Many studies have concluded that most pet birds have intelligence equal to a 2 year old child. Many long time bird owners would argue that they are smarter than that, but like all 2 year olds, they need to be kept busy all of the time to try to keep them out of trouble! When the bird cannot interact with you, they need something to keep their attention. For this reason, there is a plethora of bird toys to keep your feathered friend entertained.
The toys usually fall into one of two types. A favorite toy for larger birds is a large complex toy with multiple parts to chew on and pull or move around. Most of these toys have a mix of ropes, wooden parts and maybe bells. The ropes will prove hours of chewing fun as the beak usually slides between the strands and does not break them apart. The wooden components satisfy the urge to crunch and gnaw and generally rip something apart. The moving parts offer the challenge of trying to remove them and on some designs, make noise as they clack together as your bird tugs and pulls, using both its beak and its feet. One additional advantage to these large toys is the ability of your bird to be able to hang at weird angles that they cannot achieve with standard perches. The various sizes of the wooden pieces also help maintain the flexibility for the bird’s legs and feet.
The second type of bird toy will have streamers to chew and tug on or maybe compartments to hide treats. This will provide your bird with a thought problem to figure out how to get to the treat. These smaller toys will usually have more moving parts and may act as a foraging toy, not a stationary one attached to the cage or a perch. The use of multiple textures of materials to make these toys provides your bird with a different experience every time they grab or start to chew on it. Perhaps we could call these next toys a “third” type as they are designed to be literally pulled apart by the bird. Some are called “shredders” and the entire toy can be chewed apart or perhaps it has a rugged outer shell full of shreds of paper to be pulled out and torn up. Another favorite is one of the “piñata” toys that can be filled with bird treats or just placed in the cage to be torn apart. Some birds seem to revel in destroying things. (Maybe they are like 2 year olds!)