Education Department
Individual Classes, Courses and Bird Enrichment Workshops

Each individual learns at their own pace and each class duration is 1 hour.

Individual classes are held at our sanctuary with hands on training. Designed to learn taking care of your specific bird type and size.

The bird and interesting facts is beneficial to every bird owner.

Our class is designed for new bird owners and as a refresher course for individuals  who have a bird.

Classes Include:

Proper size, clean, and safe enclosure

Nutrition and deficiencies

Safe physical activity and mental stimulation

Grooming (wings, nails, beak, and preening and bathing)

Normal and abnormal behavior

Injury prevention and emergency care

Signs of illness, disease testing and veterinary care

Birds and other pets

Make your own safe bird toys

An in-depth course of the avian skeletal system, diseases of the skeletal muscle, bone and cartilage and the internal and external anatomy of birds.

For individuals who would rather learn at their own pace course cost can be adjusted to time needed. Usually complete a 1 hour, 12 week course


Avian Skeletal System and their functions

Muscular System and Diseases of the skeletal muscle

Avian Internal Anatomy – Respiratory,  Digestive, Nervous, Urinary and Cardiovascular systems

External Anatomy – Eyes, Ears, Ceres, Beak, Tongue, Skin, Wings, Feathers and Tail

Fun and interactive bird enrichment workshops. Usually 6-8 individuals for each workshop.

Workshop 1 – Duration 3-5 hours

  • Preparation of safe wood drilling holes, cutting and coloring wood to make bird toys
  • Assembing smaller toy parts to add to wood block toys
  • Build creative foraging bird toys
  • Assembling bird toys
  • Fill stainless steel bird pails with toy parts and foraging materials
  • Distribute finished toys to birds in sanctuary
  • Create a toy for your bird is included in workshop cost

You will be able to purchase bird toys parts to donate to our cause or bring home and create more toys for your bird.

Workshop 2 – Duration 3-5 hours

  • Prepare and cut wood for perches for different size birds
  • Prepare and cut wood for full size cage perch
  • Drill holes for hanger bolts
  • Assemble wood perches with hanger bolts, washers and wing nuts
  • Replace needed wood perches in sanctuary bird cages and aviaries



Exotic Bird “Amazon”


The popular Amazon, or “green parrot,” is what many people picture when they think of parrots. As the nickname suggests, most Amazons are largely green, with red, yellow, blue or white feathers on the head, wings or tail to differentiate the 27 species.

The most unusual Amazon may be the rare Imperial Amazon (Amazona imperialis), a cockatoo-size bird with purple breast feathers found only on the small Caribbean island of Dominica. Most Amazon’s, including the dozen or so species kept as pets, come from South and Central America. These include the double yellow-headed (Amazona ochrocephala oratrix), blue-fronted (Amazona aestiva), yellow-nape (Amazona ochrocephala auropalliata) and
mealy (Amazona farinosa) Amazons. 

Countries of origin: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Grand Cayman Island, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Venezuela. Size: Medium to large, with stocky build, relatively short wings and square tail. Less than 10 inches long and 200 grams for white-fronted, (Amazona albifrons) to almost 18 inches and 800 grams, or almost two pounds (Imperial Amazon). 

Personality: Energetic, curious and affectionate. Can be stubborn and occasionally aggressive. Mealies are considered the most even tempered. Voice ranges from soft “growls” to ear-splitting shrieks.

Talking ability: Considered second only to the African grey. Best bets: double yellow-headed, yellow-nape or blue-fronted. 

Average lifespan: 50-60 years, up to 100.  




Exotic Bird “Caique”


Few other small parrots offer as many broad strokes of color and personality in one package as the Caique (kye-EEK). This South American psittacine with the funny-sounding name is not as well known or widely available as other pet parrots. However, its entertaining quirks and vibrant patchwork plumage may change that.

There are four caique species in all; however, usually only two types are kept as pets: the black-headed caique (Pionites melanocephala) and the white-bellied (Pionites leucogaster). The former sports a jet-black head and beak, dark-green wings, back and tail; a burnt-orange neck; and a creamy-white breast and belly. The white-bellied Caique has an entirely orange head and a horn-colored beak. 

Countries of origin: The black-headed caique occurs north of the Amazon River and westward to parts of Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru. The white-bellied caique lives south of the Amazon in northern Brazil and parts of Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. 

Size: Small but relatively heavy, the black-headed Caique measure 9 inches long and weighs up to 170 grams (about six ounces). The slightly smaller white-bellied Caique measures 8 inches long and weighs up to 165 grams. 

