The holidays are closing in fast as I write this, and I’m not forgetting about my parrots. They’re part of the family. And since they’ve been (mostly) nice this year, I’ll include something fun under the tree for them!
Looking for something for your parrot to put on your wishlist this year? Or maybe you just want to get something for your bird yourself (for the holidays, their birthday, or their “gotcha” day)?
Here are 8 indispensable parrot gifts your feathered family member will be grateful for.
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This gift guide is for the birds. If you’re looking for a present for the crazy parrot lady/gentleman in your life, have a look at the guide to 12 fun gifts for parrot owners instead. Hint: as a crazy parrot lady myself, my favorite is the “Beware Of The Parrot” wall plaque!
1. Heated perch
As discussed in the article on keeping a parrot warm during winter, our birds lose a lot of heat through what is pretty much the only bare spot on their body: their feet. Because of this, a heated perch is one of the best ways to keep your parrot nice and cozy during the cold months!
Heated perches are simple but effective. You just plug them in and they heat to a comfortable temperature. Try choosing one that has different temps throughout the perch and a thermostat to prevent overheating. Natural texture is also great, as it’s better for your bird’s feet.
If your home gets chilly, give these things a try. Parrots adore them and will spend all winter snuggled up on their toasty perch!
2. Fancy destroyable toy
Birds just wanna have fun! If you’re anything like me, you’ve got a chronic shortage of parrot toys—it’s hard to keep up with how quickly they destroy them. So if you’re looking for a nice gift for your parrot, you can’t go wrong with a new plaything to replenish its collection!
As you may be aware, there are loads of different types of parrot toys. The most important thing is that a toy is matched to your parrot’s size (for safety purposes). Aside from that, the more colorful and destroyable, the better. Bonus points if it also makes a huge mess.
Since I’m writing this right before the holidays, here’s an X-mas themed parrot toy option I love:
3. Parrot UV lamp
A parrot what now? One thing many people don’t know about our favorite feathered friend is that they need UV light just like us humans. We get it from the sun, and so do aviary birds, but what about our indoor parrots?
Studies have shown that UVB light helps our birds to properly metabolize the important vitamin D3, which is crucial for healthy feathers, bones, and skin. During summer, you can place your bird’s cage outside or next to an open window so it can soak up the sun, but what about the cold and dark winter months?
To make sure your parrot’s D3 levels (and consequently, calcium absorption) stay healthy, you can get it a UV light. It even helps your bird see better, as they can view things in the ultraviolet spectrum that we can’t.
4. Foraging Box
Yes, I will forever use any excuse I get to promote the concept of foraging for parrots. Research has shown time and time again that parrots enjoy foraging and will sometimes even choose food presented in a foraging setting over food placed in a bowl.
A foraging box is a great way to get even inexperienced foragers to work for their food. Just fill the box with some treats while your parrot watches and it’ll know what to do. If I have visitors over and need some peace and quiet, I just give my birds their box and I can enjoy hours of silence while they forage.
You can buy or DIY a parrot foraging box. For pre-made foraging boxes, skip your local pet store. Etsy is the way to go! There are loads of different handmade boxes to choose from.
5. Parrot Tree
Move over, tiny parrot playgrounds and flimsy plastic parrot stands. Your bird is royalty and needs to be treated as such! And what’s better than a nice big parrot tree for a throne? It’s comfy, it’s chewable, and it’s the closest you can get to imitating life in the wild for your parrot.
I recommend choosing a parrot tree that can easily be moved and has a base to catch any droppings. This way, your bird can always hang out with its favorite humans without making too much of a mess.
For parrot trees, as for toys and foraging boxes, I prefer shopping on Etsy. There are loads of beautiful handmade ones to choose from in every size possible. Hang some toys in there and your parrot won’t want to sit anywhere else.
6. Personalized cage sign
OK, I know our parrots can’t read, but how sweet is a custom name sign for their cage as a stocking stuffer? Let everyone know whose habitat they’re entering with an engraved sign to hang from your parrot’s “house”.
There are a bunch of sellers on Etsy that carry parrot cage signs and allow you to customize them. I particularly like these engraved wooden ones. They might fall prey to your parrot’s eager beak, but hey, that only makes them more personal!
7. Fancy birdbath
Although some are splashier than others, most parrots just love to bathe. As discussed in the post on bathing a parrot, the practice helps keep their feathers in good condition, provides enrichment, and is good for their skin.
Whether your parrot is addicted to water or still a bit iffy about the idea of bathing, I’ve found that one of the best ways to get them excited about splashing around is to use a water fountain.
Although these are actually meant as drinking fountains for cats or dogs, parrots adore them. There’s something about the running water that makes it way more attractive to our birds than a regular bird bath!
In case you needed proof for this statement, here’s Esmi the budgie at Psittacology headquarters after a good soak in his fountain:
These water fountains/bird baths are available in different sizes. Regular ones will work for small birds like budgies, while XL sizes should be a good option for larger parrots.
8. Fresh basil plant
Don’t want to break the bank? I understand, parrots are expensive enough as they are. Luckily, you don’t have to splurge. Your bird doesn’t care if its stuff is fancy or not, as long as it has things to eat and play with. Preferably both at the same time!
My favorite option for a cheap little parrot treat is to get a fresh organic basil plant at the supermarket or my local garden center. Parrots love basil, it’s healthy for them, and as an added bonus, it will make your home smell like Italian food.
All you have to do is offer the plant, optionally blocking off the soil, and let your parrot go to town. Prepare for carnage! For small birds, a single plant can keep them busy for ages.
If you can’t find basil, other soft-leaved herbs like cilantro, dill, or parsley are also fine.
Here are the Psittacology budgies going to town on a basil plant to illustrate:
What are you getting your parrot for the holidays or its birthday? Be sure to share your best ideas for parrot gifts in the comments! I have a senior cockatiel, so I think I’ll get a nice heated perch to keep his old feet warm.