reminder: All articles and posts on my website are written by me and from my own perspective (Sophie The Pigeon) and often I'm typing it aimed at other birds ๐Ÿ˜‰

Pigeon & Bird Articles – Festive & Seasonal (Decoration) Dangers

This is just a small page, but still a very important one to include. This page is for all kinds of holidays, not just Christmas, Thanksgiving or birthdays (just to name a few).

Many humans celebrate seasonal or religious holiday’s one way or the other. And this isn’t a problem on it’s own of course, but certain decorations which are often used for holidays, or certain activities which are often performed during these holidays can actually be (very) harmful for us birds.

So to ensure that these holidays do not end disastrous for us birds and our pet humans by us getting seriously sick, ending up at the vet during the holidays or even worse: DEAD !๐Ÿ˜ฑ, me and my pet humans decided to write this specific article as a ‘stand-alone’ article instead of including it in the “Everyday Household Danger Article“.

Obviously it is impossible for me and my pet humans to include all types of activities or decorations for each type of holiday. Not only because this would then possibly become the largest single article page on the internet ever ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜› But also because me and my pet humans are not familiar with all possible holiday’s, the holiday customs for each holiday and what for example ‘local traditions’ could be for each holiday. But these pointers should definitely get you and your humans going in making these lovely holidays (a lot) safer for us birds ๐Ÿ˜€

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Disclaimer:
Me and my pet humans do of course put a lot of effort in making sure that we are providing you with correct and complete information, but it is always possible that we have missed/forgotten some things, or that some information is incorrect or incomplete. After all Iโ€™m just a simple pigeon and they are just humans. So always make sure to do some additional research if you are unsure about certain topics or if you or your pet human(s) are having doubts about your safety. And always make your human consult a licensed veterinarian or specialist when it concerns your health and well-being.

Most humans would not even think of floral foam of being harmful or even toxic. This is however far from the truth, floral foam (those green ‘foamy blocks’) often contain the following materials: Phenol, Formaldehyde, barium sulphates, and Carbon Black. All these materials (compounds) are toxic, and adding them together doesn’t make them less toxic either.

Even toxic to humans
Floral foam consisting of or using the aforementioned compounds are even toxic for humans. So please humans, be careful when using or processing floral foam!

A possible health risk for almost any pet (including us birds)
Due to the toxic components, the fact that floral foam often is kept wet (we’ll get to that soon) and that it is basically crumbling ‘microplastics‘, floral foam can pose a serious health threat to us birds but also for many other pets and animals. Another potential risk is that these floral foam blocks are often kept wet, so that the flowers which have been put in it will remain hydrated, sometimes humans (or florists) will also mix ‘flower fertilizers’ into this water which can be toxic to us birds or other pets.

Non-biodegradable & non-recyclable
Floral foam is not bio-degradable or recyclable. Yes, many manufacturers will say that it’s bio-degradable, but what actually happens is that the foam often breaks down in very very small pieces (particles) of microplastics that can remain in the environment for hundreds of years or more. Yes me and my pet humans did do a lot of research before writing this ‘mini article’, and we are aware that many ‘major brands’ of floral foam do claim that their foam is now “100% bio certified” and more of the alike. We however would just recommend to not use that nasty stuff at all and just use truly environmental friendly alternatives instead. You could use lots of natural materials or ‘tools’ which you can keep re-using over and over (which isn’t the case with floral foam either).

Best to just avoid using Floral Foam
There is no real consistent advice which we can give you on which brand (or type) of floral foam is actually as safe as they claim it to be. Therefor me and my pet humans would just like to recommend you and your humans to stay away from it for your and their own health, and to just use natural environmental safe materials instead ๐Ÿ™‚

Although not that typical or common in The Netherlands, in many other parts of the world the Punch Bowl (or punchbowl) is a common occurrence during certain holidays. However to us birds these bowls might look like an interesting ‘birdbath’. And depending on the depth of the bowl it could pose a serious drowning hazard to us birds (especially non-water birds like Pigeons for example). And to make it even worse, depending on what your humans are serving in the punch bowl, it can even be (highly) toxic or even deadly to us birds.

So make sure that you and your humans are extra careful when it comes to (large) open drink containers like punch bowls.

Just like with certain decorations for other holiday’s, certain Easter decorations can also be dangerous, toxic or even deadly to us birds.

