By Kit Manchester, Birds Just Wanna Have Fun

Foraging toys are fun for birds. They spend more time searching and working for food, just as they would in the wild. In five minutes a day, your birds can have a wide variety of interesting foraging toys. Provide several kinds of foraging toys each day.

COVER. Cover the food dish with a piece of paper that the bird has to move to get food. At first, place the paper on top of the dish so it can be easily knocked off. Later, fasten the paper to the dish with a small amount of masking tape.

WRAP. Place the food in a paper cup or other safe, destructible container. Close the top by twisting or crushing the container. Use it: 1) as a foot toy (more difficult), 2) hang on a wooden skewer, or 3) punch a hole in the paper and hang it. Wraps can be hidden around the cage and placed away from food dishes.

Suggested Materials: paper cup, paper cone, coffee filter, paper cup cake liners, plain paper, dried corn husks (sold in grocery stores for making tamales), and similar items.

BURY. Place a small amount of food in the dish and cover it with polished stones, beads, or shredded paper. This works best with dry items – pellets, seed, nuts, and small toys. If you bury wet food, use washable items for cover.

Suggested Materials: polished stones (at craft store), wood beads, plastic beads, small chunks or blocks of wood, etc.

TUBE: Stuff food or a treat in a tube. Use paper tubes or refillable foraging tubes.

Suggested Materials: Paper or card stock and fasten with masking tape or school glue.

SAFETY TIP: Don’t give birds paper towel or toilet paper rolls because they may contain lead.