Lino chronicles

Lino’s puberty is starting to hit HARD.  His behavior is puzzling me, so I’ve decided to keep a journal of what’s going on, how he’s behaving and trying to draw parallels between his reaction and his surroundings.

There are days he’s this perfect bird, that steps up for everyone, is nice to everyone, plays, is curious and nothing like the biting monster some days or uncontrolled  flying projectile.

This morning I’ve let them out, as I do every morning, to clean their cages, refill water bowls, toys, etc. I opened Ringo’s cage and she nicely stepped up and went to their playground. Same routine we have EVERY morning. Than I opened Lino’s cage, he seemed unwilling to go out, so I let him be. I thought he would just find his way out on his own.

I started cleaning Ringo’s cage and after that was done, I went for pine nuts to try to bribe Lino to come out of his cage. The second he saw me with pine nuts, he run out of his cage, flew to me and bit the hell out my hand. I decided not to react and went forward with cage cleaning. Was that a mistake? Was I supposed to put him back to his cage immediately? It seemed counterproductive,  though.

After their cages were cleaned and time to o back to their cages was coming, I went to fill their foraging toys so I could put them back to their cages. The second I went to get his foraging tray, he landed on my head, very aggressively,  so I put him back to his cage.  I’m not really sure what triggered this. Yesterday he was fine. Perfect, actually.

I’ve read that senegal parrots have this flight or fight response while going through puberty. I’m afraid not to reinforce any of these behaviors.


Parrot apple logs

I’ve decided to make a special treat for my two parrots as I was super busy lately and thought they deserve a praise for how good they’ve been.

This is a super easy recipe that you can customize to your liking. Whole idea behind these cookies is to use what you have already at your home and to use in season fruits. It’s apple season here, so I used apples. The rest of the ingredients listed below I’ve had at home.

Lino anxiously waiting for the logs to be done already

What you’ll need is:

One apple pureed or a small jar of apple sauce

1 tbs of chia seeds, gelatinised. (you can use 1 egg instead of chia)

1 cup of flour (I used spelt and chickpea flour, but any will do)

1/4 cup of various dried fruits (I used apricots and raisins) and dried coconut.

1/2 cup of seeds and grains (I used quinoa, millet, sesame and flax seed)

I also put Avian Organics Pura Vida and Pear’ngs mixes for extra nutrition and some of their apple powder, for extra apple-tines. You could use some cinnamon, too. It would go nicely with the apple.

For finishing you’ll need a bit of coconut oil and some seeds/grains to roll the logs into. I made half of a batch with sesame-millet-flax coating and the other half with millet flakes-old fashioned rolled oats-sesame coating.

Lino enjoying an apple log he stole from my backing sheet. I didn’t even make it to my oven, before he stole it.

Here’s what you do; in a blender make the apple puree if you don’t have apple sauce. After that’s done, add dried fruits and coconut and coarsely chop them. Put everything a bowl, add chia, than mix everything well together. After that add seeds/grains than flour and mix, mix, mix until everything is formed into a nice batter.

After that’s done grease your hands with coconut oil, take small pieces from your batter and form it into logs, by rolling it between your hands. I have smaller birds, so I made them palm sized and relatively narrow. Adjust the shape and size of your logs accordingly to the size of your parrots.  After you have logs, place them into a dry mix of seeds/grains. They will stick to your logs without a problem. Bake them in the lowest heat you can or use a dehydrator if you have one.

Logs waiting to be put into oven.


Name: Rose (eng.)/ Ruža (cro.)

Latin name: Rosa

Roses are one of the most favorite flowers of women around the world, because of its  beauty and delicateness. Roses are more than a token of love and appreciation, they have been used as a remedy for many years. Despite their tender look, these are very hardy plants, know to survive even in the most hostile environments. What they do need is water, plenty of it, without it they will not produce its beautiful flowers.

One of the most common usages of rose flowers, to be precise its petals, are in different rose oils and waters. Rose water and oil  are often used in high-end skin care products, because of its calming effect on skin and help with irritation. One of many reasons why rose oils are so expensive is that it takes a lot of petals to create a small amount of oil.

