Animal Stories - Birds

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someone - 2014-05-07
I had a baby hahns but she sadly passed, she had seizures.

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Ashley Gonet - 2014-05-07
I have had my Blue Fronted Amazon parrot since he was born out of his egg. We had his parents and they bred about three times. Jack was the very first born, his siblings are much bigger than him because he is literally a midget, (and I'm not kidding). We gave his siblings and his parents to a woman at a pet store called Bird is The Word in North Aurora, Illinois. He is eight years old and loves to talk, (in his own way because he doesn't speak). I have been teaching him to talk for all of his life, but he's just plain stubborn. He squawks at me for my food every time I am eating, and I think it is adorable every time he does. At first when he hatched from his egg in our kitchen he started to bond with my dad, later on I don't know what happened but now for some reason I am his companion for life. When he doesn't get enough sleep he gets a little moody, but when I come home from school every day he acts like I was going to leave him forever. I love this bird and I would recommend this type of bird to anyone wanting a companion, or a feathered friend that acts a little goofy from time to time.

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shiron - 2014-05-06
Hi, I have a Lizard Canary I bought from a Breeder, she has a Crest Top..She is Tan in color. She had a brood of 4, 3 tan and 1 Yellow. The father is also a Lizard and is in the cage with all and some Finches...they are very playful.. she is now sitting on 4 more eggs...the others are the size of her and the male and of course eat on their own for some time. I have a question to ask if I may...HOW OLD WILL THEY BE WHEN YOU FIND OUT WHAT SEX THEY ARE? Love these sooo much...

Animal-World info on Double Yellow-Headed Amazon
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angiepoo - 2014-01-02
Hi..we have a double yellow headed Amazon that a friend have to me a few months ago. She's around 8 years old and has a very extraordinary vocabulary. We spend a lot of time with her. She comes in and out of her cage as she pleases except for at bedtime when we cover her cage. She has a very large cage and lots of toys. She is fed well with a top of the line parrott food. We've done all the things that is recommended for parrots however, she won't let us hold her. She will occasionally go into my living room or on my counter and that's the only time im able to pick her up when she knows im taking her to the top of her cage. Anytime I go to pick her up from the top of her cage, she snaps and just moves away from me. Can anyone give me some advice on how to get her to let us hold her? When my friend owned her, she use to let people hold her at one time but when my friend started work and no longer had time for her, she spent alot of time alone. That's why she have her to me. I really want to hold her but I don't want to traumatized her. Any advice?? Thanks in advance. ;-)

