Wednesday, July 26, 2006


High Temperatures Carry A High Price For Some

Here in Southern California it's sweltering out. Fortunately, I'm in an air-conditioned office, and when I return home, I can plop myself in front of the fan or take a cool shower, but what about my Senegal? He should have access to the same things if I want him to survive the summer heat.

Some bird owners think that because many of our pets come from tropical or other south of the Equator locations, they'll endure the summer heat just fine. Maybe that's what a young Virginia woman was thinking when she locked her cockatoo in the car while she went to see a movie? She cracked the window an inch. It was 90 degrees outside, the Associated Press story reported. Moviegoers reported the presence of a distressed bird to theater staff who called the police. By the time they could open the car door, the bird was dead in its cage, the story said. The cockatoo owner was charged with animal cruelty.

Obviously, it's NEVER a good idea to leave an animal in a stationary car. We all know this, but how else can you prevent your pet from suffering in the heat? Well, for starters, don't leave the cage in full sun. Be certain that the temperature in the house remains tolerable throughout the day. Use a fan or AC. Always provide your bird with a place to bathe. I drop ice cubes into my Senegal's water dish and he loves tossing them around. Smaller birds might lick the water drops off of freshly washed lettuce leaves, or they just might roll around in them. Try spritzing your bird with a fine mist in the morning to keep him cool over the day. Fruits with their heavy water content help birds stay hydrated, too.

If your bird starts holding its wings away from its body or opening its beak in a panting motion, cool it off quick. Other suggestions?

I freeze water in bottles or other plastic containers and then place them around my guys' cage or in the bottom of the cage if it gets very hot and we don't have a/c for some reason (like it breaking on the 106 degree day!). That cools the air down for them.
Poor cockatoo!

Good tips!
I have a box fan in my room because it's really hot. My birds don't seem to mind, and it keeps us all cool. I keep the door open so it doesn't get too cold, and put the fan on the lowest setting.
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