from African Grey Parrot Lovers by Faye Cosma



When my bird Beni began plucking I took her to her avian vet. He removed a feather to examine and test. He said, “You mist this bird don’t you?” I said, “Yes how did you know?” He said, “There is mold on her feathers!”
START WITH A FRESH, NEW BOTTLE. Do NOT re-purpose a spray bottle. Cleaners such as Windex, Febreeze, Lysol, Mr. Clean etc. soak into the plastic of the bottles they come in. Even if you have thoroughly washed out the bottle and soaked it in vinegar, it will not remove the remnants of a cleaner that has been absorbed into the plastic.
To think you might be spraying mold and bacteria in their nares and they are inhaling the mist.
***Water should never be left in a spray bottle after use for mold and bacteria to grow.
***Clean the spray bottle every 3 days in this manner.
1. Fill the bottle with 2 parts hot water and 1 part white vinegar. Soak for at least 30 minutes.
2. Spray the solution through the nozzle, then remove the nozzle and soak it too, for at least 30 minutes.
3. Rinse thoroughly and discharge fresh water through the nozzle.
4. Leave apart to dry thoroughly.
1. Remove the bird.
2. Fill the bottle with water and add 10 drops of GRAPEFRUIT SEED EXTRACT.
3. Shake well before each use. Spray papers, then remove them.
This solution can be left in the bottle until it is used up. GSE is a natural germicide and kills and inhibits mold.
1. Fill a bag with white vinegar and tie around the shower head or mister. Soak for 1 hour, rinse.
I got so tired of cleaning that bottle, I started showering instead. Now they take their shower
By Faye Cosma

“Somebody should do something.” by Lisa Moser


I know I am not saying anything that those of us who live the reality of rescue isn’t thinking and doesn’t know. It is our reality, every single day.
We are living a crisis. I have told any number of people over the last few weeks, I feel like that little Dutch boy. I have all 10 fingers plugging holes in the Dike and it is still leaking.
We are experiencing a hemorrhage of birds. They are pouring out of homes, closets, basements, cellars, garages, carports, you name it.
They are outliving owners. They are wearing out their welcome. They are growing up from those adorable little snuggly, cuddly baby birds that were so coveted and turning into large, confused, angry creatures that don’t understand what their place in the world is.
The want to do what Nature is telling them. They live in this grey zone. They are birds who do not know they are birds.
All they have ever known is human contact and interaction. Their confusion grows and builds as does their anger and frustration. One day it boils over and they begin to lash out. They begin to be unpredictable and unmanageable. It is always the Cockatoos…..How many of us have said that?
These are not birds that would prosper and flourish in a sanctuary setting. They have no clue about living in outdoor flights. They have lived their whole life in a home, with a family, their “flocks.” Now their flock is afraid of them so interaction stops. Out of cage time stops. The people who loved them, likely still do love them, at at a loss of how to safely handle them. They are afraid and rightfully so.
Rescues are being flooded with them. Rescues are turning them away because we are full to bursting. People are hardly lining up to adopt an aggressive, unpredictable Cockatoo.
So what are the answers?
I am not saying I have them. I am thinking, crying, soul searching. These are the ones who are making my heart bleed. What are we going to do?
I dream of a way that I can do more. I dream of a way to make a place for THESE guys.
How to start? I don’t know yet. I have some ideas rolling through my head. They are still swirling but I will keep on until they meld into a coherent and solid plan.
All the while more of these babies are being pumped out. I see the ads from the brokers and the breeders and the bird fairs. Those who choose to pretend there isn’t a crisis. Those who stand to gain from trying to convince you how wonderful your life will be if you get a baby Cockatoo. Where will they be 10-15 years from now when you have a psychotic male Umbrella trying to dismember you when you try to change their bowls or clean their cages? Where are they when you neighbors 3 blocks away are calling the police because your Mollucan is making their windows shake? Where are they when he has plucked all of his feathers and opened up his chest in trying to find a way to channel the pain and turmoil that he feels. Where are they as he sits in his cage like a ghost of a living creature so turned inside of himself that he has given up in his spirit?
I will not give up on them. Captivity is what they know. We can all continue to gnash about how they aren’t suited to captivity. Too late, we already ruined that for them. Though they are creatures of the wild we have taken that from them. We have stolen their survival instincts. We have stolen their birthright and they can’t have it back. What they know is to depend on us. Another way we have let the down.
Let’s stop preaching about how they are wild animals that don’t belong in captivity….That line of thinking isn’t valid for them. What we have to start doing is stepping up with answers. We have to step up with support for those that are carrying this burden. We have to work towards answers and solutions.
I hear a lot of blah, blah, blah from a lot of people. DO SOMETHING, DO ANYTHING. HELP someone who IS doing something.