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-01-04
    What a great new pet you have and it's good that you know how old she is. She has set behaviors that, as you pointed out, developed because of her previous circumstances. To change these behaviors, work with her regularly. Be consistent and offer reassuring words and treats, and eventually she should come around. There's no guarantee, but time, love, and patience are your best tools for success
  • Kevin Krause - 2014-02-17
    I ended up taking in my Brother's bird who passed away 2 years ago. I can tell you this bird has so many mood swings it is not even funny. I have been bit 4 times, one almost needed stitches. I am trying to figure out what to do at this point. We have been so good to this bird...but I am at my end. It screams if you are not in the same room. It's not good for either of us. But not so easy to get rid of. But I will tell you, don't expect a big turn around anytime soon. All I have read about the double yellow amazon, it is not a great pet, unless you have 24 hours a day to spend with it. Very little reward.
  • Ken - 2014-05-04
    Hi there I have two African greys and just got my double yellow head back after 5yrs. And he was hand reared, he spent 4yrs in a big cupboard, more like small room, not much attention and has not been out his cage for 3yrs now. Cupboard doors wese off but still not good. When I had him he was just 16weeks old and just over 1 when I gave him away. So I asked for him back when I heard and went to see him so I know his background. He attacks anyone near his cage and bites very hard. People have tried to take care of him but just not got a clue really, but they did try, he's still alive so am glad of that. Now the way I am going to go about it is leave him to come to me, give him treats, give him loads of praise when good, never award bad behavior, always keep him to your height. As when up high a bird is in more control of you, when same height you have more control over him. Amazons are very strong minded and I think about 5 onwards can hit sexual maturity and are very aggresive at this time. I will use a training perch for him to work with in a quiet room away from other birds, no distractions for him.You will also have to learn to read to your bird when he's happy, when he wants to be alone they do some things the same way. If he's getting nut tail spread out, eye zooming then hess happy but no nut and showing these signs stay away lol. He will need time just like my DYH time and patience and patience and patience and more patience lol it's only way to be. It will work out in the end, there is loads more I could say but hands on and that's the way to learn after a few bites I think we would all learn that's not working. Try different ways. Anyway am going on here this is just the things I have learned over the years so it may be diffrent from many other peoples points of view, it's just the way I would work. It always uses things he likes, I use my mouth, organ turn my back on him if he wants my attention he has to let me know, it's all to do with bond. Hope it works out for you, just don't forget DYH are full of it and have loads of character and bold and loads of charisma and are a handful to work with. They like to be the boss, you have to let them know who is but do it so it thinks he is winning but you are really getting him round to your way of thinking lol, if you know what I mean. Good luck and hope you have fun teaching new things and you get to hold him all the time one day. Please excuse my spelling and I am just a 46yr old man from countryside that has learned almost everything for myself am no expert but I do my best. Thank you, have fun teaching it has to be fun for both not a exercise good luck. Ken.
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lynsey mcne - 2014-05-04
Hi i have just rehomed a parrot called Río who's a handfed macaw. I don't have a clue of age but previous owener said she had for a few years but never had much time for him. Will I be ever be able to get him to talk, I have a busy home with 3 kids that range from 1 and a half years to 6 years and 10 years and we would love him to talk and step up and to be able to let him out of the cage. I got him on Friday 2nd may 2014 so not had him long at all any advice would be great. T.I.A

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pina macri - 2004-07-22
sulphur crested cockatoos are beautiful birds. I have had mine for 15 years and he is still as white as he was when I got him at 5 years.
Would like some info on how to get him to talk more than say his name and the cats and hello.

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  • JehanAra - 2014-05-01
    Please help me To assist my Dear cockatoo to say something More than just 'hello!'
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Tyler - 2014-04-30
On this past easter 2014 I got a call at 8:30 in the morning from a friend, I didn't answere it cause I was tired, then he texted me so I figured it was important. The text read there was a white dove in the school parking lot so I got there as fast as I could because I had been looking for a pet white dove. So I got there and my friend was sitting next to it, I must have spooked it because it flew at me then crashed in his garage. I caught it then his mom saw another one by their fence. I caught that one also. So it's a week later and the one I thought was the male built a nest in the nesting box and the one I thought was a female won't nest yet, so they both laugh, bow, coo and coo but the one I think is the female has a scratchy coo, not as smooth so I am expecting eggs, thinking it's a pair of doves by my research, and she still wouldn't nest so I provided a higher nesting box for her but the 'male' has been sitting in it and acting very territorial of the nest. Could he be a she? Then the female has been guarding him, not sure him is a he could she be a he and when will she lay?

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ALAN - 2010-01-10
A study of the too in a common household.

I'm not a professional trainer or a breeder. I've just had lots of experience with too's owning one and being involved with them in other families, pet stores, vets, etc. Being in a small town, I get the phone calls to come assist with large birds because their owners are afraid of them or even the vet is a bit afraid. The most important thing is don't let your too rule you - and they will if you think of them as an object or a conversation piece. They are almost human! LOL! Little feathered boogers.

I have a 12 year old too named Ziggy. He is definitely the boss and the joy of the house hold. World's best doorbell and burglar alarm. LOL! He notices things outside even before the dog does.

Too's are wonderful birds and wonderful pets if you have the courage and the patient nature it will take you'll be a good "daddy" or "mommy". They are the most affectionate of all the birds and that's what draws people to them. They can play so coy and sweet. But, be prepared as your mighty too will be a perpetual 2 year old for his/her entire life. They are very curious and get bored easily if not interacted with all the time. Hence the antique furniture and everything else getting chewed up if you are not watching them like a 2 year old.

