Photo by David Location: Holland America Line Wearing me out: Congo African Grey “Cressi”
Do you feel like your parrot has more energy than you do? By the time you get to him or her, he or she is just wearing you out? That’s how I felt when my above picture was taken. I had just finished saying, “You are wearing me out, Cressi!” before I face planted on my bed. Cressi then proceeded to climb all over me and finally sat down on my backside contentedly.
Parrots are more active in the wild than we are – they spend 80% of their entire lives foraging for food which consumes most of their day. They may be walking, running or flying from location to location for foraging needs or having to work hard on nuts and seeds as well as digging into clay or dirt. Fruits also take some work getting into and consuming and having to be on the look out for predatory birds the entire time adds some necessary skills and so forth to it all.
Not to mention their daily needs of showering, preening, loving on one another or pursuing one another! They have busy days in the wild which is why it is so important to allow your bird to forage for its food rather than just hand it a bowl of food and walk away for the day.
Foraging toys can be made at home by simply putting a piece of paper over your parrot’s food dish. Once your parrot learns that all he has to do is rip through the paper to get to the food, make it harder! Add another piece of paper, or use a piece of rope to keep the paper down better making it harder to get to. Wrap your parrot’s favorite treats in paper or hallow out some fruits and put things in it. Also, don’t baby your bird with his good foods by dicing and slicing them up. Do you think they can order room service in the wild? And invest in a foraging tree. Parrots are meant to forage so provide them with such necessities.
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.