New Bird, Who Dis? Part II: Getting to know this bird.

Si429

New member
Jun 16, 2022
13
40
Parrots
Red-Lored Amazon
Hi again- I'm Stephanie and I am one month in with the Red-Lored Amazon my grandmother owned. She died so the parrot has been with my dad and uncle and never socialized, taken out of cage, stimulated or other. Basic pellets and sunflower seeds. Yesterday I cleaned the parrot's whole cage while he/she sat on the top of the cage-- great progress for us both :) The wooden perches are like, drillled into that metal cage so I couldn't remove them but I gave them the strongest scrub and pressure washed them back to WOOD color (see pics). Parrot was so chill and happy to be on top of the cage and showed happiness as I was cleaning the dirty *ss cage.
I'm learning as I go both on this forum and online about the how-to's to care for this bird. We managed a shower today! Which they enjoyed and made aaaaaalllll kinds of squeaks, chirps, sounds and trills-- I was so impressed. This was their first shower in TWENTY YEARS. Yep, you read that correctly. This is also their first time (that I know of) on a hand and on a shoulder. It has taken various (and I mean v.a.r.i.o.u.s.) attempts to get him to mount my hand but the good ol' stop-giving-them-sunflower-seeds-and-use-them-as-treats-trick, worked wonders after a while. In my first post under "New Members" titled New Bird, Who Dis? I mentioned that this bird had eye gunk that was hardened on his little eye feathers. I managed to remove that gunk and one of his eyes has very little small feathers around it. No gunk anymore but they do scratch their head/eyes every good while. Don't know if it's to be concerned about but here come my two Qs:

1) Do his/her eyes look normal to you? Google photos show more feathers around eyes but IDK if that's always the case. (What do yours look like?)
2) Why are his/her feathers brown at the ends after a sprinkle shower? They don't look like that when dry and even the chest looked brown.
I will save $ to take to the vet one of these days but in the meantime I'm doing my best to feed him/her variety in their diet, with less seeds and nuts and more veggies and pellets although they won't eat the pellets. Avi-cakes are their fave so far but he/she will remove the pellets even in those. Learning as I go. Also, I ordered more toys for him/her and they should arrive soon. Meanwhile they're shredding the wooden block chain thing in the pics and also seem to love tearing at cardboard!
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Thank you for reading and helping answer my Qs.
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-Perico and Stephanie
 

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
16,184
6,197
Western, Michigan
Parrots
DYH Amazon
The eyes look normal. Remember that they can change their inner eyes to express themselves.

What you are seeing regarding the feathers is what happens when the reflection of the feather is changed because the feather is wet. The color will return once the feather dries. NOTE: Older feathers, with time, become flat in color and some will change a bit in their reflection. Talking about what color we see with Parrot feathers is a deep Nerd discussion in to both Human sight and why Parrot feathers appear to change color.

Remember that the goal is not to eliminate high-quality Seeds and Nuts, but to target eliminating Sunflower Seeds and Peanuts as they contribute to Fatty Liver and with Peanuts Fungi illness.

The cage is clearly one that targeted Macaws, but still fine for Amazons.
 

ravvlet

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Jun 25, 2019
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Seattle WA
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Kirby - OWA, 33yrs old (2019-)
Sammy - YNA, 45 yrs old (2022-)
RIP Cricket - Cockatiel (2019-2022)
Sammy’s feathers look similar to that when she’s wet.

What pellets have you tried? Harrisons’ Lifetime Pepper is a huge fav in our house; others have had great success with their High Potency blend. Be sure to get a kitchen gram scale and weigh your new friend when changing up their food; losing weight drastically is really dangerous for them.

Cleaning a filthy cage SUCKS. Both our ‘zons came to us with dirty cages, and climbing into those doors to go at it with a sponge & scrubbing brush is something I still see in my nightmares, heh! If those are not before pics, I’d recommend getting a scrubbing brush like you’d use for tile and a no-scratch scrubbing sponge and hit all the areas where you still see grime coated on. You can soak the brush or sponge in a bucket of HOT HOT water and that usually does the trick, even for old nasty gunk. IT WILL all come up, unless it’s rust. It mostly looks like caked on bird poop to me.

Please consider wearing a mask also when you’re cleaning up stuff like this - feces is the primary method through which zoonotic diseases in parrots spread to humans. Your bird hopefully doesn’t have anything, but it’s always good to be careful.

To keep it from building up (as it looks like the paint is starting to go in some areas, which makes cleaning harder) you can do a wipe down with a hand towel damp with warm water daily, or (less cost effective but very handy) use water-based wipes. I also roll my cages and playgyms into the yard once a month and hose them down, scrub them with non-scented dish soap and a sponge, rinse them, and treat them with a vet-grade disinfectant (you can also use a bleach-water solution as long as you rinse thoroughly).