Extremely intelligent and can have a very large vocabulary if you work with them. Ziggy can carry on a full conversation with you and it makes sense. He can argue, reason and barter with you. Loves people. Laughs like a human. You just really need to know what you are getting yourself into before you decide to get one of these mighty birds. They can be very sneaky and they have great precision with their beaks. They can peel wallpaper right off of the wall and also remove the label off a CD without damaging the plastic. They also act out if they are mad or during a full moon.

They want to be a part of your world and they are almost human. They want to do what you do and go where you go. Indoor or outdoor. Ziggy will follow you right out the back door and into the back yard. They are the world's best snugglers and will just love all over you. They are EXTREMELY LOUD!!! I mean, hear them 5 blocks away loud! Ear piercing shreiking scream! You just can't have a too if you are in an apartment. No way. And there's no way to quiet them either. With work they won't scream as much but that is still part of their nature and a game. If Ziggy gets on a screaming binge I go scream with him. He loves it! It's a game and he'll calm down very quickly if I play with him and scream.

For example, when we first got Ziggy it was in the fall and warm enough to have the windows open. He wasn't secure in his surroundings yet so he did do a lot of screaming. Neighbors showed up and were ready to call the police. They wanted to know what autistic child we were beating! That's not a joke! That really happened! They lived 3 blocks away.

They aren't usually, however they will bite if threatened or scared. A loud sound like a truck backfire may cause the bird to nip you simply because it depends on you to protect it. That's your cue to get rid of the scary thing. If they are mad they will bite. If they are on you and feel like you aren't paying enough attention they will bite. "If bird is displeased - bird will let you know!" Converse with the bird. They love to talk back and its so interesting to watch them shape that tongue and beak trying so hard to form words and talk back. They are so sincere in their response. They want to communicate with you.

They are very social and love people. You usually don't have to worry about them being a one person bird. However, most guests you have are a little leary so you need to be with them while they are interacting with the bird. They don't understand the behaviors like you do and they can misinterpret behaviors and possibly get bit. The bird will show off and jump and down and giggle, and whistle and yell while the bird is on their shoulder. That scares people and they will jerk back and the bird will bite to hang on. Warn your guests of this. Just stay calm and don't jerk around.

Everybody wants to see the pretty birdie! Especially children and too's don't particularly like jerky, small, fast moving children. Not a good idea to let the bird get on children unless the bird is already used to children being in the house. Also have guests remove earrings, glasses and necklaces before handling them because birdie will go straight for them. Not that birdie will pull them out but the guest will jerk away and rip their earrings out that way. Its an automatic reaction to them, whereas to you, you can just say, "Quit it" and the bird will stop. Guests don't realize that and it is a natural reflex to jerk away.

Ziggy has a strict rule, "No hats on in the house." He will take your hat off your head and throw it on the ground and laugh. They can be trained to do tricks. Play dead or even ride a skateboard if you are willing to work with them. His laugh is what gets everybody going. A hearty robust laugh that is appropriate. He knows what's funny. He can watch TV and laugh at the appropriate moments. Loves music and loves to dance and show off. Usually Ziggy is very quiet and calm when it's just us but when company is around he stays animated and won't calm down until everybody has played with him for a minute. Then you are excused. LOL!

Talking? Watch what you say! Of all the wonderful cute little phrases you teach your birdie, you can rest assure that it has learned EVERYTHING else you've said or that they've heard on TV! Just let the preacher come over for a visit and the birdie will shoot off a string of cuss words knowing EXACTLY what he's doing! LOL!

They are very loveable but I tell people up front when they think of getting a too that the name of the bird should be "destruct-a-birdie." They love wood and they can splinter it in a heartbeat. I always keep a supply of 2x4 pieces for Ziggy to chew up. Works better than any $40 colored wooden thing you can buy in the stores and its cheaper too! He doesn't like toys and will ignore them. He only wants wood to chew on.

