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Parrot Blog > Toria | You are here


The Travels of Tweak

May 11th, 2010

The Travels of Tweak

Tweak was hatched on 24/07/09 and has been DNA tested as female. I purchased her from Paula at AGPC as a hand reared baby so she was already very tame and friendly.

Seems as my main goal was to take Tweak out and about with my family Paula introduced Tweak to her harness at a very young age, this made getting the harness on her very easy and after a few tries of putting it on and taking it off successfully we ventured outside!

Tweak has many ways she likes to travel.

The good old fashioned way of flight:

By car:

By Pak-O-Bird –

And by Push chair:

By getting Tweak into a harness she now joins us on the school run, goes to the park, comes to the library and many more ‘exciting places’.

I hope you enjoy following Tweaks Travels.

Tweaks Trip To Barmouth!

April 10th, 2010


We woke up to a lovely sunny morning so decided to go on one of our favourite day trips to Barmouth in Wales. We got the kids strapped in the car then put Tweak in her Pak-O-Bird and strapped that in the car. After alot of whistling and ‘giss a kiss’ from Tweak we arrived .

On the way there Owen had started being sick, we thought he just had travel sickness but it turned out to be a tummy bug.

We went on the beach where the kids were happily building sand castles

I was enjoying wathing and Tweak was all fluffed up on my knee

This was the first time Tweak had been to the sea side so the first time she had seen the sand. It was funny watching her walk on it at first, her feet would lift really high with each step but she soon ruffled up and started chirping and snuggling her beak into the sand.

Owen was seeming pretty Ill so we decided to make a move from our spot on the beach. Megan wanted to go on a donkey ride so we headed in that direction. We drew quite a crowd round the donkeys with more people interested in Tweak than the donkeys! The ‘donkey lady’ also had a hold of her so if your ever in Barmouth ask her if she remembers the day she had an African Grey Parrot visit her.

Whilst Megan was on the donkey Owen was ill again so we went for a sit on a bench and an ice cream to cheer him up a bit. I know ice cream wasnt really ideal with him being ill but I couldnt leave him out! When we were sat on the bench I sat Tweak by a tree and she got alot of people pointing in amazement.

When I had finished my ice cream I gave Tweak the cone which she really enjoyed shredding! Then we went home and put a poorly Owen to bed.

Pak O Bird Carrier Review – African Grey Parrot Centre ™

March 10th, 2010

Well I thought fro those of you who may be interested in purchasing a Pak-O-Bird carrier at some point I thought I would write a review of how I find it as its a little pricey at £130 (from Parrot Comforts http://www.parrotcomforts.co.uk/) So best having some idea why its so expensive.

Tweak and her Pak O Bird

The Pak-O-Bird arrived in a flat box and was very easy to assemble! The main body of the carrier is in one piece that just needs 2 roof supports added that press stud into place and a roof bar for extra sturdiness that also press studs on. Then all you do is zip up the sides, velcro along the front bottom and add the carry straps! There are two ways of carrying the Pak-O-Bird, on your back or on your shoulder. The back straps also have a strap that can be clicked together to join them so that its more secure when carrying. The sides of the carrier are made from a very fine stainless steel mesh so that fresh air can get into your feathered friend but insects cant! There are also flaps that cover the mesh if your bird gets a little spooked.
On the back of the carrier are two loops that enable your carrier to be fastened into a car by a seatbelt. Inside the carrier the bottom is lined with a thin vinyl sheet thats easily wiped clean and on the roof of the carrier are two D rings for hanging toys. The perch provided is a dragon wood perch which tightly secures to the sides of the carrier and can be set at 3 heights. Two food bowls also secure to the sides.
Over all Id say this product is of excellent quality and you can see its been very well thought out. No stitching is visible, so your bird wont easily be able to chew and destroy the carrier, its very light in weight making it comfortable to carry and there is plenty of room inside for your bird to sit comfortably on its journey. The whole thing can fold flat for storage and is easily wiped clean. So if your the adventurous type Id say the Pak-O-Bird is a must!!! Id give it a 9/10 only on the basis that its a little expensive for everyone, but well worth it if you want to let your grey explore the world with you.


Introducing Your Bird to Pak-O-Bird

After setting up the carrier I brought Tweak over to it. At first she flapped like crazy so in a calm yet excited voice I showed her her new ‘toy’. First of all I sat her on it for 5min or so to let her explore herself and see it wasnt scary or going to hurt her. Then in the feeding bowls I put some sunflower seeds and got her to go inside and quickly pulled over the closing flap securing her inside. Once zipped up she sat there gringing her beak and falling asleep!! I was quite amazed how well she took to it but I think the design of it makes them feel its a safe place to be. I think if Id have fastened up the side panels to cover the mesh she would have fell asleep and stayed in there So after say 20min of her inside looking rather relaxed I picked the carrier up and put it on my back, had a little walk round then placed it down. She was fine! Then I opened it up and let her come out in her own time.
Im not saying everyones birds will be as comfortable as Tweak was with it but with a little patients and a few treats you can get there

I hope this has helped anyone thinking of buying this.


Learning to Read Your Parrots Body Language In 2 Steps.

