"Eucalyptus trees provide koalas with almost all of their basic needs. The leaves from different species of eucalyptus trees are the koala's primary source of nourishment and the trees provide protection from natural predators lurking below."
"The best perches are the natural hard woods such as manzanita, ribbon wood and eucalyptus (very hard when it dries). Other woods may or may not be safe but it is best to stick to one of the three mentioned above."
Perches play a very important role in your birds overall health.
Pet bird perches should be of different sizes and irregular. This aids in the exercising of the feet ensuring that muscle condition and coordination does not deteriorate due to lack of foot movement along the perches.
As a general rule your bird's feet should go 3/4 of the way around the perch but in nature the birds perch on tree limbs of varying sizes. It is recommended that you use two or more different diameter perches. Remember however, that allowing your bird to play on top of his cage or walk on the floor will also exercise his feet
Tough eucalyptus wood makes the best perch your bird could ever have! Budgies love to chew on eucalyptus branches. They provide your bird with a source of stimulation. The chewing activity keeps the bird occupied for hours on end and the eucalyptus oil inside the bark is a natural health tonic. Eucalyptus branches also provide trace elements and minerals that are beneficial to your bird's health. In the wild, budgies are very active in the morning and evening, but spend most of their day resting in the eucalyptus trees and chewing the branches. Natural (unrefined) eucalyptus oil from the bark is also a germicide that stops diseases of the feet in all Australian birds.
"Eucalyptus branches are nontoxic and are safe to use as natural wood perches."
- Gillian Willis, Vancouver, B.C.
an "expert" in matters of poisoning and toxic substances
"The most suitable toys for unsupervised birds include natural foods such as grass runners (eg, kikuyu, buffalo grass), various seed pods (eg, melaleuca, hakea, Eucalyptus, callistemon and especially banksia for larger cockatoos), liquid amber, pine cones, vegetables, apple cores, clumps or tufts of grass freshly sprayed with water and short lengths of soft wood with bark attached (especially if live beetle larvae or borers are present). Any natural plant materials provided to birds must not have been sprayed with pesticides, chemicals or fertilizers. Fresh-cut branches from unsprayed fruit trees or vines with the bark intact are favorite treats for birds."
Additional notes & quotes from a bird forum...
"also they love fresh branches of eucalyptus this can keep them busy for hours pulling all the leaves off and just enjoying all the gum nuts."
"Another toy treat that my birds love are branches. I try to put new types of bird-safe branches in their when I can. We always put a eucalyptus or basil branch in the cages before friends come over so that the birds smell good."
"My eclectus loves to shred the leaves, then peel the bark, and then destroy the branch. She will work on it for hours."
"Zsa Zsa's favorite plants are eucalyptus, gardenia, basil, bamboo and hibiscus flowers. We just cut them off of the plant, spray them off with a hose, let them dry, and put them right in the cage. She loves to eat the flowers first, then tear up the leaves, and then tear off the bark. She will spend hours on it. She screams when I come in the house with branches."
"last week I filled their cages up with some fresh eucalyptus branches which they enjoyed stripping"
"I put eucalyptus leaves under my furniture.. it is a natural way to keep those fleas away."
"We used eucalyptus bark in the planter and it really kept the cats out."
"To help your little green man to groom his beak, you may wish to ensure he has some perches that are rough in texture. Some examples are one cement perch, clean natural branches from safe trees that still have the bark on (like cottonwood, willow, hazelnut, pear, apple and ash...from unsprayed trees), eucalyptus and sandblasted dry grapevine*. If his cage has smooth perches in it, such as perches made from manzanita, ribbonwood or smooth eucalyptus, you may wish to purchase a wood rasp from a hardware store, woodworking shop or hobby store. Use the rasp to rasp the perches so that they are roughened (but not splintery) so that they have a bit of texture to them. Your Eclectus will be able to groom his beak nice and smooth on the outside, and keep the edges trim as well."
"Eclectus seem to do this and we do not know why. It is possible that it may be connected to a behavior called "anting" but as of now, no one knows for sure."
Here is a link to a previous Board post that describes anting behavior. In this post, the question is about a female Eclectus preening with food, but the description of anting behavior and some speculation about what it could mean/ways to provide for it may be helpful to you.
Our Chardy does not "power preen" with food...but the preening is very active and sometimes almost looks stereotyped, which makes me wonder if it may be based in the instinctive anting behavior some birds have.
The suggestion in the link of providing aromatic (but safe) materials to "ant" with may help your little green man. In your area, hot dry peppers may help, but also eucalyptus leaves, flowers or buds/seed pods may be items to provide him with, in case he may wish to use those to "ant" with. You can place them in a cup on his playtree near a place where you have observed him "power preening" so that if he wants to use them, they are in easy reach.
