Northern Parrots Blog Sat, 24 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMT en hourly 1 A Round Up of Meet My Parrots 2018 Fri, 23 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMT Northern Parrots

Since May 2017 we’ve met some amazing Parrots as part of our Meet My Parrot series. Read about the first batch of lovely birds here.

In May 2017 we met Jasper the African Grey, who was in fact female. Jasper loves brussel sprouts, wood and swinging.

Then in June 2017 we met another fabulous African Grey, Siquo. As Greys can be very hard to sex, it was only shortly after her 17th birthday that it was discovered Siquo was a she, as she laid an egg. Siquo also loved swinging, as well as her paper rolls. ###4642a###

In July 2017 we met the delightful Jesspy. Jesspy loved mashed potato, whistling and toys that keep her active.


was the next Parrot we met in August 2017, also a Blue-fronted Amazon. Oscar’s favourite game was peekaboo.

September 2017 saw us meet two wonderful Parrots, Maya the African Grey and Mishu the Senegal. They loved going outside in their native Romania in their backpacks. ###831300a###

In October 2017 we said hello to Tashi the Green-cheeked Conure, who liked activity toys such as the shape stacker and puzzle board.

To find out how you can be featured in our Meet My Parrot series please click here

Your Parrot Pictures and Videos Fri, 16 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMT Northern Parrots
It’s always amazing to see the photos and videos you’ve taken of your Parrot enjoying their goodies.

There’s so many, we couldn’t possibly list them all here, but here is a small selection.

Watch this amazing video by Corinne Finlay and her Blue-fronted Amazon Jesspy on the Chewable Foot Toy Pack.  

Charlotte Holland shared this video of Dusty playing with the Pelucca Shredding Toy

Sun Sun likes his shopping trolley. ###343093###

Archie Conure likes playing with his toys, like the Birdie Bangles and popsicle pouch. ###384201a###

Old Steadman on Instagram has been tucking into some new foods and toys

Robin the Kakariki really liked his snuggle sack. ###37375###

Tilly the Conure likes playing with the foot toys and reading the catalogue.

Our friend Mr Tickles the Parrotlet also likes the shopping trolley and is still playing on his basketball gym. ###37850###

George adores the shopping trolley and Fruit Cups. ###50130a###

Adam Alfie shared this picture of Morgan playing with the baffle cage. ###37106###

Mac Parrot likes playing with the Birdie Bangles too.

Alf the Conure likes going out in the backpack and playing with the hula dancer.

You can many more of the pictures over on our Pinterest page here

However, the more pictures we get, the happier we are. :)

You can send them to us in the following ways:

By email, at

Tagging us on Instagram or Twitter @northernparrots

Posting the picture as a comment or on our Facebook wall @northernpet

We look forward to seeing your pictures.

PS: We’d like to see your videos too. You can also send them to us at, but if they’re particularly large it’ll probably be best to send them via Wetransfer. Here’s how it works

Meet My Parrot Questions Weds, 14 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMT Northern Parrots

Would you like you and your Parrot to be featured in our next meet my Parrot article?
Then simply email your answers to these questions to
Here are a few questions for you, and we can then turn your answers into an article for Meet My Parrot.
Tell us about your Parrot
Why did you choose (your Parrot species?)
What is their favourite food?
Do they have any favourite toys?
Do they have any games they like to play?
Do they speak?
Do you have advice for new Parrot owners?
We’ll then publish your article on our website and include it on our email newsletter and it may even be featured in our next catalogue too.
If you would like to write your own version of an article then feel free.
We look forward to hearing all about your Parrots. 

Click here for all our Meet My Parrots so far. 

