I’m always looking for new toys for my cockatiel, and the other day my cockatiel jumped onto a ladle hanging from a rack in the kitchen and start swinging back and forth on it. He was chirping and bobbing his head like crazy—clearly, he enjoyed it a lot!
It got me thinking, then, that maybe he would enjoy a swing in his cage.
I’d heard of such toys for parrots before, but I wasn’t sure it was completely safe, so I decided to look into it.
So, do cockatiels like swings?
Yes, cockatiels love swings! Swings are a great, enriching toy for a cockatiel which, among other things, mimic swinging branches they would find in the wild. Swings are a very common toy for cockatiels and they pretty much universally love them. Smaller birds prefer toys like this.
So, if you had any doubts or concerns, there’s no need to worry.
Swings are totally safe for your cockatiel and they will love playing on them.
Enrichment is one of the most important roles you have as your cockatiel’s owner, and a variety of toys is one of the best ways to provide this.
Let’s look further into this.
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Are swings good for cockatiels?
Yes, swings are great for cockatiels in lots of ways.
As I said, the first and foremost thing is that they are complex, highly intelligent birds that need a great deal of stimulation and enrichment to remain happy and keep from getting bored.
Swings are one of their most favorite toys, and a great thing to add to the repertoire of toys they have to choose from.
Obviously, cockatiels enjoy perching in general, swings are essentially another way to perch, to feel as though they are on a different part of a tree.
Swings are great as they provide that excitement and way to expend energy, but at the same time, they replicate the cockatiel’s natural environment.
So, swings are great in lots of ways.
Cockatiels love swings, as smaller birds generally do prefer things they can sit on or see rather than pick up and manipulate.
Large parrots, for a number of reasons, tend to prefer toys like that.
Small parrots like cockatiels love things like swings, bells, and mirrors.
Things they can essentially interact with using their whole bodies.
Why is this the case, though?
Why should cockatiels enjoy swings?
Why do cockatiels like swings?
The answer is both simple and complicated.
The simple way of looking at it is that swings are fun for cockatiels for the same reason they are to humans.
They are high energy, fast moving, and that kind of rapid, heart-accelerating movement is bound to make anyone a little excited.
The more complicated reason, as I touched on earlier, is to do with how it replicates their natural environment.
Having lots of places for them to perch is essential, since in the wild they would perch on large trees with many, many branches.
But not only do they need lots of places to perch, naturally, not all those branches will be the same.
Some of them will be thinner and shorter, some of them will sway in the wind—like a swing, swinging back and forth.
So, the simple answer is that it’s an instinctive fondness for swings that makes them feel they are back in their natural environment.
Are swings dangerous for cockatiels?
No, swings are not dangerous for cockatiels in any serious way.
The fact is cockatiels are often quite clumsy, and so you might see them fall from the swing from time to time.
It’s best, then, to just put the swing inside their cage, or at least not close to any large drop.
Cockatiels are great perchers, though, so you’ve got nothing to fear from them when it comes to swings.
They will be fine.
What type of swing is best for a cockatiel?
Any will do, really, and many cages will even come with a swing already in place.
Any pet store will sell them, though, usually a wooden perch with metal wires to hang from either the top of the cage or to place on a solid surface with a base.
As long as it isn’t too big for them to swing it, like a swing for a macaw, any swing at all will do.
Swings are a great toy, then, no matter how you implement them.
They’re really common and popular, so you’ll be able to find the right one to fit your cockatiel no problem.
Of course, no form of enrichment is enough of a substitute on its own for socialization, both with you and with other cockatiels, ideally.
But they still, nonetheless, really need a variety of toys and enriching activities.