SOAR Birds First Aid and Emergency Supply Kit – Masterpost

Have you ever had a bird related emergency? Most pet bird owners have, and if you haven’t, you’re really lucky! Birds are curious and clever, but sometimes it seems that they don’t think much about their own personal safety. In a split second, a bird can get themselves into a sticky situation. Whether you’re dealing with accidents, illness, or injury, we’ve found that it’s always best to be prepared. That’s why we decided to put together a masterlist (it’s REALLY long!) that will help you put together the ultimate bird first aid/emergency kit. We took apart our own emergency kits and documented the contents here, with pictures and links to make it easy for you to make your own.


Arya Jeyne at MSPCA Angell getting bandaged after a foot injury.

If you’re a bird lover you may find that you’re suddenly dealing with an emergency related to a wild bird, stray pet bird, or friend or relative’s bird, so we’ve included supplies to deal with all kinds of bird related emergencies. Do you need to rush out and purchase every item on the list right now? Well, the good news is that you probably have some of these things around the house already. We’ve also tried to link to items in different sizes to cover all different varieties of pet and wild birds. You may find that you don’t need to own a heat lamp, heating pad, heated perch, and hot water bottle, but having one or two of those options is certainly important. Use your own judgement and collect the supplies that apply to your bird(s) and your lifestyle.

Many of these items are self explanatory. If not, we’ve provided a line or two to explain how we use them. In addition to the supplies below, you’ll need a box or container to hold all your supplies. Whatever doesn’t fit into your kit, make sure to keep organized and at the ready, you never know when you might need them!

Medihoney Wound Paste

Amazing natural healing. For managing difficult wounds and helping with the removal of necrotic tissue.



For trauma, bruising, and reduction of pain. Dissolve one or two arnica pellets in water and syringe into the bird’s beak. Repeat every one to two hours until pain and trauma begin to improve.


Styptic Powder

For stopping the blood flow when you’re dealing with a broken blood feather, beak or nail.


Calendula Ointment

Healing wounds, scrapes, cuts, irritations and more.


Silver Sulfadiazine Cream 

For the topical treatment of burns.


Washcloths, Hand Towels, Bath Towels

Toweling, drying, cleaning, and anything you can think of.


Paper Towels

Use for anything from cleaning up messes to lining cage bottoms and anything and everything in between.


Syringes 1ml, 3 ml, 6 ml, 10 ml

Use to administer medications, feed soft foods, teas and juices, and more.


Bandage Scissors, Ball Tip Shears



Locking Hemostat – Straight & Curved


Slant and Pointed Tip Tweezers


Nail Trimmers, Small/Tiny, Medium, Large




Powder Free Latex Gloves


Gauze Pads


Rolled Gauze

Pre-cut into different sized strips and re-roll to have on hand for feet, toes, legs, wings, etc.


Saline Spray, Saline Solution (0.9% Sodium Chloride)


Q-Tips, Cotton Swabs, Cotton Balls, Cotton Pads



Medical Tape


Non-Stick Dressing Pads


Vet Wrap

Pre-cut into different sized strips and re-roll to have on hand for feet, toes, legs, wings, etc.


Hydrogen Peroxide


Alcohol Prep Pads


Pedialyte (Unflavored)

Whenever we have a sick or injured bird, we add a little pedialyte to their water to help stave off dehydration and provide electrolyte support.


Apple Cider Vinegar

Read all about the benefits here.


Refresh Eye Solution

For dry eyes, or to flush the bird’s eye to help remove dust, etc.




Wooden Popsicle Sticks, Tongue Depressors, Ice Cream Spoons, Flat (not sharp!) Toothpicks

For making splints of various sizes.



Soft Cozy Blanket


Dark Flat Sheet

For covering bird cages.




Magnifying Glass


Gram Scale


Home Thermometer


Heating Pad


Hot Water Bottle


Heat Lamp, Infrared Bulb



Avian Sun Lamp


Heated Perches


Small Bird Carrier, Pet Carrier or Travel Cage

Always have carriers easily accessible and ready to transport birds in an emergency.