Birdline Parrot Rescue Fri, 09 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMT Northern Parrots
Birdline Parrot Rescue
Phone: 0845 643 1785
Registered Charity Number: UK Reg charity 1125030
Scottish Reg Charity SC043288

Established: 1992
Birdline Parrot Rescue is a charity which operates across the U.K. and re-homes hundreds of Parrots each year. They also work to raise standards in Parrot care through education at events and through resources such as the Birdline website.
The charity is run entirely on a voluntary basis and a dedicated team of people give their valuable time to enable birds to find a second chance of a loving home.
Many birds come into the charity in ill-health and each year the charity’s biggest cost is for vet care, ensuring birds get the support they need to live healthy and happy lives.
Funds are raised through a membership scheme, donations and events. They also charge a small admin fee to foster each bird. As Parrots live for such a long time, they remain the property of Birdline for life. This gives the much-needed reassurance that if a foster family’s circumstances change Birdline will step in to give support and if necessary re-home the bird once again. 
How and why did you get started?
Birdline Parrot-Rescue was founded in 1992, initially to rescue and care for birds in the Warwickshire area. Expansion soon became an urgent necessity, resulting in recruiting various people who specialised in all species of birds from Finches to Macaws.

A network of helpers and area co-ordinators, all of who work from their own homes, without payment, in order to provide a nationwide structure was quickly organised; thus permitting the organisation to offer a loving secure home to a wide variety of birds.

In the past years, Birdline has helped over 1500 birds to find new homes, Over the last year Birdline has had over 1,000,000 visits to their main web site, taken over 30,000 telephone calls for help and advice, and aided countless birds and pets that owners cannot look after, either on a short or long term basis.

They have assisted with behavioural problems, damaged and crippled birds, mutilated and neglected birds and have formed a strong liaison with many bird charities, including, police forces, zoos and other rescue organisations, not only in the UK but in many other countries around the world.
What birds / Parrots do you rescue rehome?
Birdline rescues and rehomes both aviary and companion birds from the tiniest finches and budgies to the very largest of Macaws.  The majority of birds are surrendered to the charity by owners who can no longer look after their pets. However, Birdline also assists with birds with behavioural problems, damaged, crippled, neglected and lost birds. They have formed a strong liaison with many bird charities, including, police forces, zoos and other rescue organisations, not only in the UK but in many other countries around the world.
How many staff/volunteers are involved?
Approx 40 volunteers
Can you give an example of a success story?
An African Grey came in as a mutilator. He was only one years old and plucked.
He was taken for x-rays and the vet found that the bird was suffering from arthritis.
With the right medication and care, he stopped mutilating and became fully feathered. He now lives a full and happy life with his fosterer.
What is your rehoming policy?
Due to the longevity of many Parrot species, it is Birdline’s policy to maintain ownership of the birds and to foster, rather than to adopt them into to new homes. In order to foster a Parrot from Birdline membership of the organisation must be maintained. Suitability to foster is assessed with an in-depth telephone interview and followed up with a home visit. The applicant must demonstrate experience and / or extensive research into Parrots and Parrot care.
How can people help/get involved?
If you’d like to foster a bird or become a safehouse you can sign up as a member through our website and put in an application for the bird that interests you.
Birdline is always in need of more volunteers to help the rescue and rehoming teams – manning the emergency phone line, undertaking rehoming interviews, home visits and support to the many safe-houses and foster-homes across the country.  In addition, the charity needs support with the day to day running of the organisation including with marketing and publicity, fundraising and grant development, finance, governance and legal support and being the public face of the organisation at events. 

Read about other charities and rescues here

What Is World Budgie Day? Thurs, 08 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMT Northern Parrots
It’s World Budgie Day on March 15th so if you own a Budgerigar or just love these smaller members of the Parrot family then read on.

Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans celebrated the day with his listeners in 2012 so let’s hope he marks the occasion again. He originally believed it was Budget Day but quickly changed his mind and realised it was World Budgie Day. ###344966###. 
Facts About Budgies

Budgies (called Parakeets in the USA) originate from the inland regions of Australia. Adult Budgies can grow up to 18cm tall, weigh 30g upwards and live for up to 14 years of age. They are a variety of colours, including white, blue, green and yellow.

Budgies are easily tamed, making them the perfect pet for many people. They are also quiet (by bird standards anyway,) easy to care for and have a fun personality. Male Budgies are excellent mimics. Although they only have a small voice they can learn an incredible number of words. Female Budgies don’t learn to mimic as well.

For more useful information on Budgies read Rosemary Low’s useful factsheet here.

We have lots of products suitable for your Budgerigar that you can use to treat them this World Budgie Day.
Budgie Products

Keep your active Budgie busy with our great choice of toys for Budgies.  Keep your Budgerigar entertained for a long time with our exciting range of toys that give them oodles of amusement. ###35562###. 

