The only times I find myself getting annoyed with another bird owner is when I offer them advice and they immediately shoot it down: “you’ll have to come up with something different – my bird will NEVER go for that”. They insist on using words like “stubborn” or “scared” or “disinterested” to describe their birds. I find that these words often also describe them.

In contrast, my favorite owners are the ones who not only accept the advice they receive but also modify it to suit their situation, overcome hurdles and inspire interest and eagerness in their birds.

Birdtricks fan, Rachel Hoo, recently sent us a letter explaining how she combined information from several of our blog posts and used it to successfully improve the diet of her dad’s cockatiel:

Yes, 30 seconds was how long it took for Romeo, my dad’s all-seed-diet cockatiel to try Birdtricks’ natural diet. And probably a minute to decide that he loves it!

There are two parrots in my house; Ringo my African grey and Romeo, my dad’s cockatiel. Ringo is super tame and is on an extremely healthy (birdtricks) diet…

I’ve read Patty’s post on how her cockatiels gobbled up her broccoli one day when they were previously on an all seed diet, indicating that they do crave the nutrients they lack from an all seed diet. I’ve actually tried sneaking in a piece of broccoli to Romeo’s food bowl before but of course, he wouldn’t touch it. I’ve also read about Jamie and Mel’s posts on observational learning, and decided to try it out.

So here’s what I did just now. I left Romeo’s cage door open. I tried tempting him out by placing a stick of millet outside his cage. Didn’t work. And then, brainwave! I served Ringo his birdtricks dinner 2 feet away from Romeo’s cage. I used a kitchen towel instead of a bowl so Romeo could see and hopefully be tempted.

Ringo of course gobbled down his favorite meal… and within SECONDS Romeo was out of the cage, climbed out on his own and all, showing all the signs that he badly wants some! It was so cute, he circled round and round, stealing a bite every now and then.

And the millet outside his cage is left unwanted.

So THANK YOU birdtricks for all the information and knowledge you have shared, and I can rest well knowing Romeo will NOT die young with fatty liver disease because now I know how to get him to eat healthy!

Thank YOU, Rachel, for improving Romeo’s diet and ultimately his health. Wait till you see the changes in his feathering and his overall demeanor!

I once had someone tell me that they were NOT getting our nutrition course because it was filled with healthy recipes. As you can imagine, that left me a bit speechless. She wanted a book that was filled with recipes with ingredients her bird was currently eating, but there are only so many ways to prepare seed. Why would anyone want a variety of ways to offer a harmful diet?

She completely denied the possibility that something in the cookbook might start her bird on the road to good health, as it has for so many other birds since its release. Please don’t let your assumption that your bird will not eat healthy foods stop you from improving his diet and his life. Learn more about Cooking For Parrot here.

Cooking For Parrots

Patty Jourgensen specializes in avian health, behavior and nutrition and has been working with and caring for rescue birds since 1987.

1 comment


Hi Jamie I’ve been watching alot of your videos and you capri and Dave are fantastic my little sister has got 2 birds please could I buy all the cook books you have for my sister but im struggling to find your books on the Internet i will be very grateful 👍 James


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