Bird Net

For catching escaped or stray birds.


Emergency Information Sheet

Include an emergency info sheet in your kit, but also program this information into your smartphone so there’s no need to take extra time in the moment. Hang a copy of the sheet in your kitchen and in your bird room, too.

  • – Veterinary clinic phone number, hours and directions to the clinic
  • – Emergency clinic phone number and directions
  • – Poison control center phone numbers
  • – Local Wildlife Care Center(s) phone number(s), hours and directions to the center(s)
  • – Contact information for bird sitter, friend or relative who will care for or check on your birds in an emergency
  • – Local avian rescue/animal shelter, phone number, hours and directions
  • – Local avian behavior specialist phone number, email, website
  • – Local avian hobbist group, pet bird support group, or breed club phone number, email, website

Additional Resources

Tea for Parrots – Using Teas to help with digestive upset, stress, insomnia, egg laying, nausea, arthritis and more.

Holistic – All about avian health and holistic care.

Herbal First Aid for Birds

Avian First Aid

Animal Poison Control – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, (888) 426-4435. (A $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.)

Safe Foods For Birds

Toxic and Non-Toxic for Birds – Includes wood varieties

Unsafe for Birds

Bird Safety

More Bird Safety

SOAR Nation & Empowering Animals Walk for Animals Fundraiser!

Hi Everyone! Would you like to donate to SOAR Nation’s MSPCA Methuen Walk for Animals Fund AND get something cool in return?

Empowering Animals Wristbands is making a special offer from now until September 30, 2014. The entire $5.00 of SOAR Birds or Pit Bull Awareness Wristbands will be donated to SOAR Nation’s Walk for Animals fundraising team! How cool is that? You’re helping animals AND you get a cool wristband!

Click the links below to order your wristbands and support team SOAR Nation!

“SOAR Birds – Don’t Shop, Adopt!” Wristbands

“Pit Bull Awareness – Share the Love!” Wristbands

Thanks so much to Empowering Animals!


Visit their new SHOP

Visit their SITE

“SIMON SAYS” – Animal Communication Summer Fundraiser


Animal Communication Summer Fundraiser

To Benefit MSPCA’s Walk For Animals

Local animal communicator Rhonda Jackson is offering $10 mini sessions through August 31st to support Team SOAR Nation, the resident bird enthusiasts at the MSPCA at Nevins Farm, as they Walk For Animals in September. Members of SOAR Nation offered endless support and guidance in helping Rhonda adopt her own quirky feathered friend, Simon the Dove, out of a hoarding case surrendered to Nevins Farm in January of this year. So, she’s hoping to repay them with this, the Simon Says Fundraiser!

Simon the Dove

Rhonda works long distance, and only needs a photo and the name of your furry or feathered friend to conduct a session. She can connect with animals presently with us, or those who have passed on. Mini sessions are great ways to “check-in” with your animal—ask any 3 questions of your animal, and you’re likely to get much more information than you bargained for in return!

Follow Rhonda’s business, Ollie Told Me. on Facebook for other specials to benefit the MSPCA at Nevins Farm. Email her at for more information, or to take advantage of the Simon Says special today!

*Editor’s Note: Rhonda recently did a session with my Moluccan Cockatoo, Henry, who was neglected and abandoned before being found and brought to the MSPCA in Boston. Henry and I have made so much progress since he talked with Rhonda! I’d highly recommend that you all take advantage of this awesome promotion. The best part is that the proceeds go directly to help the SOAR Nation Team as we fundraise for the MSPCA Methuen Walk for Animals!

To donate directly to Team SOAR Nation, visit our page HERE and click “Support SOAR Nation” or “Make a Gift”!




Reiki Healing for Birds (and other Pets!)

