Many of us have heard stories about birds outlasting their owners. This is a surprise to many, considering the delicate appearance of most species of birds. Birds, especially canaries, were used by miners to test the quality of the air deep in the mines. When the air reaches relatively unhealthy levels, the canaries are affected adversely and succumb to the fatal effects.
This gives miners ample warning before the air became fatal for humans. This shows the keen perception of birds. Pet birds are easily affected by unwholesome smells, similar to wild birds.
Many household items, Teflon pans, aerosol sprays and even furniture polish, can be lethal to birds. The best policy when handling anything that may give off a strong odor is to use it in a well-ventilated area that is well away from your birds. Pet birds have a natural inclination to chomp and it can be a major issue. When a bird chomps on soldered joints on welded items, lead poisoning is a common result. In addition, birds like to nibble on potted plants. Despite contrary belief, poinsettia plants are not poisonous.
It is better to be safe than sorry so do err on the side of caution should you be uncertain if a plant is poisonous for your pet bird and remove it from the reach of your pet. To provide your birds with a safe alternative, a small pot of parsley can help avoid the temptation of nibbling on your houseplants. Fresh food that is fed to your birds will do them a whole lot of good; however, avocado, coffee and chocolate, are toxic to birds and should never be fed to them. During festive seasons, many families tend to bring trees into their homes. Many might think that a bird's natural habitat is a tree and have the belief that their birds will have an affinity for perching on it. While the birds may in fact enjoy such an activity, many pine trees are toxic to birds, especially if they have been treated with any type of preservatives.
Furthermore, electrical lights and decorations can be pose a certain kind of danger for your birds. If your bird does not have its wings clipped, there are quite a few additional safety concerns to be addressed. First, all windows and glass doors should be covered in some way. The best way to do this is with curtains or shades. An alternative to curtains or shades is placing safety decals on the glass so your birds can tell the glass is there and avoid serious injury or even death. You should treat other large reflective surfaces and mirrors in a similar manner when your pet bird is released from its cage.
Standing water can also be a hazard. Your bird can drown in a toilet or full kitchen sink in a matter of seconds. Cooking while a bird is out of its cage is not advised, especially if you have an uncovered pot on the stove.
Finally, always be mindful of the whereabouts of your bird even if its wings are clipped. On an updraft, even a bird with clipped wings can glide for quite some distance. It is easy to forget that your bird is perched on your shoulder when your doorbell suddenly rings and you rush to answer it but you must remember never to carry your bird to an open door regardless of whether or not its wings are clipped.
Moses Wright loves to help fellow bird owners with their pet care problems whenever he is free. You can find more free home bird care problems and solutions resources on his site.