I have mentioned in past posts how useful it is to have a faithfully kept journal to refer back to in times when you feel at a loss about a particular behavior your parrot is exhibiting. Spring is coming, and the hormones will soon be raging. A parrot’s behavior can be so perplexing during this time that I have often referred to last year’s journal to see what craziness was present, as well as refreshing my memory about changes in eating an sleeping patterns. This is a great time to have this journal to return to.
Generally, spring begins in February for me, although being in a different location this year might alter that, and my notes might not be as relevant. This year’s entries will definitely help me next year. I have a terrible memory, and will be counting on info that I take down now.
I keep one journal for all of my birds. I used to keep separate journals for each of them but I too often found quaker notes in the cockatiel journal. A typical entry includes the date, weight of the bird (if there is a notable rise or fall, I would record that) and the weather conditions. Birds can sense a drop in barometric pressure and it will sometime alter their behavior. If I found any unusual behavior, like inactivity, or noticed that the poops looked off, I would note that. Often hormones can cause all kinds of unusual physical effects. Keep track of your parrot’s molting schedule, and her mood throughout.
If there has been a trip to the vet, it is recorded along with notes about exam findings and test results. I keep a medical file for the birds as well. When you leave the vet’s office they will give you a receipt that lists all medical procedures done on that date, Always keep these in a file for future reference. It will also keep you aware of which bird is due for its yearly checkup.
If you keep precise and observant notes, you might even catch an unwanted behavior in the act. When something you made a casual reference to escalates into a problem later in the month, it is much easier to trace the source of the problem so that you can go back to alleviate the cause.
And remember, your parrot journal doesn’t only have to record concerns you have. Jot down your warm memories, best cuddle sessions and interesting conversations too!
Author Patty Jourgensen specializes in avian health, behavior and nutrition and has been working with and caring for rescue birds since 1987.