All Parrots are Different Species!

Aside

All dogs are from the same species but different breeds.

All cats are from the same species but different breeds.

All birds are from different species.

See, I can read a book about dogs or cats and apply the information to any dog or cat I may own but I can’t do that for parrots. Every time I get a different parrot, I have to research all over again and buy books on that specific bird because I know each bird has different needs. This is why I love to have the variety of parrots that I do because each brings something different to the flock.

If you google the topic of parrot ownership it tells you to find the best bird for you and your lifestyle because each bird has different needs. For example an African Grey parrot needs to spend a lot of time out of its cage (some pamphlets say 4 hours a day) while a lovebird would be content with a little bit of time out (1 hour maybe less). So if you are barely home, you would automatically look towards getting a lovebird.  When I was looking to get an African grey everyone was advising me against it because I was working full-time and they said I would never be able to manage having a grey. Well not to brag but Grayson is now 5 years old and very active, not a screamer, talks a lot, does tricks and does not pluck! Gives me kisses and overall I can say a happy parrot. Stereotypes are put on birds just as they are put on humans. Take all the information in but truly decide for yourself and don’t let anyone else make that decision for you.

I can take care of an African Grey parrot with no issues however because birds are different species, this does not mean I would be good at taking care of other type of birds. I suck at taking care of Linnies. I bought two linnies from a breeder who was downsizing his stock and they died after I took them to P.J pets for a wing and nails trim. I thought the guy gave me sick birds however I did a necropsy and it came back saying Stress. I thought what?!?! I’ve been around lots of birds and never had an issue… Well for me, small birds are not my thing. I’m managing to take care of the lovebird but Linnies, Parrotlets and budgies I stay away from. Even the lovebird, I’m hesitant on keeping because I lost her parents so obviously I wasn’t good at taking care of them either.

I think it is very important for people to realize that birds are DIFFERENT SPECIES NOT JUST DIFFERENT BREEDS. So do not pick a bird because oh it has pretty colors, really see if they match you and your lifestyle.

What type of bird matches you? There may be multiple… For me…

I’m an African Grey type of gal because he needs time out of the cage but doesn’t want to spend all that time cuddling. A hug and kiss here and there is cool. Doing training is cool. He likes to chill close to you but doesn’t have to be all over you, that is totally just like me.
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I’m also a black capped conure type of gal because she knows what she wants, how to warn you about what she doesn’t like. Very expressive like me hahaha. My issue with my black capped conure is she loves to be on you 24/7, for me that’s a con because I need to be able to move around as my household is very hectic. However her and I have come to an understanding so we are definitely getting better as she will just chill on my shoulder as long as she knows I will be moving around at the same time.
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I’m also a quaker type of gal because piper LOVES music and his own space just like me.

I love my Indian Ringnecks’ independence but I miss their “need” for me so I’m not sure if I can call myself an Indian Ringneck type of gal as yet… Only more time will tell (but I have 2 of them now so I must be, right? lol)
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I DEFINITELY AM A LORY/LORIKEET TYPE OF GAL! I’m absolutely in love with their personalities, although opposite of me, they keep me on my toes and remind me of my son in a way.


Anyways, what I’m trying to say is PLEASE do your research before selecting your parrot. A lot of people don’t and this is how these beautiful animals ends up in shelters.

Parenting Parrots

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Training a Lorikeet

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When I first got my lorikeets, it was hard to figure out how to train them because they are such high energy parrots but also because I was so used to training with seeds and knew that wasn’t an option for them. I took to YouTube for advice and found nothing so I wacked my brain a bit and decided if they only eat wet nectar in two feedings and it’s their favorite, why not use that for training and then do a smoothie/wet nectar mix for in  their cage time? I found the Facebook Lorikeet group but they don’t really talk about training so then I began to wonder… Do people train their lorikeets??

