Parrot's don't like change

We are not experts but that statement is certainly true for our Amazon and Tiels and a lot of you may also agree with this but there are always exceptions. Every bird is unique and will react differently to change. Whether it’s a new cage perch, toy, or an out of cage item such a swing, some birds may just need a few hours while others may take weeks if not months to adjust to it.

This doesn’t mean they don’t like it. A new toy or perch represents an unexpected change to their habitat and can be viewed as an intruder that needs to be watched closely before they have the confidence to interact with it.

The main thing is to observe your bird and react to their individual needs.

Perches

You will probably have a main perch, sleeping perch and possibly some general perches. When introducing new perches to the cage pay particular attention when it is a sleep or main perch.

  • If the perch is a sleep/main perch, try and install it mid morning so that you have time to monitor your bird’s behaviour.
  • Be especially vigilant if the placement of the perch is important for your bird being able to reach its food and water.
  • Keep the old perch, as you may need to place it back in the cage and re introduce the new one again the following morning.

 

Our Felix does not take to change at all, even when changing a simple paper flower that is always the same size and shape. He has a sleep perch, several general perches, a flat perch feeding station and his main full length perch, which he prefers to also sleep on, so when it came time to change his main perch we were prepared. We installed it mid morning, so that we had plenty of time to observe him. Being his main perch we were aware that it could affect him getting to his food and water. True to form he sat on his sleep perch and didn’t move from it for 30 minutes, I then tied some millet to the new perch. Within a minute he was on his new perch, enjoying the millet, his fear forgotten and once the millet was gone he quite happily resumed his normal cage behaviour.

 

Our Ernie isn’t keen either on new things, he has 3 Perches in his cage, his sleeping perch, his main full length perch and a perch with a swivel toy attached to the end of it.  Although Ernie played with that perch he did not spend much time on it and as it was looking a little tired we changed it to a natural green willow perch for him to strip.

We placed the new perch in the same position as the old one, it didn’t interfere with him getting to his food or water and did not in any way restrict or alter his normal cage movements.

Day 1, he didn’t go near it but watched it constantly.

Day 2, he got as close as he could to it without actually touching it.

Day 3, he stripped half of the bark off in under 30 minutes.

 

Our Storm doesn’t seem to be bothered by change quite as much, he had his flat perch feeding station in place for just over a year and it was time to give him a new one. As soon as it was installed he popped straight over to explore it and get on with eating.

 

Toys

As every bird has different play habits it is important to introduce new toys under supervision. The best way to gauge a toy’s level of safety is to monitor your bird with the toy for the first few days.  Remove the toy when you go out and put it back in the cage when you are home.  With certain toys, it is best to always remove them when you are not supervising the bird.  Use common sense when deciding which toys are safe for your pet, and if you have any doubts about a toy’s safety, remove it immediately. 

2 of my Tiels were given the same toy, Felix nibbled it quite contentedly and storm attacked it with such aggression that he knocked himself of his feeding station. So please watch your birds with new toys.

If it’s a cage toy and your parrot generally doesn’t take to new toys, try hanging it outside of the cage. This will allow them to approach it in their own time.

Try not to place new cage toys where it can interfere with them getting to their food or water.