Questions Just Over the Bird Cage Wire week of 12/14/14

Hi,
I’m looking for an old toy- I know this is a tricky one, it’s a wooden cube it came in a couple different sizes. Unfortunately I do not remember what co. made it. It was dowels which connected to 4 different color square wood pieces with a colored large rope knot in the middle. 
 
Antique parrot telephone
old bird toys come in many forms
 
 Any help you can offer will be truly appreciated. My rainbow has had one in her cage for about 18 years and it’s her go to every night. It’s getting kinda dangerous – one dowel fell off last year tried to fix it- didn’t last long. I have looked for something similar and being the picky bird owner can’t find anything. It has to be close in form. She is so spooked by new toys takes her up to 6 months sometimes to start acknowledging a toy.
Thank you,
Rachel
 
Hi Rachel 
 
I would advocate removing the old toy immediately so no injury comes to your bird. Then collect buy or make 10 – 15 new bird toys, remove your bird from the cage add all the new toys early in the day and place the bird in the cage before dark.
 
Not exposing her to new items only promotes her irrational fear. We do it every 2 – 4 weeks – here’s the story on our tiel’s last makeover 
 
Environmental change keeps a bird mentally stimulated and emotional stable
 
best of luck
 
mitchr
 
Ginger wrote: 
 
I recently inherited a Yellow Naped Amazon and love her to pieces, but not being a bird person previously, I could use some advice. He is guessed to
be about 50 years old, actually I was told that Rhoda is a female but, she has never layed eggs so they say she is a he! No matter, I have noticed
some of his feathers have black coloring on them. Is it true that could be caused by him not getting enough sunlight? His cage is in front of a
window, but the window has a sun screen on it. 
 
What is needed to provide “sun” for him in his cage? I would also like to purchase a “Happy Hut” for
him but I need to know what size I should order.
 
Thanks for any help you can give me and I welcome any advice!
 
Ginger Oliveira
 
Yellow nape amazon parrot on woman's arm
 
hi Ginger 
 
congrats on the inheritance – first off should you want to determine the sex of your Zon, you can learn about a DNA test kit for $18 here.
 
As for the feathers I’d start by saying if your bird is not been to an avian vet I would strongly advocate a trip to confirm the overall wellness of your bird. That said the color of feathers is not that straightforward an issue.
 
The color is affected not only by the birds diet and DNA but by the eyeballs perceiving the color(s) For example if the bird doesn’t have a healthy sheen to it, what you might be seeing is a dark blue but the appearance of blue light-scattering is diminished thus the blue may look muted (black). We talk about that here 
 
The light thing
It’s good that you want to find proper lighting for your bird. Sunlight is more important to birds than most cage bird keepers realize You can find our birdcage lighting solutions category here. 
 
Windows can be good news bad news for parrots. The good news is the light that they allow in the activity to help keep things interesting for the bird. Sunlight is good for birds but the light coming in through any glass window filters out all the UVA and UVB they can be helpful to your birds well-being.
 
Assuming you live in North America the changing of the seasons & daylight savings time can wreak havoc with a South American bird’s physiological stature. This is why we like to see full spectrum lighting on a timer for every caged bird.
 
The downside(s) to the window thing is the problem with predatory birds (hawks, falcons) flying by – your bird may see and does not understand the concept of glass, self-destructive behavior like feather plucking could be triggered by the unwarranted stress.
 
Further, parrots being prey animals, feel far more secure when the cage is against one or preferably two walls. 
 
I would suggest you hold off on this for now until you get to know your bird a bit better. What we don’t want to do is encourage brooding activity. But we do want to encourage his socialization with you as opposed to hiding out in its own little tent.
 
Amazons are highly socialized animals and really enjoy engaging conversation.
 
Hope that helps
 
mitchr

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