Well, it’s been a year since I’ve had Rasta, my green naped lorikeet and although I wish he was more cuddly, I see us getting there. He wrestles with my fingers while on his back, his vocabulary is amazingly strong and he steps up, turns around, gives kisses, lets me touch his beak, waves hi, gives high five and gives his feet when asked. He tries to avoid biting and only uses his beak when he has too. So how did I do it?
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I took lots of breaks hahaha especially when I felt myself getting frustrated. Clicker conditioning and target training was easy, the same with any parrot. It was the more hands on stuff that was difficult like stepping up, getting to touch his beak without being bit, wrestling with my fingers. I did what I usually do, had a clicker, his nectar for his reward and I let him dictate the situation. Meaning, I followed his lead. If I asked for him to step up but he refused, I left him alone, not providing him with  any nectar. I waited 10 seconds and would come back and cue something he did know like target training a few times and then re-ask for the step up  behavior and 9 out of 10 times I would get it. This is how most of our training sessions went.

Rasta is an explorer, he doesn’t like to be confided to one place so I also broke our training sessions up to give him a break and let him explore. I found that I got more results by doing a five-minute training session, then a 10 minute break then a next 5 minute session over an hour than I would get doing 20 minutes straight. Patience, is very important when dealing with these guys. I got quite a few nips until I learned to respect his option to say no. Now, it’s very rare. I wouldn’t change Rasta for the world and I’m so excited to see where and what we will be able to accomplish next year.DSC_0039

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Parenting Parrots

A Lorikeet Dry Mix

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I found this recipe in the lorikeet group on Facebook and thought it would be great to share for those who want to try their hands at making their own lorikeet mix. My hands aren’t this talented unfortunately so I can’t tell you how your feathered friends would like it at the moment but hopefully one day I’ll be able to try (it does seem pretty simple enough):

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Internet Picture

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Parenting Parrots

Top 5 Things you should know about the Lorikeet Parrot

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Here is my list for the Top 5 things you need to know when having a Lorikeet as an owner lol.

1) Lorikeets make an EXCELLENT alarm
They are easily awoken and they wait until they sense danger and will send out a high pitch squeal to alarm the rest of the household. Even when they’re in their own world of playing, they can make noise. It’s amazing to watch them roll around on their backs with a ball in their mouth but yet they are still able to make lots of sounds.

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2) Lorikeets need to play
This is very important as Lorikeets are extremely intelligent and can get bored very easily. They have a very high energy level and needs constant supervision. Whether it is two or more lories playing, a lory playing with the toy in their cage or a lorikeet playing with you… Playing needs to be included someway, somehow.

3) Loud Volume
The noise level isn’t so bad if you can tolerate a loud pitch every now and then. With that being said, they are the most vocal and the highest pitch parrots I have EVER owned. But my green naped talks my head off lol and I can always see him listening so intensively to every word I say.

4) Specialized Diet
It’s true, they do require a specialized diet but to be honest it was hard at first but now after having them for a year, it’s almost (ALMOST LOL) like 2nd nature. They eat fruits and veggies along with wet and dry nectar.

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My 1 yr old Rasta!

5) Lorikeets have watery poop
This is just a given since their specialized diet is in a liquid form versus the pellet food that is for other birds. I don’t find this to be a negative though. Yes, they squirt their poop all over (YUCK) so it messes up your walls, floors, EVERYWHERE! But it’s a simple wipe off unlike other parrots’ poop that gets hard and you have to scrub it off with some elbow grease. Now the downfall can be if you don’t clean it daily (like a quick wipe off every day) then it can be more difficult to clean but at that point, I put the cage in the shower under hot water pressure and the cage usually washes right off without any more effort from me.

BONUS) LoriBites/ Nips are normal
This is not to say your bird should be biting you all the time however Lorikeets tend to nip/bite more than other parrots(I’m a bit on the fence about this one especially since I wrote a bite is YOUR fault). They might bite out of displeasure, out of frustration or because they are overly stimulated. Most times they are really excited and that’s why it happens once they have a bond with you, it isn’t to hurt you. The bite is not always a bad thing coming from a lorikeet, it just sucks for the person who is receiving the bite because of their narrow beak, they can draw blood pretty easily. My green naped uses his mouth on me a lot but most times it’s just exploring. I can tell the difference between him BITING and him playing with his beak on me. If you are a new lorikeet owner with time you will be able to tell the difference too.

With all this being said… I love having a green naped lorikeet and I can’t wait to see what else we do together and what else he may teach me or I him…

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Rainbow Lorikeet aka Green Naped

Parenting Parrots!

