Please help me not starve my parrot

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We’ve got some feedback on our statement “50% of captive birds deaths are from malnutrition” and I’m horrified.


Dollar’s Mum asked some pointed nutritional questions below and I’m always glad to have this discussion.


I think that people who serve their bird’s “chop” are well-intentioned but very misguided. A parrot living on nothing but chop is a malnourished bird.

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Find out how much you know about keeping birds with this exam – even earn a certificate!

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Why do we not trust our birds to fly?

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Why is it that some of us don’t trust a bird’s 99 million year old instincts to fly – but will trust a teenager to navigate a 3500 pound terrestrial vehicle at 60 MPH on a crowded highway – after 36 hours of classroom and road training? 

The below video received 349,906 views on YouTube. We got 11,000 views in a week after placing this video on our Facebook fan page.

From the 11,000 views we received the following comments

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How long should it take for a Cockatiel to grow back clipped wing feathers?

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How long should it take for a Cockatiel to grow back clipped wing feathers?

I have a 7 month old cockatiel, he’s super happy all the time and is “shedding” his down feathers constantly lately. The people we bought him from at about 2 to 3 months old were clipping his wings and he still hasn’t been able to fly properly. We keep him clean, happy, and healthy.

my answer

For the record we are proponents of keeping birds flighted. So if a person loses a bird because it is flighted and they walked outside with the bird on their shoulder un-tethered – they are a dumbass.
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My Conure Went to the Library and Won

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Oh No! My Conure Went to the Library Alone and Won’t Come Home

Retrieving Escaped or Stolen Parrots: Part Three

A Surprise Flight Lets Mango Fly to the Library Trees and How He was Retrieved

I am a proponent of clipping wings. I know not everyone feels this way, but I’ve had a cockatiel break his neck flying into a mirror when a loud, unfamiliar noise outside frightened him and other bad experiences with flighted companion parrots.

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Let’s place the burden of bird behavior on humans not birds

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I had to jump in and provide a voice on the other side. I remember reading this article last month about keeping birds flighted and feeling very conflicted. My friend’s green cheek conure, who often came to visit, was fully flighted, while my own green cheek is not– our respective choices. His bird, despite being able to follow us humans everywhere, was a screamer anyway and mine is not.

Bungees & other Soft Perches
Both were playful and spoiled, so it’s hard to say what causes behaviors with any certainty. My main point is this: His bird was quite the nimble flyer, but yesterday it hit a window in his home and died on impact. What on earth is a bird owner to do in a large house, for example, when no quantity of decals is enough to cover them all?

It’s unreasonable to expect most owners to be able to adequately bird-proof the entire space, and so CAREFUL wing-trimming to limit distance and speed is the far more humane solution we’ve come up with. I worked with several respected avian vets and experts, and they agreed that most homes just aren’t safe enough no matter what we do, but we can’t all build giant aviaries.

Wing trimming does not seem to limit the quality of life at all for my own little guy– he is out on his various play stations all the time and goes everywhere with me at home, from room to room. If my friend had followed suit, his would still be alive. So I think my mind is made up.


editors note: I’m the guy whose cockatiel followed him around a 65 foot long apartment for 3-1/2 years with out one incident.

Let’s start at the beginning


(h)yo͞oˈmān/ adjective

  1. having or showing compassion or benevolence.
  2. “regulations ensuring the humane treatment of animals”

Chopping any body part off any animal or any human is not humane – I’m sorry.

The blood may have left the feather but the feather is still anchored to the skin controlled by muscles – it’s still a living organism that you have removed from the animal.

A bird that has lost the ability to fly has a diminished quality of life they are – handicapped.

If you are clipping your bird properly you are clipping the largest feathers on their body.

All birds preen – have you asked it how it’s dealing 20 feather shafts that been rudely and abruptly terminated?

No I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect most bird owners to be able to adequately bird proof their entire space

I do think it’s reasonable to limit the room(s) the birds are in much like grandparents limit certain rooms to grandchildren.


You’re arguments are putting the whole the whole burden on the bird and the bird isn’t the problem it’s the human.

Statistically floor walking birds are five times more likely to get stepped on then a flying bird getting killed upon impact with a vertical surface BECAUSE WE LOPPED OFF ALL THEIR WINGS!.

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Teaching Bacon the budgie to fly with clipped wings

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From Birdie Brunch reader Betsy Lane:

File under “the universe is too complicated to be arbitrary” which begs the question “does a dyslexic agnostic believe in dog?”

THANK YOU for today’s (9/11/16) birdy brunch!  It was perfectly timed….

Yesterday evening, a Quaker parrot landed on my friend’s head while he was out on his deck (near Lawrence and Kedzie) . I took the bird overnight and am trying to find its owner (it’s not wild). I’ve used the links in your post, as well as spreading the word on FB and among my bird-rescue friends. We can’t keep this guy (already have one bird in quarantine–now two–and a hubby recovering from pretty major spine surgery), so hopefully his rightful owner will surface soon.

Just wanted to say thanks!

That’s CRAZY in a good way – best of luck – shoot us a pic and contact info and we’ll post it on Facebook

Thank you!

quaker parrot monk parakeet eating a morel of food

Bungees & other Soft Perches

The bird is currently being fostered, and I’ve asked the foster “mom” for contact info. In the meantime, here are a few pics of the little guy. He landed on my (male) friend’s head in the 4900 block of N Francisco last Saturday late afternoon.

He ate peanuts off his head and then rode around on his shoulder for awhile (which is how they got him inside and into a cage). He was stressed but seemed healthy and really acted like someone’s pet bird as opposed to a wild one.

Hi again!

Kathy at Happe Parrots Rescue helped me with this situation. She has the contact info for the foster, and is happy to talk to you if you have a minute. (I asked her for contact info to send to you directly, but I think she was more comfortable doing it this way.)

I really hope we can find this guy a good home soon. Seems like a nice bird!

Thanks again for all the great tips in the last Birdy Brunch!!!

And thank you for a great opening act Betsy

Geek warning

Whether it’s a child learning to tie it shoes or pilot learning how to fly a 747 the four stages of learning are the same.

1) unconscious incompetency – you don’t know what you don’t know – as in “we’re going to teach you how to tie your shoes today, Susie”.

2) which now makes Susie a conscious incompetent – she now knows that she doesn’t know how to tie shoes.

3) it becomes conscious competency – you’re able to accomplish a task but you need to think about each step – “put one lace over the other – create two loops – one loop under another and pull it tight”.

4) unconscious competency is you driving a car – you’re thinking about where you have to be – paying bills – where the kids are – you’re not thinking about the mechanics of driving – they are being taken care of at some other part of your brain.

You bring a new bird home – it’s always been in a cage. Boy it would be fun to see the bird fly. The bird flies into a wall not hurting himself but you say, “they were right on the Internet you should not let your birds fly in the home, because they will fly into a wall or a mirror.”

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