Easter Specific plant/organic decorations
Many Easter baskets or center pieces contain (Easter) Lily also known as (Lilium longiflorum). However, this beautiful flower is toxic to us birds and can even be deadly for cats for example.

Other Easter decorations
Things like (painted) Easter grass, those small cute ‘metal wire chicks’ and other decorations like that could pose a serious hazard for us birds if they are (partially) ingested or if they for example contain toxic additives like paints if we’re playing with them. So please make sure that the Easter decorations are safe for us birds to be around, or make sure that your humans won’t let you near them ๐Ÿ™‚

Foil Wrapping and Chocolates
Of course we all know that those delicious chocolate eggs which are often sold around Easter look very pretty with their amazing foil colors. This is however also where the problem arises, many of us birds might be highly interested in those colorful eggs.

Not only is the chocolate itself toxic to us birds, but the foil wrappings could also pose a serious risk to our health when we ingest it. So you humans really need to make sure that we birds are not able to get our beaks on those lovely colored chocolate eggs.

Disclaimer: Me and my pet humans don’t really celebrate Halloween, and it isn’t such a ‘big thing’ in The Netherlands (where we live) either. Some people in The Netherlands do celebrate it, and there are often decorations available in stores for Halloween, but due to the fact that it isn’t such a big deal here, me and my humans are not familiar with all the possible dangers for us birds during Halloween. We did however included the decorations and ‘Halloween customs’ known here into this sub-article, and we did do quite some research on Halloween in other regions of the world, but please do keep in mind that we might have missed quite a few potential dangers for us birds.

Trick-or-Treaters
This might not sound like a big deal at first, but if you humans have a (or multiple) free-flight bird(s) in your home, there is a potential risk of us birds accidentally going outside when you (constantly/frequently) have to open the door for Trick-or-treaters. So please make sure that you humans keep this in mind during all the commotion and/or excitement of Halloween.

Colorful Candy’s and Candy Wrappers
It’s important that your humans make sure that we birds can’t get our beaks on or into the colorful candy’s which are often used for Halloween and Trick-or-Treaters. Not only is the chocolate (for example) toxic to us birds, the wrappers can also pose a serious health risk to us birds. Even if your humans use other candy than just chocolate, many other (human) candy’s are very unhealthy and sometimes even deadly to us birds.

(jack-o’-)lanterns, and other ‘candle decorations’
Quite a few (‘scary’) Halloween decorations include or utilize candles, these candles can obviously be a serious health hazard to us birds in regards of burning ourselves. However when it comes to candles, it’s not only the ‘open flame’ which poses a risk. Candles (when used indoors) can also pose other potential health risks for us birds. Please make sure to read my candles section on my Everyday Household Dangers page to learn more about the risks of using candles in the presence of us birds.

Fake Spiderwebs
A serious hazard for many birds (and even wildlife when used outdoors) is Fake Spiderwebs. These fake spiderwebs are often made of rope, netting or (sticky)rubbers and/or silicone, due to this these fake spiderwebs can pose a serious entanglement hazard for us birds. And if they are made of (sticky and/or painted) rubbers or silicone, they could even be dangerous when ingested (or chewed on) by us birds.

Other soft, rubber, silicone, gel-like or ‘liquid decorations’ (like fake blood)
Please make sure that your humans are aware of the fact that other Halloween decorations like soft (foam-like), rubber, silicone or gel-like decorations could be dangerous to us birds if we get a ‘bit too playful’ with them. Same goes for ‘liquid decorations’ like fake blood for example, there is a probability that we birds will ‘jump into it‘ if it’s in liquid form (like in a bowl) or that we might peck at it when it’s ‘smeared across’ windows, floors or furniture for example.

Not every type of decoration will be dangerous
Needless to say, not every decoration will be toxic or dangerous to us birds, it is however up to you humans to make sure that we birds are either kept away from the dangerous decorations, or that you don’t use them around us at all ๐Ÿ™‚

We birds often love it a lot when we also get cool presents during the holidays, do however make sure that our gifts are not wrapped in metallic, metal or glitter containing paper and that our gift-wrapping paper isn’t glossy.

It is best to use use normal ‘plain wrapping paper’ or even news paper (which isn’t toxic to us birds either).

