"My bird doesn't like toys, he only destroys them."
"I don't want him chewing up those wood blocks because he might choke on a piece of it."
Many people believe that the wooden toys which we provide our birds are dangerous to them due to choking risks. In actuality, the birds would chew on wood from trees in the wild. They break the wood apart (often into tooth pick size bits!) and drop it to the ground. They don't like to eat it and instincts provide them with the ability to differentiate food from their toys.
"I can't afford to give my bird nice toys all of the time."
"My bird is afraid of toys so I stopped trying to give them any."
This isn't so much a misconception as it is a chance to use behavioral modification and tips and tricks to help your bird receive the stimulation it needs without the fear. We will be explaining different ways to introduce toys to your bird that may make them feel less scared of new things in their cage. We will also offer alternate suggestions to toys that still provide stimulation.
I want to buy my bird's toys...
Great! We would love to help you find reasonably priced, bird safe toy sources. Below is a list of recommend sites that we use:
Rescued Feathered Angels Auction Site
This FB page was created to raise money for rescues all over the country. There are weekly auctions and 5-6 auctions in a row will benefit the rescue that was voted in by the group. All the rescues who did not win are offered the chance to be voted in again for a later auction. The two women who created the site, make many different types of toys and have dedicated a lot of time to creating safe and fun toys for these auctions. If you're looking for a chance to win toys at great prices and also help raise money for parrots in rescue, then click on this link and check them out!
I Got a Woody Bird Toys
This website has many different types of wood toys for all bird sizes and also supports small business! These toys are handmade and come in different difficulty levels and utilize bird safe wood. This store also has a variety of platform perches which are useful for bird with special needs feet. If you would like to visit I Got a Woody Bird Toys, then click on this link and check them out!
Noah's Ark Pre-Made Bird Toys
My Safe Bird Store
Whether you're looking for toys, food, cages, etc. My Safe Bird Store has it all! This is a great website to bookmark if you are looking for bird supplies that are shipped direct to you, are priced reasonably and are packed with love and care by Kathy and her staff. If you are in the NJ or PA area, you are also able to pick up directly from the store. If you would like to visit, My Safe Bird Store, then click on this link and check them out!
I want to make my own bird toys...
Unsafe Bird Toy Resources:
- Pressure Treated Wood (Untreated wood such as 2x4's are a better choice)
- Zinc Metal (Stainless steel wire is a safe alternative)
- Any toys with loose strings or long hanging ropes
Non-Toxic Wood for Birds
The following materials are not safe if toxic chemicals or insecticides have been sprayed on them. Before installing them in any cage, scrub all branches with a non-toxic disinfectant, then rinse and dry well (preferably in the sun.)
The Non-Toxic and Toxic wood list is thanks to this link Mario D. Vaden: M. D. Vaden - Trees & Landcapes. His main site address for his landscape company is http://www.mdvaden.com/.
