

I get lots of emails about people having turned their relationship with their companion Parrot around by following these strategies. I can’t wait to hear your story!

Happy Training!

Barbara

This article was originally published on Barbara’s blog in July 2011
Barbara Heidenreich
www.GoodBirdInc.com
Copyright 2011 Good Bird Inc

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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Parrot Picture Competition Winners 2017 http://www.northernparrots.com/parrot-picture-competition-winners-2017-blog530/ http://www.northernparrots.com/parrot-picture-competition-winners-2017-blog530/#comments Tues, 03 Oct 2017 00:00:00 GMT Northern Parrots http://www.northernparrots.com/parrot-picture-competition-winners-2017-blog530/
We were thrilled to receive over 300 entries in our Parrot picture competition, so thank you to everyone who entered.

We were overwhelmed with the number of entries, and it was so hard to choose just four to go forward each week for you to vote in our Facebook poll.

Winner

However, you voted in your dozens for Reena Gustavsson and her African Greys hiding to be our eventual winner.



Thank you for entering, we hope you enjoy the £50 to spend with us.

Runners Up

We received dozens of votes for our runners up as well.

Our runners up were Jenny Setterfield and her African Grey Teddy playing with his ball and Donna Starling and her Green-wing George hanging upside down.





They receive a £25 voucher to spend with us.

You can see all the competition entries we received on our Facebook page here, here and here

For details of all our competitions please click here


 
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My Life With Kakariki http://www.northernparrots.com/my-life-with-kakariki-blog528/ http://www.northernparrots.com/my-life-with-kakariki-blog528/#comments Fri, 29 Sept 2017 00:00:00 GMT Dot http://www.northernparrots.com/my-life-with-kakariki-blog528/

My Life with Kakariki

I’d never meant to add smaller birds into the aviary: It happened like this.

A friend takes in unwanted birds - too many I sometimes think. He had a lone hen which he brought round and we housed the hen in my aviary. 

I put her in my 3-metre end-flight and closed it off from the main aviary which contained 20 mixed Parakeets and, in warm weather, my pet Parrots.  

I bought a matching cock bird and named the pair Beatrice and Benedict. They were yellow mutations of the more common red fronted Kakariki. They became a couple within ten minutes of introduction.


 

(From my notes) Beatrice and Benedict are live wires and use every inch of the space. No skirmishes with other Parakeets or Parrots so they have the whole aviary.

With no apparent cause, Benedict died before breeding; necropsy showed no anomalies. Looking to replace him, I met Eric Pryor. He brought over three of his birds from Sussex.   
Beatrice chose a yellow cock who then became Benedict 2nd.  The other pair (pied mutation) were called Moregren and Lessgren (greener and less green.)

Beatrice’s Second Clutch

Beatrice’s first clutch proved unfertile but she soon laid again.
(From my notes) 2010 October 13th   Beatrice has at least ONE live chick.  October 16th Beatrice - 2 live chicks. Benedict eating constantly; I saw him feed her today

Oct 18th Benedict is outside on the aviary roof. I cannot find any holes anywhere. A gale’s blowing. I fear he will be blown away.




Next day I found him crouched on the ground behind the cold weather panels. Still no holes visible. Wal (my loving suffering husband) and I put a booby-trapped cage on the roof and at 4 pm he was inside it. We closed the cage. At that moment Benedict flew out of the food doors at the bottom or the wire.

I set up the cage again but he wouldn’t approach. At 5 pm he was on the ground foraging against the wire. Could I trap him? I’ve done it before. I crept forward without him spotting me, threw a black sheet over him as he flew up. His head poked out of the top but he was back in the aviary after his 24-hour escape. I have more grey hairs than before.

Only one of Beatrice’s two chicks survived so we called him Lucky.

(From my notes) Tuesday 25th October. Lucky is fledged and almost as large as his mum. Both parents still feeding him.

Once he flew strongly, I allowed the Kakariki family the whole aviary to fly in. The following year he went to a local breeder, Brian Burgess. We missed him but wanted to avoid sibling pairing if Beatrice bred again.



The weather was cooling. Every bird survived the cruel winter of 2010.

That February, none of the other birds appeared to have mating in mind except the Kakariki. The second pair Moregren and Lessgren hatched five eggs.

