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In the wild, birds spend the majority of their day flying around and searching for food. The act of finding food; husking seeds and nuts and chewing on vegetation is known as foraging. Many animals forage for their food, but for parrots this activity is especially important. Because this occupies such a large part of their day, it is important that we provide the same foraging opportunities for pet parrots in captivity.
Scientists have studied birds in the wild, and found that their average day can be broken down into the following activities:
Birds in cages will often have food provided in a bowl for them and this greatly reduces their ability to forage. Instead of taking hours to find and consume food, they often eat their food within minutes. Therefore, there can be large periods of time where captive birds are lacking intellectual, social and physical stimulation. We unfortunately find that birds can become frustrated with their situation and can develop behavioral and physical problems. These include feather picking, aggression, anxiety and obesity.
While there are many excellent stores and companies that prefabricate foraging toys for birds, you can also make your own at home!