Enrichment in winter for pet birds

Pet birds can get bored in the winter since they feel cooped up. Enrichment in the form of showers helps alleviate their boredom.
By David Dickson

Nothing melts away the winter blues like a nice, cold shower. Longing for sunny beaches and tanning lotion, but there’s snow everywhere you look? Hop into a cold shower and feel your cares wash away. As long as you’re a bird, of course!

Bored birds in the winter

The birds at Best Friends tend to feel a bit cooped up in the colder months. During the warmer part of the year, they spend their days frolicking outside. Lots of interesting sounds to listen to, breezes to smell, wild birds to chat with. But in the winter time, they have to stay inside a great deal because of the weather. Sure, they have toys galore and attention from caregivers and visitors, but birds need more. They’re always looking for something new and exciting.

Showers for birds

And believe it or not, showers can really be the magic ticket. For one, showers are fun to many birds. Talk about singing in the rain! The bird staff have pressurized spray bottles that send a fine mist over the birds inside the building. You should see these feathered beauties spread their wings and frolic in the mist.

The showers do a lot more than provide a little recreation, though. Misting provides moisture to dry skin and also keeps the birds looking dazzling for each other. But the biggest benefit of all may be the activity that follows the shower – the preening. All the birds spend a great deal of time drying off, rearranging, and cleaning their feathers after a shower.

Showers for birds are indeed a great form of enrichment.

Preening birds are happy birds

Ever noticed how much faster the day goes by when you have something to do, as opposed to a totally blank schedule? Same idea here. The preening gives the birds a task, something to work out in their heads and work on with their beaks. And in the winter time, that’s very important. Give them enough activities to keep their minds occupied and, before they realize it, spring is knocking at the door with a beach towel and sand shovel.

Photo by Sarah Ause

Many parrots lose their homes because keeping them entertained can feel like a full-time job. Check out Before Adopting a Parrot to make sure you know what it takes to be a parrot’s best friend!