I do understand that you humans would like to put a cute bow on our presents for example, however it is yet again best to avoid this because these could be made of potentially harmful materials.

Some of you humans allow us birds to come along with you into the yard (either with or without harness/leash), and we are grateful of it, but please refrain us birds from going into the yard when you are going to barbecue!

The smoke and burning materials could be very harmful to us birds. I bet that most of you humans can instantly recall the feeling in your eyes when the wind suddenly turns and blows all the smoke of the barbecue into your face. Or how it feels burning your throat when you are breathing-in the smoke of a barbecue due to the wind suddenly turning for example.

So please do not think: “Ow he/she can sit here safely, because the wind is blowing in ‘that’ direction’.“, winds can suddenly turn, and as most of you humans (should) know by now: Our bird lungs and respiratory system are MUCH more sensitive than that of humans for example.

Like said before: these fumes and the smoke can be very bad and even lethal to us birds. It’s also very important that you humans ensure that the smoke, fumes or smells of the barbecue can’t get into the house when we are staying inside. So make sure to close al ventilation grills and windows before igniting your barbecue outside (in the yard).

Many holidays like Christmas, thanksgiving and many others include grilling, air frying, deep frying, gourmet/gourmetten, fondue or any other ‘on the table cooking’ traditions. These holidays are for most humans really something to look forward to, however these activities also cost a lot of (pet) bird lives each year.

Lots of these activities actually produce harmful, toxic or even deadly fumes for us birds. It is not allowed to perform any of these activities with us birds in the same room (at all). These activities can and will cause serious health issues for us bird which will often result in our death. This is mainly due to PFTE (Teflonยฎ) related issues which I have covered extensively in my “Everyday Household Dangers” article, but also other (‘cooking’) fumes produced by these activities can be very bad or fatal for us birds.

When you humans are planning to host such activities it is very important that you do this in a room far away from us (as in: us birds being in a different room as far away as possible from these activities), and that you humans ventilate the area where you are hosting these activities very well.

It is best to keep the room where you humans are hosting these activities ventilated during these activities (also for your own health!), and that you ventilate it for quite a long time after the activities have ended before you humans bring us birds back into the room.

Fake snow and/or flocking

A very often sold ‘additional decoration’ for Christmas is fake snow, either in an (aerosol!) spray, in bags or as ‘self adhesive flocking’. And unfortunately (for those humans whom actually do like to use it) most of these are toxic or dangerous for us birds.

The first and most obvious problem would be that we birds will be pose a risk of eating the fake snow, and depending on what the fake snow is made of, the effects of ingesting it can seriously be life threatening for us birds.

Fake snow spray’s
Fake snow spray’s are in our (personal) opinion just a big no when it comes to using them in a household with birds. It is just a big no-no to use spray-cans (of any kind) near us birds. Our respiratory system is way to sensitive to deal with the propellants (gasses etc) expelled by spray-cans. My article “Everyday Household Dangers” has an elaborate section on why not to use spray-cans and/or aerosols around us birds.

Fake snow from a bag
Then there is also (non sticking) fake snow which comes in (often plastic) bags. These should (in our opinion) also be avoided around us birds. We would potentially ingest pieces of this fake snow, and depending on what the fake snow is made of it could make us very sick or cause blockages in our intestinal tract!

Flocking or self-adhesive fake snow
Then there is also that ‘sticky‘ fake snow which is already sticky when it comes out of it’s package, or gets sticky when it gets wet. We do not know the exact chemical composition of this type of decoration (nor did we do any research about it!), but anyone with a bit of common sense should be able to comprehend that it is dangerous for us birds if we would be able to ingest artificial snow with some kind of glue/adhesive processed in it. So we just like to advise against using any type of flocking (either self adhesive or not) around us birds (and we won’t go into ‘debate’ about this one).

We recommend to not use face snow at all
Me and my pet humans would like to advise your humans to not use fake snow of any kind, not even if it states that it’s “pet safe”, because often “pet safe” only refers to dogs and cats. But us birds are a whole different species (obviously ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) to which a lot more things are actually dangerous or toxic. A bit of fake snow for a few weeks per year isn’t worth risking our birdie lives over right? So please just don’t take the risk.