Personality: Acrobatic and clownish, known both for the alarming habit of resting with feet in the air and the delightful behavior of hopping about like a wind-up toy. Enjoys large cages, lots of toys and plenty of attention. Will fearlessly attack larger birds. Whistles shrilly but is not as noisy as larger parrots. 

Talking ability: Moderate, with high-pitched voice similar to the budgie’s. 

Average lifespan: 30 years





Exotic Birds “Cockatiel”


Cockatiel Parrot
Novices often confuse the cockatiel with the cockatoo because of the similarity in names. However, aside from crests and a powdery down, the two species have little in common. While some find the beautiful cockatoo too loud and demanding to keep, the mild little cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) is an excellent choice for most people who would like to own a parrot. In fact, the cockatiel challenges the budgie as most popular pet parrot in the United States, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association. The normal cockatiel is mostly grey, with a few white flight coverts and bright orange-red ear patches. Mature males have almost completely yellow heads. Attractive color mutations include pied, cinnamon and lutino. 

Country of origin: Australia. Size: Small and slender with long tail. Almost twice the size of a budgie at 12.5 inches long, but only 90 grams (a little over three ounces). 

Personality: Even-tempered, affectionate, and inquisitive but not an acrobatic parrot like some. Gentle, gregarious, playful. Chatters and scolds but voice is not loud compared
with larger parrots. 
Crest stands erect when alarmed or interested. Unlike many parrots, which become nippy or difficult to handle as they get older, tamed cockatiels remain mellow, making them an excellent choice for children. The Britney Spears of parrots, cockatiels possess cheerful, musical voices; however, they can scream shrilly for attention. Must be protected from larger or more aggressive parrots. 

Talking ability: Poor to moderate. Can develop large vocabulary but high raspy voice may not enunciate well.

Average lifespan: 15-20 years.





Exotic Bird “Cockatoo”


The American public fell in love with the cockatoo in the 1970s when one played Robert Blake’s feathered sidekick on the popular TV show “Baretta”. Since then, many people have
wanted their own beautiful pastel-hued “Baretta bird” with a dramatic, flaring crest. Unfortunately, many would-be enthusiasts discover too late this intelligent breed’s demanding nature. The large Moluccan cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis) in particular needs a great deal of
attention to prevent neurotic tendencies. There are 17 other cockatoo species, ranging from popular pets such as the Umbrella Crested (Cacatua alba), Sulphur crested (Cacatua galerita), Lesser Sulphur Crested (Cacatua sulphurea) and Goffin’s (Cacatua goffini) to rare birds, such as the Black Palm (Probosciger a. aterrimus). Most cockatoos have gleaming-white plumage accented by yellow or rose-colored crest feathers. Like the cockatiel, a related but much smaller crested parrot, the cockatoo sheds a fine down some people find messy. 

Countries of origin: Mostly Australia and Indonesia. Size: Ranges widely, from the pint-size Goffin’s to the Moluccan, one of the largest parrots. A midget among cockatoos, the Goffin’s measures only 12.5 inches long and weighs less than 380 grams. Also on the small side: the galah (Eolophus r. roseicapillus), the lesser sulphur-crested (Cacatua sulphurea) and gang-gang (Callocephalon fimbriatum) cockatoos. The umbrella crested and greater sulphur-crested are large, at 18 inches and about 600 grams. But the imposing palm and moluccan are the true giants of the cockatoo world, at 27 and 20 inches, respectively, and over 1000 grams,
or two pounds. 

Personality: Personable, affectionate, entertaining and highly intelligent. Largest species have especially powerful beaks and require plenty of hard chewing material. May be clingy and demanding of owners’ attention; prone to feather plucking. Among the loudest of parrots, capable of high-decible screaming several times a day. 

Talking ability: Moderate to good. 

Average lifespan: Up to 70 years or longer.  



Exotic Birds “Conure’


There are up to 12 genera of conures, depending on whose reference you consult, representing almost 60 species, with many additional subspecies branching off these. Most conures are green with red, yellow or blue patches on the throat, head, breast or other part of the body. The most popular types include the blue-crowned (Aratinga acuticaudata), dusky-headed (Aratinga weddellii), green-cheeked (Pyrrhura molinae), mitred (Aratinga mitrata), nanday (Nandayus nenday) and white-eyed (Aratinga leucophthalma) conures. The sun conure (Aratinga solstitialis), another popular pet, is a striking exception to the usual green bird. Its fiery red and yellow feathers mimick a sunset. 

