Jamieleigh | BirdTricks | Parrot Training Blog - Part 3

BirdTricks Tuesdays: Brought To You By Dave & Jamieleigh Womach!

 May 5th, 2015
Posted By:
Jamieleigh

Hey folks! It’s Dave and Jamieleigh here with exciting news from Bermuda. We are starting a new thing where we email YOU once a week (every Tuesday) with updates about new happenings with us, our flock (even our daughter!), the show, new training routines and the latest everything US that you guys are always asking about.

We will be answering at least one question in every video, so leave a comment with your questions for us or email them to us at info@birdtricks.com.

Leave a comment on this blog post with what you learned, insight obtained, or a lesson you walked away with and we will choose our favorite and you will win a free product from the BirdTricks store! (Feel free to leave in your comment which product you’d like to have to give us a head-start! We want to give you something you will USE!)

If you’ve missed being able to request videos from us, see certain flock members, need help trouble-shooting through some training, want to see what a real training session looks like or just want some basic help getting started in training, comment and ask! Simple as that. We will try to get to them all, and pair related questions together to  bring you the most information possible.

If you have suggestions, concerns or ideas of what you think we should incorporate into our weekly Tuesday videos – tell us! We plan on trying this for about two months and keeping it if you guys like it, and ditching it if you don’t. So help us help you by telling us exactly what you want to know!

This week is our install week, we plan to film it all and share it next week with you…

And if you wanna see us live and in person, book your cruise on the Norwegian Dawn from now until November 22, 2015. We cruise through Boston-Bermuda, Boston-Quebec, Canada and New Orleans to the Western Caribbean with an amazing two week long relocation cruise in between! We LOVE doing one on one meet and greets with the birds and you if we know you’re on board with us.

Til next week!

14 Thanksgiving and Christmas Crafts For Parrots

 November 30th, 2013
Posted By:
Jamieleigh

For the do-it-yourself-ers out there that like to keep your parrots in on the holiday celebrations, I’ve come up with some fun ways to do so with both your kids and your parrots. Along with some tips and tricks at keeping it 100% parrot-safe.

For a list of toxic and non-toxic woods/foliage/plants, please email info@birdtricks.com.

Craft #1 – The Wooden, Cardboard or Leather Stocking

Make your parrot a stocking out of bird-safe wood or cut one out of cardboard.

Simply cut a piece of wood, cardboard or leather into the shape of a stocking and give it to your bird as its stocking! You won’t believe how thorough a parrot can be when gnawing through a piece of wood or chewing up some fabulous cardboard! The leather will take them far longer to destroy!

  • The best bird safe woods for this project is pine for the medium to large birds and a soft wood like balsa for the little birds.
  • Make sure your cardboard does not have glue, tape or ink on it.
  • All leather for parrots should be vegetable tanned only.

Craft #2 – Home Made Christmas Wreath 

Make your parrot a Christmas wreath from wood, cardboard or metal-less clothes pins and wooden beads.

I made a tea-wreath for my mother in law last year, and she loved it. I included both my favorite tea and my husband’s to make it special, plus a few others I thought she would personally enjoy too and it gave  me the idea for doing something safe for the birds so they could also enjoy a wreath for the holidays!

You can make your entire Christmas wreath from cardboard OR you can find clothes pins that don’t have metal in them (usually craft stores have these) and use those along with vegetable tanned leather strips and wooden beads to get more of a look like this:

Make this bird safe by using untreated/unpainted metal-less clothes pins, string and wooden beads.

The key to making things bird safe is using bird-safe woods that are UNTREATED with anything – this means that the wood has not been pressure treated with dangerous chemicals to make it weather resistant and is not varnished, painted or sprayed with anything. If you’re really into color you can use bird-safe vegetable dyes, and you can smear some home made nut butter on the clothes pins and sprinkle crushed cranberries, coconut and broccoli over them to make them colorful and edible for your bird. Just make sure you take it away before any of the food goes bad.

Craft # 3 – Reindeer Foot Toy Foraging Bags

When decorating things for parrots, use bird safe foods like a cherry, raspberry or beet for the nose.