Wild roses produce rose hips, which are loaded with vitamins A, C and E. During the World War II, according to a few sources, English government ordered that all of  rose hips had to be harvested and a syrup to be made, as fruits were unavailable at that time. There is  research that states that rose hips have 60% more vitamin C than citrus fruit. Nowadays, dried rose hips are commonly available in most health food stores. You can use them as is in a dry mix for your parrots or as a immune busting tea. Roses have made more than a few steps into cooking- from vine to jellies and various sweets.

If you have roses in your garden, you can collect petals before they fall to the ground and use them later, either in teas or dry mixes. You can also buy teas made out of  rose buds. How they were made is simple- rose buds are collected while still young and fairly small, than they are dried and used for making teas.

Rose tea has many benefits, but should be used in moderation as it can cause diarrhea.  One of many plus sides to rose tea is that it acts as a natural relaxant. It soothes and helps calm the nervous system. I use rose petals, flowers and buds in a dry/ tea mix. It’s a mixture of herbs and flowers that help you, well in these case my parrots, to calm down a bit. It’s meant to be used either as a calming tea or sprinkled over their foods. I’ll show you the mixture in another post.

Common Plantain

Name: Common Plantain (eng.)/ Trputac (cro.) /Breitwegerich (de.)

Latin name: Plantago major

There are few different types of Plantain that are edible, parrot safe and have beneficial properties. Basically, it’s a weed and it grows around most parts of the world. That makes it easy to find and offer to parrots. They grow anywhere ranging from meadows, next to road curbs, pastures, even on dried out meadows, too.

Both leaves and stems (with seeds) are edible. Common plantain has wide, roundish leaves. Easy to spot.

There are a lot of beneficial traits of plantain; for years it has been used to help sooth stomach problems, as it counteracts the effects of stomach acid. I’ve also read that a tea from leaves of plantain can help clear out toxins and purify blood and some articles I’ve read on the subject suggest that plantain is one of the best cures for issues with blood and limb poisoning.

It is loaded with vitamins such as vitamins C, K and B, also it is high in potassium, calcium, magnesium, etc. As you can see, plantain is a very beneficial herb for you and your parrot. One of the most common usages of plantain is to help with blisters, wounds and any other skin problem, even sunburns. It is also a wonderful aid in kidney health. I could, honestly, go on and on about benefits of this plant. I’ve fed plantain to my parrots without an issue for a very long time. It seems to me that they really enjoy its flavor and I’m honestly glad they do. I try to mix and match different herbs, flowers and grasses, so they can pick and choose what it is that they need and want. It’s very enriching for them and that’s just one of many plus sides of feeding fresh plants.

If you don’t have access to untreated lawns, meadows or pastures, look at your local herb or tea manufactures, Mountain Rose Herbs being one of those stores who sell plantain in North America.

A bit of everything bread

I wanted to make a little treat for my parrots. Something simple and easy that didn’t require going outside in the rain to shop for ingredients.

I always keep a small stock of dry, organic, parrot safe ingredients for days like today.

I used flours I had at home- chickpea, spelt and whole wheat flour. I tried to use them in equal amounts. Any flour can go, really, it just depends on what you have on hand. I didn’t have many fresh vegetables at home today, as I didn’t have time to go shopping, BUT I had a lot of  other things to make it a more healthy treat.

I used- raisins, millet, Avian Organics Pura Vida and Pear’ngs, millet flakes, chopped up almonds and Avian Organics Craving Carrots. This is a mix of dried carrots, goji berried and mango, made for adding to homemade mashes, breads or muffins. Unfortunately, at the moment they are not selling it. I also added some seed mix I had and Cayenne pepper, ground ginger and fresh, cut up apples.

Not everything I added is pictured, though. I also added some organic apple powder I purchased from Avian Organics awhile ago. I added a teaspoon of extra virgin coconut oil, too. Instead of using eggs, I used chia seed that I allowed to gelatinize before adding to the mix. To make it form a batter, I added water as I was mixing it.  I could have used a bit more apple powder, though. Maybe next time.

After baking bread turned out pretty nice. It smells AMAZING!! It’s dense, doesn’t fall apart easily and looks really nice if I may say so myself.

Flower bouquet

There are two meadows very close to where I live. No one goes there and they haven’t been treated, planted on or worked on for 20+ years. They are surrounded with trees, bushes and a lot of plants forming a very thick fence.

