Toys are more than just “time fillers” for parrots. Social and highly intelligent, pet parrots suffer badly when bored, and soon exhibit destructive behaviors or stress-related illnesses. Zoos are now requiring that toys and foraging opportunities (they call it “Behavioral Enrichment”, sounds better in journals!) be provided to animals ranging from frogs to elephants. A study recently published in Applied Animal Behavior Science (V.120, N.3) has revealed that, at least for Orange-Winged Amazon Parrots (Amazona amazonica, please see photo), all toys are not created equal.
Parrot Preferences: What and Why
The study compared the reactions of parrots to wooden toys differing in size, color and harness and to rawhide toys that varied in color. The toys were attached to computer-monitored switches, so that the birds’ reactions would not be influenced by observers, and could be recorded round-the-clock. Read More »