January 15th, 2010

Reading Your Parrots Body Language

Learning to read your parrots body language will help you to see your bird in a whole new light. It can help you understand when he is feeling under the weather, happy, wants attention and can also save you from receiving a nasty bite.

Once you have learned the main characteristics of your parrots body language it is easy to distinguish if your parrot is happy, sad, terrified or excited just by his stance.

By learning to understand how your bird is feeling at any particular time can greatly improve the relationship you have with your bird and help you understand what it is he is communicating to you at any given time.

1. Vocalizations

In the wild, birds use various vocalizations to warn others of danger, attract mates, protect their territory, and maintain social contacts. Most birds are highly vocal and many times may be trying to communicate with you.

  • Singing, talking, and whistling: These vocalizations are often signs of a happy, healthy, content bird. Some birds love an audience and sing, talk, and whistle the most when others are around. Other birds will remain quiet when others are watching.
  • Chattering: Chattering can be very soft or very loud. Soft chatter can be a sign of contentment or can be the practice of a bird learning to talk. Loud chatter can be an attention-getter, reminding you that she is there. In the wild, birds often chatter in the evening before going to sleep to connect with other flock members.
  • Purring: Not the same as a cat’s purr, a bird’s purr is more like a soft growl that can be a sign of contentment or a sign of annoyance. When purring, the bird’s environment and other body language should be taken into consideration to determine what the bird is expressing.
  • Tongue-clicking: By clicking her tongue against her beak, your bird may be entertaining herself or asking to be petted or picked up.
  • Growling: Not heard in all pet birds, growling is an aggressive vocalization. If your bird is growling, examine her environment and remove anything that may be bothering her. Growling birds should not be handled as they do not want to be touched.

2. Wings and Body Gestures

  • Fluffing and ruffling: Parrots will perform a quick feather ruffle to release tension, much like when humans take a quick moment to lean back and stretch before we go on to the next task. Parrots also fluff their feathers after a preening session so that all of the particles of dirt they have just removed will fall away. You may notice a fine dust of powder emanating from your bird after he does this, especially if you have a grey, a cockatoo, or a cockatiel. A parrot that stays fluffed for a longer period of time may be chilled or not feeling well.
  • The “please” dance: A parrot that wants attention will clamber around the cage near the door and may sit right in front of the door, moving his head back and forth. This means he wants out. If he does the please dance while he’s out, he wants your attention or something you have.
  • Head down: If your bird is used to being scratched on the head or neck, she may put her head down and ruffle her feathers, giving you the perfect spot to scratch.
  • The attack stance: Displays of aggression can be normal at times for a companion parrot, though they can be unpleasant. Many aggressive displays are merely posturing. A bird would much rather fly from a fight than actually engage in one, unless it’s defending its nest. Unfortunately for the companion parrot, there is often no place to escape, and the aggression must be acted upon. Aggressive postures include fanning of the tail; crouching or standing tall and swaying from side to side with the crest held tightly back; hissing and spitting; fluffing the back feathers; and crouching with the beak open, ready to pounce and bite (as shown in the following photo).

Parrots Body Language
This African grey is in “attack” stance. Avoid putting your fingers in his face at this time.

  • Stretching: Parrots stretch for the same reasons people do, to lubricate our joints, to release tension, and primarily because stretching feels good. You may notice your parrot stretching one wing and one leg on the same side of his body at the same time. This classic birdie stretch that resembles something from yoga called mantling.
  • Bowing and bobbing: Bowing and bobbing is an attention-getting technique used by tame parrots. It can become a neurotic behaviour for a constantly caged parrot. Also, ill parrots bow and bob, so you’ll have to watch your bird carefully to distinguish an attention-getting strategy from illness.
  • Head shaking: Some parrots, particularly African greys, shake their heads as if there’s water in the ears. No one really knows why they do this, and it seems to be normal. If your bird is doing this a lot, it may be a sign of an ear or nasal infection.
  • Leaning forward, wings shaking: If the wings are quivering, and the bird is staring at you, it’s about to launch itself at you. This is typical “I’m going to fly!” posture.
  • Quivering wings: A parrot that’s shivering or has quivering wings may be frightened, overly excited, or in breeding mode.
  • Beak language: An open beak, crouched posture, and hissing or yelling is prime biting posture. This is a frightened or displaying parrot.
  • Potty language: Backing up a step or two or crouching on the perch, lifting tail, and even making a little noise. You can catch “poop posture” before the poop happens and move the parrot to another place if you want him to poop elsewhere.
  • Chicken scratching: African greys and sometimes other parrots will “chicken scratch” at the bottom of their cage or on the carpet. Greys in particular do this because digging is part of their natural wild behaviour. If you don’t mind the mess, you can give your grey a sandbox (or litter box) to play in, using clean sand from the toy store.
  • Eye pinning (dilate/contract pupils): A parrot whose pupils are pinning in and out is excited and may be in bite mode. Some parrots do this when they’re excited about something they like, such as a new toy or good food.
  • Wing drooping: Wing drooping can be part of a mating dance, but in a listless bird, it can indicate illness.
  • Wing flipping: A parrot will flip its wings up and down to indicate frustration, get attention, or indicate aggression. It may also happen during moulting, when it’s trying to align new feathers or get rid of old ones that may be hanging or ready to fall out.

Posted by Toria

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