These foraging toys and treats are so cute! The key to making them bird safe is to use any brown paper bag and decorate only using bird safe foods – so small slices of olives are OK for birds in moderation and will make the perfect reindeer eyes. You can use agave nectar or home made nut butters to stick things on and fill the bag with goodies your bird likes such as small pieces of leftover toys that have been cleaned for re-use and some treats, too. If your bird is nervous about it, poke some holes to let your bird know there’s worthwhile stuff inside!

Craft #4 – Cornucopias 

Make this bird safe by using  natural fiber twine to sew on the handle.

Cornucopias make GREAT foraging toys and they fit into the theme of Thanksgiving! Remember, no using glues or paints (you can, however, use veggie dyes and food like beets and such for natural coloring). Simply use  natural twine rope to make the cornucopia easily hung from the cage. You can poke a hole in the circular part and make a big knot once you stick it through so it won’t come back out. This is great for small birds especially. You can then fill the inside with goodies like wooden beads, small pieces of rope, small pieces of wood, leather and treats.

For the main part of the cornucopia simply use plain paper and sew it together also.

Fill it with bird safe edible flowers, bird safe small twigs and branches and wrapped up treats.

Some ideas for filling your bird’s cornucopia:

  • If you provide it as a food toy (like the bottom one pictured) you can really stuff it with things. If you provide it as a hanging toy in the cage, you won’t be able to add as much weight to it.
  • Use leftover toys or pieces of toys your bird has dropped to the bottom so that you’re reusing the good stuff. Just clean it off first.
  • Bird safe and edible flowers like pansies, daisies, gladiolus, roses and petunias. Unless you grow flowers in your own garden, you can’t be sure they are free of pesticides. It is often safer and easier to buy edible flowers from an organic store.
  • Filling them with edible and fun things like wheatgrass, kale, pieces of fresh spinach and other leafy greens is fun and gets your bird introduced to new foods and textures.
  • Wrap treats up in small pieces of paper and stuff them in too. Poke small holes in the paper or don’t wrap it too tight to encourage a new bird into foraging around.
  • Add color with veggie dyes and natural food dyes.
Craft #5 – Toilet Paper Roll Turkeys 

Make this bird safe by using veggie dyed paper and cutting out eyes and a nose from the roll itself.

Take a toilet paper roll and cut out the eyes (just make holes which you can either stick some food through or leave empty) and cut a triangle for the nose. Use some beet juice (or use this) to make the red part of the turkey in the front… no idea what that’s called… wattle? Then use bird safe colored paper (veggie dyed) and attach it by sewing it on with needle and thread.

Here is how to do simple to hard stitches on paper, you just literally poke holes and poke your needle through, tie it off and you’re done! Super simple and bird safe:

The best bird safe way to attach things to paper and cardboard without using any type of adhesive.

Craft #6 – The Pinecone Turkey

Let’s talk about how to make this out of bird safe stuff!

What you need:

  • Popsicle stick (wooden, unused)
  • Pinecone (any size, the bigger the better for larger birds and the smaller for small birds – also untreated)
  • Veggie dyed construction paper
  • Wheatgrass or other leafy greens
The grass or greens will act as the turkey’s nest that it will be set upon. Then put your pinecone on top of that, with your popsicle stick wedged in to stand up and act as the face of the turkey. Decorate by sticking food on like sunflower seeds for the nose and pieces of pasta for the eyes. Cut the construction paper to look like ‘feathers’ in the back and wedge them into the pinecone. You can cut the paper so that it uses two pieces instead of one and put it in the pinecone so that it holds its position better (not that anything will really be a match for that beak ANYWAY…)
Craft #7 – The Fan Turkey

Use cardboard, veggie dyed paper and healthy foods for decoration. Sew to combine.

This is a longer lasting turkey, especially because you could sew the bottom of the paper to the turkey to make it really hold and last. Then you can hide goodies for your bird throughout the fanned paper. Use cardboard as the main turkey part and decorate with veggies like squash or corn for the beak and poke holes for eyes.

