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How to have fun with your small bird?

Updated: Oct 28, 2022

Key Points:

  1. A bird can be a pretty special but fun pet. WikiHow has many articles about bird, but we have picked the best article available for your convenience. This is a quite interesting article, and probably lots of people would not know how to play with their birds like this.

Small bird is a kind of cute pet, which could bring lots of fun. Here we quote the best way to play with small bird provided by wikiHow, a wiki that is building the world's largest and highest quality how-to manual. Please edit the articles and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to have fun with your small bird. Content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons License.

Small birds including parakeets, budgerigars, cockatiels, and finches can be delightful and fun pets. There are plenty of games and activities you can play to keep you and your bird entertained. If you’re particularly handy, you can create a custom play gym for your feathered friend to explore. Be gentle and patient with your bird and these bonding activities will increase your pet’s trust in you while bringing a smile to your face.

Method 1: Bonding With Your Bird

1. Handle and hold your bird frequently. Your bird will enjoy getting physical contact and spending time with you. If you handle your bird for a few minutes a day, you can build up trust and learn more about your bird’s preferences.

  • Once your bird is comfortable in your hands, start with small activities like holding your fingers out as a rung on a ladder. Watching your bird progress through these small activities will be enjoyable for you, and building trust and familiarity will enable you to try more creative activities or full-fledged games later on.

2. Bathe your bird in a bowl or sink. Fill a shallow bowl or sink up with 2–3 inches (5.1–7.6 cm) of room temperature water. If your bird has never taken a bath before, keep it short and don't force the bird into the water. Make sure you dry your bird as much as possible with a towel, then place in a room without any drafts for a while.

  • Don’t use soap as it can remove naturally occurring oils from your bird’s feathers.

3. Entertain your bird with music or conversation. If your bird is talkative, strike up an interesting conversation. It might be one-sided, but you can teach your pet a few distinct words or sounds. After lots of repetition, you may be entertained by hearing your bird making noises back to you! You can also play music or a musical instrument to provide mental stimulation for your bird. Birds in the wild make their own songs, so chance are high that your bird will enjoy hearing the songs and rhythms you play for it.

  • A happy and mentally engaged pet is always more fun than a bored, under-stimulated animal. If you notice your bird responds well to certain stimuli, make sure to incorporate that into its routine and you’ll both be happier with the results.

Method 2: Playing With Your Bird

1. Teach your bird activities that involve fetching, chasing, or climbing. You can come up with an endless variety of tricks and games to teach your bird, but once you sense what activities it responds well to, develop a trick around that activity. Most tricks start with a voice command, so your bird knows it’s time to start. Enjoyable activities could involve climbing a rope or ladder, or running through a tunnel.

  • A great pet game is fetch. Some birds like to go after toys like dogs do. Start with a soft ball or small toy and say "fetch!" when you present it to your bird the first time. Eventually, you can toss the toy a short distance away and encourage your bird to go pick it up and bring it back.

  • For another game, you could say "climb the ladder!" and guide your bird up a small ladder. Reward it once it reaches the top. With some practice, your bird might climb up without your help and will enjoy your reward at the end, whether it’s the praise of "good job!" or a tasty treat.

  • Another trick could be promoted with "tag, you’re it!" Here, pat your bird as if playing tag, and then run to the other side of the room. See if it follows you! If not, coax it to follow you after it hears the command, and deliver a reward when it comes to tag you back.

2. Play games like peek-a-boo that involve hiding. So your bird knows when it’s game time, say a specific voice command and then follow up with a reward. One simple yet highly entertaining game is peek-a-boo. Demonstrate by hiding your face in your hands, or lowering your face, and then pop back up or remove your hands while saying "peek-a-boo!" You can use a towel to partially cover your bird's cage, and when it peeks out you can say "peek-a-boo!" Eventually, your bird might be able to say the phrase while doing the activity.

  • Once your pet has mastered peek-a-boo, try this type of hiding game on a larger scale with hide-and-seek. Follow the same habit of saying the voice command and delivering a reward, but instead hide around a corner or under a pillow until your bird finds you. You can say phrases like "go hide!" and "you found me!" at the start and end of the game.

3. Show your bird how to dance. Place it in a specific spot, such as a table or bench, and turn on some upbeat music with a driving rhythm that your bird can pick up on. Say something like, "let’s dance!" to indicate it’s time to start the trick. Show your bird some of your own head-bobbing and wing-flapping moves and wait to see if it mimics you. Birds learn visually so while you’re having fun demonstrating some dance moves, your bird might impress you with a few of its own!

  • After lots of practice, your bird might be able to get into a groove upon hearing your "let’s dance!" command.

4. Build a bird-friendly play gym. To build an environment you and your bird will find entertaining, you can start with common household objects. Gather up things like cardboard boxes, index cards, twigs and pieces of wood, paper towel tubes, string, building blocks, as well as pipes and wire shelves. Connect the elements with hot glue, wood glue, or whatever best suits the materials you’re using. When you have a solid structure together, incorporate toys, water, and food stations.

  • Make sure the materials you’re using are non-toxic and safe for your pet.

  • Be creative in assembling these odds and ends. Add in tunnels and perches, swings and high-up hiding spots. Connect sturdy building block toys to create a tower. Use stronger materials for support, and make sure your play gym is sturdy enough for your bird to navigate.

  • The possibilities for your bird play gym are endless! Try suspending a chew toy or string of bells from your play gym foundation. Add a circular playpen to the base, made out of taped-together index cards. Make a diner or snack bar out of cardboard, using the bottom halves of paper cups for food dishes.

  • If you really want to make a splash, turn your play gym into a waterpark with bowls of water and gentle mist from a spray bottle.

Method 3: Adding Variety to Your Bird’s Routine

1. Rotate your bird’s toys or give it new ones to play with. If your bird has been playing with the same toys for a while, switch out the old toys for one or two new ones. Figuring out a new toy will stimulate and challenge your bird, which will provide plenty of entertainment for you as an observer. New toys can be pricey, but if you keep your bird’s toy collection on rotation there will never be a dull moment.

2. Introduce new foods and treats into your bird’s diet. Instead of giving your bird the same bird seed mix every day, try experimenting with different bird-safe foods and find out what your bird likes to eat. Look up fun and easy recipes to make mealtime more interesting. Also, since many birds are natural foragers, try hiding these exciting new foods for your bird to discover.

  • If your bird doesn't eat what you’ve prepared at first, sprinkle their old bird seed on top of the new snack.

3. Bring your bird outside in a harness or cage to play in the fresh air. Your bird's wings must be clipped before you take your bird outside. Make sure you only do this activity on a warm day and be sure to keep your bird save with some kind of restraint, whether it’s a cage or a harness. Bring out your pet’s favorite play gyms and plastic toys, as well as some food and water.

  • You can also buy a harness for your bird. Slowly introduce the harness, and let your bird wear it for short periods at first until it gets completely comfortable.

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