If your bird:
Looks or acts sick, Is losing weight, Is not eating, looks fluffed, Looks 'sad', is not active, is shaking, has squinting eyes or discharge from eyes or nose or his droppings look 'wrong' - contact us RIGHT NOW!
Call 610 0400 (or you can place a collect call or text and we will call back)
Bird metabolism is very fast. If he looks sick, he is REALLY sick.
Parrot Care in Belize
It is illegal in Belize to keep a wild-caught bird captive. You must apply for a licence from the Belize Forest Department and in order to qualify you must satisfy many strict criteria.
Follow this brief guide to give your captive parrot a long and happy life with a fulfilled relationship for you and your bird.
You can download this document, or contact us for more information, advice or assistance with your bird.
Why is it bad to take baby birds from the wild?
Belize’s tourism industry relies on its abundant wildlife, but parrot numbers are rapidly declining. Nest-robbers (poachers) are killing our future.
Is it really illegal to keep a parrot?
Yes. Check with the Forest Department about how to license your parrot.
Do captive parrots in Belize need special care?
Yes! Belizean parrots know that they are parrots. Every day they hear and see their parrot cousins flying free, so they are more difficult to handle than in the US or UK. They belong in the wild.
Why did my baby bird die?
Captive birds die from shock, not enough food or water or the wrong kind of food. Baby birds belong with their mothers. PLEASE don’t encourage the trade by buying baby parrots from poachers.
How long should Polly live?
Wild Belizean parrots can live 45-90 years, but most captive parrots die within five years through poor diet and bad care. Follow this guide and your bird will live much longer.
How smart are parrots?
As smart as a three year old child! They can think, evaluate, reason and remember. They are emotional, intelligent, wild creatures and it’s extremely hard work to befriend them.
How can I get him to talk more? Parrots vocalise more as they get older, especially if you spend a lot of time with them. Look after your bird and treat him well, he could live for 50 years or more, but you must look after him.
“I can’t cope with Polly any more!”
Call the Forest Department (822 1524) or Belize Bird Rescue (610 0400). Your bird can enter the rehabilitation programme where we will teach him to be wild again and eventually release him.
PLEASE: don’t just let him go–he will not survive.
A good home for Polly
A parrot cage should be at least four feet around so he can stretch, flap and move easily, otherwise he’ll become bored and unhealthy. Make the cage from ½” wire mesh so rats, snakes and possums can’t get in.
He needs a covered area for protection from weather extremes and an open area so he can choose rain or sunshine.
Parrots hate to be at ground level; put the cage as high as you can. It’s more natural if his cage is under a tree.
Exciting perches: Use different thicknesses and heights for good health and exercise. Perches must be secure and not twist around. Parrots love to chew leaves so give fresh greens every day. Make sure you have enough perch space for everyone and take care if you have two or more birds: fighting can lead to fatal injuries.
Bathe him: Take him into the rain or use a gentle spray-bottle of warm water, he will love it, especially in the dry season. He’ll look and feel much healthier.
He needs to play: Parrots are social birds. In the wild they live in large flocks. Boredom makes a parrot aggressive and miserable: he may even pluck out his own feathers. He needs toys and a friend (human or parrot) exactly like human children. Give him lots to do, love and attention: solitude is torture for a parrot.
WAYS TO STOP HIM BITING
Free Time: let him roam outside of his cage as often as you can. Parrots are a lot nicer when they’re free.
Play Time: he needs toys and interesting things to chew on and explore. Bored birds bite.
Social Time: sit still and let him climb on you. Don’t just try and hold him, let him make the advances.
Quiet Time: too much noise and fuss will frighten him and he’ll bite. Make sure he gets a full night’s sleep.
Time Out: sometime’s he’s just plain grumpy so leave him alone for a while. You may think you’re in charge, but you’re not!
YOUR TIME: If you don't have the time don’t get a parrot!
Food Glorious Food
A little of everything
Banana, mango, watermelon, papaya, unsalted cashews, sunflower seeds, sugarcane, figs, oranges, kinep, plums, celery, spinach, pineapple, carrot, okra, craboo, hibiscus flowers , fresh corn, dried yellow corn, green beans, ackee, all apples & plums, grapes, chilli peppers, in fact most fruits and vegetables and even flowers.
Too many sunflower seeds will make him fat.
Peanuts may carry a fungus that is toxic to birds: experts advise not to give peanuts to your bird.
SICK-MAKING: salt, alcohol, fizzy drinks, sweets, sugary cakes, salty chips etc.
POISONOUS: chocolate, avocado, onion.
ALWAYS: CLEAN, FRESH DRINKING WATER
Make toys for your parrot!
Connect craft beads, Popsicle sticks, wood blocks, small bush sticks, sugar cane, plastic bottle tops, leather strips, leaves, coconut, flowers, pasta pieces, toilet roll inners, clean rags, buttons, nuts, mango pits and baby toys with pipe-cleaners, ropes, string, vines and cable ties (which are also excellent for securing branch perches)
Cutting a bird’s wings does not make him tame that can only be achieved through hard work and dedication.
He needs wings to keep warm and dry, protect soft body feathers, exercise his chest muscles and to control landings and avoid injury, so if you must do it, do it right. DO NOT cut all of the feathers. Here are several diagrammes of the best way to clip your parrots’ wings.
Hopefully you now have some ideas to help Polly have a long and happy life.
If you would like help working with your parrot, or more advice on his care, please contact us.
If you decide that Polly should return to the wild contact us or the Forest Department to enter him into the rehabilitation programme.