How Foraging for Food and Toys Helps Pet Birds

A bird in the wild spends a good portion of each day foraging for food. They may look in the trees, on the ground, in a puddle of water, under a leaf or in the dirt. Making your pet bird forage for their food and toys can help them have some fun and enjoyment while they do it.

You’ve got to take the dishes out every day to clean them anyway, so why not put them back in a different place each time? If the cage has certain places to put the dishes, at the very least, you could switch the food & the water dishes, or use different dishes that can be moved around. Try hiding some food in different places. Wrap something yummy in a paper towel or a piece of newspaper or put it in a plastic container or paper cup. Weave some greens through the bars of the cage or wrap a peanut or almond in some greens.

There are several toys available that can be used to make a bird work to get some food or a treat out. Look online or visit your local pet shop. Weave pieces of newspaper through the bars as well. Your bird isn’t going to eat the newspaper, but it will have lots of fun removing it. Move toys away from the perch so your bird must reach or climb to play with them. Some of the best toys are ones that can be destroyed. Keeping the beak occupied with toys that can be either eaten or ripped apart is a terrific way to make your bird work and keep him from being bored.

What type of perches are in the cage? Are they straight dowel perches or are they real branches that have twists & turns & different widths throughout the length? Try cutting a fresh branch from a bird safe tree that still has leaves or even berries attached.

Helpful Hints

If your bird is used to just eating out of a dish, it is possible that you might have to show him what you are doing at first, so that he knows there is a peanut in that paper towel or paper cup. Also, when you move a toy away from the perch, it is best to only move it a little bit, so he doesn’t get frustrated and decide not to bother with it anymore. Before long, your bird will be just waiting for you to try something different, so that he has a chance to figure it out.

Creatures Corner Fun Facts

According to the BBC, the oldest parrot on record is a Blue and Gold Macaw named Charlie. Charlie is reported to have been owned by Winston Churchill and is believed to have lived to be 104 years of age.

There are over 350 species of parrots in the world.

The smallest parrot species are the Pygmy Parrots, who average about 3 inches in length.

The largest of the parrot species is the Hyacinth Macaw, which can grow to a length of about 40 inches from the beak to the end of the tailfeathers.

At any given time, there are anywhere between one and two billion living birds on the planet.

The only species of parrot that builds a nest is the Quaker Parrot. The Quakers link their nests together to form structures akin to “bird condominiums”. These nests can reach weights greater than 200 pounds.

The most common bird on the planet is the Chicken.

Based on similarities in skeletal structure, a good number of scientists have theorized that many modern bird species evolved from the dinosaurs.

Female Lovebirds often amuse their owners by shredding up the paper lining in their cage and placing the strips between their tailfeathers. This is an instinctual behavior that would allow the bird to carry materials back to her nesting site for construction.

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