It is that wonderful time of year again when we ex-northerners try to imagine some leaves changing bright hues of red and orange against a bright blue sky, or sparkling snowflakes on the ground, to remind us that winter is rapidly approaching, and with it Hanukah and Xmas. The New Year approaches, reminding us all of our past achievements while we dream of our future accomplishments.
And what a year it has been. Not since I moved down here in 1990 has the weather caused so much havoc. To those of us that lost power, think of those who lost their roofs. To those that lost their roofs, think of those that lost their homes. To those that lost their homes, think of those that lost their lives. Most of us were indeed very fortunate, and so were most of our pets.
So this time for the holidays, why not make it a new year’s resolution to spend more time with your pets. We all lead such full lives with hectic schedules that sometimes at the end of the day we just are too tired to give our little birds some time and affection. So I have some basic ideas for gifts below that help you give your bird the gift that keeps on giving - your time.
Make it a shower perch, a nice wooden or plastic ribbed perch with suction cups on the end so that you can spend your morning bathroom time with your companion parrot. Not only is this a great routine to establish with your parrot so that you can observe his/her behavior for early signs of sickness, but it is also a time that your parrot will look forward to each and every day, cherishing the moments spent with you in the morning as you belt out, “It’s getting’ hot in here, so take off all your….”
Make it a small portable playpen that you can carry around the house. With this playpen, you can have your parrot in the room with you while you are on the computer, eating a meal, or just watching TV. Just remember that most parrots get aggressive when they are above your eye level, so keep the perches below that point.
Make it some soft, easy to destroy wooden toys and hand toys so they won’t be bored while you are at work, or some acrylic toys that you put treats in, and your parrot has to work at to get the treats out, or a nice leather toy that they can untie and you can tie back again, or a rope toy that they can preen for hours, or a parrot piñata filled with treats of their choice, or a swing they can practice their acrobatics on.
Make it a new healthy diet and healthy treats they can enjoy, or some home cooked birdie treats once in awhile (or every day).
Make it a book for you about parrot behavior or training that can help you understand your companion’s behavior, so that you may enjoy more quality time together.
Make it a bigger cage so there is more room to play if you are now working more than you were when you first met your parrot.
Make it a point to bring your parrot outside for five to ten minutes a day so they can enjoy the fresh air and direct sunlight that is so therapeutic and fulfilling to them.
Make it another companion for your parrot if you really lack the time for any of the above
Or simply make it a new year’s resolution to make your parrot’s life this year a little better than last year.
Just remember that our parrots depend on us for their survival…. So to all a merry Christmas (and Hanukah), and to all a good flight.
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