Many bird owners take great care in providing an enticing and nutritional diet for their birds. Additionally, they physically play and cuddle with their birds and spend hours teaching them to talk, sing and whistle. However, many birds belong to a single parent or parents who both work and as a result they also spend a lot of time alone in their cage. What does a bird do during the 8-10 hours that he is alone? Many become bored and lethargic, others pick their feathers and others develop an attitude and act it out when Mom or Dad come home. Providing stimulating and fun toys is an answer to the above problems by providing the bird with hours of entertainment and exercise, thereby keeping it alert, happy and healthy.
As a pet in captivity, birds don’t have the opportunity to engage in the activities that they naturally would in the wild. Avian behaviorists who have spent time observing parrots in the wild have reported that playtime ranks second only to food gathering in priority. Birds have a natural craving to chew and a daily need to forage for food. In the wild, a parrot’s behavior is very active and playful. They have been observed stripping bark off trees, biting off and flinging leaves and twigs, swinging from and climbing on vines all the while chattering gleefully with the rest of the flock. Instinctively, companion birds are still very much like their wild counterparts. Playing with toys is a vital substitute for natural behaviors such as foraging, nest building and interactions with their flock. Toys and playtime address several important functions:
Confinement of parrots without providing outlets for exercise, entertainment, comfort and mental challenge will result in boredom, depression, poor physical health and ultimately in an unsuitable pet!
Your bird should own a wide variety of toys but remember it is important to rotate the toys in and out of the cage weekly to stimulate curiosity and prevent boredom.