Essential Bird Care Tips
You will need to prepare and purchase several things before you can bring a bird into your home. Fortunately, all the items necessary to care for your pet should be available from your local pet store. The following are the essential supplies your pet will need.

Bird Habitat

The size of the habitat you will need depends on the bird (or birds) you want to keep, but a good rule of thumb is to provide your bird the largest habitat that you can afford and have room for in your home. If you can’t buy or don’t have space for a very large habitat, you shouldn’t get a large bird.

Prepare a square or rectangular habitat rather than a round one to give your pet more room to fly and move. The bars should be evenly spaced and not narrowed toward the top. When the bars are tapered in a habitat, your bird can get its toe, wing, or even his head caught where the bars come together and cause serious injury. Make sure the habitat also has a removable grate at the bottom just above the habitat tray that catches the bird’s waste to prevent your bird from getting to it.

Choose a habitat made of metal. For small birds, you can get a habitat made from a combination of metal and plastic. Stainless steel is your best choice, but powder-coated steel and galvanized after the weld is also good habitat materials. For smaller birds, you can try acrylic habitats because its solid walls can help in preventing mess, but moisture can build up in the habitat if it doesn’t have enough ventilation. Some metals may have harmful toxins that your bird could ingest.

Bird Bedding and Habitat Lining

There are a lot of materials you can use to line your bird’s habitat, but the best options are newspapers or commercial bird litters. These materials are safe, inexpensive, easy to replace, and clearly show a bird’s droppings, which can help monitor his health. A change in droppings may be a sign of a potential health problem, so if you notice anything unusual with the dropping appearance, place wax paper as a liner to get a better look at the droppings.

Pet Bird Food and Water

Pet Bird Food and Water
The ideal material for your pet’s food and water cups is stainless steel because it’s easy to clean and disinfect. While your habitat may come with a couple of plastic cups, these can become scratched, allowing the growth of bacteria in the crevices. You can also teach your pet to use a water bottle, but make sure they cannot reach it and chew through it.

Bird Food

To ensure that your bird stays healthy for long-term, provide a balanced diet, preferably a pelleted or extruded diet. You may also supplement with fresh vegetables and fruits depending on the species. If you’re looking for the best training treats, your best options are high-fat seed and nuts. A seed mix diet may not contain enough minerals, especially calcium, as well as vitamins and amino acids, so make sure to provide mineral block or cuttlebone. However, if you are providing a pelleted or extruded diet to the bird, the mineral block or cuttlebone may not be necessary. If you have a breeding female, you may need additional calcium to form eggs successfully.

Bird Perches

There are several options for bird perches. Some are made of natural branches, some from wood, plastic or PVC, rope, concrete, or pumice. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Give your birds perches of different materials that vary in diameter. If your bird stands on the same perch consistently, especially on one that it is hard and rough or too large for its feet, the bird may develop foot disorders. Ideally, the bird’s foot should wrap approximately ¾ of the way around the perch. Switch out the perches as you do bird toys so your bird that likes to stand in the same spot will be forced to stand on a different perch.

Bird Baths

Birds bathe in several ways. Some enjoy being misted with a fine mist from a bottle of warm water; others love to soak in a shallow bowl while others will like to join you in the shower! If the bird wants to be in the shower, purchase a shower perch so you can let your bird spend quality time with you.

Remember that a variety of birds come from a tropical climate that is very humid and wet, so bathing is essential to their health.

Bird Toys and Enrichment Items

Bird Toys and Enrichment Items
There is a wide variety of toys available to keep your birds entertained and enriched. Include thinking toys that will stimulate its mind, action toys that make a lot of noise or require your bird to move, comfort toys that your bird can enjoy calmly and quietly, and toys he can chew to keep his beak in good condition.

You’ll immediately see which toys your bird fancies, and this will allow you to keep him well entertained. Keep in mind that birds in the wild are very active, ever-moving, and foraging and a bored bird can easily pick up bad.

You can also play videos or interesting audio for your birds. Nowadays, the approach to enriching and entertaining birds is by providing foraging opportunities, treats hidden within toys, or homemade items such as a cardboard tube and coffee filters. These are all creative and safe ways of enriching and entertaining birds.

Bird Travel Carriers

When taking your bird to the vet’s office and other places, you will need a travel carrier. A popular choice is a soft fabric carrier, but if your bird is ill, it won’t be very easy to disinfect. Plastic airline kennels are more practical and easier to clean if needed. The travel carrier should also have enough ventilation and a place to put food and water dishes. If you plan to travel with your pet, select a model that will fit under the airplane seat.

It’s essential to make the carrier a safe and desirable destination. Use it as a place to offer treats, and allow your bird to walk in on its own to fetch those treats. If you aggressively place the bird in the carrier, it will quickly become a scary place they don’t want to go, and each time will become harder and harder to get your bird into it.

Paws & Claws offers a variety of seeds, supplements, and supplies for Oakland Native species as well as domestic species. Please send us a message at and let us know what you need. If we don’t have it, we would be happy to place special orders items to meet your Ornithophile needs.