But my fake snow says it’s 100% pet safe, even for birds!
Great! Good for you! So this would basically claim that it would be ‘edible’ right? Well let me ask you this question: Would you as a human eat something which would normally be non-edible or even toxic if I gave you a bag of ‘it’ and then say “Yeah but my version is perfectly safe for you to eat, you won’t die of this one, don’t worry and just eat it.”?

I don’t think so right ๐Ÿ˜‰ ? Well humans, please just ‘forget the fake snow’ and enjoy your time with us birds and our health. And thus again: Just don’t take the risk, it’s not worth it.

Indeed, we are not absolutely 100% certain if there are truly safe fake snow products out there, and there could just as well be products out there which are actually designed for this purpose (to be 100% pet AND bird safe). But me and my humans still refuse to take the risk for a ‘stupid piece of decoration‘ which would only be used for a few weeks ๐Ÿ™‚

Pine Tree Smell (Spray or perfume)

There are a lot of humans which use a fake Christmas tree and then prefer to use a ‘pine tree spray’ or perfume to add that ‘distinctive pine tree smell’ to create “that festive smell” for them. These sprays or perfumes are in most cases irritating, harmful or can even be lethal to us birds. Please make sure to read my “Everyday Household Dangers” article to read more in-depth information about aerosols (sprays) and perfumes. The reasons we’ve decided to put this one here again (despite the fact that it is already in the “Everyday Household Dangers” article), is that humans in all excitement for the holidays might sometimes overlook or forget a thing or two ๐Ÿ˜‰

Real Christmas Trees

Me and my pet humans did quite some (very) extensive research about pine trees and their safety for us birds. And it seems like it that almost every source agrees that pine trees on it’s own are no problem for us birds in general. There are however several important things to keep in mind which can actually be dangerous or toxic to us birds.

Some retailers seem to spray-paint their trees to make them look greener
We have read several stories about bird keeping humans whom had encountered pine trees which where actually spray-painted to ‘boost their color’ and to make them look greener for a longer period (because most pine trees will turn brown over time). So please make sure that your humans are very careful not to buy Christmas trees which might have been spray-painted with possibly toxic paint. We ourselves did not encountered this so far, but we did read several (different sources) reporting about this issue. And we also have to mention/disclaim here that my humans haven’t bought a real Christmas tree in over 15 years.

Some Christmas trees have been sprayed with pesticides
Unfortunately the ‘oh so natural’ Christmas tree your pet humans have bought could actually have been treated/sprayed with insecticides which could be harmful of even deadly to us birds. So ensure that your humans only get a real Christmas tree if they are absolutely certain that it has not been sprayed/treated with insecticides.

Fertilized Christmas Trees
On or for some Christmas trees the ‘Christmas Tree Farmer‘ (or what it’s called ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) might have used fertilizers which can result in toxic side effects for us birds. So please make sure your humans ensure that the tree they have bought does not pose a risk like this for us birds.

Tree sap
Pine trees are known for producing very sticky saps, people sometimes also call this ‘pine tree bleeding’ or ‘sap oozing’. This sap is VERY sticky and we birds definitely do not want to get this on our feathers! So even if your pet humans get you a real Christmas tree which is non toxic (no pesticides etc), it is still best to make sure that they keep us birds away from the Christmas tree.

Pine Tree Needles
Like most of you humans know, pine tree needles can be quite pointy and sharp. I bet that many of you humans have stepped on those needles in the past with your humongous human feet and that you most likely didn’t liked the feeling of it did you? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Well those ‘sharp needles’ could potentially also injure us birds, so please keep this in mind. This could happen when we try to ‘pluck them’ from the tree, when they get between our feathers and poke into our body, or when we step on them with our precious little feet. So at least always make sure to check us regularly when you humans have a Christmas tree in your home, and that you clean up any fallen (dead) needles from the floor daily to be on the safe side.

Fake Christmas Trees

Fake Christmas Trees should in general be safe to use around us birds, but you humans do need to keep a few things in mind when placing them in your home.

New Fake Christmas Trees
When you humans bought a new fake Christmas tree they can have a very ‘factory’/’new’/chemical smell (depending on the quality or materials used), these smells/fumes can be (very) irritating or even dangerous to us birds. Same goes for if fake Christmas trees get heated up due to placement near a fireplace or central heater for example, the plastics/materials of the tree could then ‘off-gas’ toxic fumes. This by the way applies to both new and old(er) fake Christmas trees.

