Parrots Halloween Safety Practical Guide

Parrots Halloween Safety

In this article Chris Davis talks about aspects of Parrots Halloween Safety and how we can protect our feathered friends during the month of “Trick or Treats”

Parrots Halloween Safety

This is the time of year when most of us invite little neighborhood “goblins and ghoulies and long-legged beasties and things that go bump in the night” to our front doors for treats. Because this is considered the scariest time of the year, I thought it appropriate to share some of the frightening things that can happen if we are not vigilant while the festivities are going on. Although most of us understand that a costume party held in the area of the house that our birds consider a place of safety may be difficult for them, we do not think of how we may endanger them during those times when we entertain many costumed strangers on our door steps each October 31st.

Our birds are precious family members whom we enjoy including in those activities that are safe for them. As their stewards, we do our best to consider all the potential problems that may arise from any situation in which they are placed. Because of our strong feelings of love and protection, it is not enough to assess only potential problems that may exist for them within our homes, it is also imperative that we also consider whatever outside influences that may influence the home environment.

Unnoticed Halloween Dangers For Birds

We all know that leaving a fully flighted bird outside of his cage is unwise when doors or windows are open; however, the risk is heightened when a bird is startled by people who are yelling “Trick or treat” while dressed in scary or gaudy costumes and standing at a widely opened front door. If you add to that the fact that the bird’s person is usually distracted by handing out treats and chatting with the visiting little ghouls and ghosts, the possibility of a bird escaping the home during is greatly increased.

An extraordinarily friendly bird (small cockatoos are good at this) may even wander out to see what is going on and escape outside and be accidentally stepped on, shut in a door, grabbed by a neighbor’s dog, run over by a car or bike, or fall victim to numerous other awful manners of injury or death. To amplify the level of danger even further, trick or treating usually occurs during the night, while the weather is beginning to be considerably colder — factors that make finding a startled and disoriented bird alive and well less likely.

Parrots Halloween Safety BudgieSome birds are jeopardized by their peoples’ innocence. For example, a bird might be left sitting in front of an uncovered window in the front of the house where passersby can see him. Although a person might think nothing of having his or her bird visible to strangers, a bird is often seen as an instant source of income for thieves and can make your home more vulnerable to robbery. Even smaller birds with lots of personality may appeal to a neighborhood youngster who has always wanted a bird. Although you know your neighbors to be honest, they may innocently mention that you have birds in your home and, over time, the message may eventually get out to someone dishonest. The little love of your life is seen as just dollar signs or a novelty to dishonest people … it’s sad, but true.

Preventing Halloween Dangers For Birds

Luckily, keeping our birds safe on Halloween and during other times of revelry can be easy with a little advance planning.

If you are entertaining people in your home, even a very sociable bird can become nervous or extremely frightened by the sight of people in costume. Unless your bird is accustomed to groups of costumed people in his environment, it is best to move his cage to a familiar bedroom or family room, preferably one you can lock from the outside. This also eliminates the worry of possibly tipsy celebrants forcing interaction with your bird or feeding him foods that are harmful. Leave a television or radio playing in the room with your bird to help camouflage the sound of noisy celebrants. If your home is too small to do this, consider leaving your bird with a trusted friend or family member; preferably a responsible animal lover whom he has stayed with before.

If you are not entertaining visitors but are participating in handing out treats, make sure your bird is in an area where he cannot fly or walk to the opened door. Also, keep him away from windows where he can be seen by passersby and trick or treaters. A television or radio playing in the room with him can soften doorbell and people noise. These distractions also lessen the chances of his revealing his presence in your home by talking loudly or screaming for attention each time the doorbell rings or when he hears you talk to the people at the door.

After Halloween is over, remember that candy and candy wrappers are almost irresistible to most birds. Keep harmful items out of areas your bird can access. If you hosted a gathering in your home, closely inspect it for any candy or foods or other objects that may have been dropped or left where your bird can reach it.

Parrots Halloween Safety GuideOur feathered family members enrich and uplift our lives in ways that are inconceivable to non-bird people; we know that life without them would be hollow and sad. By actively anticipating and appropriately addressing events and situations that affect them, we honor their importance in our lives and can greatly increase the chances of our beloved feathered friends living many long and happy years to come.