Human Error

I rehomed three of the five ring necks and the Rosellas because they became aggressive to other birds. However, I foolishly retained Blue Boy and Blue Girl who reminded me of blue birds of happiness. I had to stop fooling myself. Blue Girl remained as aggressive as Bianca, the white Ringneck whom I’d rehomed.

The two blue Ringnecks were separated from the other birds in separate long flight which runs along the back of the aviary and where the Alexandrines had their nest box.  My aviary is built in sections so sections can be closed off. Someone (I hope it wasn’t me) left the connecting flight door ajar. 



In a short space of time, not longer than an hour, she’d flown into the main aviary and broken off a Kakariki beak; the vet euthanized the bird. I hoped the hen would manage to raise the five nestlings. Another error. It wasn’t Moregren who’d been attacked and mutilated but Lessgren, the hen.  When I examined the nest box the following chilly March morning, the chicks were dead.

Moregren needed a mate so I ought a cinnamon hen and called her Spice. She wasn’t as strong a flyer as my previous Kakariki but she hatched five chicks with Moregren. When they were a few weeks old, Spice got a wing nicked.

I have to suspect Artha, my Grey. The wound was minor and did not look serious but the shock must have killed her. Moregren, the dad, fed the babies himself. I added a syringe feeding daily. Four out of five fledged and were lovely large birds.



A mystery illness

Cinnamons surviving chicks were excellent. One green, one yellow and two pied. Vert, the handsomest, took Georgie, a small green hen I’d bought, as his mate. Georgie's first clutch was infertile. Before she could lay a second, I found Vert dying on the ground.

The necropsy showed he’d died of a parasite rare in UK. Sarcocystis is a parasite infecting mammals, and some reptiles and birds.
 
It is carried by raccoons or possums; the nearest live at Colchester Zoo 10km from us.
There’s no explanation how he could have caught it. Pigeons perhaps?

Kakariki don’t grieve for long, Georgie now chose Vert’s brother. There were eggs in the nest. And the summer finally began. I decided to keep the Kakariki separate in the end flight of 3 metres. In the afternoon, I needed to pressure-wash the Kakariki flight.  

I closed off the exit of Georgie’s nest box, caught her mate and put him in a crate. When I opened it after cleaning was finished - he was dead. He had apparently broken his neck struggling to escape.



I phoned Brian Burgess who’d bought Lucky.  Generously, he came over straightaway and brought a cinnamon male. He had a fine red poll so his name was Morered.

My conclusion is that Kakariki will do fine in a large mixed aviary if you avoid aggressive species like Rosellas or Ringnecks. For the breeding season, you need to separate them in separate flights 

The saddest happening of all

Morered and his mate fledged 5 large lovely chicks. Once fledged they had the whole aviary Then tragedy struck again.

Rats.  There was no pied piper in my area. I called in the rat man. He shot two at night.

We found some entry holes outside. The rats had burrowed below my 30cm of wire. Every hole was plugged. We did our best; it wasn’t good enough. The family of 7 Kakariki was decimated one by one.   We lifted the concrete slabs on the aviary floor and found 2 rats’ nests.

The next summer we hired a digger and with the help of some paid labour and some volunteer friends we excavated a trench around the perimeter and filled it with a cement and laid a 30 cm deep and 10-centimetre-thick protective shield. The protection has been a success. But too late for my Kakariki family.



I still hankered after Kakariki; the re such cheerful birds.  I bought 4 green fronts from a bird merchant. Am I especially unlucky or simply not cautious enough? One of the hens was spending time examining a nest box.  About the same time a squirrel squeezed in through the roof.  A female squirrel?

I do not know. I almost caught the animal but never quite managed. He or she grew too large to get out the way it had come in.  And it killed the Kakariki hen. I did not see the fatal attack. She had no mark on her as she would have had, if the Parrots had pecked her) nor was she part-eaten - if a rat had got in). Eventually I got the squirrel out via the main doors. Left with three Kakariki, I lost enthusiasm and stopped observing them so carefully.

A few months later, this spring, Harry who helps me out occasionally and likes messing around in the aviary and is a lot more agile than I am said, ‘Do you know the Kakariki have laid eggs?’ What!



He was right. In a small flight shut off from the main aviary but with the door ajar, a Kakariki had entered and laid 4 eggs.  Far more secretive than earlier nesting Parakeets, I’d not seen her enter.

