The Scoop

How to Encourage Foraging in Birds

In the wild, birds spend a lot of their time foraging for seeds, fruits, and nuts to eat. Although caged companion birds have it easier when it comes to finding food, their natural instincts to forage are still here, and not utilizing them can lead to boredom and frustration.

Stimulating foraging activities can easily be integrated into your bird’s everyday life through simple food, toys, and games. Encouraging them to work a little more to get to food or favorite treats is actually good for your bird’s health, both physically and mentally.

  • Cover the food in your bird’s food dish with something that can be safely shredded up, like a paper towel, coffee filter, or lettuce.
  • Place a few pieced of chopped fruit or veggies in the bottom of small paper cups, and stack the cups together so they must be pulled apart to get to the goodies.
  • Stuff favorite treats into empty toilet paper rolls to string up and hang inside their cage.
  • Weave a piece of millet or lettuce between the bars of your bird’s cage.
  • Wrap favorite treats in a piece of lettuce and hang up from the top of their cage.
  • Instead of putting a small handful of popcorn in their bowl, offer corn popped on the cob so your bird can pluck each piece off to enjoy the treat.

With some of these simple ideas, you can keep your bird mentally and physically stimulated and provide an extra fun element to meal or treat time!