Our homes may be perfectly safe for people, but most homes aren't "bird safe." The following list includes many of the common hazards you need to watch for to keep your bird safe, healthy and happy:
1. Toilet bowls. Keep the lid closed so your bird can't accidentally fly in and drown.
2. Filled drinking glasses. To your bird, your iced tea might look like an inviting place to take a swim! Don't leave any liquids around when your bird is out playing.
3. Many household plants are toxic. Play it safe, and don't let your bird climb or chew on any plant.
4. Avoid using non-stick cookware! When Teflon, SilverStone and other non-stick cookware reaches a certain temperature, it emits polytetrafluoroethlyne (PTFE) fumes which are deadly to birds no matter where they may be in your home. A home with birds should have NO TEFLON-coated or non-stick products! Discard all of your Teflon-coated cookware, bakeware, irons, etc., today! If your kitchen range was manufactured recently, check the manufacturer's directions to determine if any parts (broiler pans, burner covers, etc.) are made of non-stick material. If so, these parts should be replaced, since they have been known to cause bird deaths.
5. Chocolate, Avocado, Rhubarb and alcohol are all toxic to birds! Do not give your bird even small amounts of these foods.
6. Lead is extremely poisonous to birds. Tiffany lamps, drapery weights, fishing weights, bullets, some paint, glazed ceramics, foil (from wine bottles, etc.), mirror backings, batteries, costume jewelry and many other common household items contain lead. A good rule of thumb is: Don't let your bird chew on anything except its own food or toys!
7. Avoid using aerosol sprays! Insect sprays, bug bombs, perfume, hair spray, spray starch...every modern household has a long list of aerosol products. Unfortunately, they are all toxic to birds. Never spray any aerosol product in your bird's room, and remember that air conditioners and ventilation systems carry fumes throughout your house. There are several "safer" insecticides available (through some pet stores and hardware stores), including those containing Pyrethrins. (Camicide is one brand.) Even these must be used with extreme caution according to label directions.
8. Make your home a no-smoking zone! We all know how bad smoking is for humans, but it's even worse for birds! Their respiratory systems can't handle even small amounts of smoke. So if you, your family or guests must smoke, please step outside to do it!
9. A parrot can easily chew through an electrical cord, so hide them well!
10. Learn to shuffle! Since your bird needs to come out to play every day, you have to be constantly aware that it's there. Tame birds love to follow their human family and get underfoot -- so look before you walk!
Also keep in mind........
Small children should not handle your bird. Even the gentlest child can get excited and accidentally
squeeze a small bird to death in an instant. Larger birds, such as amazons and macaws can severely injure a child's small fingers or face. Teach your children to appreciate the beauty and intelligence of your bird from a distance. Also, make sure they never feed anything to your bird without asking your permission.
Should a bird get loose in the house, do the following: Turn off ceiling fans and close the drapes on any large picture windows if possible. Remove cats or dogs from the area, cover any large open containers of water (i.e. shut toilet lids). Take a pistol grip sprayer with clean water in it and squirt the bird until he is wet enough that he can no longer fly well. You should then be able to pick him up with a net or your bare hand.