My Favorite Spring Hobby: Picnicking with the Birds

It’s almost spring, a time for hope and optimism with the continuing lengthening of days. As a historical re-constructionist, I enjoy spring as a time to explore German folklore and traditions; the equinox is the perfect time to celebrate German heritage! But when the day is over and the eggs are all eaten, I have another, favorite spring hobby: taking my beloved parrots on picnics.

Picnicking with your parrot has to be a late spring hobby, but it is a wonderful way to bond with your bird-and get her some fresh air and direct sunlight. Like humans, parrots need direct sunlight to produce Vitamin D; there is no substitution for a few minutes out of doors in a travel cage, particularly when the weather warms to over 65 degrees.

Almost any non-rainy day in the 60s to 90s or so will do fine for your bird. As always, common sense applies-if your bird’s body language indicates discomfort, do whatever it takes to help your bird such as misting showers, blankets, or indoor shelters. Always put your bird in a species-appropriate travel cage with natural wood perches, a water bottle your bird knows how to use, and a variety of foods. I always put in a small treat cup which I fill with fresh foods. Always secure your cage with leather cord or thread, connecting pieces such as top and sides and sides to base from at least two opposing sides for each section. Most plastic bases have small holes to accommodate connecting hooks. Thread your cord through these to tie the base to the sides of your cage. Remember: accidents can happen; the best travel cage can separate into its pieces with a gust of wind or slight stress to the bars. It’s happened to me; it can happen to you!

As you enjoy your picnic with your bird close at hand, be aware of predators in the area. Raptors in particular are deadly to companion birds outdoors, able to kill your bird from within her cage.

For all this risk and precautionary measures, I find that being outdoors with my birds and including them in outdoor meals is more than rewarding. It’s a special bonding time for the birds and myself, a chance to relax in the sun. I can’t wait for spring!

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