Four eggs hatched. When I was sure the parents were outside the nest box I peeked - 3 normal sized and one very small.  You are advised if you keep Kakariki to have double doors and a strong aviary. I do have. But they are escape artists.  Before the chicks fledged I found both parents had escaped the aviary and were standing on the aviary roof.

I tried not to panic and succeeded. That night I shut the rest of the Parakeets out of the main aviary and left both porch doors open. At 6 am the parents had flown inside. The chicks were fed.

How they got out I will never know. Possibly in a spot where the virginia creeper covered a corner, they’d squeezed through.  All corners are double-wired now. Gaps plugged and calm restored. The chicks fledged, one was blue with some white feathers, the others, the same green s their parents with the red topknot. their parents green. They were hatched in a 1- metre aviary. Not enough space to fly.



So, before they fledged, I transferred the 4 chicks and their parents into a 4-metre flight. The parents were a bit worried but did not stop feeding them. All four fledged and I managed to observe two of the first exits from the nest box. Time consuming but worth it.  For the moment, the flock of 5 are joy. The Kakariki coexist pleasantly with the Cockatiels, Rock Pebblers and others.

In the daytime, when the two Greys and two Macaws are in the aviary, all the Parakeets keep their distance.  I won’t repeat the mistake of keeping Ringnecks or Rosellas in a mixed aviary.  
 
Qualities as aviary birds or pets

·         Kakariki are active from daybreak through until dusk
 
·         They breed easy and are good parents
 
·         They don’t aggressively bite
 
·         Hardy in our climate, they do not need artificial heat in the aviary
 
·         Non-breeders can be housed with other similar or smaller sized birds.
 
·         Ideal for the smaller garden, especially in urban areas
·         They are not noisy, therefore will not upset your neighbours
 
Diet
 
Kakariki in my aviary have the same diet as the other Australian Parakeets. That’s a clean seed mixture about 50- 60% with the addition of sprouted seeds and legumes and fresh foliage.

They enjoy a variety of fresh branches, seeding grasses, blossoms, hips, haws, cotoneaster berries and almost anything you can gather in the way of berries and flowers.  Dandelions are a favourite food. Find lots of tasty food here


 
When they are nesting or feeding chicks, I add plenty of crumbly egg food and sweet corn. In fact, they are easy to keep happy and well-fed. They are susceptible to worms so you need a worming routine. They love scratching on the ground to forage as their wild cousins do.  I buy millet in bulk. This works out far more economical than a few sprays.
 
Although in USA, I know of Kakariki kept indoors; they are not common as pets in UK. Rightly so, for they need so much space for their boundless energy and curiosity. In the aviary, you can easily hand tame a Kakariki.
 
I would not encourage anyone to keep them as indoor birds.



Help with starting out

Some knowledgeable and devoted breeders are now working on the revival of the pure bred Kakariki. Leading this effort to avoid hybridisation is Les Rance, Secretary of The Parrot Society. Anyone interested may contact him by phone, 01442 872245
les.rance@theparrotsociety.org

And why Kakariki not Kakarikis?

The name comes from the Maori word for a small Parrot. And the plural IS Kakariki just as the plural of sheep is sheep. Check the dictionary if you do not believe me. :)

Resources

Scientific Name: Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae (Red-fronted), Cyanoramphus auriceps (Yellow-fronted)


 
Origin New Zealand and its islands
 
Adult Length:  25-28 cm.
 
Adult Weight:  Approximately 65 gm
 
Potential Lifespan:  15-20 years

Conservation Status Threatened and vulnerable in their homeland. Efforts to rid islands of introduced predators like rats, cats, etc.: and strenuous attempts at providing safe environments are producing some good results.

The best website I’ve found is New Zealand based: kakariki.net/

Rosemary Low’s Fact sheet gives the essential information in our Kakariki fact sheet here and buy everything you need for Kakariki here

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Meet My Parrots - Mishu the Senegal and Maya the African Grey http://www.northernparrots.com/meet-my-parrots-mishu-the-senegal-and-maya-the-african-grey-blog509/ http://www.northernparrots.com/meet-my-parrots-mishu-the-senegal-and-maya-the-african-grey-blog509/#comments Tues, 26 Sept 2017 00:00:00 GMT Northern Parrots http://www.northernparrots.com/meet-my-parrots-mishu-the-senegal-and-maya-the-african-grey-blog509/
For this month’s Meet My Parrot article, we’re going to meet Marius Torsan from Romania and his flock, Mishu the Senegal and Maya the African Grey. Over to Marius who tells us his story.