The Budgie toys guarantee your bird is entertained all year round, not just on World Budgie Day. But we have plenty of other cages, food, accessories and supplements to enrich your Budgie’s life too.

We have cages designed specifically for small birds like Budgies, to use as a permanent home and cages for when you and your Budgie are travelling. Why not give your bird a brand new home on World Budgie Day? ###952100###. 

We have a delicious selection of food for your Budgie too, to show how much you love them on World Budgie Day. Why not give your Budgie a new flavour of food or treat them to a seed mix they’ve never experienced before. ###568204a###. 

There are so many accessories to choose from for your Budgie too that you 
 can use inside and outside their cage, like perches, feeding dishes and hideaways. ###343094###. 

Finally there is a superb array of supplements that your Budgie could take to stay fit and healthy. They treat common bird illnesses and issues such as feather plucking. ###6711###. 

Are you going to be celebrating World Budgie Day with your Budgerigar? Let us know in the comments.

Our friends over at Feathered Friends are going to be celebrating the day with us. 

Budgie Day Offers
As with all our bird days, there is going to be four very special Budgie Day offers. 

The Strawberry Millet is now only £3.99 to celebrate #BudgieDay (normally £4.99.) Birds love picking through the pieces. 

Save up to 35% on Haven Hideaways. The Petite size was £10.99, now only £6.99 (saving you over 35%) and the Small size was £13.99, now only £9.79, saving you 30%. Birds love to play, sleep and rest in them. 

Small TOP's Food, a natural wholesome food for Budgies, was £6.99, now £4.99, saving you 25%. 

Finally the Shred, Preen and Forage Toy Kit has been discounted even more. RRP £22.97, then was £16.97 and now only £10.99 to celebrate Budgie Day. 

We hope you enjoy the day and take advantage of our fantastic offers. 

About Brown's Tues, 06 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMT Northern Parrots

only produce the highest quality Parrot treats, full of colour and flavour.
Their food is suitable for all Parrot sizes and species.

Brown’s are based in Pennsylvania in America. They have been open since 1843 and the business has been passed down through the generations. It has retained its family values, along with values of strength, tradition and integrity.

Brown’s Treats
Brown’s Crunchy Sticks are fun for your Parrot to hold in their feet or beak. ###569100###

Millet Sprays are coated with blueberry or strawberry, and both with calcium. Birds love
picking their way through the sprays.

Fruit Jems have a strong pineapple flavour birds adore.

Potato Yummies are full of different nutrients to keep a Parrot healthy. ###569101###

Peanuts have been coated in fruit and vegetables, to support your bird’s good overall
wellbeing. ###569108###

Fruit and Veggie Bites have been made with real fruits and vegetables, to make them even more delicious.

Brown’s: Colourful, tasty treats for Parrots.

From Weaning To Growing Up Fri, 02 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMT Dot
I ended my last blog with the words: The chick is now fully feathered and staggering towards you for what is probably his only formula feed of the day. He is growing up.  What happens next?

Now the baby is weaned – eating two meals a day and probably wanting a formula food occasionally.   The chick should be used to being handled and ready to learn whatever you choose to teach her.
What are your aims for the well-behaved companion bird?

Susan Friedman, a university teacher and one of the foremost exponents of behaviour science for all animals including us and our Parrots, uses the maxim, each bird is the study of one.  I interpret her words like this: although the tenets of behaviour science (the use of positive reinforcement techniques in training) works across species, individual animals and birds can show a wide variation in how they respond to our training.  
Observant breeders recognize this when they are dealing with a clutch; some chicks are bolder than others; some are shyer and so forth. As with human babies with whom they have much in common, young Parrots have distinct personalities. And different species show different characteristics.  
And in spite of differences between different species, Parrots share enough in common so that you can learn about care of Parrots to provide the best husbandry you can.
Categories to consider are - the environment, what diet will you chose and how much time and effort will you be able to devote to training?
Taking these categories one by one, let me describe how Artha and Casper African Greys grew up and how 15 years later, 2 Macaws were integrated into the small flock.

