We often hear of people relinquishing their dining rooms to bird furniture or those who built new rooms onto their houses to accommodate a growing flock. Some have mounted perches, climbing ropes and toys on walls and ceilings and installed cable television just for their birds’ viewing pleasure. Do you want to do the same, but are at a loss on where to start? Take a look around your home, and see where you can carve out some additional space.
Get rid of old furniture and decorative items that are past their prime. Clear the clutter and reorganize your space. Remember how your parents were always rearranging the furniture? Experiment with some rearranging of your own. Move couches away from the wall in a large room, and free up some space behind them. Maybe it’s time to pass your old, cumbersome stereo system on to a friend and begin using a tiny but powerful MP3 player and speaker system instead. At the very least, there will be fewer wires to tempt your bird!
New York resident Linda LaFleur was forced to create a sound-proof room for her two macaws and lovebird when a neighbor complained about the noise emanating from her home. The floor is vinyl tile for easy cleanup, and full-spectrum lighting has been installed to replicate natural daylight. Thick, soundproofing foam panels cover the windows when the LaFleurs are out during the day. "When we are out late,” explained LaFleur, "the light turns off via a timer. That way I know the birds will have their full night of sleep.”
When LaFleur is at home, the room turns into party central, with a climbing wall and plenty of toys for the birds. The birds also enjoy their playstands, placed side-by-side in the living room in front of a picture window overlooking the backyard. LaFleur closes the curtains when anyone who might frighten the birds is in the backyard. "They’re not fond of the landscapers,” she said.
BIRD TALK reader Barbara Landsperg has a small apartment but uses a living room closet with a window as a bird room and play area for her Amazon parrot. The window can be opened for ventilation, and Landsperg removed the closet door so that her bird is never isolated.
Do you have a home office or gym? Your bird would probably enjoy spending time with you in one of these rooms. Musician Roberta Fabiano has a small playgym in her recording studio for her conure, Ratchet. A specially outfitted guitar sports a perch for the bird, who also loves to perch on a microphone when Fabiano is singing.
BIRD TALK subscriber Nancy Merritt of Texas shared her experience. "I have a table top playgym that I keep on a low dresser in the bedroom, but it is under a window, and I had to quit letting George, my double yellow-headed Amazon, use it because he spent all his time trying to dismantle the mini blinds.”
Merritt’s still looking for an appropriate area for the gym and might want to consider purchasing microwave cart on casters to make the gym portable throughout her home.
We can all identify with Merritt’s final comments: "When George is out of his cage he really prefers being on my lap, lying on his side and playing with my fingers or hanging off my collar upside down and swinging at one of my elbows, so I guess he really does have an unusual play area — me!"
Want to learn more about bird cages?
5 Things You Need To Know About Bird Cages
Tips For Choosing A Bird Cage
Excerpt from BIRD TALK Magazine, November 2008 issue, with permission from its publisher, I-5 Publishing.