The life of a domestic animal is pretty different from its wild counterparts but pets still have many of the same needs, both mental and physical, as their wild cousins. Birds like parrots, cockatiels, and parakeets are no exception to that. This means that it’s our responsibility as bird owners to make sure that our pets get the exercise and mental stimulation to keep them as healthy as possible. Toys are the way to do that, making them essential for every pet bird.
We reviewed dozens of bird toys to identify the best of the best. To choose which bird toys to include our list, we considered toy quality and safety, as well as the variety of different toys needed to suit the various needs that all birds have in addition to the preferences and personalities of individual birds.
Our top pick and the clear winner is the Bonka Bird Toys Spoon Delight Toy. Birds will love the shiny spoons, the various noises, and that they can perch or hang on the toy, while you’ll love that it’s long-lasting.
The 5 Top-Rated Bird Toys
|Best Overall||Bonka Bird Toys Spoon Delight Toy||4.6|
|Runner Up||Aigou Bird Spiral Rope Perch||4.7|
|Best Budget Buy||Petsvv Rope Bungee Bird Toy||4.5|
|Best Bird Play Gym||Mrli Pet Bird Play Stand||4.4|
|Best Bird Foraging Toy||Planet Pleasures Octopus Pinata Bird Toy||4.6|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
1. Our Top Pick: Bonka Bird Toys Spoon Delight Toy
We found plenty of great bird toys while doing our research, but the Bonka Bird Toys Spoon Delight Toy stood out from the rest. Birds love toys that are shiny, colorful, or make noise and this toy is all three of those things. The toy consists of a stainless steel chain with several stainless steel spoons and colorful acrylic rings hanging off of it.
The chain is 10 inches long and the spoons range from 3 to 4 inches in length. From the top of the chain to the bottom tip of the spoon hanging on the other end of the chain, the toy is 14 inches long in total. The acrylic and stainless steel materials that it’s made out of mean that this toy will last for a long time, even if your bird tends to be rough on toys. The Bonka Bird Toys Spoon Delight Toy is also totally bird-safe, so you don’t need to worry about how your bird plays with it when you’re not around.
It can be hung either vertically or horizontally, allowing them to climb, swing, and perch along the toy, as well as play with the spoons and rings, to suit your bird’s cage and play style. Birds will love the shininess of the spoons and the colors of the rings, as well as the sounds that the pieces make hitting each other as your bird plays. But don’t worry, reviewers say that the noises that the toy makes are pleasant-sounding and aren’t so loud that they’re annoying or disruptive.
Bonka Bird Toys Spoon Delight Toy Key Features:
- Appeals to birds’ love of shiny, colorful, and noise making things
- Your bird can play with it in a variety of different ways
- Safe and durable materials
- Can be hung vertically or horizontally
- Best for medium-sized birds
2. Our Runner Up Pick: Aigou Bird Spiral Rope Perch
Our runner-up is the Aigou Bird Spiral Rope Perch, another excellent bird toy with similarly excellent reviews to the Bonka Bird Toys Spoon Delight Toy, but with fewer play options for your bird. While the Spoon Delight Toy provides both mental and physical stimulation, the Aigou Bird Spiral Rope Perch is primarily a physical toy. The spiral rope perch is made out of cotton rope woven around a loose iron wire spring. This allows the toy to maintain its spiral shape, but also allows the spiral to stretch and bounce as your bird perches and moves around on it. This is not just great fun for your bird, but also helps them develop their strength, balance, and coordination throughout their body.
The toy comes in three sizes. The small is 52 inches long and 0.5 inches in diameter, a good size for parrotlets, mini macaws, and small conures. The medium is 65 inches long and 0.7 inches in diameter, good for birds around the size of grey parrots, larger conures, and caiques. The large is 94.4 inches long and 1.14 inches in diameter, well-sized for large cockatoos and macaws.
Though Aigou Bird Spiral Rope Perch is primarily an exercise toy, it does provide some mental stimulation as well. Moving around the springy perch requires a certain degree of problem-solving, and a single bell hung at the bottom of the rope makes a pleasant noise as your bird interacts with the toy. If your bird is fond of puzzles or just especially loves noise, your bird may enjoy figuring out how much movement is required in order to make the bell ring or even strategize a way to access the bell so that they can ring it through direct interaction.