Craft #8 – Dry Pasta Turkey

Dry pasta is a fun way for birds to play with a new color and texture and food!

Use a plain piece of paper and cut two circles of brown paper to act as your turkey. Stick the small one to the large one with agave nectar. Then cut some orange paper for the feet and beak and attach them the same way. You can write on the paper with beet juice (try not to get it on your clothes or hands – it stains!)

Then stick the pieces of pasta on with agave nectar or home made nut butter to decorate. Use seeds for eyes. Let your bird play with this on a flat surface like a table or counter top as it won’t hold together long! Nor does it need to!

Craft #9 – Indian Hat 

Sew this fun hat together the size of your bird so he can try it on, or destroy it once it gets close enough!

This is a fun one as some birds will actually don’t mind you putting a hat on them. Plus I love the detail of cutting into the paper to make it really look like feathers! You can always make yourself one using your bird’s molted feathers but don’t encourage your bird to play with his feathers as it can lead to encouraging plucking or over preening behaviors.

Poke holes in the hat part and put natural fiber twine through with a knot, then let a certain length dangle down and string on wooden beads, popcorn and cranberries and tie a knot at the end to hold them on for some extra play.

Craft #10 – Thankful For’s 

What’s your bird thankful for? Hang reminders in its aviary or indoor enclosure.

Ink isn’t so great for parrots so you will need to use non-toxic edible markers OR write in something like beet juice. Write things your bird is grateful for on leaf cut outs and hang them from your bird’s cage bars all over so it has plenty to play with and destroy!

Some ideas to get you started:

  • Hang with rope, twine or even from bird safe branches by sticking them onto the ends of the branch.
  • Use different colors and shapes and sizes of leaves. You can even use real leaves that are bird safe.
  • Things my birds are grateful for are: random rain showers, pets, training time, when I make it to the bowl before Jinx, mushy berries, freeflight trips.
Craft #11 – Snowflakes

You can even let your bird design his/her own snowflake by encouraging them to puncture the paper too!

The true fun part about this one (it goes the same as the leaves by hanging them around the cage for winter/Christmas) but this time you can include your bird on the process of creating the snowflake! So show off your skills and let your bird show off theirs as well! I am sure they will come up with something… interesting. I mean, beautiful!

Craft #12 – The Ultimate Stuffed Turkey

What a great foraging toy for the big birds, and for the little birds to get lost in!

You can use a popsicle stick as the head of the turkey (unused, of course) and construction paper for the feet and tail (or even natural bird safe leaves) then stuff the turkey with all sorts of things from newspaper to wooden beads, popcorn and leftover toys plus treats! Watch your bird unstuff the turkey!

Craft #13 – Sewn Up Pumpkins

This one takes some sewing and patience!

Take your veggie dyed paper and cut it into strips. You will sew (with natural fiber twine) a point at the bottom and a point at the top with all the pieces in place. Likely you can fit something light inside for your bird to discover or just put in some pieces of paper balled up inside and use it as a foot toy for your bird! This is definitely going to take you longer to make than it will your bird to destroy!

Craft #14 – Open Foraging Cups 

The bird safe version: Paper cups, sewn together to the paper and filled with bird safe food (chocolate and candy are unsafe for parrots)

All you need:

  • Paper cups
  • Veggie dyed paper
  • Needle and bird safe twine
  • Yummy bird safe stuff to put inside!
These are great because your bird can look inside and see that this thing is safe to play with! Simply make the changes listed to take a kids craft to a parrot safe craft and anytime you question a safe food, consult your BirdTricks.com Cookbook.

 

Photo credits: ConsumerCrafts.com, ModernHouseInsight.com, Subtle-tee.blogspot.com/2010/12/monkey-see-monkey-love.html, Spoonful.com, Makeandtakes.com, Scoop.it, Pinterest.com, Embroidery.about.com, Mymontessorihome.com, Kidsfunandgames.net, Pacon.com, Instructables.com, Crafts.kids.kaboose.com, Allkidsnetwork.com, Billiesthanksgiving.blogspot.com.

