Monday, July 14, 2008

Polyomavirus in Parrots

Many people already know about the Polyomavirus, but it never hurts to have a refresher minute, or to explain the virus to someone new to birds. Polyomavirus is a nonenveloped virus which simply means that it is hardy virus and can live outside of the body of its host. This type of virus resists many disinfectants as well as freezing and high heat. Polyoma is a foamite which means that it can travel on anything such as your clothes, hair, bird dander, even in your lungs. It is highly contagious and often fatal for birds. How common it still is today is unknown, but it is usually deadly to most all species of parrots if they get it at a young age. Sometimes older birds can survive an exposure, but then they may become carriers of the virus and spread it to other birds they come in contact with. It has been found that budgies and cockatiels can be healthy carriers, meaning they can carry the virus, and never show symptoms of illness. It used to be called Budgerigar Fledgling Disease in budgies.

Test can be done by your avian vet using fecal and blood tests to determine whether you bird has the virus, or possibly if your bird has been exposed to the virus and may be a carrier. If the bird has an active case of the virus and is contagious, they will be "shedding" the virus, and it is believed that the virus will show up in the fecal exam. If the bird is a carrier, it usually shows up in the blood work done by your avian vet.

Prevention is critical. You should follow proper quarantine and testing procedures before adding any new bird to your flock to help prevent infecting any birds you may already own. You should always remember that birds can be carriers and that this deadly virus lives for years on objects. If you visit bird fairs, please be sure to follow all steps to ensure you do not bring home any illness with you. Disinfect yourself, and anything you purchase at a fair before exposing it to your bird. If you like to take your bird to your local bird club meeting, or anywhere else there are other birds, you may want to have your bird vaccinated to protect your parrot from this horrible disease.

You can read more about Avian Polyomavirus at the links shown below:

Avian Polyomavirus: My Thoughts, David N. Phalen, D.V.M., Ph.D.Dipl. ABVP (Avian)

Polyoma Virus: The Real Story by Dr. Gregory Rich, DVM:

Prevention of Avian Polyomavirus Infections through Vaccination:
Dr. Branson Ritchie University of Georgia's Psittacine Disease Research Group

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Dancing Bird

Think you've got rhythm? Well, this little guy has got the moves for sure!
Just click on the link above in the title, or copy and paste the following in your browser's window:

Friday, July 11, 2008

Griffin the Amazing African Grey

We are all so very saddened when Alex the African Grey passed from our world, and we all knew that there would never be another quite like him. Alex was indeed an amazing parrot and an ambassador for the bird world sharing our knowledge that parrots are intelligent and wonderful companions. It is exciting that we find Griffin the African Grey parrot is also converting the non-believers as he wows them with this intelligence. What a great tribute to Alex that his friend Griffin is ready to take over as role of ambassador.

This video shows how Griffin is handling his own among human children in the classroom to prove the intelligence of parrots. Just click on the link titled above, or copy and past the following in your computer's web browser.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Share your birdie recipes

If you have a favorite birdie recipe you would like to share with us, please email complete instructions (and a picture if you have one) of your recipe to so we can add it to our web site and share it with other bird owners.

Blueberry Birdie Muffins

July is national blueberry month so why not bake up some yummy blueberry muffins for your bird.

Blueberry Birdie Muffins:

1 package Harrison's Bird Bread
1 two ounce size package Just Tomatoes Just Blueberries
(or why not add some fresh blueberries instead)

Follow directions on the Harrison's Bird Bread package for preparing your birdie bread. Then add the package of Just Blueberries into the mix and stir until well mixed. Pour mixture into muffin or cupcake pan and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Oven temperatures can vary so be sure muffins are done. Thoroughly cool muffins before serving to your bird. Cooked muffins can be placed into freezer bags and removed daily for a fun treat each day until gone.

Harrison's Bird Bread and Just Tomatoes Just Blueberries can be purchased at GourmetParrot