Biting Matters, A Book Review by Sandy Lender

Thanks to Sandy Lender for her recent review of Jenny Drummey’s book, Biting Matters, Living Bite-free With Your Parrot, published by the Phoenix Landing Press.  Sandy is the editor of In Your Flock, a magazine geared to quality information for parrot owners. To learn more about this great magazine or to subscribe, go to  


Parrot Reviews By Sandy Lender
Title: Biting Matters: Living Bite-free With Your Parrot
Author: Jenny Drummey
Illustrator: Jenny Drummey
Publisher: Phoenix Landing Press, Asheville, N.C.
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 84

In her helpful book about companion parrot biting behavior, Phoenix Landing volunteer Jenny Drummey offers a flat-out useful tutorial, as well as sound advice, concerning this beaky matter. In the opening chapter, she starts by examining the emotional side of “the bite.” She admits something that, as a bird owner, I wish more owners shared with newbies. “The scars that bites leave behind are certainly physical, but they’re psychological and emotional too.”


Starting with a pledge to institute ideas, methods, behavior changes, commitment, environment changes, etc., to reduce or eliminate bites from a bird, the reader is encouraged to keep a journal, develop his or her own “biting plan,” and use tools such as the Bite Analyzer. You can also figure out how likely you are to get bitten during certain behaviors by plugging the behaviors into your own “Bite-o-meter.” Drummey gives short assignments that pull the reader into the text as a participant, not just someone who’s being lectured to.

Bite Bits

Even though Drummey did an excellent job of making me feel a part of the lessons and examples as I read, I never felt that she blamed me for the biting behavior I could relate to in the text. I felt instead that she was giving me strategies to deal with the biting behavior when I see it about to happen with one of my parrots or at an event with someone else’s bird.


Throughout the book, Drummey has important tips called “Bite Bits” placed in the margins to attract attention, such as “Parrots do not need a logical reason to be uncomfortable.” The assignments I mentioned are set off by boxes labeled “Try This At Home.” The use of subheadings within chapters also helps break up individual concepts and makes this book an easy one to follow. When you want to check something specific later, the table of contents lists those subheadings, making this an easy reference tool.

One chapter you don’t see many of the “Try This” boxes in is “Biting Solutions That Don’t Work.” The subheading sections of negative ideas in this chapter only get five pages of space, but they clearly express what readers should avoid when working to gain trust and reduce bites from parrots.

Bite Bits2

Drummey has prepared a no-nonsense guide to why our feathered friends bite in different situations with the heavy emphasis on correcting both our behavior and the bird’s. Her approach appears rooted in positive behavior modification with the human recognizing when the environment is ripe for biting and how to change the situation.

A portion of the proceeds from the sales of the book supports the parrots of the Phoenix Landing Foundation. It is available in paperback and Kindle at I recommend it for new parrot owners as well as seasoned owners facing some behavioral challenges with flock members.

As a side note to this book review, I’d like to mention Drummey has adorable clay art (and additional examples of her talent) at

A hard copy of this book is available at or for a kindle version.

Parrot Feather Pillow

This one of a kind item is a feather pillow created by Patricia Sund.  It is for sale on Ebay to benefit the parrots of Phoenix Landing. What’s different about this from your usual feather pillow is that the feathers are on the outside. It was created from donated molted feathers from Patricia’s bird friends from all over the U.S. and Canada. It was made from Amazon parrot feathers, accented with cockatiel feathers.  All of the feathers were naturally molted. No birds were ever harmed, plucked or otherwise compromised for the fabrication of this item.

Pillow Closeup

The pillow is 15 inches wide and 11 inches tall. The backing material is white monk’s cloth.

All proceeds from this sale will benefit the adoption and education programs of Phoenix Landing.  If you’d like to bid, go to:


Thanks for Helping Parrots!

Two New Phoenix Landing Books

Hot off our new press, two books to enhance the quality of life for parrots.

Nourish to Flourish, A Healthy Cookbook for Parrots
Our new parrot cookbook has 125 pages of recipes, information about plants, herbs and general information about how to add quality whole foods to your parrot’s diet. ($24.95)


Project Parrot: A Behavior Guidebook for You and Your Bird, by Jenny Drummey
Re-engineer the relationship with your bird using a do-it-yourself approach. This book examines the many factors that contribute to good (and not-so-good) behaviors in your home, highlights the changes you can make to build trust, and helps you to create simple training plans. Also learn to teach your bird some important husbandry behaviors, such as how to forage, bathe, and even step up with confidence. Available December 10th. ($22.95)


Buy either book online here or on-site at an upcoming Phoenix Landing educational seminar.

Swivel Sweeper for Bird Messes

I’ve recently tried a product I think others might like as much as I do.  I’ve had a number of sweepers through the years, but there always seems to be something about each one that makes me return to my good old broom and dustpan.  Usually they take up a ton of room, they won’t pick up those tiny down feathers, or they’re a pain to empty.

However, the Swivel Sweeper G2 is vastly different and better than any I’ve seen or tried before.  Here are some of the things that make it really easy to use:

  1. It’s very lightweight; no heavier than a broom.
  2. The head swivels in every direction.  It easily rotates to reach between cages, alongside playgyms, etc.
  3. With a push of a button, the handle bends to easily reach all the way under even large cages.  This is an especially useful function, and it’s what really inspired me to buy the product in the first place.
  4. It picks up all the food particles, feathers, and shredded toy parts our greys can drop…and that’s A LOT!  It works equally well on the wood floors under their cages and the carpet under their foraging tree.  (The carpet is covered with mats and newspaper, but bits of their chewed toys always seem to find their way to my carpet.)  Special rollers on the ends allow it to work right up against a wall or in corners.
  5. It’s truly one-touch emptying; there’s no getting your hands dirty at all.
  6. It’s cordless and rechargeable, but the good thing is that the battery pack pops right off.  The charger needs an outlet, of course, but since the battery is detachable you can store the sweeper itself anywhere you’d store a broom.  It doesn’t need a plug in.  Also, the head of the sweeper has a magnet that attaches it vertically to the handle when not in use.  It literally takes up no more room than a broom.

I’ve had the product for a few days, and it has made keeping my floors clean a snap.  I really like anything that makes my life easier!   This won’t be a substitute for a vacuum, but it’s much easier to use than a vacuum for those several-times-a-day sweepings that seem so necessary when you have parrots.