Re-Homing

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So, I’m finally able to start posting again and I don’t ever want to stop. I never realized it before but I truly enjoy sharing my knowledge with other people. Now this is more of a sad post than anything else… I re-homed 2 of my parrids :(.

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Story:

I found myself in a financial bind and needed to find a way out so I started working 2 fulltime jobs :(. I did that for almost 6 months straight (hence why I couldn’t post). I only had time to sleep and shower whenever I was home. I still had 2 days off a week but those were my only 2 days to clean, spend time with the kids, catch up on sleep as I was only sleeping about 3 hours a day during the week and get errands done. So my parrids were being neglected. Literally they were in jail and only being fed pellets. Even the cleanliness of their cages were suffering. I felt guilty but what could I do? I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. My kids were suffering too: weren’t getting mommy’s home cooked meals anymore, couldn’t help my son with homework, so his grades dropped. There comes a time when a person has to choose family life over paying off bills…. I finally made that decision.

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Family First (internet pic)

6 months of being away was enough for me plus I was pregnant at the same time (this I didn’t find out until later) so you can imagine how drained I was. I finally left one job and stayed with my night job but then my night job became more stressful as the day person wasn’t doing their job and my pregnancy couldn’t handle the stress so the doctor put me on sick leave. I was sad because my financials would definitely take another hit but on a more positive note – My family could see me again.
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As I’m sure you know Lovebirds who are not interacted with daily can turn away from being hand tamed very quickly which is exactly what happened with our Peach-faced Lovebird, Boss. Now with that being said, Boss always had a bit of attitude in her anyways, hahaha. I could have definitely spent the time to re-train her but I knew what she wanted. She was really showing breeding tendencies and at this time she was sharing a cage with her best friend, Piper, our Quaker parrot but he couldn’t satisfy her needs, so I decided to rehome her into a breeding program. I always knew that I might have to do that with Boss as she was parent raised and I seen her wants long before it became completely obvious. I put an ad up on Kijiji for her and within a day found a man in Brampton who was trying to breed lovebirds. We spoke for a bit and I gave her to him. It warmed my heart to hear his feedback on her. He loved her, she was completely tame with him. He was so impressed with her that he wanted to know if I had more birds I could give him. Unfortunately not, but I was happy to know he was happy and that she would be happy. I do miss her from time to time but I know she is getting what she wanted so my heart is at ease.

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Boss doing “touch/grab” taming. I call it the hovering method.

The next parrid I had to say bye too was one of my rainbow lorikeets. I still very much miss her but again the home where she was given too had nothing but positive feedback to say about her. Lorikeets are just like Lovebirds in a sense, where if you don’t interact with them daily they can revert back very quickly and that’s exactly what happened with Marlee. Rasta was more trusting of us so it wasn’t long ’til I was able to get him back around. With Marlee now, she didn’t want anything to do with me or the kids or anything. She was giving me a hard time to even clean her cage, change her food bowls or anything. Within a few days I had several inquiries for her but one inquiry stood out more than the rest. So I gave her to that household. Marlee kept flying back to me like she didn’t want me to leave her and that broke my heart but I spoke to the female and she said Marlee is doing WONDERFUL. She was nipping when I first dropped her off but soon stopped. The family loves her and she gets a lot of out of the cage time.

Rehoming parrots is not easy when you truly care about their well-being. Piper, our Quaker was down for a while when Boss first left but since then he has come around and is very happy. I can’t remove her favorite toy out of his cage or else he will get upset so I know he hasn’t forgotten her but he has moved on from the heartbreak. Rasta, our green-naped lorikeet kept calling for his sister for a few days after she was gone but he too has come around and doesn’t call for her anymore. Marlee has only been gone for 2 week from this post being posted.

Talk about hidden blessings though because when this was all happening a female contacted me asking if I could take her 2 cockatiels named Chiko and Maro. At first I was just going to give them to a friend of mine who wanted a cockatiel but they are new to the parrot world and I think two parrots would be a lot for a new owner, so we’ve added them to our flock. They came with their cage and a new bag of food. I bought them some new toys and they are very happy joining the flock. Still not sure if I will give them to my friend however I told them to do a bit more research before I would be willing to even consider it so we’ll see.

We lost 2 parrids but we gained two more. Rehoming love ones is never easy but if you must please try and find them the best loving home possible.

Parenting Parrots