Highly intellengent and great problem solvers. When I first got Ziggy he was peeling the wallpaper off the wall so I was going to be smart and put plexiglass around the top of the cage so he wouldn't chew. (The walls are painted now. LOL!) I got the plexiglass and drilled holes it in to mount to the cage with "U" bolts. I threaded the nuts down on the U bolts finger tightened. I went to the kitchen to get a pair of plyers to tighten the bolts down good. When I got back to the cage, Ziggy had one of the U bolts in his beak and handed it to me and giggled. THAT'S how fast they are and that's how smart they are. You just shake your head and laugh.

"My bird chewed up all the doors, baseboards and door frames! We had to get rid of him!" Yep! That's why all mine are wrapped in tin and that's why you keep a fresh supply of wood for the bird to chew on.

Food? Ziggy is a bottomless pit. LOL! He loves anything you love. He gets his own plate at the table and climbs the chair himself and hops on the table and eats with me. This causes problems because during dinner parties he expects to be part of the dinner. LOL! Most guests do not want a big bird at the table even on his perch. Yes there is seed for him to eat in the cage but too's love anything. Fruits and starches and even meats. They need other foods besides the seed. You also have to watch house plants. You will find you have your own personal gardener. LOL! Some plants can be deadly to birds so watch the plants you have.

Also they love things with bright colors. Cleaning chemicals, etc. come in brightly colored plastic jugs. Need I say more? Remember - 2 year old child. Just use common sense and you and your too will be very happy together. Not to scare you off but just use good common sense. If a child can get hurt doing it, so can a too.

We didn't know anything when we got him. He was handed over to us and he was very unsocialized. Look at the pretty birdie! In that first few months I don't know how he survived because we didn't know what to watch out for. He ate a battery. He ate a gallon jug of bubble bath. Each time I thought, "Well, that's the end of THAT bird!" Be proactive and remember you have a 2 year old in the house.

Sharp beak? Sharp claws? Use a dremel. You can get battery powered dremels for dog nails. You'll be surprised at what a game you can make to get your too used to it. Ziggy lets me do his nails and his beak without any fluff of the feathers. He feels very pretty after they are all done. They have that much trust in you. I wouldn't use a dremel bit on a drill. Too forceful. The battery operated one is much safer. Even clipping the wings he'll just sit there and let me do it but you have to work with them. He used to grab the scissors with those big pink feet and throw them across the room. If you have ceiling fans then you must keep those wings clipped because birdie is gonna fly at some point. Either scared by a noise or just looking for you.

Messy? Oh yeah! They are mess cats. If you can't handle bird seed flung all around the cage and poop - go no further. "Doo Dissolve" is a wonderful product and smells wintergreenish to get rid of the poop. Putting a towel down on the floor around the cage will help. We have lots of "birdie towels." And they love to start pooping and throwing seeds right after you've cleaned up. LOL! They'll show YOU!

They have to interact and they can't just be locked up in their cage. They'll start plucking from neglect. Ziggy runs free in the house when I'm home and sleeps in his cage while I'm at work. I come home at lunch and play with him every day. And then of course when I get home he's usually on my shoulder, running around the house or on his perch waiting for me to finish cooking dinner.

Vacations are a problem too. You can't leave the bird for a week or two. You must get somebody to come at least take care of the bird or board it. Fortunately, we have a vet in town that boards large birds and Ziggy is allowed to run around the shop and they feed him their lunch. He gets to play all day and the customers love him.

Is all this worth it? YOU BET IT IS! That is my baby! I wouldn't let Ziggy go for a million bucks! And you'll be the same way. At least you will have some insight and be prepared for the little feathered monster. LOL! Just don't be scared of the bird. You have to be in charge and the bird will respect you. If you are timid and cower away from the bird, he will take charge of YOU. And that means doing it with finese. NEVER hit your bird! You may be frustrated but NEVER EVER hit your bird! Both of you take a time out and work on the behavior problem that was unacceptable. They will learn and they will stop certainly behaviors if you do it right and not lose your cool.