Tree Limbs non-toxic for birds:
APPLE -(Pesticide residue likely reasonfor periodic issues)
AILANTHUS - Tree of Heaven
ALDER - white alder -(See Dr. Vaden's site)
Alder / Buckthorn)
ARALIA - Fatsia japonica
ASH - Fraxinus
ASPEN - Populus
BIRCH - see paragraph
BEECH - Fagus
BOIS D'ARC - horse apple tree
CITRUS -(lime, kumquat, grapefruit, orange, lemon)
CORK - (not wood from cork oak, but cork)
COTTONWOOD - Populus
CRABAPPLE - Malus
CRAPE MYRTLE - (not the same as myrtle)
DOGWOOD - Cornus
DOUGLAS FIR - Pseudotsuga
ELM - Ulmus
FIR - genus Abies
HAWTHORN - Crataegus
IRONWOOD - apparently toxic leaves
LARCH - Larix
LILAC - Syringa
MADRONA / MADRONE - Arbutus
MAPLE - Acer - see Dr. Vaden's site
MANZANITA - Arctostaphylos
MESQUITE - remove sharp parts
MOCK ORANGE - Phladelphus
MOUNTAIN ASH - Sorbus
MULBERRY - Morus
NANDINA -common name is heavenly bamboo
NORFOLK ISLAND PINE - Araucaria
NUT TREES - exclude chestnut and oak
ORANGE - several sources lean toward safe
OREGON GRAPE - Mahonia
PINE - Pinus: see Dr. Vaden's site
POPLAR - Populus
PUSSY WILLOW - Salix
RAPHIOLEPSIS - Indian Hawthorn
ROSE - Rosa
RUBBER PLANT - - Ficus elastica - see Dr. Vaden's site
SPRUCE - Picea
STAGHORN SUMAC -(Rhus - not Toxicodendron - (see Dr. Vaden's site)
STRAWBERRY TREE -(Arbutus like Madrone)
SWEET GUM - Liquidambar
VINE MAPLE - Acer
WEEPING WILLOW - Salix (GOAT, PUSSY & WEEPING)
Toy Parts commonly found in dollar stores, party stores, Wal-Marts, etc.
HOW TO MAKE BIRD SAFE FOOD COLORING:
Items you'll need:
- Vitacritter Colorant, Wiltons, Americolor OR regular vegetable food coloring
- 50/70/90 % Isopropyl alcohol
- Plastic tupperware containers
- Wooden blocks or popsicle sticks
Pictures belong to Rachel Dudley Reasoner and are not to be used or distributed without permission. Toys made following this picture should be used for personal, not commercial use. If you would like to contact Rachel about these items, please email us and we will put you in contact with her.
Items you'll need: Circle object such as cookie cutter, plastic bracelet, etc., Chinese Finger Traps, Shredded Paper Confetti, and Mini "Birdie Bagels" or small cardboard rings., wire or natural string, carabiner.
How to make: Fold finger traps in half around the plastic circle and pull the birdie bagel over it moving towards the plastic circle. Do this until you can no longer see the plastic circle. Fill finger trap ends with shredded paper confetti. Make a loop with your wire or string to attach a carabiner so it can be hung on the cage.
Tools you'll need: Drill and pencil, pliers if you are using wire, scissors.
Items you'll need: Coffee Filters (you can pre-dye them or use them plain), rubber duck, beads and string or wire.
How to make: Start by stringing the coffee filters onto the string or wire you are using. If you are using string, use the pencil to poke holes in the filters. If you are using wire, you can string them directly on there. Add as many as you like and when you are ready to finish, string the duck on. If you are using string, put a bead on and then tie a knot. If you are using wire, put a bead on and then twist the wire into a loop using your pliers. Then go to the other end of the string or wire which is still connected to the ball of string/wire and snip enough off so that you have room for one more bead and a knot/loop. Add the bead and create your knot or loop and you are done! Add your carabiner to the top by creating a string loop or attaching it to your wire loop.
Items you'll need: Foam block pieces, stainless steel wire, beads.
Pictures belong to Dawn Graham and are not to be used or distributed without permission. Toys made following this picture should be used for personal, not commercial use. If you would like to contact Dawn about these items, please email us and we will put you in contact with her.
These three toys are a little more advanced but still easy to do! Most people will be able to complete them with tools they already have at home or can easily get for low cost. We will break it down for you here!
Tools you'll need: Drill and scissors.
How to make: Drill holes in legos, bagels and wooden blocks, then string all items together in a pattern you like! It's as simple as that. :)
Tools you'll need: Drill and scissors.
Items used: Wooden blocks (may be dyed but not necessary), corks, beads, raffia rope (can be substituted for any natural rope or vegetable treated leather strings).
Tools you'll need: Pen or pencil, scissors.
Items you'll need: Paper container (movie style or can be a party favor type box), confetti, movie tickets (can be substituted with puzzle pieces or playing cards), paper straws, paper baking cups, beads, thin natural raffia/hemp (untreated) rope.