Avian Expert Articles

Fun Things To Do With Your Bird At Home

Amazon Parrot
Amazon parrot. Photo by Sergio Souza/Pexels

With schools shutting down, businesses shifting to work-at-home-type of employment and self-isolation as the new normal,  we now find ourselves wondering what to do to positively pass the time at home. Let’s strive to find a silver lining to make the most of this unexpected situation and have some fun with the flock. Use the following ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

Turn Yourself Into A Bird Playground

piece of paper
A piece of paper can be transformed into a fun play item for a parrot! A crumpled up piece can become a “ball” for your bird to hold or to push around. TanteTati/Pixabay

Create an edible necklace by stringing together some blueberries, raspberries, Popcorn Nutri-Berries, and other bird-safe edibles. If you’ve got a paper-chewing-loving bird, tuck a long piece of paper in your collar to make a fast and easy destructible bib for your bird to chew and destroy. Make a paper bracelet by twisting the ends of rolled-up paper together (no tape or staples needed!) for the same effect. Don’t be afraid to look silly — most people you know are probably staying at home just like you, so your doorbell won’t be ringing anytime soon.

Take play a level further and create a “dig pit” by placing some of your bird’s foot toys or foraging foods on a tray table or a serving dish, covering with shredded paper, and placing in your lap. Show your bird how the game is played by pulling out the hidden treasures and then re-covering them for your pal to find.

Turn yourself into a climbing gym by holding your bird’s rope perch or ladder and having your parrot climb up and down it. You can also create a playground swing set by simply holding your bird’s swing perch and swaying it back and forth. Do this while you are seated on a chair or couch to provide a soft landing in case your bird loses balance.

The goal here is to spend some fun, silly moments with your bird during this otherwise stressful time. As a bonus, you might be pleasantly surprised to find that your bird takes a sudden interest in toys, swings, ladders, etc. that he or she previously ignored. Why would this happen? Because you took time to showcase them in a new manner.

Play Chess Or Checkers With Your Parrot

By now, we are all learning to practice patience to some degree. Be it needed for waiting to buy toilet paper or wondering if and when we can dine out in our favorite restaurant again. What better way to train ourselves in the art of patience than a game of chess?

Ditch traditional play, and try a game of chess with your bird. Break out your gameboard, but take away the game pieces. Instead, use Nutri-Berries as the chess pieces. That will capture your feathered buddy’s attention! Chess is a game of patience, which you get a healthy dose of as your bird takes his or her sweet time to consume the next move on the board. You can also see if your bird takes to playing a game with actual chess pieces—check out the video below of a cockatiel making moves on the chess board!

Don’t know chess? No problem; try a game of checkers (you can even use the same board!). Traditional checkers is generally a quicker game to play, but playing with a parrot and edible pieces changes that. The game will likely have the same slow pace as parrot chess. But this game isn’t so much about following rules as it is about enjoying time with your bird. Encourage your bird to roll/push/toss a Nutri-Berrie across the board for their moves.

Introduce Your Pet Bird To The World Of Virtual Meetings

Stay in touch with family and friends with Skype and other video chat sites; your bird might get a kick out of seeing a familiar face on the screen. secondfromthesun0/Pixabay

Who says your feathered friend can’t have visitors during this time of self-isolation? “Invite” friends and family over via Facetime, Skype, or some other video chat so he or she can enjoy the company of friends virtually, including other birds.

If working from home is new to you, you might be learning how to log onto virtual meetings. Take advantage of your new familiarity with this technology. Even if you don’t have to partake in virtual meetings as part of your new work-from-home routine, Zoom and other online meeting sites offer free accounts. Go ahead and make your bird feel like a co-worker by scheduling weekly (or daily!) online meetings with your bird -loving friends.

Challenge Your Bird’s Destructive Powers With A Reverse Puzzle

Puzzle pieces offer a fun texture for your bird to explore. Hebi B./ Pixabay

This activity involves a little pre-planning on your part. Instead of having your feathered friend help you complete a puzzle, he or she helps you take apart a puzzle by picking up the puzzle pieces. Use a puzzle set you don’t mind your bird accidentally (or purposely) destroying. (As with any non-edible item, make sure your bird is shredding it, not consuming it.) Choose a puzzle in the 100-pieces or less range so you can rebuild and take down with your bird again and again — unless you don’t mind your bird helping you wipe out days or weeks’ worth of puzzle work in a matter of minutes.

Do share! What are you and your bird doing to pass the time? Post your idea in our comment section and/or share your photos on our Facebook page.

2 thoughts on “Fun Things To Do With Your Bird At Home

  1. My CAGP just has a ball playing with a crumpled up piece of paper. While discussing moving nutri berries on the chess board, Raphaelle wants her food cups out of the holders then she moves them around on the bottom of her cage and places them where she wants them. And when she wants something different to eat, she lifts the one side of the cup up so I can hear it slam down. Birds are so smart and amusing!

  2. I have owned 2 parrotlets( dwarf parrots) in the last 12 years. These little pieces of dynamite love to bond and play with their Hoo’mans. My first parrotlet, named Bogie, had a vocabulary of 65 words and phrases, plus, he could spell his name. He loved all kinds of NutriBerries and other Lefeber products. I think he would have loved the new Popcorn NutriBerries, but sadly, he passed away at age 10.
    One game he loved to play while learning something, is a game he invented called, ” Take and Give and Take Again”. I would take 3 plastic bottle caps of different colors and place them on the table in front of Bogie and myself. I would say, ” Take green baby ” (he called his caps, ‘ Babies ‘) and he would take the green cap. ( If he got the wrong color, put it back and correct him by saying ” No, that’s the yellow baby) Once he had the correct color, take it back from him, then give it right back and thank him! )

    Continue with asking for different colors until he knows the difference between the colors! Bogie eventually learned blue, green, red, yellow with 100% accuracy! Bottle caps are easy for the bird to grab. After he learned his colors, I introduced the game of counting ” How Many Babies? ” I miss Bogie! I just finished writing a book about him and soon to be published.

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