Valentine’s Day Crafts For Parrots

 February 1st, 2013
Posted By:
Jamieleigh

Bondi enjoying a Don’t Break My Heart Crisp from our Holiday Cookbook found at BirdTricks.com/naturalfeeding.

Pets make the most loyal Valentines, don’t they? I sure think so. That’s why it’s important to take holidays to remember why you love your feathered Valentines soooo much. Here are some fun ways you can express your love to your parrot!

Crafts, to me by the way, mean both edible ones and non-edible ones! When I say rope in any posts, I’m referring to ropes like manilla which break instead of fray. OR just keep a close eye on the rope you use if it does fray as birds can catch nails, toes, and beaks in them and get hurt. So just remove them when they begin to show fray.

Craft #1 – Treat Filled Hearts 

Make this bird safe by sewing pieces of paper together and stuffing treats inside. Hang from the cage with thread or rope.

You can use any paper dyed with veggie dyes, or use plain white paper and dye it yourself with some beet juice. Watch out, beet juice stains everything – including your skin! But it works great for turning everything PINK!

Craft #2 – Heart Lollies

A bird safe Valentine’s Day treat!

When you only need one ingredient, you know you’ve got a good idea. These heart lollies make great foot toys and snacks!

Craft #3 – The Woven Heart

Weave paper in and out of itself – no adhesive used, just plain paper and a great toy!

 Here are the instructions for this one – as you will need to print out the pattern. Just don’t use glue or adhesive of any type, simply sew with needle and thread instead or omit the handle completely. I’d fill this with pink cut out hearts, balled up pieces of paper and goodies your bird likes such as leftover toy pieces that can easily be cleaned off and re-used (maybe they were at the bottom of the cage?) and other things to keep your bird busy and entertained!

Craft #4 – Love Letter Mailbox

If you have our BirdTricks mailbox already you can cover it in pink paper too!

Make your own mailbox with veggie dyed construction paper, and a needle and thread! Never use glues, paints, etc. they can be toxic to parrots as well as inks and leads. Sew on the pieces like the front lid and the side flag, and sew the whole mailbox together. There can be holes, it does not need to be perfect. It will just get destroyed anyway. If you’re a terrible sewer like me, cut the pieces and then nicely beg someone else to sew it together. Fill it with love letters to your bird and various goodies that he/she will enjoy digging into!

Craft #5 – Heart Cut Outs

No pen necessary for this one unless you can find non toxic markers!

These are fun and NOTHING gets wasted! Take some veggie dyed construction paper in pink and red and white, and cut out different sized and shaped hearts. Poke a hole through the top with a pen and stick thread or thin rope through and hang the hearts (as well as the paper with the heart cut outs) in your bird’s cage and let them destroy them! You can even hang multiple hearts from one thread or rope. (Safety note: Keep an eye on your bird when using rope/thread especially if your rope frays. Birds can get tangled).

Craft #6 – Not Just For Babies Mobile 

Make this bird safe by keeping it simple; untreated wood circle, thread and veggie dyed paper cut outs.

You can get that circular wooden thing at the top from any craft store, then attach the heart cut outs with thread or rope. Thread will be easier but rope will be heavier duty for the larger birds. You can hang heart cut outs and string things like popcorn and cranberries to go along with the same colors of the holiday! Edible AND play-with-able? Heck yes! (Safety note: Keep an eye on your bird when using rope/thread especially if your rope frays. Birds can get tangled).

Craft #7 – Simple Heart 

Make this pink by using beet juice!

This one is fun and simple and can be attached to the cage bars, placed over the food dish or made into its own hanging toy for your bird. Fun, easy = YES.

Craft #8 – Cut Anything Into a Heart

You can also use molds to make frozen goodies.

You can cut any bird safe food into a heart. Really.

Some foods you can cut into heart shapes (or x’s and o’s):

  • Melons
  • Leafy greens, snow peas, snap peas
  • Whole wheat or spinach tortillas
  • Whole grain breads
  • Flat pastas like whole grain lasagnas
  • Put corn and carrot sticks in x’s and o’s
  • Beets
  • Freeze fruits and veggies in heart molds for colder treats
Craft #9 – Stuffed Stawberries/Raspberries 

Fill strawberries and raspberries with bird safe ingredients like the Feathered Frosting from the BirdTricks.com/naturalfeeding cookbook.

