Fabric is often preserved with formaldehyde, which is a toxic chemical which can outgas until it is washed thoroughly. Upholstery fabric and carpet also contains various chemicals that may outgas toxic chemicals for some time after they come into the home (See Formaldehyde and Outgassing)
Facial bites from parrots are often the result of people allowing their parrots on their shoulders when the parrot can’t be trusted there. Occasionally a parrot will lunge at someone’s face so unless you know a bird can be trusted in the situation you are in with it, “do NOT lead with your face!”
FALLING IN LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT WITH A PARROT- see Impulse Buying
Fast food is a NO-NO for our parrots. Too much salt, too much fat, too much sugar, too many calories, too much fear of contamination (especially the possibility, although somewhat remote, of e-coli.)
FATS IN THE PARROT DIET
Some fats in a parrots diet are essential but they should be from nuts, seeds or pellets and not from animal fat.
FAULT (NOT THE PARROT'S)
In the grand scheme of life with a parrot, people must take responsibility for their parrot’s behavior because a parrot simply is not equipped to understand and live in our living rooms without our guidance. Consequently, it is never the parrot’s fault.
While some well-socialized young parrots will form bonds with just about everyone in a household who treats them well, many parrots chose a favored person in a household. It is usually the person that they are most comfortable with. This is usually the person who provides them with the clearest guidance and therefore, confuses them the least. This person usually wins their trust quickly. It is a myth that male parrots automatically bond to women and hen parrots bond to men. A young parrot may bond to someone in a new home who is similar to the person who raised and/or hand-fed them but that bond is based on familiarity and not on gender. The same thing is true of a rescue parrot; they will tend to trust someone who reminds them of a previously trusted person. However, if someone in the household reminds them of someone the didn't like, it is not hopeless unless the new person just gives up. Parrots are very attracted to our energy and a calm confident energy can win a parrot over even if that bird has 'preconceived notions' based on problems with a previous person.
Parrot bonding is not engraved in stone and parrots can change and develop new and varied bonds throughout their lives. The parrot's favored person may change if the situation changes. This doesn't mean that the bond is lost forever. It usually doesn't take much of the right kind of attention to get the bond back. The parrot can also form bonds with other people in the home and be handled by them. However, the relationship with the favored person may need to be taken into consideration. For example, in some situations, other people may not be able to handle the parrot when the favored person is there. There are ways to get around that (see warm potato). Greys often talk in the voice of the "less favored person" and may appreciate attention from them but that may be limited to an occasional head skritch through the cage bars. Otherwise the bird may not want to be handle by the less favored person. unless the favored person is gone.(see Less favored person)
FEAR BEHAVIOR - see Phobic Behavior
FEAR BEHAVIOR AND POSTURES
If a parrot is afraid, he or she may either withdraw and stand tall and skinny with feathers tucked tight to the body. If the parrot is very threatened in his cage, the bird may try to fly off and escape and this often results in parrots thrashing in their cages and injuring themselves.
FEATHER CARE AND FEATHER DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR .pdf
Publication by Sally Blanchard with a Section by Tammy Jenkins D.V.M. $12.00
Unless you veterinarian prescribes something or recommends something for your parrot’s feather condition, the only thing that should ever be used on feathers is water.
FEATHER DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR (Feather picking)
Any feather destructive behavior such as feather plucking, feather shredding, feather pulling, and feather snipping. It is my belief that a great deal of feather destructive behavior starts for physical and environmental reasons. It should never be presumed that feather destructive behavior is simply behavioral or hormonal.
When a parrot fluffs his feathers, it can mean several things. One is that he has just preened and is through and shaking the feather dust from his feathers. Another body and feather fluff with a tail wag can mean that a parrot is through with something and ready to go on to something else. However, if a parrot fluffs up his feathers and remains that way, it could mean that the bird is sick and you should consult your avian veterinarian. This is especially true of other symptoms of illness are present such as half-mast eyes, drainage from the nares, and swelling around the cere and eyes.
