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BIRD / health & care

Caring for Your Bird

A parakeet, canary, and other flying creatures to take under your wing


The feathered nest: keeping it fresh

Birds are fun-loving — and, like little kids, when they have a good time, they can make a mess. You’ll want to clean spilled food out of your bird’s cage daily; you should also remove any droppings. At least once a month, take your feathered friend and all of their toys out of the cage and deep-clean it.

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Grooming your bird

Keep your bird clean, healthy and safe with regular “showers” (that is, a nice mist of fresh, clean water from a spray bottle), nail clipping, beak care and possibly wing-feather trims. Since birds are fragile and, well, flighty, be sure to ask your veterinarian to teach you how to groom your new pet before you attempt it on your own. Once you’re comfortable with grooming, you may want to purchase a special bird nail trimmer and styptic for pedicures.

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Birds just wanna have fun

Birds love to socialize with their pet parents. Try talking, whistling or humming to them when you feed them or clean their habitat. Eventually, your bird might even answer back.

Depending on the species, your bird may coo (dove), whistle (canary), chirp (parakeet) or repeat your phrases (some parrots). Some birds love listening to music—including conures, a class of parrot, who will bob their heads to the beat.

Some species can even learn tricks. If you want to train your bird, keep in mind that they’re all about being rewarded with treats. Some even respond well to clicker training.

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While you’re away from the roost

Birds are such social and inquisitive creatures, they need plenty of stimulation to keep them busy at all times, but especially when you’re not home to keep them company. Keep them occupied in their cage with toys, especially puzzles, and make sure there’s enough going on in their environment. Some examples to keep your bird’s brain busy are:

  • Foraging toys (puzzle feeders or miniature bird-safe pinatas)
  • Homemade toys with treats hidden inside to make your bird work for their treats
  • Food bowls wrapped with tissue paper or a paper towel so your bird spends time chewing the cover to get at the food
  • Mix toys in the food bowls to increase the need for your bird to explore & hunt for the tasty morsels
  • Rotate toys every week and provide perches with different textures and diameters to keep their home fun and different
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