A captive bird’s environment consists of the cage, whatever rooms in which you’ll allow her to have out-of-cage time; the aviary if you have one and whether the bird goes outside wearing a harness or in a carrier. A few carers practise free flight but that is not recommended unless you have a suitable place to fly and can gain enough expertise for the training. ###83941a###
Artha began her companion Parrot life as a sole bird. I was lucky to know Barrett Watson in Suffolk one the UK’s best most conscientious breeders.  Artha was booked from the egg and came to me fully weaned and harness trained for info on how to harness train see an earlier blog.
Seeing how Barret’s birds enjoyed spacious accommodation, I bought a large King Cage. It was costly but nearly 20 years later, is still nice enough to remain in the sitting room. And large enough for two Greys if necessary. Artha had learned step-up from her breeder.  Her innate nature was -  and still is - a gentle one. Nipping never became an issue.  ###940920a###
Taking her out wearing a harness to parks, shops and friends became an integral part of her life and mine.  A year later, I decided she needed a Parrot companion. Barrett provided an excellent young bird with whom both Artha and I fell in love at first sight. His DNA test showed him a male and I hoped there might be the patter of tiny claws one day. This has never happened, although the two birds can be put in a carrying cage together and can share a large cage to sleep in.

The Parrots’  environment expanded to include an aviary, largely homemade which was extended every year for 5 years. One grievous mistake that I made was not taking into account the rodents which abound in rural Essex. I lost many smaller birds to rats. And suffered salmonella poisoning from mice.
The pet Parrots are brought indoors every night and they have never been harmed. A stoat got in via the roof and killed two rescue birds. The good house cat killed the stoat. We’ve now built a 30 cm, deep, concrete apron around the perimeter. But I should have had smaller holes in the wire.  

We had a conservatory constructed to double as a bird room. Again another error, this becomes too hot in high summer. But the aviary does not -  so the pet birds must stay out in heatwaves.

When Benni, blue and gold Macaw, joined the flock in August 2014, as a 6-week-old chick, I had no qualms in introducing him to the Greys.
Casper was always top bird in the aviary and for over a year could tell the flighted Macaw to ‘move NOW - you!’ Sadly, from Casper’s point of view once Benni reached 18 months, he usurped Casper’s position. They will sometimes squabble, usually Benni wins and Casper flies off. Occasionally it’s the reverse.
I make efforts to keep the quality of life amenable for the Greys who have to share their accommodation with two Macaws. Benni and Mina are usually taken back to the conservatory earlier than the Greys so that Artha and Casper can have my undivided attention without a pushy Macaw barging in.
Another enrichment that I’m sure birds appreciate-  whatever species they are - are ceiling ropes. I have them in four rooms. They sway and make the birds use their muscles in perching. I wonder if they stir ancestral memories of the rain forest? 
Another benefit of ceiling ropes is that their presence helps to habituate the birds to remain on them and not destroy  your living quarters. That said, anyone who does allow free ranging birds in their rooms, either has to cover furniture with cloths and/or not be house proud. When my husband Wal and I watch TV together the four of them know where they are supposed to perch. (Not that they comply 100%)

The Boultons, who are local Parrot people, have a mixed flock of mainly rescue and rehomed Parrots. They have put all the cages into a sitting room which is where they watch TV and the birds take turns in time out of their cages.
Diet can be confusing
The diet choice can be bewildering since there is so much choice available. My own preference is for 60% fresh food and 40% pellets and seeds. This is unusual and many advocate 60% pellets. ###577121a###
I believe in the benefit of sprouts and am prepared to take the trouble to sprout seeds and legumes. If you are lucky enough to obtain your bird from a caring breeder you will have a diet sheet given you.
I feed the indoor birds twice a day. I feed them in their cages because the Macaws get far more seeds and nuts than the Greys. Examining the droppings daily and weighing once a week gives a good indication of how healthy the bird is.
My American bird friends have annual blood tests for their birds but it isn’t common in UK. Our local avian vet, Ben Bennett, does not particularly favour this procedure, unless a bird is unwell.
Recently, he humoured my anxieties and had Artha Grey and Benni Macaw’s blood tested. To my relief, the tests came back with good results. Ben believes that one of the reasons for my birds’ good health is that they have a spacious bird room and aviary so have a lot of fresh air and exercise.

