A BIRD TALK poll of bird enthusiasts reveals some perch preferences by bird species:
Canaries/Finches: Anything that helps them flex their toes. Manzanita or hardwood that's easy to clean — porous surfaces can be home to mites, which small birds are prone to contracting.
Budgies: Swings are a favorite. Rope perches recommended for foot exercise. Common dowels will get some chewing, but are a fine option for an extra perch.
Cockatiels: Platform perches (as a third option), as well as clean tree branches at different shapes and sizes.
Lovebirds: Natural branches with chewable bark, and rope toys and perches. Swinging or bouncing perches, like boings, can be enjoyable extra perches in the cage.
Cockatoos: Tough materials in varying sizes for long-term use. Hard wood, like sanded manzanita, is popular. Rope perches will be preened; watch for ingestion. Sisal rope perches will stand up to these active birds’ antics well.
Lories: The key word is “washable.” Space perches far apart so that liquid lory droppings do not land on other perches. Get texture; droppings also cause slips on smooth wood or poly.
Conures: Platform perches and sandblasted manzanita, or other areas with firm standing bases. Soft wood, to grip and chew, is another good choice.
Quakers: Prone to chewing, add perches that can be destroyed. Keep a firm, long-lasting perch like manzanita or polymer in the roosting area.
Doves: Fruit tree branches, with firm bark that takes some effort to chew off. The natural branches also feature multiple diameters for better exercise.
Large macaws: Ribbonwood and other thick, durable woods are necessary for any macaw perch to have an extended life. Big beaks and feet like to chew and climb, so offer multiple perches — including one especially for manipulating and shredding.
Mini macaws: Active and playful on a smaller scale, they have similar requirements to their large counterparts.
Parrotlets: Cloth or rope perches and small natural wood branches. Also, perches with motion, like boings.
African parrots: Lumber and natural branches. Lumber is square and gives traction underfoot. It also has corners that the larger African birds like to chew. Grooming perches are recommended for nails, but be aware of overgrooming of the beak.
Caiques: Cactus or cholla wood and swings and boings, which provide movement and activity, are also welcomed by caiques.
Eclectus: Fond of soft wood and cholla, and rope-covered spiral perches.
Amazons: Select natural branches of varying shapes and sizes.
Brotogeris: For comfort, rope perches; for chewing, pine, eucalyptus and grape branches.