Category: Health

graphic of the COVID-19 virus

Webinar: “COVID-19 And Pet Birds”

Join us for a live, interactive webinar hosted by Laura Doering, former editor of Bird Talk magazine and Birds USA magazine. Our special guest Stephanie Lamb, DVM, DABVP (Avian Practice) will discuss the COVID-19 pandemic, how it pertains to pet birds, and how we can keep our pets safe and healthy.

Amazon parrot eating leaves from perch in cage

Fresh Foraging Ideas To Try

Offering our bird’s foraging opportunities with pellets, Nutri-Berries, and healthy snacks is a great way to satisfy their work-for-food instincts. Other great foraging opportunities await with fresh, edible, non-toxic plants. In the wild, part of a bird’s search for food means tearing through a plant to get to the more desirable parts. It’s no surprise that parrots like to chew! Discover tips for creating an edible “foraging jungle” for your pet bird.

African grey parrot

Tune In To Your Bird’s Daily Habits

Many of us are having to stay home from work, school and other social activities to reduce the chances of coming into contact with and spreading the COVID-19 disease. Although this time of self-isolation may be challenging, it can also be thought of as an occasion to spend a little more time with our feathered friends and other pets. As pet owners are at home and observing their birds at times where they may not normally, they may discover that their birds tend to follow routines daily, just like we do!

macaw head, side view

COVID-19 And Pet Birds

The COVID-19 pandemic is an emerging disease with many facts still unknown. If you have questions about how it might affect pets, here’s what we know so far, with tips on keeping your pet birds safe.

head of cockatoo

Coughing Parrot?

Do parrots cough? Cough-like noises can indicate an underlying medical issue in our feathered companions. See how parrots’ coughs are different from ours, and when to call the vet.

Amazon parrot

Parrot Behavior Consultants: Who They Are & How They Can Help

Life with a parrot companion can sometimes mean dealing with a situation that you don’t quite understand or that might be causing discord in the home. A certified parrot behavior consultant can help. Learn what it takes to be certified, and how these specialists can assist you.

African grey

Inside Pepperberg’s Lab: Vet Visits Are Essential

Dr. Pepperberg shares her experiences with taking African greys Griffin and Athena (and Alex before them) to the vet for their well-bird health checkups, which, with their verbal communication prowess, has led to some interesting vet interactions.

parrots in cages

Moving With Your Bird? How To Reduce Stress For Everyone

Your house is all packed up, and you’ve hired movers to transport your belongings to your new abode. All that is left now is ensuring that you and your loved ones— including your feathered family members—arrive safely at your destination. Lisa Bono, CPBC, offers some important insight based on her own experiences on making the move stress-free for the flock, as well as tips to follow anytime you transport your bird.

cockatoo portrait

Playing With Fire: Tobacco & Pet Birds

Tobacco use, including e-cigarettes and vaping, can adversely affect a bird’s health. You might be surprised by some of the sneaky ways tobacco use and its by-products­ can adversely affect a bird’s health—see what you can do about it.

eyes and nose of a dog

Birds & Other Pets: Why You Need To Be On Guard

If you share your home with companions of both the feathered and furred kind, you might long to see your pets hang out together and be best friends. But before you do, these real-life situations prove that the hazards are real and the consequences potentially tragic.

male Eclectus close-up

Car Safety: Why Your Bird Needs to “Buckle Up”

Should Polly Ride Shotgun?
The term “distracted driving” conjures up thoughts of some obvious culprits – texting, talking on the phone, eating, etc. We must also consider driving with a feathered passenger – or other pet(s) – as a potential cause of distracted driving, especially a bird who is unsecured in the car. Find out why your bird needs to “buckle up” during car rides, the safest spot in the car for your bird and the type of carrier to help ensure you and your bird safely reach your destination.

yellow crown amazon parrot

How Good is a Parrot’s Long-Term Memory?

How well do parrots remember situations, other parrots, and people over the course of their long lives? Dr. Pepperberg, gives us a rundown on research that points to parrots as having brain areas that function in ways similar to the human cortex, and how their extremely high neural densities enable advanced cognitive processing—which requires good memory.

male normal gray cockatiel

New Bird? 5 Ways To Get Off To A Great Start

Have a new bird, or know someone about to welcome a bird into his or her life? Setting a bird up for success as a companion pet has a lot to do with the right interactions. Learn what you should do — and not do — those first few weeks after bringing a pet bird home. Get on the right track with your pet bird, and maintain a mutually respectful relationship for the years ahead with these helpful tips to welcome a new bird into the home.

avocado, fried avocado, avocado fumes

Did Avocado Fumes Cause Bird’s Death?

As a healthy food for people, avocado is more popular than ever, and along with that comes an abundance of avocado recipes. Unfortunately, a recent bird death brings up the question, “Could fumes from frying an avocado be dangerous to pet birds?”

