Archives for May 14, 2012

May
14

Woodworker Extraordinaire

My son Aaron has always loved woodworking.  Since he was a young boy he was always building things out of wood.  It is not surprising to me that he became a luthier.  Aaron makes fine hand crafted guitars.  His company is Wood Ring Guitars.

Aaron is not the only woodworker around here though.  We have another member of our family that has woodworking in his blood as well.  You see, we own a Double Yellow Headed Amazon parrot.  He has been a member of our family since 1990.

Our Wood Worker Parrot

Over the years we have learned many things about these beautiful and fascinating birds.  One is that they love to chip away at wooden toys.  I would hate to tally up the amount of money we have spent on bird toys over several years only to watch them be reduced to a pile of wood chips in the bottom of the bird cage.  A typical parrot toy sold at the local pet store costs anywhere from $10 to $20 dollars.  After a while we decided that it was imperative that we start making these toys ourselves to save money.

 

 

 

We looked at the types of toys he liked best and then designed the simple toy shown below based on what our bird likes the best, day after day and week after week. 

Simple but Effective Parrot Toy

Our parrot can reduce one of these toys to a pile of chips in one day.  The photo below shows a typical run of wood pieces cut and drilled from a piece of 2×4 lumber (pine). 

About 2 Weeks Worth of Wood For Parrot Wood Working

 
After much study we discovered that you must be very careful as to what kinds of wood you use for parrot toys.  Some types of wood are dangerous to a bird’s health.  Pine is safe for parrots to play with and chew on.  We also carefully wash all the wood to be sure there are no contaminants on the surface as birds are very sensitive to very small amounts of solvents and other types of chemicals.
 
The photo belos shows the result of approximately 2-3 weeks worth of work that our parrot performs on these toys. 
 

Artwork from Our Parrot's Woodworking Efforts

 
Not bad for a bird that weighs about a pound and a half.  Who knows?  Maybe one day we will give our parrot a commission to do the beginnings of some inlay work for one of Aaron’s guitars!
 
 
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