Parrot Parrot

Bird-Safe Holidays

Can you find all the holiday hazards in the picture above?

Pointsettias: These beautiful holiday flowering plants have a milky substance in them that is hazardous to animals and birds. If any gets on your pets, wash it off immediately, as it can cause irritation or rash, especially around the eyes, mouth, or nose areas. Obviously you do not want your birds to eat this plant, so keep them away from them at all times. It is possible to have them in your house (the display in the photo above is a centerpiece in my living room), but only when you know you can control access without fail.

Chocolate: Those foil-covered chocholate Santas look awfully enticing to my curious senegal. Since chocolate contains theobromine, a hazard to birds, you should not leave it out if birds have access to that area of the house.

Pine Trees: Many commercial trees are chemically treated so they will last longer. It is not a good idea to let your bird near a Christmas tree as he may chew on the leaves.

Ornaments: Delicate glass ornaments can be broken easily by a parrot’s powerful beak. If they ingest this glass it can shred the digestive system and cause sepsis and death.

Another typical hazard during the holiday are bright, sparkling Christmas lights. They attract curious birds, particularly if they have a “berry” appearance. Obviously this is a hazard since a parrot might break the glass lights and ingest the material, or they might chew through the electrical cord when the lights are plugged in and electrocute themselves. This is a year-round hazard for birds (electrical cords) who are not properly supervised in the home and allowed to wander about freely on their own.

The white pointsettias have the same milky substance as the red plants, so your pets should also be kept away from these plants.

You are probably wondering, “Now what is this strange hazard?” This is not a hazard at all, but an example of the surface of a cookie sheet that is safe to use in homes with pet birds. It has two layers of aluminum with space in between for “air”. The little bumps help distribute the heat evenly. These types of trays do not have nonstick coatings so you don’t have to worry about burning cookies and creating poisonous fumes in the home. They also make great cookies!

To everyone out there, feathered or unfeathered alike, have a safe and happy holiday season!

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