Having Fun Takes Balls

A common thread in all my birds’ habitats seems to be the toys they prefer, mostly balls. Second to that ranks cardboard boxes to chew up, closely followed by chunks of wood. But given a choice, the parrots would go for the balls first.

When we first brought Bo Dangles home, she came from a cage with no toys in it. In fact, she had a square of carpet on the bottom, no shelves or perches, a bowl of food and a bowl of water. The cage was small because the previous caretaker feared that Toeless Bo would fall if given a big cage.


081116 if bo had toes
If Bo Dangles had toes.


We put her in a larger cage, added shelves, and put cardboard boxes on the bottom so her falls would be cushioned. Then we got a long plastic chain and attached a Wiffle ball to it. Bo soon learned to bite the ball, kick it with her legs, and hold on while we would swing her around. She loves her Wiffle balls.

081116 cardboard

Maynard loves big hard plastic balls, though I am just now wondering what he would do with his own Wiffle ball. He manages to separate the halves of the ball without much trouble but takes at least a few days to do it. Meanwhile, he has a great time yelling at it and throwing it around his cage. Alone among my birds, Maynard actually prefers a clear plastic lid from a container like yogurt. He will chew on that and chirp at it for hours.

081116 wood blocks

Little Fin likes balls that are small enough for a lovebird to carry around. He leaves it in the water bowl more often than not. He is such a high-energy bird that when his partner Rebel doesn’t have time for him anymore, Fin will play with a toy until he wears himself out.

081116 balls

Nacho is a green cheek whose favorite toy was actually designed for hamsters. The little character has a rounded bottom so when Nacho jumps on it and chews and flaps and then walks away, the toy springs back upright. So Nacho has to teach him a lesson all over again. He’s too funny.


081116 wobble toy
Nacho’s toy is like this only different.



Kai is a white-faced grey cockatiel that I suspect is actually female. He came to us because the boy who’d loved him had gone off to college and didn’t want to take the bird along. Kai doesn’t so much play with his ball as sit on it and try to hatch it. I did a little experiment once and gave Kai an actual cockatiel egg to hatch. I had no idea if the egg was fertile or not, I just wondered how long faithful little Kai would go for it.

081116 eggs

He lasted two days, then the egg cracked. I suspect some of the other birds in the habitat got a little rough with it. Kai went back to his jingle ball, and never looked back.

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.

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