How to Encourage Foraging for Pet Birds
As essential components of natural bird behavior, foraging and play are two fundamental categories of instinctive behaviors that are integral to a bird’s happy life. Since wild birds spend a great deal of time seeking food, shelter, and water, birds in captivity need to be able to use their skill sets in order to feel satisfied and avoid negative bird behaviors.
For birds, foraging is the act of searching for and discovering food not readily available. This process engages both physical and mental skills and can occupy a good portion of your bird’s day. One benefit that stems from recreating this act for pet birds includes alleviating boredom and other behavioral problems by presenting fun challenges and obstacles through exercise and activity reminiscent of a bird’s natural habitat. Another benefit of encouraging foraging for your feathered friend is that this process promotes the use of your bird’s beak and feet to strengthen physical aspects and stimulate problem-solving skills that require a physical finesse.
Several examples of setting your pet bird up for foraging success include:
- Wrapping food pieces inside other items like lettuce, other green leaves, or in a safe material like a coffee filter then tying with twine, rope, or tape can aid in the act of discovery and present time-absorbing challenges for your bird to find the food reward hidden inside.
- Another great way to encourage foraging is by hiding or covering regular the areas where your bird usually eats with unusual items that present challenges. For example, place a paper towel on top of their regular food dish to add that extra layer of fun and problem-solving to get to the food source.
- Hanging items from cages is third way to have you bird keep an eye out for unexpected food opportunities. This can be done with fruit and twine as well as toys meant for this exact purpose.
- And finally, toys! There are many different commercial pet bird toys available on the market that can help your bird enjoy interactive fun by encouraging foraging for rewards while enticing physical and mental stimulation.
As a critical component, playtime for birds is part of what makes birds such fun, entertaining, and interactive companions. Encouraging natural skills through foraging behaviors and time spent with stimulating toys can promote instinctual behaviors that are part of a happy and healthy lifestyle for any captive bird.
Wyld’s Wingdom carries a variety of bird foraging toys. Contact Wyld’s Wingdom for more information on wholesale orders. Phone: 757.858.8090 or Toll Free: 800.366.9953.