Find out more about Chris Davis, CPBC

You can find more practical advice on Parrot Safety here.


Christmas Trees and Parrots

Christmas Trees and ParrotsThis time of year, nothing beats sitting in your cosy living room, sipping a hot drink by the twinkling lights of your meticulously decorated Christmas tree.

If you are the proud owner of a pet bird, however, there is more to consider when choosing a tree than the colour scheme.

The welfare and health of your bird or birds is naturally your top priority, and so researching which options are safe for your beloved pet is paramount. We’ve turned Parrot Essentials for further information.

Real Christmas trees

Not all real trees are poisonous to birds, although some have been known to cause problems for certain species of parrots. Pine is considered a safe tree for birds, but do be mindful of any sap produced by the tree, as this can stick to your bird’s feathers.

Additionally, pine has been listed as potentially harmful in some articles, but those mainly relate to wood shavings and so not relevant to bird keeping.

Further, even if the tree itself is not harmful to your bird, many Christmas tree farmers use fertilisers in the water used to sustain their trees and the trees are often sprayed with chemicals to prevent diseases and reduce needles from falling of the tree when you bring it inside.

Your bird is likely to want to perch on the tree, and may nibble on the pine needles while doing so. This is potentially dangerous, as pine needles are naturally prickly and can cause injury when ingested.

So, unless you plan to trek into the wilderness to chop down your own tree (good luck with that!), it is probably best to have an artificial tree, just to be on the safe side.

Artificial Christmas trees

Generally speaking, artificial trees are not harmful to pet birds, including parrots. However, bear in mind that your bird may still try to nibble on the branches of the tree, especially if it is very realistic looking.

As mentioned before, pine needles, whether real or fake, are prickly and can cause injury when ingested, so be mindful of this.

Christmas trees decorations

If your tree has been sprayed with fake snow, glitter, or any other decorative element, this can be poisonous to your bird (and humans too if ingested).

Christmas lights and decorations can break and become hazardous due to sharp edges (and exposed electricity in the case of fairy lights).

Cheaper decorations may contain heavy metals, which can also be toxic; and curious birds may peck on tinsel or ribbon, which can be a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockage.
All in all, if possible, it is best to try and keep your pet bird away from your tree altogether, for the welfare of both bird and tree!

Other Christmas plants

It is important to remember that Christmas trees – both real and artificial – are not the only potential danger to your pet bird in your home.

Many plants traditionally used as part of the Christmas presentation, such as Ivy, Holly and Poinsettia can be poisonous to pet birds, as well as popular decorative flowers like Chrysanthemum and Yew.

Lastly, and some of you may find this one particularly disappointing, Mistletoe can also be toxic to some birds, so un-pucker your lips and take it off the door frame! (Or at least hang it somewhere where your pet bird cannot reach it).

Merry Christmas Everyone.

With thanks to Exotic Directs for contributing to this article

Simple Tips for Parrot Safety During Fireworks

parrot safety during fireworks

parrot safety during fireworksOur simple tips for parrot safety during fireworks.

Fireworks can present a challenge for pet owners, with them desperately trying to calm and sooth their beloved birds by offering them favourite toys or treats as fireworks thunder in the sky.

That’s why we’ve put together some top tips on keeping your parrot safe and relaxed this November. 

  • Put them in a comfortable place

It’s wise to keep your parrots in a safe, cosy place on Bonfire Night, so they can find comfort there when the fireworks begin.

Make sure you close the curtains to block out flashing lights, unless you find your inquisitive bird prefers to know where the lights are coming from, then it may be worth opening them slightly.

  • Distract them with toys

There may be a lot of noise, bangs and flashes going on outside, but you can distract them from this by giving them some of their favourite toys. You might even want to buy something new to play with to really keep them entertained during the evening.

  • Drown out the noise

Fireworks displays can be very noisy, particularly if you live near to large public events. So it’s wise to drown out the uproar with your own noises.

Turn up the volume on the TV or play some music, especially tunes you know your pet loves and finds soothing.

Fireworks events can be a bit unsettling to your parrot, but if you follow these few tips you should be able to ride through this time of the year without any problems. If you do find your bird to be really distressed by the displays, get in touch with the RSPA for more advice.