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Friday, June 5, 2009
Birdie Bath Time

By Linda Costello
Explore the diaries of daily life with large birds.


Molly and McMurphy, two green-winged macaws
Molly and McMurphy, the green-winged macaw siblings, love to take a bath.

Cupid, the Moluccan cockatoo
After a bath, Cupid, the Moluccan cockatoo, is called a “big pink chicken” because his feathers, that were white from powder, look pink!

In the kitchen, after having a good, drenching shower in the bathroom tub, my birds, Morgan, JJ, Renee and Boo will preen their feathers while drying, and watch home videos of themselves that I have on a tape just for their own entertainment. They'll be happily preening their wet feathers, but before long they'll be talking and singing right along with themselves on the tape. It becomes a big social event. I sometimes call it “Parrot Spa Day.”

Molly and McMurphy, the green-winged macaw siblings, are always ready to get on the shower perch for a good soaking. They are such a cute sight to see sitting on the shower perch, soaked to the skin! And there is nothing like a shower to bring out the beauty and shine in their feathers.

I think they truly love their showers and will often ask for one if I get lax. So, I'll carry them into the bathroom where I put them on the perch in the tub. While I spray them with the hand-held shower nozzle, they'll hold their wings out, twisting this way and that trying to catch every drop of water, all the while squealing, “Shower!” and “I like it!”

Morgan, one of my macaws, will not go into the tub shower, so for her I use a clean plant mister to spray her as she runs back and forth on her perch with her wings out.

And my conure, CooCoo, is easier showered in the kitchen sink with the spray attachment. 

After his shower we call Cupid, our Moluccan cockatoo, our “big pink chicken” because his feathers, that were white from powder, look pink! (Showers help keep the powder produced by African greys, cockatoos and cockatiels to a minimum, which is good because it can be an allergen to some susceptible people and other birds.)


During the warmer months, I sometimes take the birds outside in their travel cages, spray them with the plant mister and let them dry in the sun. The sunshine is good for them, and they seem to like hearing all the different sounds and seeing sights that they don't usually get to see.

Never underestimate the “power of a shower.” Not only do the birds look fluffy with vibrantly-colored feathers, but it's good for their well being.

Check out my Bath-Time Montage:

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Reader Comments
Hi There
Phoenix, B&G, is afraid of the shower but loves to swim! He waits til the bath has 3 to 4" the slides from end to end wings out blowing bubbles, then stands under running tap with warm water down his back saying Phoenix ' lov it ' he is soaked to the skin, then towel dry to get most off. In winter we blow dry infront of the mirror to inspect his feathers. In summer just dry off the most then I will dry outside in the sunshine.

Noah, Molaccun, after a year has finally wanted to have showers where he is soaked to the skin. You are right he looks like a pink chicken.

All 4 birds here are rescues. Noah has been with us 13 months & I have refused to push him now my pactience has paid off, he wants to bath & have fun doing it.

Phoenix loves to swim even in the local swimming hole with me, I can never leave him on the shore. He blows bubbles and tells me how much he loves it.

They all add so much to our lives I look forward to being with them ever minute.
I should post some video of Phoenix swimming

Geri, Welland, ON
Posted: 7/2/2009 7:10:36 PM
I've never had a Macaw that didn't enjoy the shower. My Blue & Gold and my Umbrella come in and sit on the shower curtain rod every morning. On weekends they get their showers. I once had a Blue & Gold that climbed onto my shoulder every day as I rinsed out my hair. She'd tug on my ear if I didn't finish quickly enough. If you let them watch for a while they want to try out the shower too. You don't need to fix the bird, just adjust his situation or motivation.
Charles, Orlando, FL
Posted: 7/1/2009 4:58:41 PM
Linda, I so enjoy your stories…I sent them to friends and new bird owners so they can get good ideas of how to make what the birds NEED fun and easy. Thank you!
Diane, Anchorage, AK
Posted: 6/7/2009 6:39:55 PM
Hi Linda,

I love your blogs :) And thank you for the amazing video clips of your beautiful family. I'll bet your birds love it when summer arrives and they can bask in the warm sunshine.
Elba, Bloomingdale, OH
Posted: 6/6/2009 5:32:20 PM
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