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Parrots are not only colorful and social birds, they are also among the most intelligent animal species. Their high intelligence and curiosity require regular mental stimulation. This is where intelligence toys come into play. In this article, you’ll learn why intelligence toys are so important for parrots and how to choose the right toy for your feathered friend. 

Why Are Intelligence Toys Important for Parrots? 

Parrots are naturally curious and active animals that spend a lot of their time in the wild searching for food and interacting with their environment. In captivity, they can easily become under-stimulated, leading to behavioral problems such as feather picking or excessive screaming. Intelligence toys help satisfy their natural instincts, provide mental challenges, and keep them physically active. 

Types of Intelligence Toys

gray parrot sitting on a branch playing with a colorful cube toy
image: jaanasaksman – pixabay.com
  • Puzzle Toys: These toys require the parrot to solve a puzzle to access a reward. This could involve moving parts or pulling out drawers to get to hidden treats. 
  • Destructive Toys: Parrots love to disassemble things. Toys made of wood, leather, or sturdy plastic that they can chew and take apart are ideal. 
  • Hanging Bridges and Swings: These encourage physical activity and balance. 
  • Mirrors and Bells: Though less focused on intelligence, they provide entertainment and stimulate the bird’s senses. 

What to Look for When Buying Intelligence Toys

  • Safety: The toy should be made of non-toxic materials and safe for your parrot. Regularly check for sharp edges, splinters, or small parts that could be swallowed. 
  • Adjustment to the Bird: Choose toys that match the size and strength of your parrot. Small toys could be easily destroyed by larger parrots, while too large toys can be frustrating for smaller species. 
  • Variety: Offer a variety of toys to avoid boredom. Rotate the toys regularly to maintain your parrot’s interest. 
  • Interactive Elements: Toys that require interaction, like puzzles or hide-and-seek games, are especially effective in promoting mental activity. 
  • Durability: Parrots have strong beaks, so the toy should be robust enough to not be destroyed immediately. 

How to Effectively Use Intelligence Toys

  • Training: Start with simpler toys and gradually increase the difficulty level to avoid frustrating your parrot. 
  • Supervision: Watch your parrot play to ensure they don’t get hurt and use the toy correctly. 
  • Rewards: Use treats as rewards to increase interest in the toy. 
  • Playtime: Incorporate playtimes into your parrot’s daily routine to create routine and structure. 


Intelligence toys are an essential part of caring for and maintaining the well-being of a parrot. They contribute not only to mental stimulation but also strengthen the bond between you and your feathered friend. By selecting the right toys and using them wisely, you can promote a happy, healthy, and balanced parrot.

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