This story starts in early 2000 when I didn’t know anything about Parrots or birds.

We used to have a puppy but he passed away. In that period there were very few vets in my country and we could not save him.

Our family were great pets lovers so we suffered a lot when he passed away. I promised myself and my family that we wouldn’t suffer that pain again so soon. So I started to look after Parrots, knowing that some species live ten years in captivity.

Unfortunately in that period (early 2000’s) in my country there were no laws protecting pets so traffic with birds captured in the wild was something common.

One day, in a so called pet shop, close to my son’s birthday, I saw Mishu, the Senegal. A playful piece of rainbow ! Sitting in a very small cage without toys …



I decided to take him home as a present for my son’s birthday. And the Senegal came to our house exactly on November 8th, when the orthodox religion celebrates St Michael. Of course we called him Mishu which in Romanian mean “little Michael”. From the beginning we offered Mishu a larger cage, good food and freedom to fly around the room.

Even though he wasn’t willing to interact with humans at first, Mishu was a fast learner and a very clever and intelligent companion. I cannot call Mishu our pet, he is just one of our family members !

Even though he was treated well, Mishu started plucking and did this for about 2 years. Until … one day, having dinner in a small restaurant near my office I saw Coco. He was an African Grey sitting in the entrance, outside in cold weather being stressed and scared by the people crossing by. I liked her from the beginning.

In the next 5 months I spent all my lunch time in the office going to meet Coco, scratching her, talking to her and bringing her bottle caps to play with.

In that year, due to the pass over calendar, we had 5 days off and the owner of Coco was annoyed that he needed to come to feed her and give her water during this mini holiday. So … I offered to take her home and take care about. And, with about two month’s wages, I convinced the owner !

From that moment on Coco become our newest family member. And Mishu’s best friend ! They both learned so much one from another and spent a lot of time playing together or preening together.

In the summer of 2016 Coco passed away … probably due to some illnesses from the past. She was also captured in the wild. 

We were all devastated but Mishu was the most devestated. He refused to come out of his cage for over a week, just sitting on his perch looking on the wall or on Coco’s empty cage.

We were worried about him so we decided to take him another friend. This time we bought our Parrot from a selected breeder, with medical exams and a DNA certificate.

This was Maya, a baby African Grey. We took Maya in when she was a little baby. She didn’t know how to sit on a perch ! Or what is water for … I personally fed her 4 times per day with a syringe and, after she got scared about an earthquake we had, I took her to sleep with me in bed !

She is now almost ten months and guess what? Mishu is her friend and protector ! They fly around, playing as two kids with the same toys at the same time ! Foraging and noise making toys are their favourites. And chewing ones, the same as any Parrot !



We take both of them outside in the park in their personalized backpacks and they both like it so much. They whistle and make a lot of noise outside especially when they hear other birds.

Maya was on pellets from the beginning and Mishu followed her and “converted” himself onto the same food. Grapes and pomegranates are among their favourites. Mishu especially likes it and, believe it or not, a 150 grams bird, can slit pomegranates around a 24 square meters room !

Our son does not leave with us anymore. But we still have two kids which we love and bring us love and happiness.

Parrots are funny, playful, smart and can bring owners proof of love as any other pet. But, as any other pet, they need to be cared for. It’s not easy but having an animal companion is, it’s a matter of responsibility.



If you’d like to feature in a future Meet My Parrot article, please email us at info@northernparrots.com
 
 
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How Aviator Harnesses Are Made http://www.northernparrots.com/how-aviator-harnesses-are-made-blog527/ http://www.northernparrots.com/how-aviator-harnesses-are-made-blog527/#comments Tues, 19 Sept 2017 00:00:00 GMT Steve http://www.northernparrots.com/how-aviator-harnesses-are-made-blog527/
We’re sure many of you already enjoy spending time out and about with your Parrot in their harness, enjoying the great outdoors and the opportunity to spend even more time together.

