Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hurricane Season Is Here... Is Your Bird Ready?

This room is full of birds and other exotic animals that were rescued from Galveston Island after Hurricane Ike

Hurricane Season is officially here for the Atlantic Basin and the first Tropical Low has formed.
What does this mean for bird owners like myself?
It means it's time to double check your preparations and put the finishing touches on training the behaviors that will help you in the event of an emergency.
But don't panic... if you are not prepared with an emergency kit and have not thought about what behaviors will be helpful in an emergency, it's not too late!

Here is a parrot disaster kit list that I put together with Code 3 Associates:

Food and Water

Food; two weeks supply – pelleted diets, seeds, dried fruits/veggies and nuts – in airtight container, rotated every 3 months

Small tubs of fruit salad in own juice is great as they provide fresh fruit and fluids but keep a long time.

Certain Baby foods are also good as they are mushy which is a comfort food for birds. Be careful as to vitamin and mineral supplementation which may be too high for a bird

Your birds favorite teats – rotated every 3 mo

Water; two week supply – estimate 1 to 2 quarts per day for drinking, bathing and cleaning

Food and water dishes – have extra and non breakable

Restraint and ID

ID - band number or microchip – have this information on your paperwork

Towels - wrap the avian in

Portable cage with perches - marked with your contact info

Recent photographs - including you or family member in picture

Wire, pliers, and duct tape – to repair portable cage

Wire cutters - to remove a stuck bird in an emergency


Newspapers for lining the cage

Paper towels

Dish soap


Garbage bags

Care and Comfort

Blanket or sheet to cover cage


Hot water bottle

Flashlight w/extra batteries

Grooming supplies

Spray bottle for misting

Battery Powered fan - a small one can be attached to the cage and make the difference on a hot day

Records and medications

Vet phone number

Copies of proof of ownership papers

Copies of medical records

Medication – two week supply of any medication the bird is on

First aid Kit –

First aid book for Birds

3 X 5 conforming bandages

4 X 4 gauze pads

Graze rolls

Antiseptic wipes

Triple antibiotic cream




Instant cold pack

Disposable gloves

Two rolls of vet wrap

Items in addition to basic kit


Blunt nose scissors

Styptic powder

Cornflower – to stop bleeding on wings or soft tissue

Hemostat - for pulling broken blood feathers

Cotton swabs

Feeding syringes - incase hand feeding is needed)

NOTE: Birds are better being transported in the plastic animal kennels with a low perch, however this is not suitable for any longer than a day at the very most as most birds can chew through the plastic in short order.

Similarly cages (either small regular ones or collapsible travel ones) are dangerous for travel as the bird can easily panic and break wings or get them stuck in the bars.

Two cages are best, a travel cage and a collapsible wire one for when the destination has been reached.

Keep the disaster kit in an easy to grab and go bag or tub that is in a central location. If there the entrance that you keep the kit at is blocked it won't be of much use.

Make sure you know the best way to pack your car with people, animals, and supplies for both. Then be sure to plan at least 3 different routes out of town to your intended destinations (have more than one of these too!).

Finally make sure everyone in the family knows the plan.

If you must leave without your animals make sure you leave some indication on your house that you have animals and how many of each species. Inside the home in an obvious position leave basic care instructions, your emergency contact number, your out of state contact number and your vets number. This will allow emergency responders to care for your animals and get in contact with you.

Next post I will cover some behaviors which you can train to help you and emergency responders in an emergency.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Global Warming A Threat To Parrots

As this article on Tree Hugger shows, the threat to wild parrots is not only from direct human destruction of habitat and trapping, but also from our influence on Global Warming.

The islanders are evacuating their island to head for higher ground after the rise in sea levels have made their agricultural existence impossible.

They predict that the island will be under water by 2015 (that's only 6 years from now!). But while the humans have made it to safety, what of the wildlife that's left behind.
Many of our beloved birds are island dwellers in the Southern Pacific, so in 50 years, with sea levels rising the way they are, where will they be?

Please do your bit to end Global Warming (a lot of it will save you money over time too! Think of all the extra bird toys you can buy), and help to save our birds native habitat.