Aigou Bird Spiral Rope Perch Key Features:
- Provides exercise as well as some mental stimulation
- Comes in three sizes for different sizes of birds
- Quick link at the top for easy hanging
- Bright colors thanks to bird-safe, food-grade dye
- Durable and easy to care for
3. Best Budget Pick: Petsvv Rope Bungee Bird Toy
The Petsvv Rope Bungee Bird Toy is quite similar to the Aigou Bird Spiral Rope Perch, but it’s only available in smaller sizes, so it’s not as good for owners of large birds. For owners of small to medium-sized birds, however, the Petsvv Rope Bungee Bird Toy is a great deal. (And don’t worry, large bird owners, we still have plenty of budget-friendly bird toys coming your way, so sit tight.)
Like the Aigou Bird Spiral Rope Perch, this toy is made up of cotton rope woven over a spring, with a bell at one end and a quick link at the other for easy hanging. Also like the Spiral Rope Perch, the Petsvv Rope Bungee Bird Toy provides exercise for your bird, encouraging the development of your bird’s strength, coordination, and balance.
This one comes in only two sizes, however. The smaller 43″ long one is great for parrotlets, parakeets, and cockatiels. The larger 63″ size is great for Senegal parrots, small cockatoos, mini macaws, and sun and green cheek conures. There’s also a round version that doesn’t provide the same exercise as the spiral ones, but does provide a pleasant perch and swing for small and medium sized birds.
Petsvv Rope Bungee Bird Toy Key Features:
- Two sizes of spiral version, plus a round version
- Good for small and medium-sized birds
- Provides exercise and some mental stimulation
- Durable and easy to care for
- Quick link at the top for easy hanging
- Bright colors thanks to bird-safe, food-grade dye
4. Best Bird Play Gym: Mrli Pet Bird Play Stand
Play gyms or play stands provide a safe, comfortable, and fun place for your bird to hang out while spending time outside of their cage. You can play and interact with your bird while they perch on the play stand, or they can use it as a home base while they explore the world around them. The Mrli Pet Bird Play Stand is one play gym option that’s hard to beat.
It’s packed full of features for your bird to play and interact with, including several perches, a flexible ladder, a rigid ladder, two swings, food and water bowls, and a hanging toy with a bell. It also features a tray at the base for easy cleaning.
The main pieces are made of unpainted, unstained wood and all of the hardware is made from stainless steel for stability, safety, and durability. It’s held together by screws rather than glue to make it more sturdy and avoid toxic substances that are dangerous for your bird. With .7 inch thick bars, the Mrli Pet Bird Play Stand is strong, sturdy, and comfortable enough for a variety of bird types and sizes, including conures, cockatiels, parakeets, parrotlets, cockatoos, and parrots.
Mrli Pet Bird Play Stand Key Features:
- Tons of perch and play options
- Made from safe, high-quality wood and stainless steel
- Easy to clean tray at the base
- Strong, sturdy construction
5. Best Bird Foraging Toy: Planet Pleasures Octopus Pinata Bird Toy
Our top bird foraging toy is the Planet Pleasures Octopus Pinata Bird Toy. This cute octopus bird toy is colorful enough to catch your bird’s interest and is stuffed with shredders and natural fibers for your bird to pull out and destroy to appeal to and satisfy their natural foraging instincts. Birds may also enjoy nesting in what they remove from the Planet Pleasures Octopus Pinata Bird Toy. In addition, many birds will enjoy playing with and attempting to tear apart the “tentacles” hanging from the bottom of this toy. And to top it all off, since this toy is designed for all those things, it’s perfectly safe, unlike when birds attempt to sate their foraging instincts by destroying other things.
It’s available in three sizes to accommodate different sizes of birds and cages. The small size is 9 inches tall and 3.5 inches in diameter. The medium one is a foot tall and 4.5 inches across. The large size is 15 inches tall and 6 inches in diameter. Each size will provide your bird with hours of enjoyment, though smaller birds may have difficulty reaching the stuffing in the middle of larger toys to remove it.
