When capturing your bird for examination, grooming or medication, it is important to keep the experience as pleasant and stress-free as possible. To enable a smooth process, one must mentally go over exactly what needs to be done and prepare. If possible, capture your bird outside the cage, as this reduces stress. An extra pair of hands is always helpful but for most birds, not necessary.
Select the appropriate size towel for the bird. Capture and examine a cockatiel or budgie in a washcloth sized towel, or piece of flannel. For larger birds, use larger towels, and for the birds with big beak power, use a thicker towel. The proper sized towel will allow you to comfortably wrap the bird to still and control the wings; there shouldn’t be a lot of excess material hanging down below the bird, and the material should allow for just one wrap around the body. Anything more will just get in the way, and you’ll lose the bird in the excess cloth.
Before capturing the bird, lay out all the materials you will need: medication, already drawn up in the syringe; nail clippers; a scale, if you wish to weigh the bird; the proper size towel for holding the bird.
Written by: Linda Brink and Randi Hoffmann