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a Japanese technique for relaxation and the reduction of stress, which also promotes healing. Reiki is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. Physical contact is not necessary during the process of “laying on of hands,” so Reiki healing is possible even for animals who prefer not to be touched.

If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy. This is true of all living creatures, in fact, we find animals to be particularly receptive to Reiki healing, even though they may not understand the healing process

How is Reiki Helpful to Birds and other Animals?

Because Reiki is healing energy, it will never harm you or your pet, so it can be administered to any type of animal. If a bird has emotional problems due to a traumatic situation such as abuse or neglect, Reiki can help release and heal those emotions. Reiki can also help a bird to relax and reduce their stress and anxiety. Treatments can help a bird who is sick or injured to heal more quickly. If a bird is facing a serious illness, Reiki treatments can help bring comfort, and be a great compliment to conventional treatment. While Reiki may not be a cure for the most serious of illnesses, treatments can help to ease your bird’s pain and suffering, as well as reduce stress, as they undergo conventional treatments. When a bird is dying, Reiki energy can help bring peace and comfort to both birds and their humans during this difficult time.

Who Can Administer Reiki Treatments?

There is healing energy inside of all of us, and Reiki Practitioners have studied how to bring that energy forward. Once a Reiki Practitioner has found their healing energy, they are able to bring the energy forth for the rest of their lives.

Reiki is taught by passing on attunements that have been passed down over the years and there are three levels of Reiki training, which practitioners may master. Reiki 1 is about self-healing – you may be healed physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. Reiki 1 allows you to do reiki on yourself, others people, and animals. Reiki 2 increases your ability and allows the practitioner to do reiki at a distance. This Level also teaches how to call on angels and check and balance chakras. Reiki 3 or Reiki Master level, furthers the practitioner’s ability and allows them to teach others.

Local Resources

Interested in Reiki for your bird, other pet, or even yourself? Here are some of the resources we’ve used to learn about Reiki!

White Wing Healing

Suzanne Zilembo is a Reiki Level 1 and 2 attuned practitioner, who is about to embark on her journey to become a Reiki Master. Suzanne is a volunteer at the MSPCA at Nevins Farm, and regularly administers Reiki Treatments to the shelter’s resident birds, as well as birds who are in foster situations. Suzanne practices Reiki for all creatures, even humans, but has a particular affinity for clients of the feathered variety. She is owned and loved by several birds, dogs, and a very elderly cat, all of whom benefit from her Reiki healing. Visit Suzanne’s website at

Circles of Wisdom

Circles of Wisdom is a Metaphysical book store and resource center located in Andover, MA. For those interested in learning more about Reiki and other alternative healing practices, locally, visit their shop on Main Street in Andover. Check out their website at, to learn about the courses, workshops and services offered.

*Image courtesy of

Gretchen Goes Home

Recently the MSPCA at Nevins Farm took in a group of cockatiels from another shelter, in hopes that we could help them to find homes more quickly. Among these birds was a very quiet pearl cockatiel, who seemed to be quite elderly. We’re not sure about her background, or how this sweet little lady ended up without a home, but Gretchen (FKA Helga) appeared to be one of the oldest cockatiels we’ve had at Nevins Farm.

Gretchen was stressed living at the shelter and had been losing weight rapidly. No matter what kind of tasty food or treats we offered her, she turned them down, preferring to stay on a perch near the back of her cage. Sheila, one of our Exotic Bird Advocates, was able to get Gretchen to come out of her cage and perch on her shoulder now and then. Once Gretchen began to trust Sheila, she showed that she knew how to step up, and that she enjoyed perching on her cage while Sheila was doing some cleaning in the bird room.

On Sunday evening, Paula, one of the dog training volunteers, met Gretchen for the first time. Paula has an 18 year old cockatiel at home, and was very sad to see that Gretchen had somehow ended up surrendered to a shelter as an elderly bird. Although the birds at the MSPCA get lots of loving care and enrichment, shelter life can be very stressful for some birds. It didn’t take Paula and her husband Gene long before they decided that they wanted to adopt sweet Gretchen and give her a forever home.