The feather “factories” - openings in the skin that the feathers emerge from. To produce a healthy feather, the “factories” have to have the right raw materials from a nutritious fresh food diet.
Feathers are complex structures with different shapes and functions. The various feathers on the body are used for flight, insulation, waterproofing, protection from injury, protective coloration, and behavioral communication. In most birds, feathers grow along feather tracts. When a parrot raises his crest or fluffs his breast feathers, the repositioning of the feathers is controlled by muscles. Baths or showers are essential for feather health, and parrots preen their feathers to keep them clean and properly "zipped." The individual feathers are quite complex; vanesattach to the feather shafts. Many barbs attach to the vanes and the barbs are made up of hundreds of barbules with hooklets that attach them together. When your parrot preens, he is making sure that all the hooklets, barbules, barbs and vanes are all aligned properly. When a bird shivers his feathers after a bath, he is most likely drying the feathers by erecting them along the feather tracts so water drips off of them more readily. This behavior can also be based on temperature control. Without proper maintenance, feathers do not function properly. Nutritional deficiencies and stress cause problems with feather growth, and may result in stress bars, which are breaks or discoloration in the feathers.
FEATHERS AND HEALTH
A lot about a parrot’s health can be determined from looking at the condition and positions of their feathers.Ratty, unpreened feathers are usually a sign of a sick bird. Flaws and stress bars on the feather are often a sign of malnutrition.
A thin tube of keratin that surrounds and protects a growing and grown feather.
The areas of skin where a bird's feathers are attached.
The term for a bird foot, with two toes pointing forward and two toes pointing back is zygodactyl. Parrots have zygodactyl feet that come in handy for tree climbing. I also recommend making sure that your parrot’s feet get washed during his baths or showers. A good foot bath is an important part of bathing. Remember most parrots hold food in their feet. Then it gets on the perches — a bacterial breeding ground. Keep your parrot’s perches clean.
An animal or bird that has been raised and kept in captivity that has escaped or has been released and has become wild in an environment where they are not native.
Fig Parrots are small frugivorous parrots from New Guinea and Australia. The bird shown below is a Demarest's Fig Parrot (Psittaculirostris desmarestii) Some fig parrot species are endangered in the wild due to habitat destruction. There is disagreement as to whether Fig Parrots can be good human companions. I have known of young birds that have been delightful but I don't know if they stayed this way as they matured. This would have to be evaluated on a basis that judges the personalities of the species and the individuals. I had an adult Demarest's fig parrot for a couple of years that was given to me because she killed her mates. She was wild when I got her and I tried to gently tame her but she was not interested. She was in a large outdoor aviary but I couldn't put any other birds with her because she was so aggressive. She was gorgeous. The one advantage she had of living with me is that I had a mature fig tree in my yard. Figs are high in Vitamin A, K, and calcium.
My parrots really enjoyed the fact that I had a fig tree in my yard in California. These seem to have a great deal of what parrots like in a food with the outer skin, red color, and small seeds. They loved it when the tree produced a lot of figs. The trick was to get the figs before the wild birds got to them all. Figs are quite high in vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese.
A behavior that involves a bird moving its head repetitively in a figure-eight motion. This is more common in small birds such as finches as a result of vitamin B deficiency or nerve damage. In parrots, it may be a result of severe lack of stimulation or emotional problems.
Using fingers to feed soft, warm pieces of food or hand-weaning pellets to baby parrot either as a weaning methodor if a parrot needs to be regression weaned for security.
It is important to plan ahead and read up on first aid for basic injuries.
FIRST AID KIT
There are a few good FIRST AID KITS for birds with basic instructions on injuries and what to do until you can get your parrot to a veterinarian. This is a good product to have just in case.
