How to Prevent Pet Bird Boredom

Is your bird home all day alone? They can get bored and frustrated easily if they have nothing to do. That’s why toys are so important for your bird. They break up your bird’s day and keep him entertained while you’re off making money for his next batch of toys.

There are so many factors that go into making your bird’s toy: textures and shapes, colors, size and type. Toy manufacturers are, excuse the pun, always “toying” in their workshops to come up with something that has real bird appeal.

Textures & Shapes

Soft or hard? Take two different types of wood and see what you prefer. Do you like the feel of oak: solid, firm, tough, not easy to break? Compare that to a piece of balsa wood: easy to break, soft and bendable. Which one would you rather work with? You might use the balsa wood to make a glider airplane. You might turn a piece of oak into fabulous bookends.

For birds, they need both the oak and balsa wood. Some kabob toys have a hard exterior that takes a strong beak to crack. But the interior is made of soft yucca to the delight of your small birds, who can chomp right through it! Combine both and what do you have? One toy that the bird can play with on the outside, and another the bird can play within the inside!

Shapes are just as important as textures. A block of wood sits on a cage, while a wooden ball rolls. Your bird has two ways to play! The more complicated the shape, the more ways your bird will enjoy it.

Kaleidoscope Of Color

Birds can see colors; even colors we cannot see! Color is visually stimulating, so pile on the reds, blues, purples, yellows — anything bright! (Some birds are scared of particular colors, so make sure your bright red toy is not intimidating your cockatiel, for example.)

Super-Size It

I used to have lovebirds, and their favorite toys were twice their size, and three times wider. They loved one in particular: It was a shredding toy stuffed full of wicker, paper and wood. They started by pulling everything out of the toy and shredding it to bits, before they worked on the actual toy. Finally, when the toy was nothing more than shreds hanging by a leather strap, they precede to chew through the leather. The result? A shredded pile of toys and two content lovebirds.

Why not give your parrotlet a macaw-sized toy? A friend of mine likes to call them “construction projects.” Check for any possible safety issues first — remove anything your bird’s tiny foot can get caught in. If the toy has holes that your smaller bird might consider a nest, keep an eye on her to make sure she is not trying to nest in it. After addressing these considerations, you might find yourself watching your bird conquer its giant toy like climbers conquer Everest!

And who is to say your macaw wouldn’t mind a parrotlet-size toy? The small toy could make an interesting foot toy or, if your bird has never had a small toy, something to capture his attention as he tries to figure out what it is. (But there is no excuse for only buying your larger bird small toys. A bird needs a toy that matches it size, large or small!)

Offer a variety, and change toys out weekly. Your bird will get bored at staring at the same bell and wicker ball for weeks on end.

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  • I just received my first issue of the long-awaited return to Bird Talk magazine and I am thrilled! It is even better than I could imagine. Hope to see future regular columns on behavior. Welcome back!

    Jean Field
  • As of Feb 17th 2019 I haven’t recieved Dec or Jan magazine. Any idea when they might be shipped out?

  • As of February 13th I still have not gotten December January’s magazine any comment is to when I might get It


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