Be the SOMEBODY in “Somebody should do something.”

Everyone Can Do Something


Why We do not support breeding by Lisa Moser


Why we do not support breeding

By Lisa Moser on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 5:48pm


We do know and understand that many of us started out with baby birds. I know I personally had no idea more than 12 years ago that something like parrot rescue existed, much less was needed. We were told that we needed to get a baby bird and finish handfeeding it ourselves so that it would bond to us.

Now in our combined countries we have rescues and sanctuaries filled to overflowing with even waiting lists of birds that the owners no longer are able to or have the desire to continue to have in their homes.

We do understand the beauty and adorable factor of babies. Baby anything’s are endearing to us all.

Those of us who have followed the path of rescue always look beyond that little unfeathered baby face. We look forward into the faces of the many birds that are under our care that were once that sweet baby face you are looking at today.

It makes it nearly impossible to truly feel the joy of seeing yet another clutch of babies that will soon be taken from their parents and passed on to whomever has the cash. A beautiful little face that someday all too soon will be too loud…..or bite…or is messy…..that “we don’t have enough time for….”

Sometimes we may come across as harsh and not understanding……Please understand that we may have just yet heard another horror story of a bird in a closet, or a garage, or left to suffer with a prolapse or a broken bone for days, weeks, months and even years. We may have just come from the vet with another sick bird that will cost many dollars and hours to bring back to a state of health. We may have spent our day looking into that once trusting baby face that is now the face of fear and mistrust because those who he should have been able to depend on were the very ones who made him afraid. We may have just come from watching an elderly owner’s heartbreak of saying goodbye to that beloved pet that they bought at retirement and now their health does not allow them to keep their beloved baby. Then we have to help the bird through the grief of trying to figure out why their beloved human handed them off to a stranger.

I have held preciously loved birds and felt the grief pour off of them because they lost their human who loved them so much, I have cried the tears that the bird itself could not physically shed. I have spent months with a gentle heart and voice assuring a scared bird who would shriek in fear of hand that had once been a weapon, hoping, praying that once day he would see them as an instrument of love and kindness.

I have worried about how to make room for “just one more” and worried about how I was going to pay the vet bill, and get another cage and cover food bills.

I know this is long. It comes from my heart and the heart of all my precious friends who share my pain, tears, joys and worries>

I am sorry if sometimes we don’t have a kinder or gentler way of trying to express to you why we want to educate the plight of which we live daily.

Proper Air Purifiers for your birds lungs and yours!


Keeping the air as clean as possible for our avian companions is extremely important.
Here are some good articles on the subject:


Avian Respiration

Respiratory System of Birds:
Anatomy and Function

Bird Breeder’s Lung
hypersensitivity pneumonitis

I will not be Silenced!


