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Wild parrots are always busy-foraging for food, eluding predators, looking after chicks and playing in the trees.  They work hard for a living!  By contrast, our spoiled companion parrots have everything handed to them on a silver platter.  So what are they supposed to do all day?  These intelligent little creatures have active minds and get bored easily.  We need to try to recreate what their normal life would be in the wild.  The best way to do this is to provide toys that force them to use similar skills they would use if they were living in their natural habitat.  There are some excellent foraging toys on the market where you hide treats in a toy and they have to work to get it.  One of my birds' favourites is the Tiki Takeout. 

Wild parrots do a lot of climbing around in trees.  There are several ways to duplicate this activity.  You can put safe, non-toxic trees in their cage/aviary.  This is an easy one for Australians as most of our native trees are safe-gum trees, bottlebrush and grevilleas are all popular with parrots.  You can also either make or buy a cargo net.  This will give your companion parrot hours of fun climbing around on it.  You can attach toys to make it even more fun! 

Parrots are born demolition experts and in the wild, they destroy tree branches and chew on just about everything.  We need to offer them toys that are made to be destroyed.  Wooden blocks and sticks go over well with large parrots like macaws and cockatoos.  Smaller birds like conures, cockatiels and quakers will love shredding toys available in most online bird supply stores.  Pinatas and preening toys made from ropes are very popular with the little guys!  Making sure your companion bird keeps just as busy as his wild cousins will certainly help to avoid destructive behaviours like plucking and self-mutilation.  The bonus is the hours of entertainment you get watching them enjoy themselves!

Ixchel and Yaxche with Tiki Takeout foraging toy.  Notice the broccolini in the holders.

The Get-a-Grip cargo net provides hours of fun for busy little birds. There are toys attached to it too. 

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