Harnesses have become an essential piece of kit for any Parrot owner, and your Parrot’s safety whilst wearing one is a high priority. We recently spoke with Steve Hartman from the Parrot University about the popular Aviator Harness, and this is what we learnt…

The Parrot University have supplied hundreds of thousands of Aviator harnesses to many species of birds in the last 15 years. Extensive customer feedback and research has shaped improvements in quality and design and every harness is tested for different tolerances to maintain the highest level of quality control to eliminate problems and potential failures. This allows the team at the Parrot University to continually conduct further research.



Unlike many other Parrot harnesses on the market, the many years of research coupled with stringent quality control tests help ensure Aviators are the safest available.

It takes several months for an Aviator staff member to become trained on making an Aviator harness. The average employee has been working at The Parrot University for over 5 years, providing years of highly skilled and finely tuned craftsmanship on each and every harness. This cumulative experience make it easy for the Aviator staff to always meet their high quality standards.



Start to finish every Aviator Harness goes through 21 steps that each technician is required to sign off on. The Aviator may be small but there are many technical aspects that must be perfect for the Aviator to be so light weight and as safe as possible. The same people work continuous for many years so there is no interruption in quality control.
 
Quality control on the 3 smallest sizes is more critical than the larger sizes. Each of the smaller sizes goes through a special step to make the collar more comfortable. To make a harness that works safely and is only 6.5 to 10.5 grams is not easy.
 
The Aviator has + or – 5% tolerance for most of the process. All of the materials are manufactured and inspected to this 5% plus or minus standards. This criteria is very difficult to meet and requires every batch to be tested and any materials they do not meet those standards are discarded. The Parrot University uses more than 80 kilometres of material each year.


  
All parts of The Aviator have been designed to close parameters so the Aviator belt will not tighten up when your bird tugs on the leash or flies to the end regardless of speed. This is an important safety feature that needs to be taken in to consideration when you’re purchasing a harness for your Parrot.
 
It is very important that the Aviator Flight Line or Leash Extensions are not used with any other harness, even if it looks like an Aviator. The extra speed a bird gains with the farther distance can create a very dangerous strangulation situation.
 
With an Aviator harness, you have the safest and best harness to teach your feathered friend to safely spend time outside and fly.

Learning to fly improves your Parrot’s co-ordination skills, helps them become fitter, gives their IQ a boost, increases their sociability skills, and a lot more.



The Aviator Harness is available in up to 7 different colours and 7 sizes, from Mini to X-Large, meaning every size of Parrot can enjoy them. 

Mini - For Budgies, Lovebirds, Parrotlets

Petite - For Cockatiels, Small Conures

XSmall - For Caiques, Large Conures, Quakers, Small Macaws, Senegals 

Small - For Small Amazons, Timneh Greys, Goffin Cockatoos

Medium
- For African Greys, Large Amazons, Eclectus, Umbrella Cockatoos. 

Large - For Large Macaws, Triton Cockatoos, Small Moluccan Cockatoos

XLarge - For Large Moluccan Cockatoos, Large Macaws



Read all about Aviator harnesses here
 
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Who's Joining Us For Meyer's and Senegal Day? http://www.northernparrots.com/whos-joining-us-for-meyers-and-senegal-day-blog317/ http://www.northernparrots.com/whos-joining-us-for-meyers-and-senegal-day-blog317/#comments Mon, 18 Sept 2017 00:00:00 GMT Northern Parrots http://www.northernparrots.com/whos-joining-us-for-meyers-and-senegal-day-blog317/ We’ve been celebrating many of our popular Parrot species over the past few months, and this September it’s two birds in one, when we celebrate Meyers and Senegals, both members of the Poicephalus family.

We’ll be celebrating these lovely Parrots on September 21st. We're also thrilled to be working in collaboration with Feathered Friends on Facebook on this special day. They're going to be posting pictures of their fans with their Meyer's and Senegal Parrots, amongst other things. 



Learn more about Meyers and Senegals

Whether you’re a Meyer's and Senegal owner or not, we’re sure you’ll be interested in learning more about these wonderful Parrots. Rosemary Low has written about Meyers and Senegals in two of her fact sheets. 

Senegals may have high, piercing voices, but make excellent companions, once you’ve got through their difficult adolescent stage.