Birds have a voice

Love Me for Who I AM


This was written by Vicki Knox LeClaire who runs
Miss Vicki’s Parrot Village, Inc

The most heartbreaking things I face on a regular basis revolve around the ‘less than perfect’ birds…not from the birds themselves, but from the humans who encounter them. Here are just a handful of the facts and theories I have about the topic of plucked birds…
1. Don’t feel sorry for a plucked bird to any higher degree than a non-plucked bird. All are captive; all deserve respect, not sympathy. We created the problem, so we need to stand by them. Seeing a plucked bird here, then giving the ‘Bless his/her heart’ is not helping that bird; adopting him/her is.
2. Don’t assume a bird is plucking because he/she is in rescue; that is rarely the case. We have only had two of hundreds, and I am sure other rescues have the same experiences.
3. Don’t assume plucked birds are bored, unhappy, or sick. We don’t see plucked birds in the wild because if they exist, they are plucked out of the gene pool by predators or death; that is natural selection.
4. If your bird is plucking, take your bird to the vet for a full check up, including blood work, to determine if medical causes are to blame. If so, fix them, if not, love your bird as they are. If you are providing a good diet, enrichment, proper sleep, a toxin-free environment, etc. odds are, this is your bird’s ‘normal’. Accepting is and loving him/her as they are is far better for them and you than to constantly be stressing over appearance. Doing this is far less expensive for you than buying every snake oil product out there aimed at ‘fixing’ the ‘problem’.
5. Don’t send your plucking bird to a breeder because you cannot stand how ‘unhappy’ he/she is. Odds are, if you are doing the above, the bird is nowhere near as unhappy as others make you feel the bird is. Sending plucked birds back to breeders is one source of the problem…taking plucked birds into the breeding gene pool that is already messed up, and breeding more birds with the potential genetic predisposition to plucking is only adding fuel to the fire. Mulligan, my M2 that started the rescue was one of these birds frown emoticon
6. Expect it to be a bigger problem in the future. Without the influx of wild parrots into the gene pool and so many breeders not doing their research, we are soon to be facing serious problems from inbreeding. Immunity issues, feather issues, new diseases and abnormalities we have never seen before…hold onto your hats folks…
7. Just love them for who they are. They do it to you every day, just follow their lead

Carriers can mean FUN!


Taking our Feathered ones to the vet is a minimum an annual event. This can be a very traumatic experience for them unless you get them use to the experience of being in their carrier and going out for trips. I find it helps to allow them to play in their travel cages at home. Get them use to being in these cages prior to having to go to a vet appointment. Also take them for short rides or walks around the neighborhood in their carriers. Get them use to the whole experience, without having to actually go to the vet. Take them for a trip to the park or even just out in your own back yard, make it a fun positive experience for them and you. While in their carriers talk to them and keep the tone upbeat, positive and fun 🙂 Always make sure they have access to water and snacks.

If your feathered one gets car sick….give a slice of fresh ginger each day for a couple of days before traveling. Or add fresh ginger to their water for a few days before your scheduled trip. This works wonders and is totally safe for parrots. Never offer any motion sickness medicines that are not prescribed by your Avian Vet first.

More tips for helping to make traveling with a feathered one and enjoyable trip for everyone 🙂    Feathered Angels Car Sickness

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Gracie and Daisy all buckled into the car properly….everyone needs to follow this example to prevent injury to our feathered babies when traveling.

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Training “Tricks” by Paula Rossow


Training “tricks” that are often suggested as ways to get your parrots comfortable with unusual items: towel, scale, syringe, travel carrier. You all probably have more ideas/experiences?11541927_1514338368819582_2943650265341668220_n

In my case, I should have done *applesauce in syringe* training a long time ago; kicking myself… If you need to give your bird meds via syringe at some point, it’s much less of an ordeal if they willingly drink syringe fluids (although they will certainly realize it’s not applesauce — lol! Some meds are grape flavored, though).

Training birds to accept being wrapped in a towel is a great idea for larger parrots. Makes your life and your veterinarian’s life much easier.

*Travel carrier as fun and safe play area* is marvelous (and, again, kicking myself for not having thought of that years ago).

*Avian scale as play area* is one that I did do. Every morning, at the beginning of out-of-cage time, each bird stands on it and receives millet as reward. I note their weights about every three to five days or so.