Countries of origin: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatamala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela. Size: Small to medium with long pointed tail, ranging from the 8-inch Brazilian white-eared conure to Chile’s 18-inch, 400-gram
(almost one-pound) greater Patagonian, a large grey-breasted bird with a startling red stripe up its yellow abdomen. 

The average conure is 12 to 14 inches long. 

Personality: Highly active, affectionate. Needs plenty of toys and time with owner. Blue-crowned conures are considered among the most laid back of a rowdy bunch prone to screeching. 

Talking ability: Poor to moderate, with a high-pitched voice.

Average lifespan:15-20 years, up to 30.


Exotic Birds “Jardine’s 

A generously proportioned beak gives the Jardine’s parrot an appealing, cartoonish appearance. There are three types of Jardine’s, all near-identical, small green South African parrots. The Lesser Jardine’s, also known as the orange-crowned parrot (Poicephalus gulielmi fantiensis), is the most commonly available in the United States. It sports a brownish-black back and wings, and orange crown, thighs and wing edges. The black-wing Jardine’s (Poicephalus gulielmi gulielmi) is a slightly larger bird with a more reddish crown. The greater Jardine’s, or Masai Red-headed parrot (Poicephalus gulielmi massaicus), has a smaller spot of red on the crown and broader green edging on the back feathers.

Country of origin: The Jardine’s (black-wing) originates in southern Cameroon, northern Angola and northern Kenya. The greater Jardine’s can be found in northern Tanzania and southern Kenya, and the lesser Jardine’s comes from Liberia and Cameroon. 

Size: Small but stockily built with short square tail. The lesser Jardine’s is the smallest at 10 inches long and up to 230 grams. The slightly larger black-wing Jardine’s measures 11 inches and weighs up to 280 grams. The greater Jardine’s also measures 11 inches long but weighs the most, up to 310 grams, or three-quarters of a pound. 

Personality: Among the most playful and energetic, with a penchant for “playing dead” like the caique. Generally steady temperament–sometimes described as an Amazon without the mood swings–but can be nippy. Accepting of strangers. Pleasant voice makes it a good bird for apartment dwellers. 

Talking ability: Moderate to good. May develop fairly large vocabulary but does
not enunciate clearly. 

Average lifespan: 30-50 years.





Exotic Birds “Lory”


The Lory and its longer-tailed cousin, the lorikeet, look like typical parrots, but watch them eat and you’ll see a big difference. These colorful birds consume a mostly liquid to 550 grams, or a little over one pound (Australian eclectus, Eclectus r. macgillivrayi). 

Personality: May behave calmly even when frightened, which has led to a reputation for lethargy. Once acclimated, enjoys toys and bonds strongly with owner. Relatively quiet, but has harsh screech. 

Talking ability: diet of nectar and fruit–no seeds or nuts–using a specialized “brush-tipped” tongue composed of small fleshy appendages called papillae. As a result, they have loose droppings they’re capable of shooting up to six feet away. This habit makes keeping lories
indoors a challenge, to say the least. Special acrylic enclosures or cages with removable plexiglass panels work well but require more cleaning than the typical parrot cage. In the last decade, several expensive but nutritionally complete commercial nectars have made it easier to keep lories healthy in captivity. Dry and seed diets specially formulated for lories make their droppings firmer and easier to cope with, but may eventually result in malnutrition because the birds’ weak gizzards cannot digest them properly. There are 11 general of lories and lorikeets, including 55 species, in all the colors of the rainbow and then some. Common pet lories include dusky (Pseudeos fuscata) and yellow-backed chattering (Lorius garrulus). The rainbow (Trichoglossis haematodus) is a popular pet lorikeet. 

Countries of origin: Primarily Indonesia and New Guinea, but also Australia, Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga. Size: Lorikeets have long pointed tails and tend to be small birds, some measuring only six inches long. Lories have short square tails and most are about the size of a cockatiel, at 12 to 13 inches long, but much stockier at about 200 grams, or almost half a pound. 

Personality: Lories and lorikeets are playful, entertaining birds who like to roughhouse with their toys and lavish brushed-tongue kisses on their favorite human beings. They enjoy hanging upside down and hop as often as they walk. Some species, including the yellow-backed chattering lory, will attack other birds. Voice ranges from soft trills to ear-splitting shrieks.

Talking ability: Moderate to good, with raspy, high-pitched voice. 

Average lifespan: 35 years.