A source of protein in many pet foods. Fish meal is always preserved with ethoxyquin - a rubber hardener also used as a pesticide. Fish meal is made from all of the parts of a fish that don't have another use. This includes skin, fins, bones, the head, innards and even the fish poop - sort of a breeding ground for bacterial contamination. It is all mixed together in a vat and then sold to pet food manufactures. I was told some time ago from a parrot pellet manufacturer that he would not use fish meal in his foods because he could not find a clean enough source of it. The same thing is essentially true of chicken and beef by-products commonly used in pet foods. I don't want this crap in my parrot food and avoid it in my dog and cat foods where it is ubiquitous. (see by-products)
FIXED ACTION PATTERN (FAP)
A pattern where an animal or bird responds to a specific stimulus in the same manner.
FLASH COLOR OR FLASH PATTERN
A color pattern on a bird that is distinctive and identifies that bird from a distance. These color patterns are also used to communicate. An example is seen in the colors on the bend on the wing in this blue-fronted Amazon and on the inner wing of the red-fronted macaw.
FLAX SEED (Flax seed oil, Flax seed meal)
A good source for Essential Fatty Acids. (see Essential Fatty Acids) Can be purchased in health food stores.
External parasites such as fleas, mites, or lice are so rarely a problem with companion parrots that products such as Mite Protectors or insecticide sprays are useless and can be very dangerous for our parrots. Itching and scratching is usually a normal part of feather care. However, if the scratching is severe, this may be caused by dry skin or allergies. The best way to combat dry skin is with addition of essential fatty acids (EFAs) sprinkled on the foods. The most common food allergies in parrots can be corn, wheat, soy, and peanuts.
What baby birds do when they fly for the first time. Parrots are much healthier when they are allowed to fledge. Ii improves their muscle tone, balance,
A parrot chick from the time it is hatched to the time it is in flight training.
FLIGHT AND FLIGHT SKILLS
Skills learned after fledging from actual flight experience and parental observation and teaching.
A social group of birds of the same species. There are mixed flocks that may have several different species of birds that fly together. For example, sometimes there are hornbills flying with African Greys.
There is controversy as to whether or not parrots have a “pecking order” in the wild. However, there is definite evidence that a group of companion parrots in one home will establish a certain parrot as the “leader.” This bird usually demands to come out first or to be fed first. If you have multiple parrots, pay attention and you may be able to tell which one of your parrots is at the top of the “pecking order.”
The time a flock spends interacting with each other. In companion parrot terms, the focused time a person spends with his or her parrot.
A term particularly used with companion parrots to define the human who provides the most Nurturing Guidance. Whether this concept exists in the wild is a moot point because it is a factor with companion parrots.
FLOCK MEMBER - see Human Flock
The normal established patterns and routines of a flock in their natural habitat. Disruption of flock traditions can send a parrot species on a downward spiral. An example was when a major highway and a damn was built separating the roosting and feeding grounds of Golden Conure flocks.
Closely supervised and pre-planned time spent playing with a parrot on the floor or flat surface. (see Bappy Picnic)
"FLOSSING" AND GREYS
Greys (and some other parrots) love to chew on leather strips. Sometimes, they will beak them until they turn mushy. I believe it is a "comfort behavior" that provides pleasure by stimulating the bundles of encapsulated nerve endings in their beaks and tongues (These are called Herbst's corpuscles).
In your face attention totally focused on the parrot. Companion parrots need at least 10 to 30 minutes of consistent focused and interactive attention each and every day to remain secure and trusting Instructional interaction includes play and teaching parrots new behaviors, which can be done in a playful manner.
Substances that can absorb, hold, and transmit infectious germs. These can include your body, clothing, hair, shoes, and possibly even items purchased at a bird mart.
FOOD ADDITIVES TO STAY AWAY FROM
This list is mostly in regards to human diet. I would say that anything on this list would be even more problematic for parrots but in regards to parrots, I would add foods with additives such as ethoxyquin and fish meal, which are not approved for human consumption and, therefore, are not on this list. (see By-products, Ethoxyquin, and Fish Meal)
»Propyl Gallate: This preservative, used to prevent fats and oils from spoiling, might cause cancer. It's used in vegetable oil, meat products, potato sticks, chicken soup base and chewing gum, and is often used with BHA and BHT.
