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
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
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
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.