For small birds you can use raspberries so they aren’t as large. But you can stuff strawberries with foods like:
  • Crushed cranberries
  • Shredded unsweetened coconut
  • Beet dyed pasta
  • Shredded beets and cauliflower
Craft #10 – Fruit Cake 

The ultimate bird safe cake!

You can use toothpicks or carrot sticks to stick fruits on, just cut off the sharp part of the toothpick. Make sure to avoid using seeds or pits of fruits as they are toxic to birds (example: pits and seeds of apples).

Craft #11 – The Cardboard Box with Heart Cut Outs 

Oh the joys of cardboard with our parrots!

Pick a good sized box based on the size of your bird and cut out hearts all over it and stuff it with fun things to explore and forage inside! Nothing as simple and easy (and time consuming fun) for our birds as some cardboard. You could also use toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls for the same thing. Use bunched up paper on both opening sides to keep things in as long as possible. Try to pick cardboard without any glues, adhesives or inks and tape on them.

Craft #12 – Healthy Parrot Valentine’s Day Recipes 

Parrot safe recipe from birdtricks.com/naturalfeeding Healthy Holidays cookbook

Another Valentine’s Day recipe from our healthy holiday cookbook (birdtricks.com/naturalfeeding)

Yes, recipes for EVERY size! Birdtricks.com/naturalfeeding

If you already have our Healthy Holidays Parrot Cookbook, you may have noticed I photographed only the pink and white parrots for the Valentine’s Day recipes… I thought it was quite crafty!

We have around 5 Valentine’s Day recipes I believe plus tons of other holidays so definitely check it out and get to makin’ your bird part of your holiday! Nothin’ like having a feathered Valentine!

 

Photo credits: Auntannie.com, Celebrations.com, Whattoexpect.com, Pinterest.com, Findababysitter.org, By stephanielynn.com,  Etsy.com, Pbs.org.

Cooking For Parrots: Success Story

 January 26th, 2013
Posted By:
Jamieleigh

We received the following success story from the birdie beak itself! Amazing how talented birds are these days, and technologically savvy 😉

Here are some photos that Miss Pina included with her email…

Miss Pina enjoying a recipe from our BirdTricks Cookbook

Miss Pina enjoying a recipe from the BirdTricks Cookbook

If you think your bird refuses to eat healthy, I recommend you try our recipes before passing judgement and letting your bird get away with eating whatever it wants. Even if your bird is hooked on french fries, mac and cheese, potato chips… we have BIRD-SAFE versions of those exact foods in our recipe book to convert your bird onto the healthy versions that are not stuffed with chemicals, preservatives, salts, sugars, and fat.

Not convinced? Check out these success stories we’ve had just recently of birds who dove into our recipes. There’s a recipe in there for every birdy! These recipes were given to birds as small as budgies to as large as cockatoos and macaws.

Our “Sueshe” recipe from the BirdTricks Cookbook

You can ask real birdtricks customers what their birds think of our recipes on our facebook page. Pick up your digital copy today at BirdTricksStore.

Everyday Foods to Save For Your Birds

 January 22nd, 2013
Posted By:
Jamieleigh

My husband eats hard boiled eggs like they’re going out of style – he loves them for breakfast and as a snack throughout the day. So I make a lot at a time – usually a whole carton or two depending on how big of a pot I have available and how many eggs will fit into it.

I hard boil the eggs, then peel them and stick them into a container so they’re ready to eat for the hubby. When peeling, I save all the egg shells and throw in the eggs that are just too hard to peel, too, into a baggy for my birds to feed them whenever they need the added calcium in their diet. (To find out how often to feed your bird certain foods, like eggs, click here)

I also slice bell peppers and serve them with dip whenever we have company over. They’re a favorite snack of mine and a favorite usually around guests as well. Instead of throwing away the inside of the bell peppers as well as the stem, I put them in baggies to save for my birds too. Unlike humans, birds DO eat the inside of the peppers and usually it’s their favorite part!