»BHA and BHT: Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are used similarly to propyl gallate -- to keep fats and oils from going rancid. Used commonly in cereals, chewing gum, vegetable oil and potato chips (and also in some food packaging to preserve freshness), these additives have been found by some studies to cause cancer in rats. If a brand you commonly buy uses these additives, look for a different variety, as not all manufacturers use these preservatives.
»Potassium Bromate: This additive is used in breads and rolls to increase the volume and produce a fine crumb structure. Although most bromate breaks down into bromide, which is harmless, the bromate that does remain causes cancer in animals. Bromate has been banned throughout the world, except for in the United States and Japan. In California, a cancer warning would likely be required if it were used, which is why it is rarely used in that state.
»Monosodium glutamate (MSG): MSG is used as a flavor enhancer in many packaged foods, including soups, salad dressings, sausages, hot dogs, canned tuna, potato chips and many more. According to Dr. Russell Blaylock, an author and neurosurgeon, there is a link between sudden cardiac death, particularly in athletes, and excitotoxic damage caused by food additives like MSG and artificial sweeteners. Excitotoxins are, according to Dr. Blaylock, "A group of excitatory amino acids that can cause sensitive neurons to die." Many consumers have also personally experienced the ill effects of MSG, which leave them with a headache, nausea or vomiting after eating MSG-containing foods.
»Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet): This artificial sweetener is found in Equal and NutraSweet, along with products that contain them (diet sodas and other low-cal and diet foods). This sweetener has been found to cause brain tumors in rats as far back as the 1970s, however a more recent study in 2005 found that even small doses increase the incidence of lymphomas and leukemia in rats, along with brain tumors. People who are sensitive to aspartame may also suffer from headaches, dizziness and hallucinations after consuming it.
»Acesulfame-K: Acesulfame-K is an artificial sweetener that's about 200 times sweeter than sugar. It's used in baked goods, chewing gum, gelatin desserts and soft drinks. Two rat studies have found that this substance may cause cancer, and other studies to reliably prove this additive's safety have not been conducted. Acesulfame-K also breaks down into acetoacetamide, which has been found to affect the thyroid in rats, rabbits and dogs.
»Olestra: Olestra is a fat substitute used in crackers and potato chips, marketed under the brand name Olean. This synthetic fat is not absorbed by the body (instead it goes right through it), so it can cause diarrhea, loose stools, abdominal cramps and flatulence, along with other effects. Further, olestra reduces the body's ability to absorb beneficial fat-soluble nutrients, including lycopene, lutein and beta-carotene.
»Sodium nitrite: Sodium nitrite (or sodium nitrate) is used as a preservative, coloring and flavoring in bacon, ham, hot dogs, luncheon meats, corned beef, smoked fish and other processed meats. These additives can lead to the formation of cancer-causing chemicals called nitrosamines. Some studies have found a link between consuming cured meats and nitrite and cancer in humans.
»Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil: The process used to make hydrogenated vegetable oil (or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil) creates trans fats, which promote heart disease and diabetes. The Institute of Medicine has advised that consumers should eat as little trans fat as possible. You should avoid anything with these ingredients on the label, which includes some margarine, vegetable shortening, crackers, cookies, baked goods, salad dressings, bread and more. It's used because it reduces cost and increases the shelf life and flavor stability of foods.
»Food Coloring Blue 1 and Blue 2: Blue 1, used to color candy, beverages and baked goods, may cause cancer. Blue 2, found in pet food, candy and beverages, has caused brain tumors in mice.
»Food Coloring Red 3: This food coloring is used in cherries (in fruit cocktails), baked goods and candy. It causes thyroid tumors in rats, and may cause them in humans as well.
»Food Coloring Yellow 6: As the third most often used food coloring, yellow 6 is found in many products, including baked goods, candy, gelatin and sausages. It has been found to cause adrenal gland and kidney tumors, and contains small amounts of many carcinogens.
»Menadione sodium bisulfate complex: a chemical that is BANNED in human foods. It is referred to as a source of vitamin K activity that is found in pet foods, including all but 3 pelleted parrot diets.
