the Bird Cage Privacy Canopy

African grey parrot hiding behind many toys in bird cage
Spaulding courtesy Michelle Karras & the Polite Parrot

We like to mention the 60/40 rule. In the wild birds spend 60% of their time looking for food and 40% of the time try not to be food. Because they are birds the most threatening predators or other predatory birds like hawks Eagles and raptors in general.
Much like if we were to bring a prehistoric person into the 21st century there are certain concepts that they may not grasp quickly. One of the concept your bird doesn’t understand is glass.Putting your bird by a large picture window is fine but you have to be aware that if there are Hawks or other birds of prey in your area that can be seen from the window by your bird it can be deathly frightening, because they don’t understand they are protected by the glass. 
Birds are also flock animals and are usually found in trees with heavy foliage – the canopy if you will. The beautiful coloring on birds is no accident but is one of nature’s ways of helping them protect themselves
On the first things we do when we move into a new home apartment or dorm room is the covering on the Windows. We like our privacy. So do parrots but times 10. Parrots are prey animals. In other words they assume they may be attacked at any minute.
We try to help bird companions with behavioral issues day in and day out. Capsules were not veterinarians we can offer medical advice but we do know and understand how birds environment can impact its behavior good or bad. One the first of a long list of questions were asked somebody who comes to us with behavior issue is is how many toys you have in the cage?
Some will respond with “the cage is loaded” but not surprisingly the majority response that we get are “4 or 5, I keep putting them in there and the bird just destroys them” sigh. See bird toys serve three fundamental purposes. Activity engagement to help fight boredom. Foraging opportunities (60% of the time looking for food) and privacy. Huh?
We want you to think of bird toys acting is the leaves of the tree you bird would be living in the wild. When we talk about the privacy canopy we mean you should have so many toys in the cage that you can’t see the bird. That’s because your bird doesn’t want to be seen. Don’t take it personally but your birds natural instinct is to expect a hawk flying through your front door any minute. 
It’s best to line the perimeter of the upper one third of the cage with toys. You don’t necessarily have to use bird toys either. You can weave newspaper or or braided palm leaf through the bars in one corner of the cage. On making sure at least the back of the cage is against the wall. 


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