How to Spend More Time With Your Pet Parrot

It can overwhelming thinking about how much of your time your pet parrot requires. Is 30 minutes a day enough if I dedicate it all to my bird? Is two hours more likely? What is too much? When it comes to a parrot, to them, there is no such thing as "too much time together". Heck, if it wasn't dangerous for my birds to be with me 24/7, they probably would! Thank goodness for my logical half...

Birds don't always need to have your 100% attention when they are out or need to be trained every time they come out of their cage. Parrots like to just hang out, too, just like people do. So include them when that is what you're doing.

Here are some things I do in order to spend more time with my pet parrots since I have a rather large flock;

1. Chores - Include Your Parrot.

My birds keep me company while I do things around the house such as put the dishes away, rinse anything in the sink, vaccuum (where desensitizing comes into play), make the bed and fold and put away the laundry. I let my African Grey hang out on my shoulder as I fold and she will become content there and begin to preen herself or practice on her talking skills. My galah does the same thing and they are easy shoulder birds.   

doing laundry with cressi

Location: Orlando, Florida Keeping Me Company: Congo African Grey "Cressi" Chore: Laundry

2. Changing Cages - Include Your Bird.

While I change cages, I let the birds out of the cage I am changing and they hang out on a Manzanita tree playing with various toys and working on their whistling skills. This allows them more "out of cage" time to just hang out.

3. Watching a Movie/TV - Include Your Bird.

If you're simply lounging around watching a movie or a show on TV, invite your pet parrot to join! They appreciate some cuddle time, especially at night before bed time, and are the most mellow then. Many photos seen here and here are taken during movie/TV time. 

4. Showering - Include Your Bird.

Invest in a shower perch and shower with your bird! There's plenty of room and they love catching the mist off your back. 

5. Taking a Walk - Include Your Bird.

More in detail about how to take your bird on a walk outdoors safely and how it helps socialize them to new people at my blog entitled Taking Your Bird on Walks. Know the area, know the time of day and the predators. Don't just stick your bird on your shoulder and go on a walk and think a hungry hawk won't see it as easy prey. 

So think about the every day things you do that might be more entertaining if done with your bird. And think about how much your bird will appreciate it, too. It doesn't mean you have to do it everytime, but it is a nice surprise for your pet parrot, just like receiving a vase of flowers to your door would be to you.

Article by Jamieleigh Womach. She has been working with parrots and toucans since the age of 17. She isn’t homeless but is home less than she prefers to be. She travels the world with her husband, daughter, and a flockful of parrots whom she shares the stage with.



Thanks Jamieleigh. Do you have that problem? By the sounds of it, you really interact with your bird. That’s what I want too – not just playing for a few hours a day, but taking her with me around the house, sharing meals, etc. I’ve never owned a Grey before, so I’m not sure how demanding they are of your time.


Hello Stephanie and thanks for your comment. Great question! There are different opinons and spectulation on whether or not you can spend “too much time” with your bird. It’s in my opinion that you cannot spend too much time with them! However, the more you spend with them, the more likely you’re going to mess up here and there and reinforce the wrong behavior – such as screaming for attention.


Hi there. I just bought a African Grey from a German woman who is moving back to Germany (I know her, so I know this to be true). I was wondering if spending too much time with your bird will cause it to scream. I had two Senegals a few years ago, and they screamed non-stop. I often wonder if it was because they spend so much time with me. Appreciate your comments. Stephanie


Great advice! Thanks so much Jamieleigh!


Cressi is my first African Grey, too. She is between 8-9 months old now and I have had her since she was 3 months old so I hand fed her and she is also a freestyle flying bird (meaning she flies outside). I have heard that birds who fly outside don’t demand as much attention from you as birds who do not get that stimulation. Cressi is a pretty low maitenance grey parrot – she is content just sitting on your lap while you eat or play on the computer. So no, I don’t have that problem but all my birds were raised from babies and are not kept on any type of “schedule” or “routine” so they don’t know when they are coming out, when they get to fly or anything. Everything is a surprise as it never happens at the exact same time, ever. I would try to do the same – don’t always have your grey out at 8am for breakfast, change it up. Go out for breakfast, have someone over and change up the time.


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