Photo by Dave Location: Augusta, GA Bathing: Galahs "Ace" & "Bondi"
Bathing your parrot often is crucial to your parrot's health and feather condition. Some birds love to bathe (Comet, my Camelot macaw will literally take a bath ANYTIME!) others... not so much... like my military macaw will hang in the back while everyone else gets wet. He rarely takes part. Most of the time he will sit there as if he is being rained on and just accept it, but not act like he's enjoying it much. He isn't running away either, but still. Not very happy about it.
Our galahs literally celebrate bathing! Bondi, our female, is the most likely to get into the mood to bathe and the others soon after follow. It seems like the peer pressure of... if one bird is enjoying it, maybe the others will too so they're more likely to try.
This is my favorite article on bathing your bird and all the different ways to do it: Bathing your parrot (properly).
Photo by Jamieleigh Location: Augusta, GA Bathing: Camelot macaw "Comet"
Some other tips I've learned with bathing my own birds that seem to get them in the mood to bathe are...
- Soaking down the cage they're in and letting it drip down and land on them randomly. This will sometimes provoke my macaw or grey into liking the idea of getting wet.
- Waiting for warm weather. Who wants to go to a water park and get wet when it's cold out?
- Partake in the play! If you're doing it too, it must be cool.
- Let them experience a natural bath outdoors, get an aviary or an extra cage to keep outside for these occasions. Sometimes of the sound of rain or water gets the bird in the mood for a bath!
Try not directly hitting your birds with water. Dave tends to spray the water in one direction and lets the birds run and fly into it if they want to be in it. Then we will soak down their wings and tails as necessary to get any other droppings or things off of them as needed, but mostly we try to let the birds get into the water themselves rather than soak them down too much. A mixture of both is good too but your bird should always trust you in the process.
Photo by Jamieleigh Location: Augusta, GA Shown: Dave letting the birds go into the mist of water and bathe it up!
Now that it's such a nice day out here in Champaign, IL, I think I will go let my birds out and see if they want to bathe. Keep offering and never give up. Let your bird join in on a bath as often as it wants to, it's good for your bird's feathers and getting any residue off that they may not want or be able to get off otherwise.
Article by Jamieleigh Womach. She has been working with parrots and toucans since the age of 17. She isn’t homeless but is home less than she prefers to be. She travels the world with her husband, daughter, and a flockful of parrots whom she shares the stage with.