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Do you have a
Bored Bird?

Bored Bird Image by Jill Bell
Bored Bird by Jill Bell

Parrot Foraging Units:
Dealing with Displacement Behavior

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Most of us work hard to keep our pet birds happy. We do everything we can to keep our birds from indulging in the types of behaviors that send us to look up articles in bird books and magazines, or to the phone to contact our bird behaviorists. These annoying and mostly avoidable behaviors are actually displacement behaviors.

It is important to stress the fact that wild birds spend a large portion of their waking lives foraging. This is what they were born to do. When they are pet birds, the time that they would have spent foraging for their food and flying to and from their favorite foraging spots is largely spent trying to entertain themselves. Even though we provide them with a variety of quality foods (some requiring "work" to eat), and many entertaining toys, our precious pet birds get bored. They then can develop displacement behaviors like screaming, plucking out their feathers, biting, etc. Some of these behaviors can become extreme, and in fact can cost the bird its home. This is not what we intended when we brought home our beautiful bappies!

The Fauna-Tek Foraging Units were developed to make our birds work for their food. They will spend hours of waking energy on what presently takes them only minutes to do: eating. The Foraging Units are available in varying degrees of complexity for the differences in size, strength and intellectual scope of different birds, to make sure that your bird is sufficiently challenged. Different food items can be used in the units; favorite foods will entice your bird to investigate the unit in the beginning. Later, pellets and foods that take a longer amount of time to finesse from the unit can be fed. The inventor of these units, Mika Nurmikko, says "I cannot insult my birds by putting just a bowl of food in front of them. They are far too intelligent."

By realizing that the nature of the parrot is to utilize his time by seeking and procuring food, and by giving him a viable substitute for foraging behavior, we are giving him the gift to use his intelligence and dexterity for the purpose that nature intended, therefore avoiding displacement behaviors.


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