Sharp (metal) Parts
It is likely that fake Christmas trees have sharp (metal) parts in or on them, or that they have hinges (for the branches to unfold) which could potentially injure us birds. Please ensure that you humans check your fake Christmas trees for such threats.

Should Not Be Too Easy To Tear Apart
Your human needs to make sure (and maybe even test it themselves) that it isn’t too easy for us birds to tear apart pieces from the fake Christmas tree. If this would be too easy, it might be possible that we birds accidentally ingest (plastic or other) materials of the fake Christmas tree.

Christmas Trees In General

Christmas trees can cause stress for some birds
Because a Christmas trees often is a quite large, shiny and flashy object in the room, some birds and bird species might become (quite) stressed or even ‘freaked out’ by this ‘new and unusual’ (large) object in the room. Therefor it is also important that your humans keep an close eye on us birds when ‘major changes’ occur in our homes (like placing large temporarily objects like Christmas trees and decorations).

Dangerous Christmas Tree Decorations
Please keep in mind that some Christmas tree decorations can also be dangerous to us birds. But I will cover this in the next section(s) of this article ๐Ÿ™‚

We Birds Might Actually Decide To “Nest” In Our Human’s Christmas Tree
Although we did not encounter much stories of this, but to me and my pet humans it’s not an unlikely thought that some bird species might actually try to make a ‘nest’ or ‘hideout’ in the Christmas tree. So you humans might want to keep this in mind when you can’t find your feathered friends ๐Ÿ˜‰

There are many types of Christmas decorations which could pose a serious threat to us birds. Some because they are toxic, some because they can be sharp (of break and become sharp), some will cause problems when ingested (even if they are ‘non-toxic’) and some can even electrocute us.

Toxic And/Or Heavy Metal Ornaments & Decorations
Some (often cheap) ornaments and decorations are made of toxic heavy metals (like lead or zinc for example), these can (and often will) pose a serious health risk to us birds. It is best to avoid such decorations all together. Tip: More about poisonous heavy metals in the “Everyday Household Dangers” article.

Breakable Glass Ornament
(Thin) breakable glass ornaments can (obviously) pose a serious threat to us birds. This can be if we chew on them, peck at them, accidentally fly into them or if they fall on the floor and shatter (leaving lots of tiny sharp glass bits lingering on the floor). So please humans: be very careful when considering to use thin/breakable glass ornaments around us birds. Depending on the type of bird you are and what your behavior is, it might not be wise to actually use such glass ornaments around you.

Painted Ornaments and Decorations
Some painted ornaments might also contain toxic paints which could be scrapped of with our beaks.

(Old) wooden ornaments or decorations
Some of us birds like to chew on wooden stuff, and there are many (old) wooden Christmas decorations which could potentially be toxic. This could be due to the wood which has been used, due to the materials (like glue for example) used to put the decorations together, due to chemicals used to preserve the wooden decorations longer and more of the alike. To be on the safe side, it’s best that your humans make sure that they either keep you away from such wooden decorations or that they don’t use them at all if they are not absolutely certain that they are safe for you to be around and play with.

Note: Some creche decorations (which portray the birth of Jesus) might use ‘glued on’ sticks, (fake) hay or grass. These (small) pieces could also be interesting to us birds. Depending on the materials used this might also be a health risk to us birds.

Ribbons or Tinsel (also known as ‘Angel Hair‘)
Ribbons or tinsel (the ‘glittery like strings’ with ‘sparkly hairs’) might cause some serious issues when one of us curious birds chews on it or ingests it. Not only is there a chance that it’s made of (or includes) toxic materials, it could also cause intestinal blockages when ingested (accidentally). It is highly recommended to avoid using tinsel at all in areas where we birds have access to it.

Humans should also be careful with loose ribbons and such, for some birds this will be no problem, while other birds might ‘chew them to pieces’ (and ingest parts of it accidentally). It might also be possible that some birds might get entangled in ribbons when playing with them unattended.

Christmas Lights
Christmas light cords might also pose a serious threat for birds which chew on wires, or those whom like to peck at blinking things (where I would have to admit that I’m one of those “pecking at blinky things birds” ๐Ÿ˜› ). So your humans need to make sure that their Christmas lights would either not pose a threat to you (by you not being able to ‘destroy’ it at all), or they will need to make sure that you are not able to get to them.

