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Get Your ‘Tiel To Play!

These 10 steps tell you how

By Nikki Moustaki

If you live with a cockatiel, you already know that these birds can be pretty laid back and easygoing, occasionally naughty, sometimes cranky, but always a lot of fun. It’s the rare cockatiel that doesn’t like to play — although some individuals can become perch potatoes, preferring to roost at the food dish over a game of “tap forcefully at the intruding cockatiel in the mirror.” If you share your home with such a bird, or if you want to find new and fun things for your ‘tiel to do, here are 10 ways to encourage your cockatiel to play.

1. Go To the Gym
Some cockatiels take well to hanging out on a playgym but, in my experience, many also take this out-of-cage opportunity to embark on a Lewis and Clark adventure around the mountainous region also known as furniture. A playstand gives your bird a break from the confinement of its cage. However, you have to test your individual bird to make sure you can turn your back for a minute without having to search for him under the couch.

Outfit the playgym with lots of fun, exciting toys and treats to help him stay put. Many ‘tiels will spend hours in front of a mirror toy. You can also try a shallow dish filled with air-popped popcorn, toothpicks, marbles, plastic buttons, popsicle sticks, seeds, pellets, dried papaya and knotted sisal twine.

**For the full article, pick up the June issue of BIRD TALK**

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