I have been a bird owner for almost 10 years. We have an African grey parrot, a blue and gold, and a scarlet macaw. I feel that I am well read in this area due to trying to educate myself by reading lots of books. I really enjoyed this video and felt that it was very informative despite all of the reading I have done on my own in the past. I think this is a video that should be watched by anyone who is going to buy a bird, or by anyone who already owns a bird despite how long they have owned one already.
I am glad the video talked about not buying an unweaned bird as this happened to me because I did not know any better and I did have a lot of problems with the bird initially. I am grateful that I have a friend who is an avian vet that was able to help me through those problems. 🙂 But this did lead to a lot unnecessary vet bills just to rule out that an underlying medical problem was not the cause of the abnormal behavior.
During the shower section I have had a question that the video did not address. Is there danger in birds coming out of the shower in the northern climates when the house is colder (i.e. heat is set at 70)? Our birds do shower with us but there are times that I have been concerned that the house is too cold when they get out of the shower so I put a space heater in the room for a while until they are dry. I do not know if this is necessary and at times I may choose to not shower them due to not wanting to leave a heater going when I am not going to be home. Even when I get out of a hot shower in the winter I feel cold sometimes. Can you comment on this with regards to birds and their body temperature going from hot shower to the winter home environment? I am sure a lot of other bird owners in this area have this question.
Overall, I loved the video and would highly recommend it. I learned a lot by watching it and am grateful to the experts in the avian world for taking the time to put this series together. I think there is so much to learn with regards to caring for these amazing creatures and the more information that we as bird owners are armed with the better.
Michelle Thompson, DO
Thank you for your question and your kind review! If you, and others, live in northern climates where it is cold in the winter and are concerned about your bird, consider the following:
When normally feathered, bird feathers are amazingingly insulating and can protect against wide swings in temperature. That is unless the feathers become waterlogged in which case, the bird can become cold very quickly. This is a good reason to NOT use products, like some shampoos and soaps, that completely soak the feathers.
If your bird is not normally feathered, such as with feather damaging behavior, skin wounds or other causes that leave skin exposed, then cold and heat stress are more likely.
If your bird is sick, it may not be able to handle cold or heat stress as well as would a normal animal.
A cold bird often shivers.
Keeping these in mind, if your bird is healthy and seems comfortable after a shower it will probably be fine at room temperature (65-75 F). If you are concerned and still want to bathe your bird, then gently dry the bird and give him/her the option to set next to a heat source. If the bird is cold, he/she will more towards the heat (or away if too warm).
M. Scott Echols, DVM, Dipl ABVP (Avian Practice)