Exotic Birds Refuge “Lovebird”


Lovebirds love to huddle together and preen one another, but contrary to popular belief, they don’t need mates to thrive. A lovebird kept singly and given plenty of attention by its human will make a fine pet, just like almost any other parrot.

The peach-faced (agapornis roseicollis) lovebird and its many color mutations are the most popular types of this small green African parrot with the brightly colored head. Masked (Agapornis personatus) and Fischer’s (Agapornis fischeri) lovebirds are also common pets. The six remaining species, including the grey-headed (Agapornis canis), red-faced (Agapornis pullarius) and black-winged (Agapornis taranta), are relatively rare or unavailable as pets. 

Countries of origin: African continent and adjacent islands, including Angola, Bioko, Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guine, Liberia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Principe, Sao Tome, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaire, Zambia, Zimbabwe Size: Small, stout. 5 to 6 inches long and about 50 grams (less than two ounces). 

Personality: Lively, comical, chatty. Affectionate if handled frequently, but can be nippy and voice can be shrill. 

Talking ability: Poor to moderate. 

Average lifespan: 15-30 years.





Exotic Bird “Macaws”


Its dramatic size, long, graceful tail, and bold colors draws many would-be parrot owners to the macaw. However, this bird’s powerful lungs, beak and need for attention can make it a challenging parrot to keep. The best-known are the blue-and-gold (ara ararauna) macaw and the rarer scarlet (Ara macao) macaw, often displayed in zoos, animal parks and tropical-themed hotels and other establishments. But there are over 15 species of macaws in all, ranging from the pint-size green Hahn’s (Ara nobilis) and severe (Ara severa) “mini-macaws” to the hyacinth (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus), the largest parrot in the world. Lear’s (Anodorhynchus leari) and blue-throated (Ara glaucogularis) macaws are rare, but the Spix’s (Cyanopsitta spixii) macaw is closest to extinction. The last wild Spix vanished last year, leaving a few dozen left in captivity. 

Countries of origin: Mostly South America. Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Surinam, Trinidad, Venezuela.

Size: All macaws have long tails and a distinctive bald face patch. Thesmallest species, the Hahn’s, measures no longer than a cockatiel at 12 inches, but weighs almost twice as much at up to 165 grams. The severe, the other most commonly kept small macaw, is next in size at 18 inches and 360 grams. The blue-and-gold macaw, scarlet and green-winged (Ara chloroptera) macaws are among the largest parrots, at around 34 inches and up to 1100 grams. However, the king of macaws and all parrots is the beautiful cobalt-blue hyacinth, which measures up to 40 inches long and weighs up to 1450 grams, or over three pounds. 

Personality: Playful, highly intelligent, voracious chewers can be very destructive. Beak is capable of inflicting deep and painful bites. Among the most raucous of parrots, capable of ear-splitting screeches, but generally does not scream habitually. Scarlet’s are reputed to behave the least predictably; blue-and-gold’s and hyacinths are considered the gentlest. Mini-macaws are the easiest to train and handle. 

Talking ability: Moderate to good. 

Average lifespan: 80 years or more. 



Exotic Birds Refuge “Meyers”


The Meyer’s parrot offers many of the same good pet qualities as the cockatiel. The smallest member of the Poicephalus family of African parrots, which also includes the Senegal and the Jardine’s parrot, the Meyer’s wears conservative grayish-brown feathers on its back, head and upper breast. A light blue or green lower belly and yellow spots on the wings and crown give it a more colorful front. The six subspecies of Meyer’s vary only slightly in size and coloring. 

Country of origin: Burundi, Chad, Cameroon, Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda,Zambia.

Size: Small but plump, 8-9 inches long and about 120 grams (a little over four ounces). 

Personality: Playful, acrobatic, generally even-keeled and easy to tame. Quiet voice. A good bird for children or apartment dwellers. 

Talking ability: Poor to moderate. 

Average lifespan: 25-30 years.




Exotic Birds “Quaker (monk) Parakeet”


The Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus), more commonly known as the Quaker, attracts a loyal following for its relatively low cost and outgoing personality. The Quaker is mostly bright green, with a grey forehead, cheeks and chest. Although referred to as a parakeet, its tail is short, not long. The three subspecies are slightly smaller, have a yellower chest, or both.

The hardy Quaker is one of the few types of parrots able to survive wild in the United States. In fact, it’s illegal to own Quakers in some states because officials fear the establishment of more wild colonies, believed to adversely affect native bird populations. 

