Tag Archives: Parrot tricks

Fun Games to Play With Your Parrot

Fun Games to Play with your Parrot

Mango Basketball Hoop

Parrots are active creatures who love to play. In fact, play is an important part of their regular routine. As a result, providing your feathered friend with an abundance of bird toys, foraging bird toys  and educational bird toys is an essential part of your responsibility as a pet bird owner.

However, it’s not enough to simply toss your birds a pile of bird toys and call it good. Your bird also needs to spend time interacting with his or her human caregivers. Playing with your feathered friend offers a number of advantages:

1.    It provides adequate exercise. While it’s true that your parrot will get some exercise playing with their  bird toys by themselves, you can provide structured playtime that helps burn extra energy more effectively.

2.    It strengthens the bond between you & your Feathered Friend. In the wild, adult parrots teach their offspring by playing with them. Pet birds view their human owners as their family or flock. Your bird wants to spend time with you. Although they may enjoy their bird toys inside their cage—nothing beats one-on-one time with you.

3.    It provides mental stimulation. Games help keep your parrot’s mind sharp and alert. Since parrots are intelligent creatures, they crave these types of opportunities.

Our Severe Macaw Buddy became a “new” bird after he found out he was very talented with playing birdie basketball.  His self esteem skyrocketed.  He became so talented…..he was even on Animal Planet last year with his brother Kiwi (DYH Amazon) doing their bird tricks.

Here are a few fun games you can do with your parrot:

1.    Fetch. For this game, locate a soft bird toy or ball. Take your bird out of his cage and find a spot in the house that has some space. This could be the living room, family room or even the hallway. Standing next to your bird, show him the ball, letting him peck at it with his beak for a minute. Next, toss the ball across the room or down the hallway, encouraging your bird to chase after it. If your bird does retrieve the ball, praise him profusely. Depending on your bird, it may take a few times for him to realize how to play the game. You may need to walk your parrot through the process once or twice. Be sure to praise your bird every time he follows your example or instructions. This game is a lot of fun for young parrots who have a bundle of energy.

In some cases like our Umbrella Cockatoo Marshmellow, “Fetch” has not really caught on.  She always has the look like, “Me, chase after something……I don’t think so”  LOL

2.    Hide-N-Seek. Most parrots are strongly attached to their owners and will do everything possible to stay close to you. When playing Hide-N-Seek, take your parrot to an area in the house  that he is not familiar with. Gently set your bird down on the floor and scurry away to go hide behind something. Your bird will most likely start looking for you immediately. To make the game easier for your parrot, you may need to poke your head around the corner or call to your parrot so he knows where you are and comes running!

Our African Grey “Jerry” just loves playing Hide N Seek.  He even now knows to say “Peek a Boo” when playing this with me.

3.    Staircase Climb. For this game, have another family member, whom the bird is attached to, stand at the bottom of the staircase. The person at the bottom should call to their parrot, possibly waving one of their favorite bird toys. Your parrot should eagerly come down the stairs. Once your parrot has reached the bottom, praise him for a job well-done. Next walk back up the stairs yourself, encouraging your bird to follow. This is a great work-out for your bird!!  If your bird has trouble with going down the stairs first you may try this in reverse by starting with letting your bird climb up the stairs to you first.  Then you can work on having him or her walk down the steps

I have been playing this game with our feathered flock for many years.  Check out the video below of “Kiwi” and “Jerry” doing their “stair climb”.  (This video must be at least 7 years ago…..the quality is not that good but you get the picture)

The most important thing to remember is that this is a fun time for you and your feathered friend so no matter how well or not so well your birdie does the fact that you are spending time together is what is most important.

FunTime Birdy

What to Do (And What Not to Do) When Your Parrot is Bored

What to do with a Bored Parrot

What to Do for a Bored Parrot

Parrots are active, inquisitive creatures who crave mental stimulation. Often times, parrot owners fail to provide their feathered friends with the interaction they need, resulting in an extremely bored bird. When this occurs, behavioral problems may develop.

If your parrot doesn’t have any bird toys or if he/she is never given the opportunity to climb around on a parrot playgym, he/she may start to pluck their feathers, scream incessantly or become depressed and sad.

If your bird is misbehaving due to boredom, here are 3 things you should NEVER do:

1.  Scream at your bird :  Yelling at your parrot or banging on the birdcage door won’t calm your parrot down. It will only make him more agitated and could cause him to become fearful of you.

2.  Completely ignore your bird: Parrots are sociable creatures who enjoy nothing better than nestling on their parrot playgyms or bird stand next to you as you watch TV or work on the computer.   Ignoring your bird will cause him to feel angry and neglected.

3.  Put your bird in a room by himself:   Placing your parrot in a dark room by himself with absolutely no bird toys  will only serve to increase his anxiety and depression. If your bird is being too noisy, or is somehow “disrupting you,” find out what it is he needs. But never isolate your bird from the rest of the family for long periods of time.

So what SHOULD you do when your parrot is bored out of his mind and driving you crazy? Here are 3 suggestions:

1.    Take your feathered friend out of his cage daily.  No matter how many bird toys you give your parrot, he still needs to spend time outside of his birdcage.

2.    Play with your bird regularly.   Spend time each day playing and interacting with your bird.   Teach your bird a few bird tricks and just have a good time together. Parrots have an amazing capacity to bond with humans—so don’t let this opportunity slip by!

Our Severe Macaw Buddy is an adoption and was a biter when we adopted him.  By playing with him and teaching him bird tricks like birdie basketball and Ring Toss, Buddy is a new bird.  He even took part in Animal Planet’s “Your Pet Wants this Too” where he featured his best moves.

3.    Get another bird.   Some parrots do not like to be alone. By purchasing a companion, you can provide your feathered friend with the social interaction he needs.

By making a few adjustments to your lifestyle, you can provide your bird with the attention and stimulation he needs to thrive.

Ann Zych
FunTime Birdy

Swizzle Stick Bird Trick by Buddy The Severe Macaw

Swizzle Stick Bird Trick available at FunTime Birdy

Swizzle Stick Bird Trick

We are so excited because our Severe Macaw Buddy has mastered the Swizzle Stick Bird Trick.  He really loves to place each “swizzle” into their appropriate spot.

We also just finished his new video with the Swizzle Stick Bird Trick.  Check it out below.

FunTime Birdy

Can your Parrot Help you with your Mail?

Kacy the Black Capped Conure

Kacy the Black Capped Conure

Cute video of the amazing Kacy the Conure.  She is so so talented.  Our parrots are really good at doing tricks like Basketball and the Ring Toss but Kacy has so many tricks.

FunTime Birdy has a full line of Educational Trick Training props for your bird.

FunTime Birdy Educational and Trick Training Bird Toys

Parrot SportsCenter

Buddy, the Severe Macaw Playing Basketball

Parrot Playing Basketball

A while back I posted the steps I followed to train our  Severe Macaw “Buddy” to play basketball.  At first it took awhile for him to understand about the ball and putting the ball into the hoop. As I mentioned in my previous blogs it wasn’t until I realized that I should be using his favorite treat as a reward that he really got the idea of putting the ball in the hoop.

My husband Mark, who loves to make videos realized that this would be a great video to put on youtube and then we thought what if ……….Parrots had there own version of ESPN’s Sportscenter or in this case Parrot SportsCenter.

This is is what Mark and I thought it would be like.   See below for video.