For new perches - if you can’t get the ones in there out, you can at least add some more pretty cheaply. There’s a brand online called “JW Pet Comfy Perch” and they’re flexible rope perches that are under $10 for even the medium-sized parrot widths. They are not amazing, but if your bird doesn’t chew them they can last a while and are budget friendly and safe. Assuming there is not a good parrot store near you, big box pet stores do have some toys that are safe and appropriate (avoid bells) but they are kind of pricey - if I can’t make it into the parrot store I go online (Amazon, Chewy, etc) and they have some pretty great toys for medium sized parrots for $15 and under.
 
OP
Si429

Si429

New member
Jun 16, 2022
13
40
Parrots
Red-Lored Amazon
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  • Thread starter
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Sammy’s feathers look similar to that when she’s wet.

What pellets have you tried? Harrisons’ Lifetime Pepper is a huge fav in our house; others have had great success with their High Potency blend. Be sure to get a kitchen gram scale and weigh your new friend when changing up their food; losing weight drastically is really dangerous for them.

Cleaning a filthy cage SUCKS. Both our ‘zons came to us with dirty cages, and climbing into those doors to go at it with a sponge & scrubbing brush is something I still see in my nightmares, heh! If those are not before pics, I’d recommend getting a scrubbing brush like you’d use for tile and a no-scratch scrubbing sponge and hit all the areas where you still see grime coated on. You can soak the brush or sponge in a bucket of HOT HOT water and that usually does the trick, even for old nasty gunk. IT WILL all come up, unless it’s rust. It mostly looks like caked on bird poop to me.

Please consider wearing a mask also when you’re cleaning up stuff like this - feces is the primary method through which zoonotic diseases in parrots spread to humans. Your bird hopefully doesn’t have anything, but it’s always good to be careful.

To keep it from building up (as it looks like the paint is starting to go in some areas, which makes cleaning harder) you can do a wipe down with a hand towel damp with warm water daily, or (less cost effective but very handy) use water-based wipes. I also roll my cages and playgyms into the yard once a month and hose them down, scrub them with non-scented dish soap and a sponge, rinse them, and treat them with a vet-grade disinfectant (you can also use a bleach-water solution as long as you rinse thoroughly).

For new perches - if you can’t get the ones in there out, you can at least add some more pretty cheaply. There’s a brand online called “JW Pet Comfy Perch” and they’re flexible rope perches that are under $10 for even the medium-sized parrot widths. They are not amazing, but if your bird doesn’t chew them they can last a while and are budget friendly and safe. Assuming there is not a good parrot store near you, big box pet stores do have some toys that are safe and appropriate (avoid bells) but they are kind of pricey - if I can’t make it into the parrot store I go online (Amazon, Chewy, etc) and they have some pretty great toys for medium sized parrots for $15 and under.
Thank you so much for your suggestions and help. I gave that cage the best cleaning I could and gave those perches a scrub-down with soap and water and really, and I mean, really, rinsed everything to make sure no soap or poop was left anywhere. The perches look like wood again lol>
My parrot doesn't seem to be a fan of the bendable rope I got him and avoids it still. He's still only using the two perches he's had and occasionally walks on the bottom of the cage. Question: if my bird has pooped on the floor (when he climbs out or is on top of the cage while indoors), should I worry about those zoonotic diseases you mention? Should I always wear a mask or something around my parrot? What if he steps on his own poop- should I avoid him touching me?
 

ravvlet

Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Jun 25, 2019
1,244
3,725
Seattle WA
Parrots
Kirby - OWA, 33yrs old (2019-)
Sammy - YNA, 45 yrs old (2022-)
RIP Cricket - Cockatiel (2019-2022)
Thank you so much for your suggestions and help. I gave that cage the best cleaning I could and gave those perches a scrub-down with soap and water and really, and I mean, really, rinsed everything to make sure no soap or poop was left anywhere. The perches look like wood again lol>
My parrot doesn't seem to be a fan of the bendable rope I got him and avoids it still. He's still only using the two perches he's had and occasionally walks on the bottom of the cage. Question: if my bird has pooped on the floor (when he climbs out or is on top of the cage while indoors), should I worry about those zoonotic diseases you mention? Should I always wear a mask or something around my parrot? What if he steps on his own poop- should I avoid him touching me?
No, it’s only really problematic once it dries as the dust can get into the air. If he’s been an only bird his whole life, it’s likely he doesn’t have any diseases. The big one that we humans get fairly easily is psittacosis; it’s hard to get rid of and some birds are lifetime carriers. It isn’t deadly, and you can have them tested for it if you’re concerned. Otherwise, basic hygiene (washing hands before and after bird, keeping cage area clean) is more than sufficient to keep both of you healthy.

As for the perches, don’t give up on them yet! It takes some birds a VERY LONG time to adjust to new things; I’m talking months sometimes. I’d leave them in there and just see if he eventually takes to them.
 

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