Planet Pleasures Octopus Pinata Bird Toy Key Features:
- Appeals to birds’ natural foraging instincts
- Three size options
Who Should Buy a Bird Toy
Anyone who owns a bird should also have plenty of bird toys. Birds are naturally active, both physically and mentally, and toys help replicate these wild behaviors this for companion birds, making toys an essential part of maintaining your pet bird’s physical and mental health.
Birds should have access to several toys of different types at a time and toys should be rotated weekly (at minimum), both in terms of location within the bird’s cage and in terms of which toys are accessible to the bird. That means you should also have enough additional toys behind the scenes that you switch toys in and out to keep things interesting for your pet bird.
If birds aren’t kept properly stimulated, they can become anxious and depressed. To handle this, they can turn to destructive and disruptive behaviors like excessive vocalization, pulling out their feathers, biting, attempting to destroy their cage, and compulsive repetitive actions like head shaking.
Important Features to Consider
A bird toy should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting bird toys:
- Safety. Toys should be made from non-toxic materials and be high enough quality that your bird can’t easily destroy them (unless it’s a toy that’s made to be destroyed, in which case it should be made to be safely destroyed). All parts should be large enough that they don’t pose a choking risk. Even after purchase, continue to inspect toys each week to make sure they’re in good condition and don’t pose a risk to your pet.
- Quantity and variety. Your bird should have access to four to six toys of different types at all times. On top of those, you should have a roughly equal number of toys available so you can switch out a couple of your bird’s toys at least once each week to keep your bird engaged and entertained. Try to choose toys of different types, like foraging toys, puzzle toys, and exercise toys, to stimulate your bird in all the different ways they need.
- Play style. You want choose toys that stimulate your bird in a variety of ways, but to make sure they get the most out of their toys, consider how your bird likes to be entertained. Is your bird the type that keeps figuring out how do undo bolts and open latches? Then they’ll love puzzle toys. Birds that are naturally social may enjoy soft, cuddly toys. Birds that love to destroy toys will benefit from toys made for that exact purpose. Very active birds will most enjoy exercise toys. Pay attention to how your bird behaves and find toys that fit that behavior.
- Your bird’s cage. Is the cage large enough for the toy? Can the toy be properly affixed to the cage? Toys, individually or collectively, shouldn’t take up too much room in your bird’s cage. At minimum, your bird should have enough room to flap their wings without touching anything when perched anywhere in the cage (the cage walls being the exception when the bird is perched near them). Larger toys may be better placed outside of your bird’s cage, such as on or near a play gym.
Frequently Asked Questions
What types of toys do birds play with?
Birds naturally engage in a lot of different behaviors, so there are a lot of different types of toys to meet the different needs that birds have and suit the diverse personalities of birds.
Foraging toys simulate the foraging for food that wild birds spend most of their time engaging in. Exercise toys help keep birds active and physically fit, while puzzle toys give their minds a workout. Foot toys help with dexterity and simulate natural foraging and collecting behaviors. Chew toys fulfill a bird’s natural urge to chew, encourage beak health, and relieve anxiety. Comfort toys can also relieve anxiety, especially for social birds.
How many toys should a bird have?
The exact number of toys a bird should have varies based on the size of their cage, the species of bird, and the specific bird. In general, four to six toys of different types in their cage is a good starting point, with enough additional toys to switch out at least two or three of those toys each week while the others are moved to different places in the cage. If you switch out more of the toys each week or switch more frequently, you may be able to get away with owning fewer toys in total. As a general rule, it’s better to err on the side of too many toys rather than too few. In addition, the larger a bird species, the more toys are typically required to keep them entertained.
Why do birds play?
Toys often serve as an outlet for natural urges and behaviors that domestic birds may not otherwise have the opportunity to manage, but we also know that birds, both domestic and wild, engage in some behaviors for no apparent reason other than fun. In addition, playing can help birds meet their social needs.
Can parrots play with baby toys?
Many people think baby toys are safe for birds because they avoid swallowable sized pieces and toxic materials. However, not all materials that are safe for human babies are safe for birds, and toys designed for human babies can have openings that birds can get their heads or feet stuck in, leading to injury or death, so we recommend only choosing toys that are designed for our feathered friends.
In addition, always supervise your bird when they’re playing with a new toy. Don’t leave them alone with the toy or leave the toy in the cage with them until you’re confident that it’s safe.