Who’s the bad bird? from Flock Call


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Who’s the bad bird? Flock Call
written by Kathy LaFollett

Behaviorists, trainers and parrot manipulators tend toward the idea that we can literally direct our parrots to behave a certain way. I suppose that’s true to some extent. But when the manipulation techniques have to be revisited, or reapplied was it successful in the end? I would say no. It was manipulation and that’s about it. The companion parrot reacted like Pavlov’s dog, and as with all parrots, literally decided one day they were done with that Pavlovian response.

So what is the biggest influence on our parrots? Our own attitudes. The epicenter of a parrot’s mindset starts and ends with our own.
They are, after all, looking to us for information to make judgements about trust and action. They are hypersensitive to emotions, movements, sounds, and objects by nature. A companion parrot is literally hardwired to take in more information than a human takes in. Humans are judgmental, we rationalize and reject things quickly if they do not fit our personal belief system and goals. Humans are the only creature that can lie to itself, and honestly believe the lie. This is the crux of the issue with most companion parrot relationship problems. This is where I start all points of work inside flocks with misunderstandings.

Health issues and hormones aside, a defensive parrot with trust issues picked up that trait from a human somewhere who preferred impatient demanding, and quick rejection when demands weren’t met. You can wrap all kinds of details and stories around that skeletal description, but in the end it boils down to that statement. Why is someone demanding? Time constraints or outside pressures of life, maybe a fight with a spouse. It doesn’t matter to the parrot though. All that matters is impatient demands were followed with quick rejection. The why is irrelevant. That’s the take away for companion parrots. The WHY something went wrong is irrelevant to a parrot.

The precious center of a happy Companion Parrot Lifestyle is the requirement that we as humans are required to be better humans. Seriously. A parrot can’t be fooled into believing you are a good trustworthy person. They may acquiesce temporarily due to their caging, handling or fear, but that won’t last long. I’ve walked into flock situations where the trust is nowhere to be found. I blame the human in the room. And then we go through a laundry list of reasons WHY the trust is gone. Normally the list starts with a bite. I blame the human in the room.

Companion parrots are not complicated. They are difficult. Difficult because we are literally sharing our space with a companion that does not rationalize nor simply obey. A parrot knows a lie, but unlike a dog, they will not cooperate nor honor your lie. Period. You can create an obedient parrot (through trust and respect) or you can create a submissive parrot (through fear and uncertainty). The later parrot will become a shell of itself, merely surviving your demands rather than growing inside your flock to become part of the whole.

I don’t write this article in judgement or patronizing tone. I write this in celebration of the best part of being with a parrot. I write this because the most successful parrot personalities in the world were grown in a flock full of kindness, patience, and empathy. And you can’t have that type of fertile ground if the human in the room is impatient, mean, judgmental or prejudiced in life. It does not coexist. A happy parrot is literally defined by the human in the room. You hope your parrot is relaxed, well RELAX. You want your bird to love every one that visits, well LOVE every one that visits. Sincerely. You can’t be insincere around a companion parrot. They know better. And they will reject you and your company for it. Their rejection might be small like not taking a treat, or not allowing a head scritch, but they have you on their probation list for sure. I’ve been on probation before, I know!

Parrots are not complicated. Feed them healthy foods as you should eat. Love them as you would hope to be loved. Share life with them as you like having life shared with you. 12 hours of dark. A doctor for checkups. A bath. Clean water. Toys (employment opportunities). Safety. This isn’t rocket science. You are MORE than capable of handling the details of a companion parrot, and you don’t need to embellish these simple items with complexity.

But what you must do, what will always have to be done at all times ad nauseum is; be the best human you can be as much as you can. Be nice. Be fair. Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be patient. Love. Do not judge. Welcome in. Laugh, alot. Smile more. Wait easier. Be slow to speak, quick to laugh and certain to forgive. I suppose this all sounds corny and completely unrelated to having a parrot in the house if you don’t yet have a parrot. But I assure you, this is the way. It’s the only way that really works. Consider your heart, before you consider your parrot’s behavior.

You can’t give a parrot a happy home if you too, aren’t sincerely happy.