Teas from Greywood Manor

7aFirstly I am sitting here in our bird room, looking around and realizing how blessed we are. Parrot Earth started with a simple blog that has become so much more. People are reading my experiences into my journey into aviculture and are getting something out of it. To be honest, the parrot earth blog started out as my own sounding board and I wanted to put it out there, so maybe someone could relate with adopting or rehoming an older bird.  Granted Dexter was that “old” when I got him, but he had some baggage.  Together we have grown leaps and bounds, parrot earth has become the website it is from the support of the readers.  Parrot Earth is the source of good quality information, of which I originally wished was out there when I began.  It’s truly become the “Ultimate Companion for The Parrot Owner”.

Now, we at Parrot Earth are so very happy to announce the newest journey in Parrot Earth’s expansion.  Greywood Manor Tea & Provisions is a new tea company that we have formed with your pets in mind.  Yes, I said pets, not just birds.  When we got together with Jason Crean and collaborated on these tea mixes, we realized that bird owners own many more companion animals than just birds.  Chickens, pigs, rodents, guinea pigs, reptiles are just a few of the new line of teas we are offering along with our avian line.

teabagYou may be saying “Tea for my pets?”, yeah you read that correctly.  I originally did a “Chats” interview with Jason Crean and we talked about his experience with teas and a holistic approach to avian care.  I fell in love with this concept, not only because eastern medicine has used teas as a holistic treatment for centuries, but because they are principles, I have seen work.  I’ve been asked “where are the studies” to support these findings?  My response, “show me the studies on broccoli, kale, quinoa, or the many other ingredients we as bird owners feed in chop, mash or vegetable diets”. In life we have to think outside the box and some of the greatest concepts and ideas in life all took one person taking the first step.

Where do animals drink in the wild?  Puddles.  Puddles that have run off foliage, plants trees, grasses…. you get the point.  These puddles are an essential collection of nutritious oils, enzymes, minerals and other nutritious vitamins.  So why not offer your companion the opportunity to have a concentration of essential nutrition that they would otherwise consume in the wild?

Hyacinth_macaw_drinking_at_small_water_holeThe greatest thing about adding teas to your bird or other animal’s diet is the sheer fact its common sense science.  You don’t have to have a degree in biology to see the benefits from tea or other organic ingredients.  You just have to believe in the power of mother nature and look at another spectrum of health maintenance.  It’s really that simple.  We have formulated blends for your birds who have inflammation, skin and feather conditions, need daily immune boosting, need a bit of help during the hormonal times of the year, just to name a few.  

Our teas are designed to be brewed, some can be brewed and sprayed, some can be fed in daily diets, dry.  It all depends on the formula, and your animals.  For more information on our product, please visit Greywood Manor and take a look.  

Tea from Greywood Manor, may just be the thing that your pet’s wellness is missing.  After all, your animals are worth it. 

copyright – 2015 – Parrot Earth – Tea from Greywood Manor



Planning for the Future.

FutureI just read a post online and it gave me the writing jolt.  For those of you that may not know, writing comes when it comes, and you have to strike while the iron is hot, as they say.  This post had resonance and is rattling around in my brain, “I’m planning on a trust for my birds, because I want to make sure they are taken care of”. Pretty powerful words, right?  I mean, we all love birds, and we want the best for them, right? We’ve looked into planning for our retirement, yet, how many of us have taken the proactive initiative to plan for their future? 

While typing this, I realized that we actually don’t have current and up to date wills. To be honest, there was a time in my life where I lived pretty “freely” and wasn’t much of a planner and just thought I would “figure it out”.  Of course I think that’s before you get to the certain mind-set, where you realize your mortality.  One of my favorite quotes for aging is “you spend the first 40 years trying to kill yourself, and the last 40 trying not to”.  Aging isn’t for the faint of heart and it isn’t something that is for the faint of heart.  Taking a step back and making sure that your birds have protection and there is a clear and concise plan of where you, as their owner, want them to go is so important.  You are the one that makes them breakfast every morning and cleans cages and knows all of their little habits and quirks, of course you should have a say in their final home.  

While helping a few birds here and there find their way, we have run into the story of “my mother/father died and I need to find a home for her birds”, and the first question I always ask, “was there a will,were there any final wishes or arrangements made?” and nine times out of ten the answer is, “no”.  

Personally I want to have a hand in where ALL of our animals go, and make sure they get the same quality of care they would receive in our home.  I think that would be the biggest peace of mind if you were ill and could no longer care for your pets.  Knowing they will be taken care of down to the smallest detail, would definitely give me peace of mind.  trusts

There are ways to start planning:


noun \ˈtrəst\

: an arrangement in which someone’s property or money is legally held or managed by someone else or by an organization (such as a bank) for usually a set period of time

Trusts are set up to hold money and a trustee will make payments to the sanctuary or home of your choice.will  



A will is the legal instrument that permits a person, the testator, to make decisions on how his estate will be managed and distributed after his death.