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  • Michael Miley - 2011-03-27
    Alan; I stumbled upon your article and just want to say it is the most accurate and exacting truthful explanation of a cockatoo keeper relationship I have witnessed! I have been a keeper for many years and always shied away from Cockatoos mostly due to their loudness. What a mistake on my part! I adopted Mickey a 13 yr old male Too just over a year ago. What a pleasure and challenge, most rewarding experience of my keepers career including Amazons, Greys, Macaws and smaller birds.
  • Kim - 2011-05-26
    Thank you
  • Margie Parfrey - 2012-08-19
    That is very detailed info but I want to know does the bird have to go to a vet like a dog or cat and how expensive are they to keep?
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-08-19
    Obviously a vet will tell you to bring your parrot into the vets office every year for a physical.  I would not do that - and i sure would not do that at all unless it is a certified avianb vet.  You just don't take  a well parrot to a vet where there are sick birds.  A true avian vet has conditions which prevent problems but most vets don't.  They shouldn't require any shots but most breeders will give their babies a shot for polyoma - polyoma vaccine.  It would be included in the price of the bird.  Cage - you would need a cage and a cage for a large bird is going to run around $600  possibly you can find a used one.  You will also need a perch that goes on wheels - runs around $250.00.  I can't imagine that seed/nuts/pellets would be more than $50.00 a month and remember they can eat anything nutricious that you eat.  If you have meatloaf and potatoe with string beans for dinner - give them some.  Especially a cockatoor cuz if you don't it will pitch a fit.  You would not eat in front of a 3 year old human - don't do it in front of a cockatoor.  Scrambled eggs, toast, pasta,    whatever you eat.  No not chocolate, avocado and not a lot of salt.  So pirce of a moluccan should be around $1100, cage $600, perch $250 and $50 a month for food - plus toys and for a cockatoo you canmake a lot of toys with a 2 x 4 pine untreated lumber. 
  • ang - 2014-04-30
    How do you bathe ziggy?
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george kallabis - 2014-04-30
I have a large aviary with 6 Zebra finches and thee white doves. The flight area is 8'x15' and the connected heated shed is 6'x8'. I added 6 society finches, waited a week to make sure they are healthy and put the cage in the shed, and they will not come out of their cage dispite opening all 3 doors. Should I force them out?

Animal-World info on Eclectus Parrot
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Kim - 2013-08-12
Female SI Eclectus eats feet to point of open wounds. Started six months ago. Good avian vet saved her infected legs and feet. In collar feet heal with daily soaking and Harrison's Soothing Cream. Take off collar she lasts 48 to 72 hours then goes back to scraping delicate flesh eats feet/legs to point of open wounds again. She's 13 and never any problems till now. Very little feather plucking. Chronic egg laying for past 10 years. Hopefully cycle finally broken with her in collar. Blood work ok. Any ideas/solutions? Mites?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-09-01
    Wow, that's a problem. I know these can be demanding birds. I've had a male and he could be a handful, but I've heard the females are even more so. The behavior sounds more like what I would expect from a cockatoo. Solving this problem is going to be a project:) but here's some suggestions:

    For cockatoos (so maybe for this bird)  I recommend a soft blanket or maybe a sheet put on part of the cage to give it something to focus its strong need to chew on. I would also try introducing a variety of differnent 'destructible' chew toys (not acrylic) so that it can chew and feel like it's getting somewhere.

    You might also try adding new things to the diet, or changing the diet. There's a lot of great reasons to feed birds pellet foods, but seriously, many birds get real bored with it. So if that's the main diet, try offering seeds and maybe some nuts as well. Perhaps even Insects like crickets.

    Good luck!
  • Anonymous - 2013-10-29
    It might be a food allergy causing itching. I give my Eclectus only organic nuts and almonds from a local Health Food store and 'natural' pellets made for parrots without any synthetic colors. Also, I give him plenty of fresh fruits from a local organic market. A few times per week he enjoys his bird bath. I also let him out from his cage to fly around a few times per day. So far, he is doing OK.
  • Anonymous - 2014-04-30
    Could it be she is wanting a mate? This has been along with chronic egg laying. Or maybe just a friend will do? Just a thought.

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