Mariella  wrote:

Hello Mitch, I hope this email finds you, your pretty lady and your lovely birdies all well and happy.

I was hoping you could advise me on a current issue with our Senegal Parrot,


He has recently developed a habit of biting on and lifting his food parrot dishes inside the birdcage.

I am concerned that he is Chewing off tiny particles of plastic that could harm him.

He also chews on the enameled metal food dishes I have tried as a substitute.

He is a happy, sweet bird who laughs a lot, sneezes back to my

allergy-sufferer husband, and he is a light in our lives. Creature is more than 20 years old now.

He is with me all day in my painting studio.

He has 2 birdcages and an open perch where he sits when we watch tv at night.

He has a diet of nutri berries and fruit/vegetable pieces, peanuts and walnuts.

He is very insistent about this biting/lifting behavior. I use distractions

— toys, and moving him around on a carrying stick, but I worry about this.

I would value your advice on this and please let me know if you have any suggestions.

Thanks and thank you all for the Sunday emailings.

Always enjoyable and valuable information-

Your friend in Woodstock,NY


Hi Mariella

My guess is he’s a bit bored with his food situation. Birds do not get parrot dishes filled with food in the wild, they work for food spending their day foraging.

That’s how they are wired. Peaches our Sennie is quite needy to the point I can’t get work done.

I work from my home office a lot as she’s only in her cage to sleep.

We created foraging boxes in addition existing bird dishes throughout our apartment so I can set her on a stand or on top of her cage and she keeps plenty busy.

You just need a small box, then pour nutriberries (I break them down with my fingers)  , peanuts, walnuts almonds sunflower kernels.into the bottom of the box then fill it with parts (old bird toys) vine balls, finger traps, drinking straws – use your imagination.

This what a bird foraging box looks in action.

You mentioned Creature is with you in your painting studio. Most paints in including artist oils emit VOC (volatile organic compounds) just like house paint. This is not good for the avian respiratory system.


Best of luck and let us know how this works out.


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