Hurricane Harvey Water Damage

Lafeber Helps Birds Displaced by Recent Hurricanes

The aftermath of Hurricane Harvey still affects many Texans, including some pet bird owners. Read a first-hand account of flooding in a Houston home, and how Lafeber Company and a circle of donors are helping by sending bird food.

mini macaw, yellow collared macaw, macaw parrot

Inside The Mighty Avian Heart

A bird’s cardiovascular system must provide adequate delivery of oxygen to vascular beds that are taxed by extreme metabolic demands.

Blue fronted Amazon eating

What Is a Geriatric Parrot?

What exactly defines a “geriatric” bird? Discover the physiological signs of aging in birds and the steps to take to help ward off the afflictions associated with advanced age as well as see what studies reveal on birds’ secret to a long life span.

Caroline Efstathion crouching on ground holding parrot chick in towel

Parrot Conservation Surprise Challenge: Bees

When Dr. Caroline Efstathion learned that a major problem for parrots in South America and Africa is Africanized honey bees taking over their nesting cavities, she seized the opportunity to combine her passion for parrots and knowledge of entomology to help find a solution.

two cockatoos flying free in blue sky

Flight & Exercises To Keep Your Bird Moving

To truly be healthy and fit, our birds need regular exercise in addition to a wholesome and balanced diet. Of course, for birds, flying is the optimal form of exercise. But is free flight a safe option for every companion bird? Are there alternatives?

scarlet macaw flying in blue sky

Free Flight: Lessons from ExoticsCon

One trending topic among avian veterinarians is the correlation between flight and bird health. Specifically, having a companion bird fly can help maintain cardiac, vascular, muscular, and mental health.

Dr. Scott Echols stands with Drs. Nico Schoemaker and Yvonne Van Zeeland at the Lafeber booth at ExoticsCon in Portland, Oregon.

Bird Vets Flock To Portland For ExoticsCon 2016

Exotic medicine was in the spotlight recently when the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV), Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians (AEMV) and the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians (ARAV) met in Portland for ExoticsCon 2016. One trend seen among avian veterinarians is an increase in pet birds presenting with metabolic bone disease, one form of which includes osteoporosis.

head shot of yellow and blue macaw

Complex Intelligence Defines Bird Brained

It appears that the part of the brain that corresponds to the forebrain, the pallium in birds, has a much higher concentration of neurons or the brain cells packed in the same amount of space than many primates.

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo walking

Pet Parrots & Ground Foraging

Parrots in the wild spend good part of the day on foot looking for items to munch. And so it stands to reason that the parrots in our homes might also enjoy walking on their own two feet to see what they can find. Here are some tips for creating a bottom play and foraging area for your pet bird.

1 day old African grey chick with eyes close being held up by someone's fingers; no feathers but it does have fuzz

An Egg’s Incredible Journey

From the ovaries to ovulation, trace the path of a bird egg and what happens at each stage to result in the fragile casing of new life.

head shot of yellow and blue macaw

“Healthy” Foods Your Bird Should Stop Eating Today

Many of the foods we think are healthy aren’t 100% so. In fact, some start to creep into to the unhealthy category if we overindulge. When we offer some of these seemingly healthy foods to our birds we might be serving our feathered companions a potential overload of sugar, sodium and other unhealthy ingredients.

Sun Conure

A Healthy Year Ahead For Your Pet Bird

This is the time of year to make New Year’s resolutions and many involve fitness and health. So what about your bird friend? What type of resolution for them? We want them to be fit and healthy as well, so what are the bullet points to achieve that goal?

blue crowned conure

Protect Your Pet Bird From Mold

Ventilation, heat, humidity, cleanliness and other factors affect the possibility that your bird might suffer a respiratory infection caused by mold.

Toucan with a 3D Printed Beak standing in cage

A Printed Prosthetic For A Damaged Beak

A brave toucan named Tieta can eat again thanks a special collaboration between the South American wildlife management group Instituto Vida Livre and three Brazilian universities determined to give her a new start in life. See what her 3D printable beak looks like and how she’s learning to use it!

group of people at ExoticsCon 2015

Avian Vets Flock To ExoticsCon

Exotic medicine’s super powers — the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV), Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians (AEMV) and the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians (ARAV) — gathered in San Antonio for ExoticsCon 2015.

A grebe getting cleaned

A Firsthand Look At A Seabird Rescue

When Internal Bird Rescue got the call that 50 seabirds were in distress in the San Francisco Bay, they were soon tasked with saving cold, wet birds that suffered from a mysterious feather contamination. See the life-saving tactics rescuers quickly enacted, including the feeding of a one-of-a-kind Lafeber diet that helped save the day.

African Grey Parrot

Avian Medicine Gets The Spotlight In Paris

Dr. Susan Orosz reports on some exciting developments in avian medicine at the second International Conference for Avian, Herpetological and Exotic Mammal Medicine (ICARE) conference recently held in Paris.

double yellow headed Amazon parrot

Healthy Gut, Healthier Bird

Good digestive health can hinge on the balance of good microbes vs. bad microbes, with a balanced immune system at stake. See what researchers at Texas A&M found when they compared the microbiome of wild parrots with that of companion parrots.

