Bird Articles and Care Sheets

At Specialized Care for Avian and Exotic Pets, we strive to keep bird owners knowledgeable and informed. Whether you have one bird or multiple birds or are new to being a bird parent, our bird hospital has the resources you need. We have included various articles and resources on important topics concerning your birds. Whether you are looking for information on diet, diseases, vitamins, toxic metals, or other topics, take a look at the links below. 

In addition to that, the team at our bird hospital, serving the Niagara Falls, Lockport, and Rochester, NY areas, have created care sheets for various types of birds. These detailed sheets include the bird's life span and average size, as well as:

  • Wild History
  • Physical Characteristics
  • Normal Behavior & Interaction
  • Diet
  • Supplements
  • Water
  • Housing & Environment
  • Enrichment
  • Recommended Supplies
  • Cage Maintenance
  • Grooming & Hygiene
  • Signs of a Healthy Bird
  • Common Health Problems that Require an Avian Specialist

The information in these care sheets are just an overview and should not be used in substitution for veterinary care. At Specialized Care For Avian & Exotic Pets, we offer emergency exotic pet care services, and our specialists will make home visits for larger groups of birds and special situations.  If your bird needs help from an avian specialist, contact our bird hospital today! We proudly provide services to Rochester, NY, and the surrounding areas. 

Bird Articles

Bird Care Sheets

These care sheets were developed for Pet Supplies Plus by our own Dawn Griffard and later modified by Dr. Laura Wade. If you have any questions on the care sheets below, give our bird hospital a call

Restraint of your bird…what to know?

 From time to time, your bird will need to be held in a towel to be examined or groomed. This  sometimes unpleasant procedure is important for the bird’s safety and in many cases, the handler’s  safety as well. In the vast majority of situations, this is a very safe, brief procedure if the person is  educated in how to do it correctly and the bird is healthy. When are there times where toweling and  restraint might be a concern? 

1. If the handler does not know how to safely towel and hold the bird. A bird must be  restrained in a way that prevents it from biting the handler or hurting itself, but it must have  its chest free to breathe.   

2. If the bird has an underlying condition such as heart problem, atherosclerosis, lung disease,  obesity, etc. These conditions may not show overt clinical signs until the bird experiences an exertional or stressful event.   

Why is grooming a medical procedure?  Having your bird’s nails or wings trimmed might sound like a simple procedure, but it actually takes  some skill to be done appropriately due to the restraint component. If your bird is healthy and  restrained safely, it should be fairly straightforward. There is some stress and excitement involved, but  this is usually tolerated well. If your bird has an underlying condition described above, it requires a very  careful approach that sometimes benefits from the use of mild sedation. If a bird with a serious  underlying condition is not used to being handled, the increase in blood pressure and respiratory rate experienced during toweling and restraint could lead to death in some situations. This is especially  common with elderly birds that often have cholesterol deposits in their blood vessels.   Wings and nails can be trimmed by a veterinarian, veterinary technician, trained assistant or a  knowledgeable experienced lay person. Beaks should NEVER be trimmed by anyone other than a  veterinarian. Overgrown beaks usually indicate a health problem, which should be addressed  concurrently. It is of extreme importance the beak is trimmed properly or the bird could have difficulty  eating and experience pain.  We always recommend you have your pet bird evaluated regularly throughout its life to make sure any  underlying illness is addressed. 

At our hospital, we require an annual exam prior to allowing routine  grooming such as wings and nails. Any bird with an overgrown beak must be seen by a veterinarian to  ensure proper treatment. You should also ensure your bird is examined by a veterinarian routinely prior  to having a lay person groom it, especially if it has never been examined or not examined in several  years.  

 By Laura Wade, DVM, ABVP (Avian), Specialized Care for Avian & Exotic Pets ©2022


Find us on the map

Office Hours

By Appointment Only


8:00 am-6:00 pm


8:00 am-8:00 pm


8:00 am-8:00 pm


8:00 am-8:00 pm


8:00 am-6:00 pm


8:00 am-12:00 pm




Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Nothing but great things to say about everyone at SCAEP. The staff is so compassionate and caring; I can't thank you enough for all you have done for me and my furry friends!"
    Brittany S.
  • "I have been taking my rabbit here since 2009 and could not say enough good things about the staff and the care she's received!"
    Tara P.