More and more, we are beginning to realize that captive parrots can have allergies to foods like wheat, corn,peanuts and other ingredients commonly found in their foods.
FOOD AS TOYS
Foraging is a significant part of a wild parrot’s life. Putting food on kabobs, in toys, and creating “work” is more enrichment than just placing all a parrot’s food in a bowl.
FOOD BEGGING BEHAVIORS
Postures and calls used by baby parrots to let their parents know they need to be fed. Food begging behaviors that continue past weaning may be a sign of a parrot that was weaned too soon and/or a bird that is insecure. These behaviors include but are not limited to repetitive calls, holding the beak open while calling, wing flicking, puffing up feathers, and being generally "wimpy." (see Regression Weaning, Food Deprivation)
FOOD COLORING IN PARROT FOODS (Artificial)
I don’t believe that putting artificial food coloring in parrot diets is healthy for them and, therefore, I don't advise feeding any pellet with food coloring to parrots. I have seen evidence over the years that food coloring in pellets can actually be detrimental to the health of parrots. Putting food coloring in pellets is of no use from a health consideration and is a gimmick to attract people to buy food, not to improve the quality of the food for the parrots. Food coloring and other chemical additives have NO nutritional value. Would you feed a child nothing but Fruit Loops? There is growing evidence that food coloring may actually prevent the body from metabolizing the nutrients in foods properly so its use may contribute to malnutrition.
In a Bird Talk article, a veterinarian discussed that Eclectus should not be fed pellets with food coloring. Then she states that she sees no problems with food coloring in the diet for parrots of other species and then she mentions that she is the veterinary adviser for Pretty Bird foods, yet Pretty Birds Eclectus food still has artificial food coloring. While eclectus may be more sensitive to processed foods, preservatives, and chemical supplementation, I believe that eclectus are the "canary in the coal mine" when it comes to parrot diet. I think that we will see a lot more problems with other species of parrots after they are on processed, vitaminized pellets as the major part of their diet for an extended period of their lives. I believe that the fresh food diet that is recommended for eclectus is the healthiest diet for all parrots.
Most of the parrot food products with artificial food coloring in them state only that they have artificial colors. They don’t tell us which ones are used and some are far worse than others. Artificial food coloring is made using various mineral compounds, petrochemicals, petroleum, and coal tar, which are clearly damaging to health in that they contain very toxic chemicals. These chemical have been related for many physical diseases and disorders in humans, including behavioral problems, tumors, cancer, sterility, ADHD, kidney problems, migraine headaches, blurred vision, mal-absorption of nutrients, and even the mutation of genes in humans. Some are considered to be carcinogenic. The mostproblematic artificial food colors are blue 1, red 17, yellow 6, red 3, yellow 5, green 3, and orange B. There is a great deal of information on the Internet about food coloring in human foods consumed by children. Legitimate studies with children clearly have shown a connection between food coloring and ADHD, hyperactivity, poor concentration and allergies.
A quote from Dr. Andrew Weil (www.drweil.com). Watch out for artificial colorings and dyes (look for the terms "artificial color added," "U.S. certified color added," "FD & C red no. 3" (or "green" or "blue" or "yellow" followed by any number), as well as artificial sweeteners and monosodium glutamate (MSG). I'm suspicious of chemicals used to dye foods. They are a group of highly reactive molecules that may interact with DNA and increase mutation or cell transformation.
It is just common sense that if artificial colors are so problematic in human foods that they can cause even more problems in parrots who have many dietary sensitivities and sensitivities to toxic substances, whether they are consumed or inhaled.