I found some pretty cool clover and dandelion flowers and very soon they formed a nice bouquets for my parrots.

There are reports that red clover helps prevent cancer and heart diseases, lowering cholesterol and to prevent osteoporosis.  Also it  is considered to be one of the richest sources of isoflavones. It is also rich in many vitamins and minerals.

Edible flowers database

I’ve  decided to create an online edible flowers, plants, grasses and herbs database. Most information you can find online are made with North American flowers in mind, to be precise, plant names are often very colloquial and when you google it, you can come across more than a few different types of flowers and not be sure which one is the one that you wanted. I’m working on a list of plants that are safe and can be found throughout most of the world.

How will it look like? I want to keep it as simple as possible. My goal is to show that adding fresh plants to your parrots diet isn’t as hard and doesn’t request a lot of work on your part. We do know that parrots eat fresh flowers, leaves, fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts in the wild, so it only makes sense that we try to copy some of that into our homes. There are healthy foods all around us, we just need to open our eyes a bit more.

There will be a link in the sidebar, to the entire list. Easy to find and browse through. I will add photos and plants as I find them, because I will only use my own photographs. The list will include : name of the plant in a few languages and it’s Latin name, so there will be no need for Google translate, as it tends to lead you to a completely different plant. This way any confusion about a specific plant will be cleared out.  Along with photos of plants, I will list their health benefits, how to use them and a few other information, everything I post will be linked to a specific article/site where I have found information I’m sharing here.

Keep in mind that all of plants you give to your parrots have to be picked far away from any roads, not treated in ANY way; either with pesticides or any other chemical, for that matter. Plants should not be exposed to harmful fumes or near industrial plants. Use your common sense here, if it doesn’t feel right, probably it isn’t. Wash all of the plants thoroughly and cut the ends of before you give them to your birds.

Easier way is to plant them on your balcony /garden/ patio, this way you are 100% sure what you are feeding them is safe. Most of these plants are weeds, so keeping them alive isn’t a problem.

Sunny day out

I think both my parrots and I will miss summer. They got to spend 6 hours every day outside, enjoying fresh air, sun and other birds in the trees. They loved it and I think all of my neighbors are now accostumed  to parrot contact calls.

I’m not a fan of full spectrum lighting and always try to provide as much sunshine as possible. It would be wonderful for them if we lived by the seaside year round, so they could enjoy life outdoor more. Back home is a lot more colder than here so I can’t take them out until well into spring. 

Sunshine provides ability for vitamin D to be synthesized and along with that it helps to absorb calcium into bones.

Here’s an interesting link about vitamin D.

Swing Ringo is on is Oliver’s Garden Tri- Swing. This is the only swing she will use. She doesn’t have all of her toes, so gripping onto things can be a bit difficult for her. In the 5 years I have her, I have bought her dozens and dozens of swings and this is the only one she is more than comfortable using. She sleeps on it, swings, eats, plays.

On the menu this morning ….

…are blackberries, carrots, peppers, parsley and kohlrabi greens!

Carrots, blackberries and peppers, along with my favorite topping for their food- Avian Organics Pura Vida and Pear’ngs I’ve placed in their bowls. I haven’t chopped them, just used as is. I think they really enjoy shredding whole vegetables and it seems to be very enriching for them, too. I do, however, feed them Chop through out most of the year. Summer is exception to that, because there are so many fresh, in season items that it would be a shame not to take a full advantage of them.

Blackberries are truly a superfood, not only for parrots, but for humans, too. They are high in vitamin C and fiber, a combination that has proven to be very helpful in fighting certain types of cancer. They have, also, the highest antioxidant levels of all fruit regularly tested. Blackberries are  high in gallic acid, rutin and ellagic acid, a known chemopreventative, with anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.

Ringo enjoying a carrot. Both of them really like carrots and I’m glad that I don’t need to be a magician to get them to eat fresh foods.

Parsley, kohlrabi greens with addition of lavender and petunia flowers were made into small buqets for them to shred and chew 🙂 Over the years, I have come to a conclusion that even though they do shred their fresh foods, some, it not most of it does, in the end, get eaten.

Unfortunately, summer will end soon, so if you have the opportunity to offer your parrots fresh foods, do it while you still can. Soon enough fall rains will come and before we know it, it will start snowing.