Glitter Stuff
Anything with glitter on or in it might attract extra attention from us birds, if it is in any way possible that we birds could ingest these glitters, then we would like to recommend avoid such decorations altogether. This goes for ‘sprinkle glitter’, but also for glitter in or on ornaments or ribbons for example. We birds might be able to ingest glitter if we for example chew on ornaments or ribbons with glitter on/in them.

This is just a short section to give this often overlooked but very important issue some extra attention.

Lots of you humans use certain plants to decorate your homes during holidays, some of these plants are for example: Holly, Poinsettias (Also known as ‘Christmas Star Plant’), Mistletoe, Yew (Taxus baccata) and many others.

Lots of these festive decorational plants and organics can be toxic, poisonous, an serious injury hazard (when they have spikes for example) or even deadly for us birds. So please make sure to double check when you humans are bringing in new (festive decorative) plants into our homes if they are a dangerous to us birds.

TIP: Make sure to check out my Toxic Plants for birds article/list.

Wikipedia/The Internet Disclaimer
As we all know by now: Not everything you find on the internet is the truth or 100% accurate (๐Ÿ˜ฑ WHAT A SHOCK). For some plants their own Wikipedia article for example states that they are not toxic to us birds, while many other (including animal hospital websites) state that they ARE toxic to us birds. When animal hospital websites (multiple) and veterinarian websites (multiple) do claim that a certain plant, berry etc is toxic to us birds, then me and my humans are just not taking any risks and we will avoid using those plants altogether. Yes, we do realize that some of those websites could be incorrect, but honestly: We don’t care, it’s just not worth taking the risk.

For some extra awareness I decided to bring up Center Pieces and Christmas Wreaths in their own section.

These decorations often contain toxic, poisonous or other harmful ‘components’ to us birds. Please make sure that you humans check your festive decorations like centerpieces if they contain possible dangers for us birds.

Lots of humans will already get the shivers when I would mention the words: “Holiday Stress“, well this (unfortunately) isn’t a problem which only affects you humans. Some of us birds can also experience holiday stress.

Often when we birds get stressed during the holidays it is due to one or more of the following reasons: All the “environmental change’s” (the decorations), all the extra ‘unusual activity’ going on in our home, us birds ‘feeling’ or overhearing you humans ‘stressing-out’/’freaking-out’ to each other during the holiday’s, all the additional visitors and/or commotion and more of the alike.

Sure, there are also a lot of birds which actually enjoy all the extra excitement, but it is very important to take the bird’s personality into account when it comes to including him or her into your holiday festivities.

Stick to our routine as much as possible
No matter how (much) you include (and can include) us birds into your holiday festivities, it is very important that you try to keep our daily routine/schedule as consistent as possible, this will often already limit stress quite a bit.

Do not forget us birds during your holiday stress
Due to everything going on during your human holidays, it is often very easy for you humans to get ‘overloaded’ by all the preparations and holiday stress. But nonetheless, it is still very important that you humans give us birds the same amount of attentions as usual. Sudden ‘abandonment’ (in regards to spending time with us and giving us attention) during these already ‘stressful days’ could potentially only make the holiday stress (much) worse for us birds.

Happy Holidays
If you humans keep these things in mind, then I’m sure that many of us birds will have very joyful holidays together with you humans ๐Ÿ™‚

A kinda ‘harsh’ one to put it in here so bluntly, but when you humans have a ‘large get together’ like with Christmas or birthdays etc, then most visitors will (most likely and if they have some decency) respect the ‘private space’ of us birds. There unfortunately is always a chance that there is a ‘know-it-all’ amongst the group which is the “self proclaimed bird professional” which “exactly knows” what to do with birds. He or she might then due to this behavior actually stress us birds out due to the fact that they are (constantly) trying to handle or approach us.

It is very important for our health and safety that you humans keep an close eye on such visitors and that you ‘keep them in line’. If this is not possible it might be better to remove us birds from the room/area until all the commotion is over and those ‘annoying visitors’ are on their way home again.

My pet humans however have a very strong opinion which is a bit more blunt: “Sophie is part of our family and our household, and if you can’t respect her personal boundaries: There is the front door, bye bye ๐Ÿ‘‹”, and I truly appreciate that my pet humans have included me this much into their own family ๐Ÿฅฐ.