The bluish green leaves carry the medicinal properties of the tree and grow to a length of 6-12 inches (15-30 cm). While the leathery leaves are the sole food for koala bears, the leaves also contain a fragrant volatile oil that has antiseptic, expectorant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, deodorant, diuretic, and antispasmodic properties. Other constituents of the leaves include tannins, phenolic acids, flavonoids (eucalyptin, hyperin, hyperoside, quercitin, quercitrin, rutin), sesquiterpenes, aldehydes, and ketones.
Eucalyptus is most popular for its ability to clear congestion due to colds, coughs, flu, asthma, and sinusitis. The tannins found in eucalyptus have astringent properties that reduce mucous membrane inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. Eucalyptol, the chemical component of the oil, works to loosen phlegm. Cough drops containing eucalyptus promote saliva production, which increases swallowing and lessens the coughing impulse. Ear aches can also be treated with eucalyptus. When inhaled, the eucalyptus fumes open the eustachian tubes, draining fluids and relieving pressure. Eucalyptus enhances breathing, which makes it an effective remedy for asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, whooping cough, and colds.
Eucalyptus is a component of many topical arthritis creams and analgesic ointments. When applied to the skin, eucalyptus stimulates blood flow and creates a warm feeling to the area, relieving pain in muscles and joints.
Budgerigars and Their Affinity with Certain Eucalyptus Species.
by Peter McLaren B.A.
Many bird species in Australia and elsewhere feed on the cambium sap of various trees. In northern European and American forests woodpeckers feed on the cambium sap of a number of deciduous tree species. This, however, tends to be seasonal behavior as opposed to birds that feed on evergreens - such as the eucalypts- in which cambial activity is continuous.
In Australia galahs, sulfur-crested cockatoos and Major Mitchell Cockatoos all strip the mature bark of eucalypts to gain access to the cambium tissue and thus the cambium's phloem sap. The writer has observed some cockatoos returning regularly to wounds they have created in the cambium of eucalyptus trees to take advantage of the continually weeping sap that exudes from them for up to a fortnight before the tree heals.
Birds are not alone in this practice which is utilized by sugar gliders and various possums. These animals seldom ingest the bark they strip but, instead, remove it to inflict a wound that will continue to weep. In the budgerigar's case its small beak size relegates it to the smaller stems where it finds the cambial sap it seeks in the soft fresh bark
Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants (ASGAP)
"It was also thought that the oils dropping from the eucalyptus leaves and the gums secreted from the bark, disinfected the ground around the tree. These secretions had a purifying effect just like its aroma did to the surrounding air. "
"Abbott Kinney gave many examples of the success eucalyptus was having in arresting malarial fever"
"There were numerous reports worldwide of the success the eucalyptus was having in treating malaria."
Eucalyptus are any of numerous tall trees of the genus Eucalyptus, native to Australia and having aromatic leaves that yield an oil used medicinally and wood valued as timber. There are over seven hundred varieties and many of them are known as gum trees due to the excretion of sap from any breaks in the bark. Humans have used Eucalyptus leaves and depend on Eucalyptus more often than they realize. Eucalyptus oil and its active ingredient eucalyptol are frequently found in the cough drops and salves you buy over the counter to treat colds and other infections, diseases and ailments. Eucalyptus has been used to lower the water table and reduce malaria and habitats for mosquito larvae to grow. Eucalyptus oils have been used for cleaning, deodorizing, and in very small quantities in food supplements like sweets, cough drops and decongestants. Eucalyptus oil Is also contains natural repellant properties and has been used in mosquito and flea repellants and also to kill dust mites. A couple other uses are in dyes and also, Eucalyptus is used to make the Australian Wind Instrument the Didgeridoo.
•Oils "Eucalyptus oil contains substances with strong antibacterial properties. Studies in animals and test tubes also found that eucalyptus oil acts as an expectorant (loosens phlegm in the respiratory passages), antiseptic (prevents infection), and deodorant. Like eucalyptus oil, the leaves of the eucalyptus plant contain substances that have expectorant, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties, but the leaves are also believed to help reduce inflammation and reduce fevers. In fact, one study conducted in Russia found that an alcoholic tincture containing eucalyptus leaves helps relieve chronic ear infections. Many researchers believe that the beneficial effect of the eucalyptus tincture may have been due to its anti-inflammatory properties." Eucalyptus leaves contain tannins (which are believed to help reduce inflammation), flavonoids (such as quercetin which has antioxidants properties), and volatile oils