Countries of origin: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay Size: Small at 10 to 12 inches long, about the size of a cockatiel, but stockier, at up to 150 grams (about 5.5 ounces). 

Personality: Acrobatic, outgoing, self-assured, can be stubborn, fairly noisy and occasionally aggressive toward other animals and people. Appears to be more prone to feather-pluck and self-mutilate than other small parrots. 

Talking ability: Moderate to good, considered by some to be the best talker of the small-to-mid-size parrots. Good imitator. 

lifespan: 20-30 years.






Exotic Birds “Parolett”


The Budgie has to be the smallest parrot there is, right? Think again: The tiniest hook bill in captivity is the feisty Parolett. The green-rump variety (Forpus passerinus) of this South American psittacine measure only 3 1/2 inches long and weighs less than an ounce, about half the size of a budgie. Parrolett’s have streamlined wedge-shaped tails but large beaks for their size.

Most birds are olive green, with patches of yellow, grey or blue to differentiate the seven subspecies. Although they make fine pets, parrotlets are not as widely available as the budgie nor as affordable. The normal Pacific (Forpus coelestis), the most popular pet parrotlet, costs a whopping $150 to $200. The yellow-face, blue-wing (Forpus xanthopterygius) and Mexican (Forpus cyanopygius) parrotlets are the scarcest, and Sclater’s parrotlets (Forpus sclateri) are available only in England. 

Countries of origin: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, Caribbean islands Size: Very small. 3 1/2 inches long and 18 grams (green-rump) to six inches and 45 grams (yellow-face). 

Personality: Boisterous and outgoing, but can be moody and temperamental like its big cousin, the Amazon parrot. Parrotlets enjoy large cages, toys and attention, although they tend to cope better than larger parrots when left alone for extended periods. Green-rumps tend to have the gentlest personalities. Relatively quiet voice. 

Talking ability: Fairly poor. The best talkers, spectacles, have high raspy voices. 

Average lifespan: 30 years.



Exotic Bird “Ringneck”

A Stately, stand-offish beauty, the ringneck is not as “cuddly” as most other types of parrots, even among its own kind. Some birds form pairs only for breeding, then go their separate ways the rest of the year. All 13 species carry a distinctive narrow band of black feathers around the neck, making the ring-necked parrot easy to identify. Most ringnecks are green birds, with long, pointed tails and heads in various hues. The pretty plum-headed (Psittacula cyanocephala) and blossom-headed (Psittaculus roseata) parakeets sport purple heads and blood-red beaks. 

Countries of origin: Mostly India, Indonesia, African continent.

Size: Medium-size and slender, 12 to 24 inches long and 110 grams on average. 

Personality: In general, not as approachable as other types of parrots; may not enjoy head scratches, for instance. However, can be affectionate if handled frequently. 

Talking ability: Moderate.

Average lifespan: 30-50 years. 

Exotic Bird “Senegal”

The Senegal is the best-known bird in the African Poicephalus family of parrots, which also includes the Jardine’s and the Meyer’s. It bears the family traits of a small body and pleasant disposition. Mostly green, the Senegal (Poicephalus senegalus) has a grey head and a golden breast bisected by a green “v-neck”, which gives it the appearance of wearing a vest. The tail is
short and pointed. The two subspecies, the red-vented parrot (Poicephalus s. versteri) and the orange-bellied parrot (Poicephalus s. mesotypus), vary only slightly in coloring. 

Countries of origin: The Senegal occurs in Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Guinea. The red-vented subspecies is found on the Ivory Coast and in Ghana and Nigeria. The orange-bellied parrot also occurs in Nigeria, and Cameroon and Chad. 

Size: Small but stout, at 9 inches long and about 140 grams, or 5 ounces. 

Personality: Playful and rambunctious with toys, cuddly and a bit bossy. Will menace smaller birds. Rarely noisy voice makes it well-suited to apartment life. 

Talking ability: Poor to moderate. 

Average lifespan: Up to 30 years. 


For the prevention of bacterial infections wash your hands frequently when working with birds and preparing their food and dishes.

It is amazing the amount of people I speak with and the amount of articles I read that promote the use of items such as eggs, meats (pork, beef, lamb), and poultry, fish, and milk products in their parrot’s diet.

Unfortunately, as informational as web sites may be when searching for balanced diets in parrot food the majority of them encourage use these foods as part of a parrot’s diet.

Birds are not mammals. Using the wrong diet for your parrot may cause hyperactivity (screaming, biting, and plucking).

