(Compiled by Original Flying Machine L.L.C.)


If you live with a bird, read this!

If you know someone who needs help with their bird, give them this sheet.



C Poor diet is the No. 1 reason for poor health.

C Feed your bird a daily varied mix of pellets, vegetables, beans, grains, fruits, sprouts, needs, and nuts. (Some species have specific requirements--find out what's right for your bird).

C Pellets and fresh, clean water should always be available--change both at least daily.

C Birds are social animals and social eaters--share your healthy foods with them.

C NEVER give birds alcohol, chocolate, caffeine, avocados, guacamole, rhubarb, high salt/sugar or fried foods.



C Learn your bird's regular habits. If your bird acts or looks different (e.g., listless, fluffed at bottom of cage, nostril discharge, irregular poops), see an avian vet IMMEDIATELY.

C Bathe your bird at least weekly in a pan of shallow water, in the shower with you, or spray them from above with a spray bottle. Make it a fun event!

C Do yearly well-bird checks by a qualified vet, including cultures and blood work.

C Regularly trim nails and flight feathers by a qualified bird groomer.

C All bird need at least 10 hours UNINTERRUPTED, dark, quiet, sleep in their cages every night.

C Birds need vigorous exercise and time out of their cages every day.

C Keep your bird away from toxic plants; keep a list of bird-safe plants handy.

C Birds are sensitive to fumes. Keep them away from paint, smoke, aerosols, etc.

C NEVER use non-stick cookware, scented candles, plug-in fresheners or your oven's self-cleaning feature.

C NEVER leave birds unsupervised with children, dogs, cats, ferrets, reptiles or other pets.



C Expect to spend a lot of your free time with your bird--you are their flock.

C With kindness and consistency, all birds can be taught how to be good companions.

C Respond ONLY to behaviors you like, ignore those you don't. NEVER PUNISH!

C Birds usually bite when they've run out of other ways to communicate--pay attention.

C If you have problems living with your bird, seek out a competent avian behavior consultant.



C Your bird MUST have a cage for its safety and as an emotional haven.

C Bar spacing needs to be the right size for your bird.

C Provide at least two natural branch perches in their cage--a small one, so their toes wrap around, and a large one, so their toes rest flat. Safe branches with leaves are great.

C Have several bird-safe toys in cage--preferably shredable ones.

C Change cage papers daily. Don't use corncob or other bedding--they promote bacteria.

C Clean cage thoroughly with soap and water at least once a month.

These are the Essential Bird Basics, endorsed by our writers, for happy and healthy companion birds.