Archives for Birds

10 Everyday Items That Are Toxic to Birds

Birds can be like toddlers: They are both very oral and like to check things out by putting them in their mouths. Just like children, when pet birds are out unsupervised, this habit of tasting things can get them into trouble. As an avian veterinarian, I treat birds every week for getting into toxic substances. Though some foods and objects are clearly potentially toxic to birds, there are others that might not be so obvious.
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Most Common Obese Exotic Pets: No. 1 Parrots

Does Polly want a cracker? Maybe. But should Polly have a cracker? The answer is no. Polly, like many pet birds and other types of exotic pets, is prone to obesity. With little exercise and too much time to sit around and eat out of boredom, too many captive animals become overweight. With the extra pounds, these animals, like overweight people, can develop numerous health problems. The battle against the bulge has become the litany
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5 Things You Don’t Know About Cockatiels

Cockatiels are phenomenal birds and perhaps the most popular bird I see in my veterinary practice these days. Why are these little animals so beloved? Here are five facts about cockatiels that may surprise you. 1. Cockatiels make great first pets — feathered or otherwise. Without a doubt, cockatiels, which are one of the smaller species of pet parrots, are the first bird I recommend for new pet owners or families, especially those with elementary school-age
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Why Does My Bird… Like to Hide Under the Paper in Her Cage?

Many birds like to hide under cage paper as part of normal playful behavior. Commonly, female birds will hide under cage paper when they are reproductively active and trying to build nests. Hiding is of no concern at all unless birds become obsessed with this behavior and with egg laying to the point that they are not eating or drinking or interacting with their owners. Should this behavior last more than a day, the bird’s
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How to Keep Your Bird Safe During the Holidays

Holidays can bring a great deal of happiness to both people and pets. But holidays also bring potential dangers to our feathered friends. Though injuries and accidents happen all year long, they seem to occur more often during the holidays. Here are some tips to help you avoid some often overlooked holiday hazards. 1. Say No to Candles Candles and birds are dangerous on more than one level. First, avian respiratory tracts are extremely sensitive
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Video: What You Need to Know About Keeping Birds as Pets

Birds, such as parrots, canaries and finches, are highly intelligent and can be wonderful pets. Their beauty and intelligence make them very popular, but it’s not uncommon for new owners to be surprised by the degree of daily care and attention these animals require to be happy and healthy. Before you purchase or adopt a bird who may live dozens of years, consider Dr. Laurie Hess’ advice to make sure a pet bird is right
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What to Consider Before Adopting a Parrot, Rabbit, Guinea Pig, Iguana or Other Exotic Pet

When people hear about adopting pets from a shelter, they naturally think of dogs and cats. However, exotic pets of all kinds can be found at shelters, too. From parrots to rabbits, guinea pigs to iguanas, even potbellied pigs — there is a shelter for nearly every species. Exotic pet shelters and rescues can be found worldwide. A likely place to start looking for one in your area is to search the Internet or, better yet,
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Top 5 Things Toxic to Birds

Birds can be like toddlers: They are both very oral and like to check things out by putting them in their mouths. Just like children, when pet birds are out unsupervised, this habit of tasting things can get them into trouble. As an avian veterinarian, I treat birds every week for getting into toxic substances. Though some foods and objects are clearly potentially toxic to birds, there are others that might not be so obvious.
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Top 10 Bird Dangers Lurking in Your Home

Do you own a bird? If you do, you may not be aware that there could be hazards lurking in your home that could harm your favorite avian friend. Consider these top 10 household dangers for pet birds: 1. Fumes Birds’ respiratory tracts are much more sensitive than mammals’ to airborne toxins. Teflon or any other nonstick coatings on pots, pans and kitchen appliances (such as stoves and toaster ovens) can be a cause of
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Why Does My Bird Walk on the Floor?

Q. My bird’s wings are not clipped, but she’d rather be on the floor with the dog and cat than up on a table, or window rod, or anyplace high. Why does she do this? A. It’s really hard to say definitively why your bird prefers to be on the floor. She may just be feeling social — as you noted, the dog and cat are down there. Perhaps that makes it more exciting to
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Why Does My Bird Refuse to Step Onto My Hand?

There are a couple of reasons why your bird may decline to step onto your hand. Generally, when a bird ignores or even bites an offered hand, she is indicating that she doesn’t want to stop whatever she is doing at that time to do what you are asking. For example, if your bird is eating or playing with a toy, she may not want to have anything to do with you at that moment.
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Why Does My Bird Talk So Much?

Many birds chatter all day — whether they are speaking recognizable human language that they have been taught or unrecognizable “bird speak.” Parrots generally make a lot of noise because they are naturally very social; in the wild, they often live in flocks of hundreds that spend all of their time together foraging for food, hunting for nest sites, soliciting mates and raising their offspring. Thus, it is not natural for them to be housed
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