If you’re like me and despise bread crust… I will cut mine off before making my sandwich and also save it for later for the birds. They’re getting the best part (for you!) Just make sure it take it easy on the carbs so they don’t only fill up on them.

Often times I make way too much food then is needed. If your food preparation was done without things like sugar, lots of salt and butter then it’s okay to save some of the leftovers for your bird. I often do this when preparing beans, wild rice, or even meats for myself (just cooked fish) and give those extras to my birds later in the week.

You can also use the stems from things like strawberries, or the rind of watermelon and toss them in a food processor or blender and mix them into a larger mixture of grains that will soak up the moisture and give your bird the nutrients in a simple way. If you prepare meals like the birdtricks feeding system, then you can simply toss this stuff in a food processor and add it to the diet as necessary for certain days. I simply add it to their bowls in conjunction with whatever else they’re getting.

For more on diet and nutrition and how to feed your bird, what to feed your bird and how much and how often… check out our cookbook that covers everything related to the parrot diet.

Halloween Themed Parrot Safe Snacks

 October 31st, 2012
Posted By:
Jamieleigh

Halloween themed snacks for your parrot!

Last year for Halloween we gave away goodie bags, or trick or treat bags, and this year I really wasn’t planning on doing anything. But then last minute I felt inspired to do SOMETHING for you guys because I felt like there was a lack of anyone doing anything for their pet parrots for the holidays. I’m all about including my birds in the holidays and felt the need to share some easy tips so you can too, even if you’re the last minute type like I happened to be this year!

Instead of writing all new holiday recipes, I decided to focus more on fun Halloween themed presentations of parrot safe snacks you can offer your bird for the holiday.

So here’s what’s on the menu for your bird’s Halloween!

For breakfast: Vampire pancakes!

No breakfast is complete without a side of ghostly eggs!

If your bird is REALLY hungry, you can add some spiders on the side, too.

If you have more than one bird, they can’t be expected to SHARE the same pancake… so you gotta make them different!

And there’s always the substitution of monster eyes.

For specific information on portion size, how often to feed your bird certain foods (like black olives, eggs and other foods that should be given in certain moderation, visit BirdTricksStore where we answer every single parrot diet and nutrition question you could possibly come up with in ONE cookbook!)

What’s for snacking throughout the day, you ask? Well, that’s easy…

Every bird is nuts if they don’t just LOVE snacking on a ‘bloody’ monster mouth of teeth! One of my bird’s favorite snacks ever.

If you live where it’s hot out, a nice cool frozen skull or witch finger might suffice well.

Now for later I like my birds to eat their veggies — I mean, goblins. So I make sure to prepare a few healthy— err I mean spooky options…

Healthy, I mean SPOOKY lunch options…

A closer look at a Halloween lunch time!

Now for dinner, this is the best part…

I like to catch a colony of bats and serve them up in various ways…

Yummy bats!

I often serve the colony with my special Spooktacular dipping sauce!

The birds just LOVE the sauce dunked bats…

As you can see! Mmmm… delish!

All part of a balanced Halloween celebration.

If you like these simple treats for your parrot, you will LOVE our holiday cookbook which has recipes for Halloween, October in general recipes (like fun toppings!), Thanksgiving (a time for making enough to share with your birdie pals!), Christmas, Valentine’s Day (spread the love around with food – there’s no better way to feel the love!), St. Patrick’s Day (even the Irish will approve, get drunk on healthy eating!), Easter and more. All found at BirdTricksStore.

If you don’t want to fall behind, you can opt for the cheaper version of the books and download them instantly. But if you’re patient, you can get the real thing in your hands in no time! It sure is pretty to look at if I do say so myself…

Here’s a sneak peek at some of our actual recipes included in our natural feeding cookbooks

A Christmas soup to make the whole house smell good! Featured in our Healthy Holiday Recipe book.

One of our delicious muffin recipes so you aren’t making that box crap from the store. Make it healthy if you’re gonna make it for your bird at all!

One of our popular Fall recipes… mmm! Great for birds of all sizes.