If you share your life with a parrot or a flock of parrots, you probably know they don’t often take to strange toys easily. Unless you tell the bird the toy is off limits, there’s no way it will get played with. Nope, not touching that scary thing.
Step one of all toy purchases is to put the toy somewhere so the parrot can see it but not where it may be seen as a threat. Outside the cage might work, but across the room would be better. Slowly, over the next year, move the toy closer. Some parrots may get frustrated and fly over to the thing with the intention of ripping it to shreds. That’s just a possibility.
Mookie, a temporary resident sun conure who is moving up in my affections rapidly, realized that he could get onto my side table by my comfy chair, and that opened up a plethora of toys for him. A box of tissues that now has an artistic derelict look, bottle caps strewn lovingly about the floor, and the wicker trash basket has been emptied. On the floor. Sigh.
In fairness, I should have checked on him more frequently and should have made sure all such objects were out of his reach. He’s smarter or more adventurous or both than my other conures. But also, he’s always shown an aptitude for creativity with cardboard boxes. He and Sonny never have a problem with me throwing a new box or drink carrier in for them to nom. Mookie, indeed, is the first one into the box when a new one appears.
Wraith, our Indian ringneck parakeet, has an empty raisin container that is tubular. This is his favorite play thing. He loved to tap on it, and when the fun in that wears out, he goes inside it and talks to himself. As ringnecks often do, he backs up and says, “Oh!” between sentences.
The container also has a yellow plastic lid. Wraith carries it around with him, and often leaves it in his food dish. He hasn’t chewed on it at all. He just carries it around.
Our most evil and aggressive parrot, Beeby, aka Lord Beebatron, aka Beebus Maximus, considers humans to be the best chew toys of all time. We need to distract him so we can open the cage to supply fresh food and water. It’s not easy to keep fingers just out of his reach on the side while opening the cage door in front and removing or replacing supplies. But for all his aggressiveness, Beeby has his lighter side. He has a plastic ball with holes around it and a jingle bell inside. It’s big enough that I don’t worry about him cracking it open and getting hurt by the bell. He will spend hours at a time shaking that ball in his beak, throwing it across the cage, and then going after it. And eventually it ends up in the food or water.
Beeby and his cage mate Esme have an oatmeal container, also round like the raisin one. They have had this container toy for a couple years now. Between them, they recently finished removing the paper label. This is a toy that will last a long, long time.
Thanks for reading. I’ll be back on Sunday.