ImageOn Tuesday afternoon, Paula came to the shelter to adopt Gretchen and take her to her new home. She also brought her friend Suzanne, a Reiki practitioner, to help ease the transition with a pre-trip Reiki treatment. Gretchen seemed to enjoy the Reiki energy and perked up quite a bit during her ride home! (See photo above)

ImageWhen she reached Paula and Gene’s house, she spent a little while hanging out in the kitchen with the ladies. She looked around to take in the new environment, then to their surprise, Gretchen began to eat her seed stick treat! It felt like a miracle to see her eating!

ImageAfter letting her adjust and snack for a while, Paula brought Gretchen to her temporary home in the guest bedroom. It will be a nice, quiet place for her to adjust to being in her new home for a week or so. Paula and Gene can spend time with her there, and also give her the space she needs in order to feel comfortable and safe. Soon she will be able to move into the bird room with 18 year old Griffin (pictured below), her new cockatiel “brother.”

ImageSo far, Gretchen is loving her new home! She’s eating well, enjoying pellets, seed treats and millet (below)! She cheeps and chirps when her new family come in and spend time with her, and she seems much more active than we’d ever expected! Seeing this transformation taking place is so exciting! She is a girl who needed a safe, loving home, and we are so grateful to Paula and Gene for opening their hearts to her. We know Gretchen is grateful, too! Don’t you just love happy endings?


Spring Updates

Hi Everyone! Apologies for the lack of blog posts recently. My fosters have been occupying most of my time and energy for the past few months. Things are starting to even out now and I promise to keep you updated on all the SOAR Birds happenings!

I’ve been caring for two lovely adult cockatiels, Westley and Princess Buttercup, as well as four baby cockatiels, all from the February 27th hoarding case in Lynnfield. The two adult birds are happy and healthy now, and learning to be comfortable around humans. Westley has only one leg, but I’ve learned how to set things up so that he can get around without much trouble. He’s a real trooper! They’re living in the lap of luxury in a nice, big cage, learning how to play with toys, take baths, and enjoy human company. Both have put on weight and and can’t get enough of their healthy diet. Millet and treats happen when humans are around, and Westley and Buttercup are making good progress!


Westley (front) and Princess Buttercup

Sadly, three of the four baby birds were too weak to survive, but one little girl, Felicia, is still with us and she’s a real fighter! Felicia’s name means “lucky, fortunate and happy” and this little bird is all of the above. She’s doing really well now and even has her own Felicia the Cockatiel Facebook Page, which I encourage you to check out and “Like,” so that you can follow her progress as she grows!




Speaking of cockatiels, we have a whole bunch of ‘tiels at Nevins Farm who are waiting to find their forever homes! Stop by and check them out! They are super cute! We’ve got many birds, both indoors and out, so we hope you’ll stop by for a visit. Who knows, you might just fall in love!

As you know, Shelia and I are dedicated to promoting and supporting the birds at Nevins Farm through enrichment, training, and anything and everything else we can do to help them find (and stay in) forever homes. We also have an amazing team caring for our barnyard birds. We’re hoping that this year will be bigger and better than ever for our feathered friends, and were excited to find that the Nevins Farm Bird Team was mentioned in the quarterly MSPCA Companion Newsletter. You can see that the  Nevins Bird Team is really making an impact!

Our very own Sheila Blanchette was also mentioned in a Vetstreet Article about parrot rescue. We’re so excited to be able to spread the word about our birds!

Last, but not least, our friends at Empowering Animals Wristbands have created a special wristband just for SOAR Birds! Wristbands are $5.00 each, and 100% of the proceeds will go to the SOAR Birds 2014 Walk for Animals fund! We’re really excited about this fundraiser and we hope you’ll all buy one or two to help the MSPCA birds!

Thanks so much for your continued help and support! Don’t forget we’re active on FaceBook and you can email us at

Happy Spring!