There are now a lot of options for a will if you cannot afford an attorney to draw one up for you.  However I have seen some do their own wills and I would recommend you get a professional to help, if you can.  

pet_collagePreparation is important, because in the end, our animals won’t have the voices that we want them to.  They won’t be able to speak up and say where they want to go.  So, do them a favor and do some prep work.  Think about if you weren’t around, where you would want them to go or who you would want them to be with.  Many think parrots are going to be a burden and they look for the nearest sanctuary.  However that is not always the case, you may have struck a chord with a relative that would love to take your flock in, or maybe a neighbor that helps house sit or a friend from work that comes over for happy hour?  There are so many options, get creative and ask around.  

Because you never know what can happen when you’re Planning for the Future and trust me, they will thank you for it.

copyright – 2015 – Parrot Earth – Planning for the Future


Birdie’s Day Out

jail_break_1127455A week ago, I was perusing our local neighborhood blog, I saw someone had listed a “found” parakeet.  I read the post and looked at the picture, they had the poor little guy in a kids laundry hamper with a bowl of water.  There was also a description of the situation and the little guy wouldn’t even eat a “cracker”.  This made me a little nervous.  I was not sure how long he had been out, how long it had been since he ate and if he was ill.  The Pacific Northwest is going through a dry and hot spell.  Temperatures are soaring into the 90’s and for up here, that is a lot.  The Seattle area is usually a lovely and comfortable 78-82 degrees for most of the summer, however we have been dealing with 90+ reading for weeks.  

I immediately emailed the person who had the parakeet and let them know who I was and what I do.  Come to find out, the person was an old friend of mine and someone I use to see quite often.  He said they had no idea what to feed him, or what to do, his wife was terrified of the little bird and would not handle him. Within five minutes we were putting on clothes (this was at 11:30pm) and grabbing our lovebird’s travel cage.  

keetWe arrived at the house, which was just three minutes away and had the little guy in the cage and on our way home.  It wasn’t until we got home I realized something wasn’t right.  His beak was covered in what appeared to be scales. For anyone that is familiar with Scaly Mites or Knemidokoptes pilae, and you have other birds in the house, it makes your cringe.  Thankfully we always take precautions when bringing in a “new” or unfamiliar bird into the house and put them in quarantine in the basement office. Because of everything I assumed this little guy had been through, surviving a number of days in the wild, in high temperatures with limited food and water, I figured he probably just wanted to sleep.  I made sure I threw in some millet in the little food dish in case he wanted some comfort food (and I also figured if he was going to eat anything, it would be millet), so I covered the little cage and hoped for the best.  

keet.3The next morning I woke up, asked my husband if he was still kicking and the answer was, “yes”.  “Wonderful”, I replied.  It was time to put out the bat signal online. I asked for advice from some of the most knowledgable people I know, and I got a ton of information, on how to treat the mites to how long.  Because other birds are susceptible to scaly mites, I had some pondering to do.  I made the decision that I didn’t want to risk an outbreak.  I called around and chatted with an acquaintance of mine, who works at a local pet store.  They would be able to treat him in a quarantine area and also put him on antibiotics immediately.  Ah, a breath of fresh air.  

keet.2I made sure all the Lost/Found and local neighborhood blog was aware that he had been taken to the pet store and no one has made any inquiries about the little guy.  I talked to the pet store (they think he is well into his teens) and they are going to make sure he goes to a loving home or find a rescue for small birds, where he can live out the rest of his days.  

This time of year, it’s easy for accidents to happen.  Heat goes up and windows and doors get opened.  Unfortunately, I have spoken to some people who believe that it’s ok to set their birds free during this time of year.  Since exotic birds aren’t acclimated to eating outdoors, nine times out of ten, they starve to death or are killed by predators.  Please, take measures to make sure your bird doesn’t escape.  Also, make sure you have the information from bands (if they have them), photo’s and take recordings of your birds whistling and communicating. This will help if your bird gets out and needs a way to find his way back home.  

Copyright – 2015 – Parrot Earth – Birdies Day Out


That Cozy Feeling?

angry-parrot-500x406I get a lot of readers who write inquiries to me on a pretty regular basis.  If I don’t know the answer, then I will find someone who will.  I love being stumped by a situation or problem and then learning something new along the way.  I think that’s a humans lot in life, constantly learning and getting better.  The world of aviculture is continually evolving and things that once were “THE BE ALL END ALL” items and ideas, have actually become outdated and antiquated.  It’s okay, that’s life, as long as we get better and not bitter.

“Our new bird is extremely cage aggressive and won’t let us come near their cage, but is fine when they are away from their cage.” is a line I have seen in many a message and email.  My first question is, does your bird have a birdie hut/tent/cozy/snuggie of any kind? Nine times out of ten, the answer is, “yes”.  I fostered a Lovebird years ago who had snuggie tent is her cage, it made her the meanest bird that I think I have ever seen.  She quickly got the nickname “devil bird” from friends that would come over and visit.  At the time I thought her little birdie hut was adorable and didn’t have the faintest idea that could be the root of her “evil” behavior.

willowCleo, our newest grey came with a snuggie tube sort of thing, and she was what?  You guessed it, cage AGGRESSIVE!  You couldn’t stick your hand in to get her if your tried. When her cage came into the house I immediately knew we were going to have trouble. I got rid of that thing as quick as someone would hold open the garbage can lid.  Within a couple of hours, her demeanor and body language began to relax.  Granted, she was still territorial but she would allow you to touch her cage doors and change her water dish or even adjust toys. Within three or four days her aggression was almost gone.

