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Dear Parrots magazine,

Those flies

I have an African Grey and a Blue-fronted Amazon and they get a very good diet including lots of fresh organic fruit. I have always followed the advice of many experts over the years and as a result, I think I do quite well with my two parrots.

The Grey I have had for the past 22 years came to me as a chick and the Amazon was given to me as its owner had to go into a care home. I was told it was about 16 years old when I had it six years ago.

My two daughters tell me I spoil my two parrots, but think that is how it should be as I love then dearly and want them to have the best life possible. They are in separate cages in my lounge and have the freedom of the room most of the time. They get on very well together when are out, but do seem to like their own cages at night. I do keep them fully flighted and like them the keep as fit as possible. One of my daughters has flown the nest, but the younger one who has just turned 24 is still at home and helps me greatly with the birds. She tells me she will take my birds on when I can no longer look after them and is just as enthusiastic as I am so my mind is at rest when that day comes.

However, I do have one problem and that is with flies, fruit flies that is. These are those tiny little flies that seem to be attracted to the fruit my parrots get every day. I have only had this problem this year and never before. I have read that they are attracted to bananas and although I always have bananas in my fruit bowl, I never see these flies there. I wash all my fruit, but only see the flies around the parrot cages. I do have some of the old sticky fly trap papers hanging up, but don’t catch that many. I catch most by hand, but they just keep coming. I don’t know if they carry anything nasty that could hurt my birds although don’t think so, and a veterinary nurse who is a friend of a friend doesn’t think they pose any hazard apart from frustration. My birds are fine and I seem to have everything under control, but would be interested to know if anyone else has had a similar experience.

Annabelle Croxley, by email




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