Parrot Manufactured Diets using artificial food coloring in their foods according to their ingredient lists:
» Brown’s Zoo Vital Parrot Daily Diet w/Fruit
» Kaytee Rainbow Exact
» Pretty Bird – all colored pellets
» Scenic Red Apple, Chili Spice, and Jungle Mix
» Zupreem – Fruit blend
Artificial food coloring is made using various mineral compounds, petrochemicals, petroleum, and coal tar, which are clearly damaging to health in that they contain very toxic chemicals. These chemical have been related for many physical diseases and disorders, including behavioral problems, tumors, cancer, sterility, ADHD, kidney problems, migraine headaches, blurred vision, mal-absorption of nutrients, and even the mutation of genes in humans. Some are considered to be carcinogenic. The most problematic artificial food colors are blue 1, red 17, yellow 6, red 3, yellow 5, green 3, and orange B. There is a great deal of information on the Internet about food coloring in human foods consumed by children. Legitimate studies with children clearly shown a connection between food coloring and ADHD, hyperactivity, poor concentration and allergies. Other studies show that food coloring my prevent the absorption of some nutrients in humans.
One of the problems I have with ingredient lists is that they may state that they have "artificial and natural food coloring" but they don't always tell you which ones are in their food.
Natural food colorings derived from vegetables, fruits, seeds, and spices are generally safe and some are even a source of bioflavanoids, but they are quite expensive in comparison to artificial food coloring so pet food companies are less likely to used them.
My question is this; with the amount of problems processed foods with artifical food coloring and other chemical additives are causing humans, why would be feed these to our parrots who are so much more sensitive to dietary problems than we are?
The technique in which baby birds are encouraged or forced to wean by withholding handfeeding and providing only food they eat on their own. Most baby parrots will actually wean more securely and readily if they are fed abundantly and exposed to a wide variety of nutritious foods at the same time.
FOOD DEPRIVATION AS A TRAINING TOOL
I am totally opposed to making any parrot go hungry in order to tame them or to teach them tricks. This is particularly problematic for companion parrots. It is trust-destroying and can lead to serious problems in the development of young parrots. I was in a bird trainer's back stage area several years ago and saw a 10 month old Green-winged Macaw hanging on the inside of his cage exhibiting extreme food begging behaviors (see Food begging behaviors). I asked why no one was feeding him and the answer was that "he was in training." a ten-month-old Green-winged is still a baby and has not yet stopped growing. In my opinion, to withhold food from a large macaw this age is criminal. It could easily stunt him physically and mentally and create an emotionally insecure macaw. I see nothing wrong with feeding a parrot's normal diet and withholding a favorite treat from him as a reward. For example, if you want to teach some tricks and your parrot loves sunflower seeds, there is nothing wrong with feeding a proper diet and not feeding the seeds except as a reward for the bird learning his new tricks.
FOOD INDEPENDENCE (Feeding Independence)
A parrot chick becomes food independent when he no longer depends on his parents or other adults for any part of his feeding. Since some parrot species continue the process of feeding after their young are capable of eating on their own, total food independence occurs after a bird is weaned.
FOOD IN FOOT (Holding)
Some people believe that whether a parrot holds food in its foot or not can be an indication of whether it has been bred long enough to be considered domesticated. This seems to be a discussion more with cockatiels than any other parrot-family birds.
If a parrot has been production raised, gavage fed (tube fed), food deprived and force-weaned, the bird is likely to experience severe insecurity. Continuing to feed the bird even though it is considered “weaned” and is eating on its own will increase his sense of security. You don't have to start syringe feeding again, just feeding soft, warm foods can really help the bird's emotional health.
Food rigidity is a behavioral problem where a parrot refuses to eat anything other than the limited rigid diet that it was weaned to.This is common in production-raised birds.
FOOD THROWING/FOOD FLINGING
It is normal behavior for many parrots to throw their food around their cage area. In the wild, this type of behavior inadvertently often plants the seeds for food for future generations. In our living rooms, it either makes a mess or feeds the dogs.
FOOD FOR PARROTS: PELLETED AND/OR MANUFACTURED DIET INGREDIENTS
Not all of the ingredients in pelleted or manufactured diets for parrots are healthy or even safe for our parrots. Some are chemical nightmares that have the potential to be toxic and even carcinogenic.
