Archive for the ‘birds’ Category

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16 Apr 11

by Susan Chamberlain of 14KaratParrot

Traveling or Moving, with pet birds?

Planning to travel with your bird? Whether it’s a vacation or relocation, the trip can be a positive experience for both of you. My first long-distance move with a carload of parrots was a revelation. In spite of my insecurities (Would the birds eat? Would they be traumatized?), my flock traveled extremely well. I had even believed the Amazons would be stressed to the point of silence during the trip. At the first bridge plaza they proved me wrong and gave the toll collector an earful. Four moves and 15 years later, the “green gang” is still thriving.

Okay, you’ve got the travel cage or carrier, cover, portable T-stand and first aid kit. Now it’s time to think about food and water. Tailor my “Top Ten” list to you specific needs:

#1. Resist the urge to share “fast food”, or even restaurant food with your birds! Sure, that burger you got at the drive-through is delicious, but it may be contaminated with enough e-coli to make your bird desperately ill. Tasty tacos, embellished with cheese and salsa may be loaded with enough sodium to cause salt toxicity. You’re miles from a familiar veterinarian. What now? Tempt your pet with tasty avian snacks at meal stops instead.

#2. Bring along a supply of bottled water for your bird to drink. Water supplies along your route may be ’safe’ to drink, but may upset the system of a possibly stressed bird. You’ll rarely know in advance if the water along your route is well water or reservoir supplied. If you plan to use commercially bottled water, get your bird accustomed to it before your departure date. Alternatively, you can boil, then bottle your regular drinking water in clean jugs or smaller water bottles for use along the way. Once at your destination, you can gradually introduce your bird to the local water. I’ve done this by mixing increasing quantities of local water with water brought from home.

Portable water filters are available at variety and home improvement stores. Consider taking one of these along if you’ll be on an extended trip.

Did you know? You can kill bacteria by boiling water, but a filter is required to remove heavy metals and
other paniculate matter.

#3. Substitute juicy produce for water while in motion. Most birds drink little, if any water while actually in transit, or the water provided may be spilled. Spillage can be reduced somewhat by using a drinking water bottle, mounted to the travel cage or carrier, but do be aware that birds or the motion of a vehicle can cause these to drain as well. To provide necessary hydration, install a dish of juicy fruit and vegetables inside the travel home. This is especially important when your bird is traveling separately, perhaps in the cargo hold of an airplane.

When traveling by car, offer your pet water from a cup or dish at rest stops…inside your securely closed vehicle, of course! My budgies weren’t inclined to drink or eat produce on our trip, so I misted them with water from a spray bottle several times throughout the day. They preened the moisture from their feathers and licked it from the cage bars. A large, wet lettuce leaf, clipped to the cage bars got their attention on the second day of our journey.

#4. Pack a sufficient supply of seed and pellets in non-breakable containers. Those with screw-on tops are best, as they will not pop off if the container is dropped. Place containers where they will not be subjected to direct sunlight streaming through car windows.

#5. Store perishable food, fruit and vegetables in containers inside a cooler. I seal ice cubes inside resealable plastic bags so the food doesn’t end up under water at day’s end. (I don’t use re-freezable ‘blue ice’ on long trips because after it melts, it’s just excess baggage.) Replenish the ice at the hotel when you stop for the night.

#6. Allow plenty of time for your trip. Check into your motel early in the evening so your bird will have time to settle down, eat and spend a little tune out of its cage. Some birds, like my Senegal parrots, will refuse to eat a morsel of food while inside a car, so it’s important to schedule overnight stops on long trips.

#7. Feed fresh food sparingly before departure. Go easy on the eggs and table food, as a bird with a tendency toward motion sickness may vomit the contents of the full crop. When traveling, I like to awaken early, prepare my birds’ breakfast and allow them tune to eat while I shower and re-pack the car.

You may further reduce the risk of carsickness by covering carriers or cages with a white or light colored cloth while in transit. Birds will be able to perceive daylight, but will not be subjected to the sights of the road. Take your pet on several short drives prior to departing on a long trip so you can observe its reaction. Consult your avian veterinarian for specific advice regarding motion sickness.

#8. One dish filled with seed/pellets and another stocked with fruit and vegetables is all most birds require while on the road. My Amazons followed their regular eating patterns on the road: breakfast at the motel in the morning, then toward dusk, I’d hear the crunching of seed and pellets from the back seat of the car.

#9. Use a mess-containment device to reduce cage fall-out and spillage in your car and in hotels. I use the Mess Catcherfrom Pet Butler (call 800-452-9340 for local retailer or visit www.petbutler.com). a lightweight, clear tray type container for my Amazon’s travel cages, and the wrap-around Birdcage Barrier from Birdbrains™ (888-779-4999 for info) for the smaller birds’ cages. Both are available in a variety of sizes and come in handy at home and away.

#10. Remove hanging toys, treats, swings and other accessories from cages and carriers while traveling. Install dishes securely. Allow your bird to spend time in and on its travel home well before your departure date. Offer a favorite treat or two so your pet will associate the temporary home with something pleasant. My Amazons are still so attached to their travel cages that they insist on spending some time in them every day!

