Flowers for Parrots
Pet parrots need more than just food, water, perches, and shelter to really thrive. Parrots that live in an environment with different items for them to chew and play with are typically healthier (mentally and physically) than parrots kept in plain environments.
There are lots of different toys on the market for parrots and since I don’t always have time to make toys, I often buy toys for my birds. However, I also use a lot of items from my backyard as enrichment items for my birds. Branches and twigs make great perches and the birds love to chew them. Pine cones and flowers can also be chewed on and my cockatoo seems to enjoy chewing (and sometimes eating) flowers.
However, before giving a plant to a bird, make sure you know what the plant is and whether or not it’s toxic.
I recommend knowing what exact species the plant is, and not just its general type. For instance, palm trees (from the family Arecaceae) are perfectly safe trees. I’ve seen wild quakers nesting in palm trees, and some wild parrot species eat various fruits produced by wild palms.
However, the sago palm (Cycas revoluta) is not safe to have around animals. This “palm” is not really a palm, but is a species of cycad. They are very toxic to animals, and some dogs have been poisoned after eating parts of cycad plants. Lots of garden centers sell sago palms as house plants, and they are very attractive and interesting plants. However, since a parrot may be attracted to one, I don’t recommend having them in houses or aviaries where there are birds.
Here is a list of safe flowers for parrots, which includes the scientific name for the different species:
Here is a page with a list of safe woods:
If you have a tree and aren’t sure what it is, take parts of it (try to include fruits or flowers) to a good garden center and ask a manager what it is.
A tray of wheat grass can also be given to a parrot. Some parrots like to chew the grass, pull it up, or eat the bases and roots. Some very small birds may rub themselves on or roll in wet wheat grass. Some bird species from arid regions like to “bathe” in wet plants like this.
If growing a tray of wheat grass for parrots, use plain soil that doesn’t have any extra additives. Do not over water the grass, as mold can grow in soil that is excessively damp.
Here’s a cute video of budgies and a parrotlet enjoying a tray of wheat grass:
(Note that these aren’t my birds).