Foraging Ideas with Natural Treats
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

Foraging Ideas with Natural Treats If treats motivate your bird, take cues from Mother Nature.

Learn how the right treats can be used to create a naturally varied diet that also incorporates engaging foraging activities.

Insight into Nutrition
Learning more about the natural diet of your pet birds is a fun way to discover new and interesting treat options. The possibilities are endless. While many birds share common diets, keep in mind that primary diets differ greatly even among related birds. For example, did you know parrots can be classified into several general groups based on their diets?

bird primary diet dietary classification
Military Macaw, Blue & gold Macaw, Red-faced Parrot Seeds, fruits, nuts, bark, roots, berries Florivore
Budgerigar, Cockatiel, Hyacinth Macaw Grains, seeds Granivore
Blue-throated Macaw, Green-winged Macaw Mostly fruit & flowers; some nuts & seeds Frugivore
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Red-tailed Amazon Seeds, fruits, insects, invertebrates Omnivore
Lorikeet, Lory Nectar, pollen; some insects & seeds Nectarivore

Put Nature to the Challenge
Selecting the right treat is only the first step. To create a more natural experience that burns off some extra calories, add a foraging challenge. Consider the following foraging ideas:

  • Wrap treat inside a coffee filter or large lettuce leaf and hang this parcel for your bird to forage.
  • Hide the treat under large polished stones, wood, beads, or shredded paper.
  • Take a small piece of millet, fresh fruit, or vegetable and weave it between the cage bars.

Remember, treats should be special events for your pet bird. Keep treats at less than 10% of your daily rations. Pet birds use less energy, so they need to eat fewer calories or they will become overweight.