Bon voyage!

TRAVEL SUPPLIES

Bird Food

Supply of bird’s regular food, seed, pellets and treats.

Fresh food, packed in containers inside cooler.

Supplies

Box or carrier for bird food and supplies

Cooler

Re-closeable plastic bags for ice cubes

Sharp knife for cutting fruit & veggies Plastic spoons Small cutting board Vegetable washing solution Anti-microbial soap Unbreakable food containers Bottled water

Electrolyte replacement beverage for birds that suffer from stress while traveling (Pedialyte™ or similar product; consult your avian vet for specific advice)

Portable water filter

Extra dishes for stands or travel cages

Mess containment device for cage or portable stand

Paper towels

Immersion heater or ‘hot pot’ to heat water or baby food.

Thermometer, if you’re feeding baby birds

Small trash bags

Hand-held vacuum

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05 Mar 11

By Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com

The Long Island Pet Expo drew in large crowds from across LI on Saturday, March 5, 2011, and with rain in the forecast for Sunday, expects the same turnout.  There is something for every type of pet or animal lover, whether you like dogs, pot bellied pigs, turtles, snakes, parrots and other wild life – this is the best place to see everything under one roof!

If you are thinking of adding a new pet to be a member of your family – there are rescue groups from all areas of LI with pets that are available for adoption from adorable little Yorkie, cats and kittens, amazing American Pit Bull Terriers, wonderful mixed breeds, ferrets and more.  Stop by each booth and get to know your local rescues, you may just find you new best friend.

One of the sweetest, adorable Pit Bulls looking for a Furever home at the Expo.

There are also fantastic educational shows and demonstrations for kids and families alike, like the Rainforest Reptiles Shows and the Birds of Prey Program.  You will also be oohhh and ahhed watching the flyball, dancing dogs, agility dogs, and the famous poker playing dog “Jilli Dog” and her friends. The bleacher stands were packed full of families watching and cheering on the different shows.  If you love cats, there is a cat show going on at the same time – some cat breeds you may have not seen in person before.  Tons of vendors too – if you are looking to purchase pet products for your pets.

If you were not able to make it today, the Pet Expo is taking place on Sunday, March 6 as well from 10am to 6pm at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood, NY.  For more details, cost and directions click here.  Be sure to pick up your complimentary copy of the ‘Pet Press’ published by the Long Island Press.

Also see Sunday’s schedule below.

SUNDAY – March 6

Dog Ring

10:30 AM       Agility & Frisbee Demonstrations by Doggie U

and LI Road Rage

11:15 AM       Dog Pals Dog Trick Show

12:00 Noon    Classic K9’s

12:45 PM       Dancing with Your Dogs

1:00 PM         Jilli Dog

1:30 PM         Agility and Flyball Demonstrations by Doggie U

and LI Road Rage

2:15 PM         Classic K9

3:00 PM         Dog Pals Dog Trick Show

3:45 PM         Dancing with Dogs

4:15 PM         Classic K9 Dog Show

5:00 PM         Agility, Flyball & Frisbee Demonstrations by  Doggie U

and LI Road Rage

Stage

11:00 AM      Rainforest Reptile Show

12:00 Noon   Petland Discounts Traveling Pet Show

12:30 PM      Birds of Prey Program

1:00 PM        Rainforest Reptile Show

1:30 PM        Dog Pals- How to Use Feeding Time to Train your Dog

2:15 PM        Pet Safe Coalition – “Leave No Animal Behind”

3:00 PM        Rainforest Reptile Show

3:30 PM        Petland Discounts Traveling Pet Show

4:00 PM        Birds of Prey Program

5:00 PM        Rainforest Reptile Show

Cat Ring

TICA CAT SHOW 10:00 am will continue all day until conclusion

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08 Jan 11

By Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com

There is a magical place on Long Island if you like nature, birds, and seeing wild animals up close and personal, and no it’s not the zoo, game park or sanctuary.  A nature preserve on the north shore of the South Fork is one of best places on Long Island to observe nature and have wild birds actually land in your hand.  The Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge is a treasure that many Long Islanders have either never heard of or have yet to visit.  It’s beautiful in every season, but something magical happens when there is a fresh fallen snow.  Maybe it’s the fact that there are less people there and more wildlife walking around.  The birds are always very active, but in the winter they are amazing.  You will never see so many bright red cardinals in one place at one time, and for some Long Islander’s you will see birds you have never seen before at your back yard feeder.

If you are looking for something to do outside with your now cabin fevered up kids, or maybe your kids have never been this close to nature, Morton’s is definitely worth the trip whether you live 5 minutes away or an hour away.  There is no other place that I know of like it.  On any given day your can see families of deer walking around, wild turkeys who are not the least bit scared of you, bunnies, squirrels, red tailed hawks, and of course the birds: chickadees, nut hatches, blue jays, tons of cardinals, sparrows and many other species, who will literally greet you at the entrance. It’s quite a spectacle.