See each item for more information (more will be added as I continue my research)
» ARTIFICIAL COLORS (see Food Coloring)
» CHOLINE CHLORIDE
» COBALT OXIDE
» COPPER SULFATE
» MENADIONE SODIUM BISULFATE COMPLEX
FOODS THAT ARE BAD OR EVEN TOXIC FOR BIRDS
There is a very complete list of healthy and unhealthy or toxic foods plusw food myths in the articles section of this website.
Years ago I had an acquaintance who fed her parrots "a little bit of everything" but this turned out to be "a lot" of foods that were really unhealthy for her birds. Her theory was that "a little bit" of pizza, a little bit of Danish, a half of a cookie, a taste of ice cream, a corn chip, a French fry, some of her taco with a little bit of cheese, a bite of her hamburger, a sip of her soft drink or her milk shake, and a small piece of her desert would not be a problem. But of course, they were and her birds all were overweight and unhealthy. The basic belief is that if it is healthy for humans, it is healthy for parrots. Conversely if it is unhealthy for people, it is unhealthy for parrots. The problems is that a lot of people have no idea what is really healthy or unhealthy for them.
A behavior that seems to be common in male cockatoos. It can signify excitement, aggression, or may be a mating signal.
FOOTPRINT OF MAN
When humans build a highway or a large structure such as a wind turbine in an animal or bird's habitat, it can create a negative influence on their populations that goes way beyond the actual land the structure occupies. An example is the fact that populations of ground birds increased when wind turbines were built near rocky cliffs. This may sound like a positive situation except the turbines were built on top of cliffs where raptors nested and disrupted their habitat. Without the raptors nesting near the turbines, there was an increase in the birds they hunted for food causing an imbalance in bird populations.
The process of feeding and moving from area to area in search of food. Wild parrots spend a great deal of their day foraging for food. Our companion parrots also need foraging opportunities rather than always getting their food in a bowl,
Depriving a parrot chick of food in an attempt to make him eat on his own. This technique usually causes weaning trauma which may decrease pet potential. The truth is that an abundantly fed baby parrot will more successfully, will experiment by trying more foods and become independent sooner because he is far more secure.
This is just one of many chemicals found in our homes and products that we bring into our homes. When I was in college I worked as a lab assistant in an anatomy lab. The lab had a cadaver that was preserved in formaldehyde. I worked with the cadaver at least 3 times a week as we slowly dissected it to show students the various anatomical features. This part is a bit gross … the zoology lab assistant also worked with the cadaver from time to time. One morning I came into the lab and discovered that he had left the chest plate off of the cadaver. This really made me angry towards him. He wasn’t going to be there so I had to clean up after him, which meant that I had virtually massage formaldehyde back into the chest plate because it had become so dry. As “they” say, this was not in the job description! I wore a mask and rubber gloves but as I worked, I found myself having a strong allergic reaction with a severe headache. I had not had this problem with more "casual" contact with the cadaver. From that time on I seemed to be very physically reactive when I had to work on the cadaver. It was luckily towards the end of the semester so I didn’t have much contact with the formaldehyde anymore. But from that point on, I couldn’t go into a fabric store without getting allergic reactions and a headache. Formaldehyde is or has been used in fabric sizing for many years and it can be very toxic. It is also something that was used in carpeting and was one of the reasons that parrots died when new carpet was installed in people’s houses. I am not sure but I think that it is no longer used in carpeting mostly because of children, but I could be wrong. If you install new carpeting, you need to ask what chemicals are used in it. There are still problems with carpeting and fabrics used in furniture out-gassing chemicals. (see Out-gassing)
The Australian author of the highly respected Parrots of the World. Many parrot people are only familiar with the T.F.H. publication of Parrots of the World. This volume that sold very well in the U.S. was actually done without Mr. Forshaw's permission. At a conference I attended where he was a speaker, he refused to autograph and of the T.F.H. publications. He stated that it was a rip-off of his work and he didn't receive a penny for the T.F.H. publication. Without seeing the original version, people wouldn't be able to tell what a poor copy the T.F.H.version is. The plates by Cooper are sumptuous in the original volume.