Blue fronted Amazon eating

Nutri-Berries vs. Standard Avian Diets

In the 25 years that Lafeber’s Nutri-Berries have been part of the food spectrum for parrots, more and more pet bird enthusiasts have offered them as a surefire way to get their birds on the path to good nutrition. You know your bird likes them, but are you curious to know how Nutri-Berries stack up against standard parrot diet offerings?

Two green winged macaws in the wild

Parrot Breeding Biology In The Wild & In The Home

Knowing what in-home conditions can inadvertently mimic breeding season in the wild can help us lessen or deter hormonal behavior inside the home. Find out how cage placement and the food you offer can affect your bird’s behavior.

Blue fronted Amazon eating

Celebrating 25 Years of Nutri-Berries!

It’s official — Nutri-Berries have been making pet birds happier and healthier one Nutri-Berry at a time for 25 years now! It’s hard to imagine the pre-Nutri-Berries world … all those bland diets made offering balanced nutrition an exercise in frustration. Fortunately, Nutri-Berries changed all that.

cherry headed conure

Follow This Stay-Healthy Plan For Your Pet Bird

If you’re a to-do list person or one who needs a little reminding every now and then, you’re in luck! We’ve put together a month-by-month list of suggestions —and gentle nudges — to help you help your pet bird in the year ahead.

white capped pionus sitting on food dish

Is Your Pet Bird A Healthy Weight?

Ever stop to think what type of shape your bird is in? Is he or she underweight, overweight or within normal weight … not sure? Find out what you can do to check your bird’s muscle mass.

head profile shot of African grey parrot for Grey Parrot Anatomy Project

The Grey Parrot Anatomy Project

The Grey Parrot Anatomy Project aims to create an accurate physical and digital anatomy reference, including a standardized basis for avian anatomy nomenclature, of the African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus erithacus).

African grey parrot flying indoors

Is Your Bird Ready To Fly?

Birds are the ultimate flying machines, with truly remarkable aerial feats. Part of what draws us to birds is the fact that they can fly; it is part of a bird’s unique makeup. While parrots can fly, there are certainly differences in the way they fly, and not all parrots are equally adept at flying.

macaw standing with one foot lifted

A Veterinary Conference for the Birds

Imagine a gathering of veterinarians rubbing elbows, picking each other’s brains about their complex cases, sharing research and developing strategies to conquer avian diseases and conditions. AAV’s conference is a week of just that. See what hot topics avian vets were talking about.

head and shoulder shot of yellow-naped Amazon parrot

Feather Trims & Other Summer Safety Info

While we all want to get out of the house this time of year, how should we do that successfully with our companion birds? These tips help you enjoy safe summer fun with your pet bird.

African grey parrot chick walking

How Egg Laying Affects Your Pet Bird

It is that time of year for the hatching of chicks – those from the wild and those in our homes! While they can be cute and fun, chicks are a lot of work and require proper care to survive and thrive.

Dr. Susan Orosz beside Dr. Giacomo Rossi

Pet Bird Research: PDD

Dr. Susan Orosz recently traveled to Rome, Italy for the AIVPA conference (Italy’s Association of Small Animal Veterinarians annual gathering). See what Dr. Orosz and her colleagues from both the U.S. and abroad are learning about PDD and how this “meeting of the minds” can lead to significant advances in treating this disease.

Green Parakeet

Psittacosis & Other Zoonotic Diseases

A zoonotic disease is a disease that can be passed between animals to humans. Zoonotic diseases can be caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi. As pet bird owners, we all need to know about the zoonotic diseases of our birds so that we can guard against them — to keep both them and us healthy and happy!

Green cheek Conure

Why You Need An Avian Veterinarian

Unfortunately, many people forgo taking their bird to the vet until it is too late, as in, “Now I should take my bird to the vet because it is down on the bottom of the cage.” When a bird is that sick, it is very difficult (for anyone, no matter their knowledge or expertise) to bring the bird back from the brink of death.

close up of face of senior orange-winged Amazon parrot

Amazon Parrot Still Going Strong at 100!

I have had a couple of old hens that have taught me a lot about birds. They were both orange-winged Amazon parrots. I am at the end of the generation of veterinarians on the first line where all of our patients were wild-caught.

Lovebird

Five Pet Parrot Facts

Parrots are structured to survive as flying, flocking, feathered denizens of the sky and trees. Check out these Five Fun Parrot Facts and you’ll have an even greater appreciation of your bird’s uniqueness!

face of Amazon parrot

Why Birds Live So Long

Parrots live much longer than they are supposed to live! In fact the large macaws live on average four times their predicted life spans! So what’s their secret?

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