Why is My Parrot Afraid of his/her Bird Toys?

Silly Willy 4Every parrot is different in personality. Some parrots love to play with a new parrot toy right away while some parrots can be very picky about which bird toy they will play with. There are even some birds that are literally terrified of bird toys and will not play with bird toys at all.

Parrots are a lot like humans in the way they are very perceptive with anything new being introduced in their environment. Imagine if you had delivered to your doorstep an odd shaped and colored box. Not only was this box weird looking and had colors you never seen before, it was also making a ticking sound. You probably would take a step back and say “What the hell is inside that weird shaped and colored box and why the hell is it ticking”. Would you call the Police or the Bomb Squad? Would you be able to sleep that night? Birds are the same way. They are very perceptive of their surroundings and anything new in their environment is a scary deal until they know that the item will not hurt them.

I remember an instance with our Umbrella Cockatoo Marshmellow…..we purchased a new kitchen mat that had a black and white cow on it. The first time we brought Marshmellow into the kitchen after we purchased the new mat, she started to squawk and flap her wings in desperation to get away. When we finally brought her to another room, she was still breathing heavy and you could tell she was visibly shaken. It was months, if not a year before she was OK with the new kitchen mat. Maybe she was attacked by a black and white cow in a previous life but anyway we learned our lesson with Marshmellow and introducing anything new to her.

Introduce a new parrot toy slowly to your bird’s environment. At first, place the bird toy 10 feet from their cage for a couple of days. This way your bird can keep an eye on it for a couple of days until he/she gets used to it. After a couple of days, place the bird toy outside the cage towards the bottom of the cage and see how your feathered friend reacts. If your bird does not seem terrified, place the bird toy inside their cage next. Also, try playing with the bird toy in front of your bird. They will then see that it is not harmful to them. Have you ever noticed that parrots love to play with things we use in everyday life? With this being the case, play with the bird toy like it is your toy and watch your parrot wanting that bird toy even more.


  1. Jane on August 16, 2013 at 3:39 am

    Oh wow, great advice! I can’t tell you how often I forget to sloooowly introduce anything & everything to Kelly or she’ll have a conniption fit.

    • funtimebirdy on August 16, 2013 at 3:47 pm

      Hi Jane,

      I know what you mean. Some of my flock is okay with something new right away but most of the time they need to see me play with it first for a moment just so they know it is safe for them. If Mommy is okay then they will be okay (LOL)


  2. Linduhs Nest on August 14, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Parrots love to create drama from the least little thing! Especially the “I can’t play with that here. Put it over there!” attitude and pouting. Iove them and all their personalities

    • funtimebirdy on August 14, 2013 at 7:09 pm

      You are so right……but one cute look from them and I just become a mush (LOL)

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