Training: how much is enough?
This is an unanswerable question. As much as you can manage.  I knew how to train my kids (they would probably not agree!) horses, dogs and cats. When Artha entered my life, I knew nothing specific about birds. Bird training has advanced considerably since the 90s when I started. I’d say 99% of informed opinion now claims that positive reinforcement training – that is reward training with the minimum of negative reinforcement is the best system.
If you want well-socialised companions, you do need to train them. In UK, we don’t have a plethora of behaviourists available for consultation. Greg Glendell in Somerset can help put any bird on the right flight path; Barbara Heidenreich now gives webinars online which address many problems hobbyists face.  
The World Parrot Trust have a panel of first rate experts who answer questions from their website. Steve Martin (one of USA’s foremost animal trainers)  has a website Natural Encounters which will give you hours of browsing and tons of information. Susan Friedman’s Behaviour Works will do the same.

Once I had turned into what Mark Twain described as: She was not quite what you would call refined. She was not quite what you would call unrefined. She was the kind of person that keeps a Parrot”, I spent my summer holidays for ten years going to Parrot workshops.

And I am reasonably happy with the results.   Feeding twice a day makes training easier because you can have short sessions before a meal when most birds will be eager for yummy treats. You take their favourite food out of their food bowls and let them earn it in complying with your requests. ###343095###
The terrible twos
Does everyone have to go through this with their kids and their fids? It is very common problem. A child shows independence and WON’T do as you say, a bird becomes more mature and rejects your wish for cuddles and insists of destroying whatever is in her beak or even bites and scream. It happens but it’s NOT inevitable. Try and think like a bird, says Steve Martin. Do that and you cannot go terribly wrong.

For all the breeding and handfeeding food you need please click here

Enter Our Product Review Competition Thurs, 01 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMT Northern Parrots Throughout March we’ll be holding our extra special review competition.

Simply leave your review for a product on our website, and we’ll pick the very best one to win a £50 voucher to spend with us.

Please make sure your review is as detailed and informative as possible, to help your fellow Parrot owners decide if it’s the right product for them.

You don't even need an account to leave your review on the website, simply click on the leave a review tab underneath the product details. 

Only product reviews left between March 1st and March 31st will count and we will contact the winner shortly afterwards.

It doesn’t matter if the review is good or bad, but if you do have any problems please let our customer service team know on and we’ll put it right for you.

What All Pet Owners Should Know Fri, 23 Feb 2018 00:00:00 GMT Barbara
I was recently asked a question for an article. What would you like all pet owners to know? Here are a few of my thoughts.

1. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. It can be easy to man handle our pets.

However using force to get your pet to cooperate can damage your relationship. Instead focus on teaching your pet to be a voluntary participant by rewarding him for cooperating.

2. Young animals are learning machines! When your pet is still young there is window of development in which he will be very receptive to new experiences.

Take advantage of this critical period by exposing your pet to things that will be important to his care in the future. These might include things like nail clippers, or travel in the car, or odd surfaces.

Be sure to pair these items or experiences with positive reinforcers such as food, treats, attention and toys. 

3. Pet parents play an important role in a well behaved pet. Your pet is not inherently bad or good. By focusing on rewarding your pet for good behaviour you can create a little angel instead of a little monster.

Your pet will learn desired behaviour earn more reinforcers and are therefore worthwhile doing. Although it is easy to forget, be sure to make the effort to frequently reinforce your pet for being good.


4. Here is a technique to apply when your pet misbehaves. Our tendency is to want to punish our pets with aversives when they misbehave.

Unfortunately this can be damaging to our relationship with our pets. A more trust building approach is to ignore the undesired behaviour and reinforce your pet for doing a different acceptable behaviour instead.

For example instead of punishing your puppy for jumping up on you, take a step back. The moment his four paws hit the floor lavish him with praise and attention at his level. This will teach him to keep four paws on the floor instead of jumping in order to earn attention.

Best of all you get to be the good guy, instead of the bad guy in your pet’s life.

Barbara Heidenreich 
Copyright 2012
This was originally published on Barbara’s blog in July 2012. 

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.