So, why will my bird snuggie tent cause this behavior?  Simple, nesting behavior.  Birds do not have sleeping bags or a tent in the wild.  They are “cavity nesters” and dark enclosed spaced give them that little tinge of hormones that say “let’s have babies”. Giving a bird any sort of nesting material, which would be a warm, dark enclosed space says “let’s get territorial because there will eventually be eggs here and they must be protected”.  As bird owners dealing with mood shifts and other external factors, why give them something that could potentially be mood altering and also extremely dangerous.  

tent.birdieBird snuggie tents are made of fabric, personally I don’t like anything fabric because it is incredibly hard to clean and keep sterile.  Not to mention those little pieces of fabric that after being chewed on can be ingested causing a crop impaction. It could also become a danger by strangling your little companion and even possibly getting a foot caught and breaking it.  A few years ago a reader’s sweet Sun Conure got her foot stuck and pulled out a toe and bled to death while she was at work, what a horrible thing to come home to.   

I know that as parrot owners we want to make the best environment and make it the most comfortable for our little feathered companions, but when it really comes down to brass tacks, why give them something they wouldn’t get in the wild?  Why put your bird in danger for That Cozy Feeling?  

Copyright – 2015 – Parrot Earth – That Cozy Feeling


Mister Rogers’ Shoes

mrrogers_imageThis time of year makes me think about shoes.  Yes, you read that right, shoes.  I begin to think about the opening sequence of Mister Rogers’ neighborhood and how he had his outdoor sweater, and outdoor shoes. To some Fred may have been a snappy dresser, this may have also been the behavior of someone who is germaphobic or has an extreme case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder other wise known as OCD. Maybe he was just a very clean man, I guess the real reason will remain a mystery.  But there is a lesson here.

Spring time brings about a lot of amazing things in the world. Trees fill in, flowers start to bloom, bees and other insects appear and the wild birds begin to have babies.  It’s a beautiful natural circle. The list of projects builds and the weather is just lovely enough to get most of them done.  While this is going on, sometimes what you bring in from the outdoor world is left on the bottom of your priority list, or on the bottom of your shoe.  

If you are like 80% of garden or yard people, you use fertilizer on your grass, shrubs flowers etc. This section does NOT include Organic garden or yard people, instead this is for the consumer who believes in Miracle Grow or other commercial fertilizers.  Both can work and they have different results, but ultimately it’s your decision.  It’s not my job to tell you what to do, instead warn you about what you are tracking in your house after you spray your lawn or garden.  There are also Pesticides when you step into the Weed n Feed variety of fertilizers, which are a two for one shot.  Fertilizing and killing those pesky lions that aren’t really so dandy (dandelions) unwanted insects and other nuisance weeds.  The chemicals alone in those mixtures would stump some of the best science minds not to mention

pesticide“Of 30 commonly used lawn pesticides, 19 are linked with cancer or carcinogenicity, 13 are linked with birth defects, 21 with reproductive effects, 26 with liver or kidney damage, 15 with neurotoxicity, and 11 with disruption of the endocrine (hormonal) system. Of those same pesticides, 17 are detected in groundwater, 23 have the ability to leach into drinking water sources, 24 are toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms vital to our ecosystem, 11 are toxic to bees, and 16 are toxic to birds.” ~ eartheasy.com

Spring also brings out household insects which we have to spray the outer perimeter of the house with an insect killer.  It works effectively, but again, you have to follow the directions of when you can interact with the areas that have been sprayed and how long it takes to dry.  Not all products are created equal, DO YOUR RESEARCH and if you have a gnawing feeling in your gut about it, DONT USE IT.

Parrots and other birds are already susceptible and vulnerable to so many environmental hazards, imagine what these things could do to them.  Bottom line, you have to be Extra careful.  When we are out doing yard work, we have our yard shoes and clothing separate from the rest of the house.  We take them off, and wash them the minute we walk in the doorway.  The last thing you want is your parrot or other animals playing or ingesting these chemicals. Even if you garden organically, you don’t want to track in some of the items used in Organic fertilizers being ingested by your feathered companion.  The bottom line with your household animals, you can never be too careful.  

cockatoo grassAnother reminder, if you have your birds outside playing in your grass or flowers, make sure they aren’t in any danger.  Many chemicals are still on your plants and grass anywhere from a month to a year, so you never know how safe your yard truly is.  Not to mention on your yard furniture, decks and walkways.  

Sometimes the goal for having that perfect yard is the finish line, but you seem to forget about the steps you have to go through to get there and essentially you forget all about Mister Rogers’ Shoes.

Copyright – 2015 – Parrot Earth – Mister Rogers’ Shoes