We allow ourselves to be stressed on so many levels these days.
Keeping up with social media contacts.
Fixing all the things that break in our lives – kitchen appliances – automobiles
Just getting to and from work can be an adventure.
So who wouldn’t say “no” to a day at the spa?
Recently I blogged about Popcorn’s compromised immune system.
It was all from stress.
Stress from her body diverting calories to grow replacement feathers.
Stress from being a female cockatiel with a need to reproduce with an active reproductive system.
Stress from daylight savings time.
The whole days are getting shorter thing is stressful for a bird.
Something most noteworthy.
Before I describe this behavior of our cockatiel in the shower, we need to do a little housekeeping.
Let’s review how birds lungs work in this excellent video, by Emma
Air flow is one way across your birds lungs. When I would shower with Popcorn on the shower rod I would see her eyes close and clearly enter this sublime state.
When I look at her I think of Emma’s video, the warm moist air flowing over these highly sensitive lungs must feel like 1 million bucks or a day at the spa.
Birds in the rain forest generally get a regular sprinkling of rain over their feathers once daily.
Australian birds like cockatiels are nomadic but wherever they find food as a flock it will always be near water and vegetation.
Allowing a bird to bathe is helpful on so many levels but birds will be birds and will not always cooperate with our best intentions.
It would be great if we could just take a bird in the shower with us give them a comfortable place to perch and let them enjoy the water.
We hear from a lot of caged bird owners who say they cannot get their birds “into” the shower with them.
Popcorn our cockatiel would take baths in the kitchen and bathroom sinks.
Try to pull her off the top of the shower curtain rod while taking a shower and you think you were trying to pluck all her feathers.
Much like “should I clip my birds wings” is really a question of degree, trying to force bathing in the shower which applies especially to large birds who don’t fit kitchen sinks, like Macaws, you have to find some middle ground.
Think about allowing your bird to enjoy the warmth and humidity that a shower provides.
It can be a great bonding experience, just make sure you have a shower perch of some sort available should your bird decide to join you under the water stream.
The alternative to that is ouch, ouch, ouch, as the bird might slip on your wet body and grab or bite something.
Doing this will go a long way towards offsetting the dryness of heating our homes along with all the other biological and physiological issues your bird is trying to compensate for while living in North America instead of near the equator, where they are mostly from.
written by mitch rezman
approved by catherine tobsing
Also published on Medium.