Meyer's Parrots make affectionate companions and are fairly readily available. They have a healthy appetite for most foods too, which is fantastic news as we have lots of scrumptious food for Meyer's and Senegals, like healthy complete food, tasty treats, vital breeding and handfeeding food and wholesome seed



Products for Meyer's and Senegals

But that’s not the only amazing variety of Meyer's and Senegal items we have available. 

There are toys to enrich your Meyer's and Senegal’s life with, including foot toys and chews that give your Meyer's or Senegal exercise as they play, coconut and cactus toys that are a fun texture for your Parrot to explore and the vital foraging toys, that help replicate your Meyer's and Senegal’s natural foraging behaviour.

 

There are play top, open top and solid top cages for your Meyer's or Senegal Parrot to allow them to have plenty of space to eat, play and sleep. 

There are numerous Meyer's and Senegal accessories, like stands, lights and cleaning products to make their life even more fulfilled.

Finally there are useful supplements like illness and emergency products that you need in your birdie first aid box and breeder products that are essential for breeding Parrot parents.



Offers on Your Meyer's and Senegal Products

On Meyers and Senegals Day on September 21st, we’ll be having some brilliant offers on a small selection of Meyer's and Senegal products, so make sure you’re following our social media pages for details on them all. 

The Snuggle Hut Hideaway keeps your Parrot lovely and warm. Was £12.99, now £9.99 to celeb

The Premium Seed Mix for Small Parrots has all the nutrition your smaller Parrot needs. Was £8.99, now £6.49.

Encourage your Meyer's or Senegal to go foraging for food inside this medium Foraging Pouch. Was £11.99, now £8.99. 

Exercise feet with the Medium Desert Perch. Was £9.99, now £5.99. 

A very happy Meyers and Senegals Day to you all!



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12 Simple Tips For Looking After Your Parrot http://www.northernparrots.com/12-simple-tips-for-looking-after-your-parrot-blog515/ http://www.northernparrots.com/12-simple-tips-for-looking-after-your-parrot-blog515/#comments Tues, 12 Sept 2017 00:00:00 GMT Bucktons http://www.northernparrots.com/12-simple-tips-for-looking-after-your-parrot-blog515/
Here are a few useful tips to help you look after your Parrot, particularly during the warmer summer months.

Make sure that the cage you have for your Parrot is as large as possible so that there is plenty of room for toys, and for your Parrot to move around. There are loads of cages to choose from here.

Get your Parrot out of the cage as much as possible, encouraging them to fly. This is really good exercise. After all most birds are meant to fly! Why not use a harness to let them fly safely?

Never clip their wings.

If you have the space, build a small aviary in the garden, so that when the weather is nice your Parrot can go outside.

Most birds need ultraviolet light to assist in the manufacture of Vitamin D. This helps control the calcium levels.
 
During the summer, make the most of the nice weather by having time outside. They love to sunbathe, so even if you can’t build an aviary, simply put their cage outdoors when the sun is shining.

Always ensure that your Parrot can find a bit of shade if they want to. If you are unable to put them outside then get an artificial light source that produces UV light. See the big collection here


Remember that during the summer months daylight hours are longer, but Parrots still need their twelve hours undisturbed sleep a night.
 
Covering over their cage with a blanket helps send them off to sleep and will make sure they’re not disturbed by the early morning sunlight

Actively encourage foraging behaviour. Don’t put all of their food in the food bowl, but try putting at least fifty percent of their food hidden in puzzles or toys, so that your Parrot has to work for their food. Find loads of foraging toys here.

Birds enjoy keeping clean so try giving them either a sand bath or a bowl of water to bathe in. Some birds love to have showers, but not too hot! Here are baths for you. 

Many people keep their Parrots in the kitchen but beware; they are very sensitive to smells, and noxious gases. The vapours given off from non-stick saucepans, polyflourotetraethylene (PTFE) are deadly.

If your Parrot is kept close to a window, be careful of the ‘greenhouse effect’ during the warmer summer days. Move the cage out of direct sunlight to keep them cool.

In the warmer weather, keep an eye out for flies / flystrike, which can be really nasty for Parrots.
 
Measures to prevent the risk include cleaning the cage regularly, remove spilt / leftover food and provide fresh clean water.

Use perches of different sizes, shapes and made of different substances to stand on. Parrots love fruit tree branches to stand on, as they can also chew these up. Here are some great perches for you. 

This was originally published on the Bucktons blog


 
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