How Windy City Parrot Looks At Our Bird’s Holistically

mitch rezman catherine tobsing peaches the senegal parrot in Windy City Parrot
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Pet food manufacturers as well as Internet “influencers” somehow associate the word “holistic” with “healthy” which indicates (to me) they clearly never read the definition of “holistic“.

ho·lis·tic – adjective

PHILOSOPHY – characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.

Thus from this point forward, you will go forth and snigger the next time some one tries to sell you holistic anything.

When you interact with us,

whether it be here, on our website, social media, email or any other form of communication, we try to introduce you to holistic bird health as a way of succeeding with captive bird care – meaning: 

  • Nutrition
  • Cage environment
  • Lighting/light cycles
  • Out of the cage environment
  • Whether clipped or flighted
  • Training
  • Sexuality
  • Species
  • Foraging & enrichment opportunities
  • Exercise
  • Frequency of bathing
  • Other feathered flock members
  • Human flock members


Here’s what we mean

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Your bird(s).

When we talk about the challenges caged bird keepers face, be it the wrong perceptions about a bird’s fear of change, screaming, feather self destruction, and yes arthritic feet  (it’s a thing), we need to take a 360° view of the animal.

I said it. Your pet bird is an animal.  An animal that can process thought 3 times quicker than any mammal and can fly – a very special animal.

Today it seems humans can’t leave their home without a backpack filled with 12 pounds of beverages, electronics and snack food, whilst wearing microfiber clothing and $100 sneakers (in the winter – really?).

A wild 100 or 200 gram bird can survive decades with nothing more than it’s feathers, beak and zygodactyl feet. Do we really know what’s best for our birds or do we want them to conform to our ideas of what’s best (he asks rhetorically)?


It’s not easy to care for caged birds. You can find supplies on this website to provide care for more than 700 species of exotic birds out of the 10,400 known bird species on the planet. For the record there’s only one species of dog (Google it).


A Chihuahua, German Shepherd, Beagle and a mini Doberman can all can play with a single tennis ball or sock tied in a knot.


A Scarlet macaw bird toy, would crush a budgie if dropped upon one. Lovebirds and parrotlet’s although similar in size do share the same category of bird toy sizes but when placing them in the cage it’s good to know that lovebirds may like to hang from the cage wall while engaging with their toys while parrotlets prefer a more conventional approach of hanging toys around the perimeter of the bird cage ceiling.

Humans will hang bird toys from the cage roof’s center. Then exclaim “my bird doesn’t play with that new toy I blew 20 bucks on”.

Can your bird reach the toy? Is there a gateway perch or 2 providing access to the toy or does the bird have to uncomfortably stretch too far for access?

What if the bird gets stuck between the toy and bird cage wall?

Do you know your bird’s inside cage navigation paths? Are perches structured so no poop falls from above?

Pro tip: If a perch gets a concentrated area of poop from above, wrap the perch with vet wrap and replace as needed.


Let’s get granular with our categories of captive bird care. Getting nutrition right is the single hardest but most important place to start .



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Also published on Medium.


He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they would visit their monthly birdie brunch in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.