AAV Enrichment Tips
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Welcome to the AAV Enrichment Tip Blog! There are 5 types of enrichment that can be provided to your pet bird. These include 1) sensory, 2) nutritional, 3) manipulative, 4) environmental, and 5) behavioral. Think about each category when putting together your pet’s living space! Follow #AAVEnrichmentTip posts on AAV's social media sites or subscribe to this blog for weekly posts.


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Top tags: foraging  toys  bath  recycle  reinforce  shower  social  body-language  contrafreeloading  manipulative  natural  natural behaviors  nutritional  penguin  positive-reinforcement  target-training  toy  wood 

Assessing Undesirable Behaviors

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 9, 2019

Even in captivity, birds retain natural behaviors to survive and succeed in the wild. This can lead to difficulty coping in captivity as normal behaviors are expressed in an abnormal setting. Whenever addressing an undesirable behavior, it is important to determine the function of that behavior for the pet so that it can be replaced with a desirable behavior to achieve the same goal. #AAVEnrichmentTip

Tags:  natural behaviors 

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Target Training

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Target training is a type of positive reinforcement training where an animal is asked to touch an item (the target) in order to receive a reinforcer (eg: a treat, being pet, or verbal praise).  A sound, such as that produced by a clicker or a “click” with the mouth, is used as soon as the bird touches the target before the treat is given. Using this type of training, birds can be taught important behaviors such as walking into a travel carrier and fun behaviors like spinning in a circle.

Tags:  target-training 

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Exotic Pet Products For Birds Too

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 27, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Sometimes products marketed for other exotic pets can be used safely in birds. Some examples include seagrass mats, loofah/luffa sponge slices, and timothy hay tunnels sold for rabbits and guinea pigs. Always research any new products first to ensure safety! #AAVEnrichmentTip

Tags:  foraging 

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Captive Foraging: Let Your Pet Bird Search for Food

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Captive foraging involves making pets search for their food. Safe options for birds can include offering food in multiple bowls across the cage or room, hanging food items on the side of the cage using bird-safe ties (eg: leather straps, wood clips), and hiding food inside objects that can be chewed or torn open.


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Quick Captive Foraging Options

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Need quick captive foraging options without the hassle of making toys at home? Many commercial food puzzles are available in local pet stores or online. These include plastic or paper items that have smaller holes that food can be pulled through or puzzles with wheels and drawers that need to be manipulated to access food..  #AAVEnrichmentTip

Tags:  foraging 

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Encourage Exercise and Exploration

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Even if birds are not flighted, the environment can be set up to encourage exercise and exploration using wooden ladders, rope perches, and tree stands.  #AAVEnrichmentTip

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Toys, Toys, Toys!

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 30, 2019

It is easy to provide sensory enrichment to birds with a variety of toys. Toys with different textures, materials, colors, and shapes can help provide visual and tactile enrichment. #AAVEnrichmentTip


Tags:  toys 

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Nutritional Enrichment Ideas

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Need additional ideas for nutritional enrichment for your pet bird? Try offering multiple bowls in the cage to encourage movement from bowl to bowl when eating, offer larger food items that need to be held with a foot while being eaten, or simple cover the food bowl with a piece of paper that needs to be moved or chewed to access the food.  #AAVEnrichmentTip

Tags:  foraging  nutritional 

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Reinforcing behaviors

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 16, 2019

All behaviors performed by pet birds have a purpose. When a behavior is undesirable, it is important not to reinforce the behavior. However, it can also be helpful to evaluate what the bird is trying to achieve by the behavior (the intended consequence) and to provide an alternative, desirable behavior to accomplish the same outcome. For example, if your bird screams when you leave the room, it may be asking “where did you go?” As an alternative, teach your bird to whistle to you. When he or she whistles, you can whistle back. When you leave the room and your bird whistles, asking “where did you go,” your reply whistle will indicate “I’m over here.” #AAVEnrichmentTip

Tags:  reinforce 

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Auditory Stimulation

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 2, 2019

One form of sensory enrichment is providing auditory stimulation. Examples for birds include playing music or bird calls. What music do your parrots or songbirds prefer?

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