The most natural food parrots have eaten for generations are all natural foods made up of only greens, fruits, grains, vegetables, tubers, seeds, flowers, legumes, and nuts. Ignoring nature’s plan in this way can literally place captive parrots in a life-and-death situation.

Parrots come from many places and it is difficult to pinpoint the specific diet for each, how then can one assume the same diet is good for all parrots?

Research, research and more research. Identifying your specific bird, and its natural habitat, is the key to preparing you in providing your bird with their natural dietary needs.

If we love our parrots as much as we say and are willing to spend thousands of dollars year after year on cages, toys, food and veterinary care we should take heed in keeping our birds healthy.

Our recommendation is to begin a healthy basic diet for all parrots.

Breakfast Meal to serve on a daily basis for the first week

Water dish with fresh non-tap water.

Food dish 1 – fill with 1/3 cup of Harrison or Laffeber Pellets.

Food dish 2 – fill with fresh dark leafy green vegetable.

Food dish 3 – Fill with fruit such as orange or different fruit.

Dinner Meal to serve on a daily basis for the first week

Water dish with fresh non-tap water.

Food dish 1 – fill with 1/3 cup of Harrison or Laffeber Pellets.

Food dish 2 – 1/3 cup of mixed seeds.

Food dish 3 – Fill with 1/3 cup of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Note: Cooked food should not include margarine, butter, salt and any ingredient listed below.

For the weeks to come just change the veggie and fruit. Try to hang some in the cage, most parrots will pick at it until they will actually make it part of their diet.

Please note unhealthy foods are in many items we consider safe

Dangerous Food – Compliment of ‘BIRDS EXOTIC AVIARY’ is used by permission

Avocado, guacamole, chocolate, cocoa, alcohol, caffeine, the pits of apricots, peaches, plums, prunes, and seeds of the cherimoya fruit, as well as foods containing large amounts of salt, sugar, grease, preservatives, artificial coloring, and other additives. Obvious dangers such as moldy foods and under-cooked or raw meat should be avoided. Parrot food should be safe enough for human infants.

Nuts in the shell, such as English walnuts, should be offered with caution. To minimize risk, do not offer whole hard-shell nuts when birds are extremely hungry, nor without supervision. Concealed nuts in the shell such as the “sock toy” can cause impaction.

Fun Products that Injure or Kill Birds

Prevent strangulation and entanglement of rope and cords by keeping all cords and ropes cut short, if rope is thin cut it as short as possible so birds cannot create a noose around their neck.

Fraying rope or cord can cause your bird body parts to be caught in them.

Cotton fabrics are woven threads that will unravel and easily become tangled around your bird’s toes & feet. Many favorite toys birds play with are household items such as a couch pillows, curtains and many more including cage covers.  Yes, they too are made with threads.

Remove all Zinc-plated metal products such as hooks, links and chains to prevent Zinc toxicity and replace with Stainless Steel.

Flavored Toys are hazards because birds may be encouraged to swallow non food particles and may cause indigestion complications.

All toys need to be checked daily for possible common hazards.

Making your own

Use only natural products using the list below as a guide of safe materials in toy making.

Stain with vegetable dyes, only remember that parrots will chew wood as they did for millennia in their own natural setting.

Douglas fir boards – Manzanita – Ribbon wood – Bamboo – Cholla – Grape vine – Palm -Soft woods such as Agave – Sisal rope should be untreated and uncoated – Cotton Rope should be untreated and uncoated – Climbing rope – Packing cardboard rolls – Burlap (can also be used as “foliage” – hang  some in cage for natural hiding space) – Natural color leather – Natural wicker – Coconut shell – Unprinted newspaper

Both new and used, should be cleaned and examined for loose parts that could lodge in a bird’s throat. Loose strings and threads can trap and cut off circulation to necks, wings, legs, and toes. Use only stainless steel (not zinc) “quick links” as toy fasteners and never use strings, chains or ropes long enough to wrap around a birds’ neck or other body parts.

Bird Cages

Should be made of safe metal with non-toxic paint, no sharp points that can cause injuries, proper spacing between cage bars to prevent strangulation, and no empty cup holders. Birds have been injured or killed by getting stuck in empty cup holders in cages. Use empty dishes or fill them with toys or treats, but never leave empty cup holders in a cage. Stainless steel is the safest metal.

Compliment of ‘BIRDS EXOTIC AVIARY’ is used by permission

Testing for Zinc in Parrot Toys, Play Gyms, and Cages  by: Ed Harris