Flying parrots outdoors has become a popular pastime for some people. It is always a risk even for people who have a tremendous amount of experience training parrots. I know of several people who free fly multiple parrots and have lost one. One free flying cockatoo liked to steal acorns from a woodpecker's stash. Eventually this bird was captured and killed by a hawk.
FRESH AIR (The Importance of)
A good air cleaner is essential to a parrots in-home environment. In many ways a parrot's respiratory system is more efficient than ours, so they will have more of a problem with toxins in the air and have an increased sensitivity to allergens in the air. Every breathe a parrot takes is circulated twice through their respiratory system. Consequently toxins such as cigarette smoke cause double the damage.
Fresh vegetables, grains, and fruits are the healthiest foods to feed your parrot, I believe that they should be at least 60-70% of the diet with pellets comprising no more than 30-40% of the diet. Fresh foods can be fed in many different configurations including combining several together as a mash. They can be fed gently cooked (boiling or cooking for a long time can destroy some of the nutrition), raw, chopped, in birdie bread and a myriad of different ways. Putting fresh foods on a kabob, in a foraging toy, or lacing such foods as dark leafy greens on the cage bars can create more curiosity and the parrot will be more likely to consume them. Most parrot family birds will convert to fresh foods if their caregivers keep trying and have patience. You can check the nutritional value of most foods by looking for them by name on the Glossary. (see Converting Parrots to a Healthy Diet)
FRIGHT MOLT (also called Shock molt)
When frightened or attacked some birds will molt their tail feathers and other feathers. The feathers actually appear to be let loose from the follicles all at once. This may be a way to shed feathers that are most likely to be grabbed by predators or may even act to distract the predator while the bird escapes. This fear response alsow happens in companion parrots and seems to be most common in night fright thrashing with cockatiels.
Animals who normally eats fruit as the major part or total food in their diet. In the parrot family there are several birds that are frugivorous including the Pesquet's parrot, fig parrots, and hanging parrots, which are not normally kept as companions.
FRUIT (in parrot diets)
Fruit is an important part of a parrot’s diet, but not as important as fresh veggies and greens. Many fruits are very high in antioxidants. The emphasis should be on fruits with high vitamin A such as peaches, apricots, nectarines, and mangos although other fruits do have some nutritional value. Some high-energy parrots like caiques and lories can tolerate more fruit in their diets than other parrot family birds. For the nutritional information of various fruits (including exotic fruits), look them up individually by name. CAUTION: feeding fresh fruits is best since most canned fruit has added sugar or artificial sweetener and fruits that are labeled no-sugar usually have artificial sweeteners. Many dried fruits are loaded with sulfur dioxide as a preservative and also have added sugar. Parrot Island (one of our quality advertisers) sells an assortment of organic dehydrated fruits without sulfides.
FUERTES, LOUIS AGASIIZ
A well-known artist known for his wild bird and animal art.
FUERTES PARROT (Hapalopsittaca fuertesi)
Is also known as Indigo-winged Parrot. The Fuertes parrot is critically endangered and only occurs on the west slope of the Central Andes of Colombia. It was rediscovered in 2002 after not being sighted for 91 years.
FULL BODY STROKE
What I call the full body stroke can be very sexual for a companion parrot and often, people don't realize this. As the caregiver's had slides down the parrot's back, pressure is placed on the back. In copulation between parrots, there is a lot of pressure on the parrot's back. The caregiver's hand then slides down to the lower back lifting up the tail. At this point, the thumb may slide right over the parrot's vent and this can be very sexually stimulating for the parrot, especially during breeding season.
The more fun the person has, the more fun the parrots have and the more fun the parrots have, the more fun the person has. Have fun with your parrots.
FUNGAL AND YEAST INFECTIONS
Yeast infections or candidiasis can occur in baby parrots, especially lories. This is particularly true if the breeder gives their babies prophylactic antibiotics. The routine use of antibiotics can create serious problems with the immune system as the bird matures. Adult birds can develop fungal infections if they are given antibiotics and many veterinarians will also give antifungals to birds on antibiotics. Parrot specific probiotics are also highly recommended when a parrot has been given antibiotics.