I can however also understand if you “can’t” just deny ‘the annoying visitor’ or “can’t” send them home. So it is up to you to choose the appropriate approach in making sure that we birds are safe from such ‘annoying visitors’ in your situation. But no matter which approach you decide to take, make sure that we have limited to no exposure to such ‘annoying visitors’ for our health and well-being.

What if they are really a bird specialist or very experienced with birds?
That doesn’t matter! Unless you humans specifically ask for help or tips from this person, he or she should still 100% respect your and your bird’s boundaries and way of upbringing your bird(s).

Make sure that you tell visitors not to open windows or doors randomly (to go outside for a smoke for example) when we birds are flying freely in our home. This could obviously be a huge risk in us going outside accidentally and losing our way back home.

If you have really ‘stubborn visitor’, which tend ‘not to listen’, you could for example even remove the handles. This is however quite an extreme measurement. Other options (if the windows and doors are equipped with it) would be locking the door(s) and window(s) with a key and taking out the key so only the actual home owners can open them (on request).

Sophie’s Safety Stickers
Another great tool which I’ve designed, are my warning stickers which you can use on or near your windows and doors, so that visitors are constantly made aware of our presence. My pet humans also had the problem that they had to keep telling certain visitors over, and over, and over, and over to take my presence into account when opening exterior doors, windows and even when opening interior doors insanely fast. So that’s why I decided to design the custom ‘Sophie’s Warning Stickers‘. These stickers are sold 100% non-profit, and can be ordered directly through our merchandise shop supplier, I and my pet humans do not make any profit on these stickers, because we feel that the safety of (other) birds is much more important than making a few cents profit on stickers.

Lots of birds (and other pets) can get really stressed-out by fireworks, for some bird this can be very dangerous when they for example fly into things while panicking. Therefor it is very important that you humans keep us birds safe from stress like this.

There are several ways on how you humans could approach this, one of the methods would be by moving us birds to a room which doesn’t have much ‘noise pollution’ due to the fireworks. However this isn’t always ideal or even possible. In many countries (including ours), people often already start igniting (very loud) fireworks days prior to an ‘fireworks holiday‘ like New Years Eve. So moving us birds into an room which isn’t affected (too much) by firework sounds isn’t really ideal in such situations, because that would mean that we birds would need to be ‘isolated’ in that room for days or even weeks in some regions.

Fireworks Training
A better alternative (although not suitable for every bird/animal because it also depends on it’s own character) would be fireworks training. I myself (Sophie) am used to loud sounds and even enjoy them most of the time. Often I even get interested in where the loud sounds are coming from, what they are and I just have to check them out ๐Ÿ˜‚. But obviously, not every bird is the same.

My pet humans have also trained me to be ‘scare proof’, which means it is now very difficult to actually scare me (or freak me out) with sudden sounds or movements for example. This was also necessary because in our home there are sometimes sudden loud noises due to work related activities going on at our home office. However the training which I’ve had for this, was one with lots of patience, slowly working up to it and them constantly making sure that it wasn’t getting to overwhelming for me. It did however paid-off very well because like mentioned earlier, I actually like all kinds of (loud) noises now (to a certain limit of course). If I get caught really off-guard I might (obviously) still ‘jump scare’ from time to time (just like anyone else), but I will not panic or fly all over the place at all. I might run away a few feet, just to return at twice the speed to check out what the peck was going on ๐Ÿ˜†.

I’m not going to make a custom article about Fireworks Training
Me and my pet humans will however not be writing a custom article on how to “Fireworks Train” us birds because there currently is an very good and effective article by Ann on TheBirdSchool.com. Me and my pet humans did use(d) very different techniques due to my ‘custom living environment’ (compared to most ‘default’ households), but this article by Ann does a great job in explaining such trainings ๐Ÿ™‚

WARNING: Before randomly starting to expose us birds to loud sounds like fireworks (playback), please make sure that you know what you are doing by at least reading the article of Ann on TheBirdSchool.com

NOTE: The audio files linked in her article no longer seem to work, but another great alternative to this would be this video on YouTube:

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Possible Future Article
If Ann’s article at some point might become unreachable (goes offline or moves for example), just let me know, and I will update the page with a different article link, or even peck out my own article by then ๐Ÿ™‚