Jamieleigh's Parrot Help

Posts Tagged ‘dave womach


One way you can include your bird in the holiday festivities early on is by letting your bird be apart of the preparation!


Some birds might need some extreme desensitization with the holiday decor; lights, trees, ornaments, noise, music, etc… there’s a lot of things that go into the holiday that we don’t think about but your bird might react badly to. So mine as well make them a part of it so they can enjoy everything too.


Photo by Jamieleigh
Location: Orlando, FL
Helping: “Military Macaw” Cash

One thing we do is set up the Christmas tree (palm tree) with our birds out and around it. This year we did it with the macaws around. This is their second Christmas, but their first one with the palm Christmas tree. Last year we were at my parents’ house with a pine tree. Most of them hung out on the railing but some of them came down to check it out and some stayed on perches nearby watching. Cash, our military macaw, especially made his presence known for being there for the tree preparation!


Photo by Jamieleigh
Location: Orlando, FL
Helper: Military Macaw “Cash”

It’s always a fun time with our birds around the holiday.


It helps if your bird is flighted so it can watch from a distance it’s comfortable at. It won’t hurt to have some rewards around to reward your bird if it’s more phobic and might be too scared to get very close. You can also cuddle within view of the Christmas tree if being in the same room as it is too much for your bird. Whatever you can make work is great for your bird.

Photo by Jamieleigh
Location: Orlando, FL
Shown: Bird section of travel trailer

For those of you that remember my Traveling in Style post, you will appreciate this one.

Originally, we equipped our trailer with enough cages to accomodate our flock when we would be traveling a bit. However, it was never meant to be “full time” traveling based on the cages we picked out. And some birds were sharing cages like our two Camelot Macaws (Comet and Tusa) as well as our Grey Parrot and Galah (Cressi and Bondi).

But now that our trailer is going to be the birds’ FULL time cages, we had to make some serious changes.

Change #1: Everyone has their own cage.

Giving everyone their “own room” meant more money out to cages. We had no choice but to get a third macaw cage. Because of the used up space from the new macaw cage, we had to move the tall white cage we had to the opposite side and decided to use it for our three medium sized birds. The parakeets cage was still usable and great and didn’t need any changing except for to take off the legs and put it above one of the macaw cages. This made enough space for the macaw cage to be in there (the newest one). The the only problem was our Swainson Toucan’s room… where would it go and what would it be?

Photo by Jamieleigh
Location: Orlando, FL
Shown: Dave working on assembling bird cages

This will have to be a new buy as well but we haven’t got it yet. But we DID make the room. The shelving that was in before we took out and Fiji’s cage will more than likely be a wide dog crate type of cage so that it is large enough for her. The only problem with dog crates is they don’t have grates at the bottom so we will be looking into that within the next couple of months but at least most of the birds are secured for!

Photo by Dave Womach
Location: Costa Rica
Shown: Keel Bill Toucan

The only way to test for iron storage disease in toucans is to do a liver biopsy and when Dave and I did so with our Swainson Toucan years ago, we found she was very high in iron because when we first got her we were told she couldn’t have tap water but that bottled water was fine. Well, it wasn’t! Only distilled water is fine for toucans (lack of iron and flushing of the system) and so we had to put her on black tea for a month.

Yes, tea!

Sounds crazy to give a bird tea but regular black tea is actually a healthy way to lower their iron levels. It’s not something you want to give them all the time, only if you know your toucan has high iron levels.

You can read about how zoos use this technique in an article here.

While working with blue and gold macaws Jersey and Chayko in Musha Cay, Bahamas… it rained the last 2-3 days we were there and our only way of getting from one place to the other was via our golf cart that everyone on the island had. Luckily, you could pull the sides down to keep from getting too wet on your drive.

Photo by Jamieleigh
Location: Musha Cay, Bahamas
Riding along: Blue and Yellow Macaw “Jersey”

Up until the rainy days Dave and I had been simply holding the macaws on our hands while we drive around the island and they did great with it. The first day they were a little nervous, but as we did it more and more, they became more and more comfortable with the idea.

However, they refused to do it with Cathy, the trainer on the island. If Dave or I sat with her, they would be good, but once we left her alone with one the birds or both they were very unsure, would bite and spook easily. They’d also yell for each other if she only took one, or yell for us. The one we would have wouldn’t yell back, though. So we knew no matter what we did, the birds would be good, but no matter what Cathy did, they wouldn’t. So we had to figure out a way for her to transport the birds herself when we were to leave.

Well, one morning it rained so I suggested we let the birds just sit and not hold them since the sides of the cart were down. It was just Dave and I in the cart and he agreed. We put down a towel and let the birds sit against the part of the cart we leaned against. They played with my hoodie and hair and were very comfortable going around the island that way!

Photo by Dave
Location: Musha Cay, Bahamas
Rainy day golf cart riders: Blue and Yellow Macaws “Jersey” & “Chayko”

When we met up with Cathy, she asked us in astonishment if we were riding around with them like that and how they were acting. “They’re great!” I said. “You should try it. This way you can get around the island with them no matter what and not have any problems. They will be together and more comfortable.” so we tried it that night and they did great with Cathy going along that way. She has been doing it ever since, and they love it! It’s a great way for her to bond with them and form a relationship of trust without holding them awkwardly and trying to make it work out of frustration.

This way is great for them because no one is forcing them to do anything, they are just hanging out which they LOVE. When was the last time you let your bird just hang out?

  • In: Housing
  • Comments Off on Why Outside Aviaries Have Catch-Alls


I remember when Dave and I first sep up our Cages by Design aviaries outside, we set up the actual 6′ diameter aviaries first. But we still had 2 catch-alls to put up and I thought, Well maybe we don’t need those…

And boy have I ever been proved wrong since!


Really, I was just being lazy because it was a lot of effort to put them up ourselves and I was trying to make excuses but we put them up and I caught video of our military macaw, Cash, escaping from his food dish as I was changing the food. You can tell he’s done this more than once!


However, he loves Dave so much that if Dave goes into the aviary, Cash goes back in, too!

  • In: Training
  • Comments Off on Parrot Trick Training Tips & Mistakes


I was working on training my African Grey, Cressi, how to do the “retrieve” by picking up a nickel and dropping it into a dish. Well, Dave was watching over my shoulder and eventually said, “You’re rewarding her right now.”


I was just standing there after Cressi hadn’t done what I wanted her to do with the nickel. She missed the dish. I was rewarding her? How?!


“Let me show you…” Dave said. And the video above says the rest.


Just like people have specific love languages, so do parrots! And we recieve in them all. Sometimes during a little down time you might have, it might be a real treat to enjoy some cuddling time with your birds (or bird). This is a great way to relax with your birds and make a few “deposits” into your bond with your parrot.


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August 2016
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