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Friday, February 27, 2009
Wintertime Doldrums

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

macaw looking at winter
Photo courtesy of Linda Costello
This macaw can't wait until spring, and neither can Linda.
birds in tropical room
The birds play happily in their tropical room, completely oblivious to the cold.

We’ve had freezing rain and the roads are all closed. I'm so glad I don't have to go out for anything. Here in Ohio, we have had our share of snowfall, but the birds play happily on their stands and playgyms, listening to tropical music CDs, oblivious to the cold outside.

When the weather gets bitter, I use supplemental heat in the bird room. I like the oil-filled, old-fashion, radiator-type heaters. They have no exposed hot coils to worry about getting burned by or posing a fire hazard.  One can heat a good-sized room where the bird's cages are.

But even with this type of heater, I initially run it out on the porch or in the garage (with the door opened) on high for a while before I use it around my birds. This is to burn off any toxic lubricants applied to new units by the manufacture that could harm their sensitive respiratory systems.

As long as we don't lose power, we stay toasty and happy in our warm little nest (err...I mean house!).

For short spells of power loss, I have a couple propane heaters on hand for an emergency. But I hope I never have to use them. I can cover the cages with thick warm blankets, keeping an eye on the temperature, using the supplemental heat only in a dire emergency.

I make use of the time I spend indoors by playing with my birds where it's warm and cozy. I take pictures and videos that I put together into a video collage. The montage I created online is below.

I can't wait for spring, which is just around the corner.

On a happier note …
Now is the time to try to get the birds used to wearing their flightsuits or harnesses.
I have fun taking my birds out and about, plus it's a good way to socialize them. With that thought in mind, at least one window in the house will have a tropical view, with the mural-type curtain covering the sliding doors. So we'll ignore the snow on the other side of the window while we keep playing, singing and dancing along to our tropical music while we wait for warmer weather.

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Wintertime Doldrums

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Reader Comments
I think we are all looking forward to warmer weather. I cannot wait to open our aviary and put the birds outside. This weekend was like a teaser. I will have to get some tips on flight suits from you.
Carol, Beaver Falls, PA
Posted: 3/9/2009 5:53:32 AM
Loved your 'inside story' Linda and the little show was fantastic!
Everyone back at the Real Macaw Bird club look forward to your Parrot & Macaw Photo's and all your great advice.
Joan, Upper Montclair, NJ
Posted: 3/2/2009 9:00:44 PM
Loved your video. Am going to updating our web site very soon, and maybe try a video of our pets.
Margie, Pompano Beach, FL
Posted: 2/28/2009 10:50:19 AM
Your birds are lovely and seem to have a good time. Not much winter here. Birds are a bit more tolerant of cold than the heat we get here in the south.
peggy (of the many), Houston, TX
Posted: 2/28/2009 8:05:23 AM
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