How to Furnish a Bird Room, Aviary or Cage for your Bird
By Bonnie Dater Jay
Parrots are one of the most extraordinary creatures on earth. Their brains formed much the same was as ours and they have abilities much like ours. They can reason, understand language, count (birds can see 5 of anything in a moment... we cannot... we have to count to see how many pennies or marbles are there. Really.
They are clever, sensitive, mischievous, obstinate, adorable, sweet, loving, sneaky, messy, controlling, loud, and the most incredible beings with whom to share one's life.
Given that they are so remarkable, and they are a gift that enriches our lives more than can be explained... it is our obligation to provide the best possible environment for them to live out their lives with us.
If you have a large home, a built in aviary is a magical opportunity to interact with your birds all day long if you are home.
OUT of cage time is CRITICAL. Remember, they are creatures of the sky with the gift of flight, and for us to either put them in a cage or an aviary (better) or a room, is to take away that gift. So we must replace it with all manner of opportunities for learning and play.
If you have either a large indoor aviary, or a nearly room sized housing there are endless things you can provide for them. Hanging gyms easy to make from snow saucers or purchased, hung with nickle plated or stainless steel chain and hung here and there and all over the place but also leaving enough room to fly. Stationary play gyms should be available as well.
And toys. Lots and lots of toys that will challenge their wits and dexterity. When I say lots and lots of toys, I do mean that as birds get bored with the same stuff all the time. Keep in mind they have the mental capacity of a 4 year old child, but the emotional development of a 2 year old. That means they get bored easily and have no way to let you know they need more and newer and more challenging 'stuff'. Parrots are not inexpensive feathery beings who can be locked up in a cage and forgotten. It would be like locking you in a closet and saying “There you go, be happy.” I suspect you would never be happy.
Toys are meant to entertain, challenge, be chewed, destroyed and replaced. All the time. Having a ready to go stock pile of interesting and challenging toys is a good start. You needn't buy them all at once but continuously and changing them out regularly is a great way to go.
Bird safe plants (which will likely be chewed, but hey, that means their busy and that's a good thing), are a wonderful and natural addition to any housing or room. There are many such as Maidenhair, Asparagus, Boston and several other of the fern groups are just a few.
If you do not have an indoor aviary or room that can be theirs, then out of cage time is an absolutely critical necessity. They want to be with you... held, given tickles, etc. It is also only fair and important they have this time with you. If it is not possible, perhaps it is not the right time to bring a bird into your life.
If it is possible to meet the needs of a magical parrot or two, then you are in for the most wonderful ride of your life.