Entrance

The first time I ever went, I was with family members and it was a freezing cold day in February of 2006, we had no idea what the place was or that we would be bombarded by birds, and followed through the trails by them.  It was really funny.  At one point we turned around and there had to be at least 30 red (male) cardinals in on tree.

Pair of Cardinals

There is a trail that leads down to the bay beach, (maybe a mile long), and there is a look out deck equipped with binoculars and the view is spectacular.  Another part of the trail loops around through the woods and you pass and pond with a deck for observing wildlife, and you will also cross over a few short wooden foot bridges.  The variety of the landscape at Morton’s is quite interesting too, from wooded trails, tall pine trees, to a swampy feel near the pond to a magnificent bay beach – there is something to see around every turn.

Snow covered trail

View from lookout deck

If you have never been, or have only visited in the summer, you may just want to pack up the kids in their winter gear and head out for a day trip.  This place will not disappoint – and wouldn’t it be nice to get those kids off of the video games for a day?

This is a nature preserve so there are rules, like no pets allowed, not even your little cute dog – leave him home.  No bicycles, and please don’t liter or take things out of the park.

Directions and all info can be found here.  More photo’s below.

Hungry little Tufted Titmouse

White Breasted Nuthatch

Black-capped Chickadee deciding which sunflower seed to go for!

Another Chickadee

Slide show here:

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04 Jan 11

Into: Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com
Story by Pamela Fitzpatrick, of YourDogWalkers, shihtzu58@optonline.net

Wednesday, January 5, 2011 is National Bird Day celebrating the diverse species of parrotheads, macaws, parakeets, and wild birds alike. Seasoned birders and novices will learn about conservation, dangers affecting wild parrots and health care for pet birds and birds at your back yard feeders. An interesting species of mini parrots called parrotlets, is brought to light by Pamela Fitzpatrick, read below about these cuties:

“I recently had lunch with a friend, who has several parrotlets. I’ve always loved birds, but didn’t know much about these beautiful little guys. Turns out these mini parrots make great pets, all the benefits of a parrot without the larger size.

Parrotlets (“little parrot”) are very small parrots that are native to South and Central America. In the wild, they travel in flocks of up to 100 birds. With their striking colors, this must be an awesome sight!

Like lovebirds, they are very social, and can form strong pair bonds in the absence of human companionship. For this reason, they are often kept as pairs. You can keep a single parrotlet happy however, by spending lots of time with it and giving it exercise and mental stimulation. (For that matter, providing a fun and entertaining cage environment helps keep any kind of pet bird pet busy when you aren’t around).

Like the better well known cockatiel, parrotlets are intelligent and curious with speaking and whistling capabilities. Some learn to talk, while others never will. As a general rule, males are more talkative than females. In addition to mimicking tunes and sounds, they can learn a vocabulary of 10-15 words.

The most common species of parrolet are the Pacific (Celestial) or GreenRump. Birds of both genders are mostly green, while the males have gorgeous blue markings.

If you’ve been thinking about adding a parrot to your family, maybe these smaller versions are right for you! They are easy to care for, and require a lot less room than their larger parrot cousins. With proper care, they can live 10-15 years. For more information, check out the international parrolet society at www.internationalparrotletsociety.org.”

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15 Nov 10

NYC Pet Product Showcase ...

By Nancy Hassel, LIPetPlace.com

No Place Like Home, Pet Product Showcase

Last Wednesday I had the pleasure of being invited to a media event for 25 of the most elite, beautifully designed and innovative pet products from companies across the US.  This exclusive pet product showcase, No Place like Home, that took place in Manhattan was presented by Pet Socialite Events and hosted by the fabulous pet trend and lifestyle expert, Charlotte Reed.  Among the press attending the event were various celebrities, most notably Richard Belzer and his dog BeBe an adorable poodle-fox terrier mix. 

  
Richard Belzer & BeBe checking out products

There was also elaborately designed ‘pet bedroom suite’ to tour that was decorated to meet the needs of pets and their owners.  

Some of the companies or manufacturers that were showcasing their products were: Furminator; Kyjen (Outward Hound); Sturdi Products; Luxury Pets; Bamboo; Hartz; Thunder Shirt; Premier; Designer Catbox; Unleashed Life; YepYup; Ecosmart; CitiKitty; R2 Solutions and more.  One of the companies had a very unique product, nothing this pet professional has every seen before – agility for pet fish – I kid you not, more to come on this.  This event was pretty crowded and filled with many pet press enthusiasts.   

  
If you look closely to left low hand corner you might spot a certain NJ House wife holding her cat, Grandma Wrinkles.

After receiving many unexpected pet product freebies from the event, what else to do but put them to the ultimate test, product reviews from my dog Max.  Over the next few weeks, we will be rating the products based on Max’s liking, how the product holds up, quality and more.  So be sure to look out for his reviews soon!  The first product being reviewed is doing quite well, here’s a teaser picture of Max getting his first sniff: