Pineapple conure playing in the middle of an environment of colorful toys.

How to Create Visual Stimulation for Your Parrot

How to Create Visual Stimulation for Your Parrot

Creating a larger visual environment around a parrot's cage will have an exponential effect on a parrot's comfort. There's a reason we buy homes with lots of windows. And there's a reason we decorate our home with things we love, art that speaks to us, and photos that remind us of those that are important to us. Visual stimulation.

Environmental design is a creative process. If your windows are small, or you cannot put the cage right in front of them for a reason of comfort, traffic, or vents, there are a number of other solutions that are just as powerful. Near a window with line of sight and design cues can really do the trick.

Offering small visual environments in different locations as well as near or in front of their cage is a vitality generating move. Parrots need choices. They thrive in a choice-based world. Given choices, a parrot is stimulated, thinking and exploring. Parrots wonder and get into trouble when they are bored, or when their place has become less than an area you have setup for yourself. 

You will define your rules by the environment you create.  

  • Don't expect a parrot to find a tree stand with one hanging toy and a bowl of something more interesting than a stack of magazines with a TV remote on top. That tree stand will lose that contest. (Note: The particular tree stand I have linked here, I've had for 5 years now. And it's as good as the day I bought it. The Best bang for my medium/small tree stand money I've ever invested.)
  • Never expect a parrot to behave well in a home not parrot proofed for their way of thinking. It is unreasonable, and unfair.
  • Parrot proofing a home is creating visual stimulation with environments appropriate for them.

Create a tree stand inside a visual environment as follows:

  • You have the tree stand positioned near or in front of another window, outside is a bird feeder for viewing.
  • The tree stand itself has multiple perches creating a 2 or 3 story climbing event with toys, and foraging bits and crumpled newspaper with nuts stuffed inside.
  • There's a bell that rings whenever your parrot pulls on a rope full of straws cut up and tied up. The bell is hidden, so they haven't discovered where it is yet. They have to figure that one out.
  • On the wall behind the tree stand in a shadow box you've hung. In the shadow box is a picture of them!

Now compare that to your stack of magazines and TV remote. Of course, you put the remote away. No one leaves a remote out in full view if they have parrots.

Take a walk through a kindergarten classroom. You'll find colors, shapes, objects stacked, bright pictures on the wall, blankets, and carpets full of color and pictures. Visual stimulation.

A well-behaved parrot starts with a well-defined and well-designed environment. Give up ground, fill it with stimulation appropriate items and views. You will have a happy, mentally healthy parrot who tends toward excellent behavior because you gave him excellent choices to choose.

Kathy LaFollett is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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