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New Bird Check List

Preparing for your new bird is an important step in their care and wellness. Below we have detailed the bare minimum supplies you should possess or purchase before the bird comes home:


  • Large enough to flap wings and not hit toys (big enough for your bird) - See: Choosing the Right Cage Size
  • Narrow enough bar spacing so head cannot get between the bars
  • No converging bars or places where bird could get caught
  • Dome top preferred - it gives the bird much more play space when you aren't home, and it is preferable not to have your bird climbing on the top of the cage freely, as territoriality and dominance behaviors can result.
  • Safe (no lead, cadmium or zinc) powder coating or stainless steel
  • Tough enough to withstand your bird's strong beak
  • Easy to clean

Perches - At least 3 right-sized perches of somewhat varying diameters appropriate to your bird's foot size

  • Wooden, natural branches preferred, not slippery, placed lower down near feeding stations
  • Grooming perch or pedicure perch for beak and nails (avoid sandpaper), placed in the highest part of the cage so the bird will roost on it
  • Rope perch (cotton or sisal) - keep ropes trimmed so the bird can't get its feet caught in loose strands when playing with toys

Cups - At least 2 feeding cups that your bird cannot destroy

  • Fit the cage and the bird (not too deep for smaller birds)
  • 2 spare cups are recommended for your convenience

Play Area

  • Somewhere your bird can play away from the cage with toys to play with
  • Some kind of playground, play area, playstand, bungee
  • Placed in a room where you spend a lot of awake, active time
  • Don't let the bird be up too high (above your head)
  • Easy to clean


  • Enough toys to rotate between cage and play stand. At least 3 toys in the cage and at least 2 on the play stand at any one time.
  • made from different colorful materials
  • Sized appropriately for the type of bird they are
  • All birds should have toys that meet the following characteristics
  1. Destructible
  2. Indestructible
  3. Noisy - bird-tough bell
  4. Dangler to swing from
  5. Preenable
  6. Foraging (treat holder or food skewer)
  7. Take apart, moveable parts
  8. Hand held / Foot toys

Avoid toys with dangerous materials or dangerous construction

Some birds prefer very detailed toys, others prefer big hunky ones; get the kinds that your bird prefers, or get a variety to learn what is preferred at the moment

Bird-tough carrier with a perch and place to hang a toy

FOOD - Appropriate food for your bird

  • Whatever diet the bird is used to for transition
  • Healthy pelleted diet
  • Veggies & Fruits
  • Hand-weaning pellets or other comfort food if your bird is recently weened
  • Soak and cook bird food mixes
  • Nuts
  • Healthy balanced seed blends
For in depth dietary recommendations see Feeding Your New Parrot 

Good bird behavior book

We recommend Sally Blanchard's Companion Parrot Handbook and provide a FREE copy of this book with the purchase of our medium to large parrots. 

Showering/Bathing Supplies - Appropriate for your size bird

  • Shower Perch
  • Mister Bottle
  • Bird bath

Before you take your bird home, be sure you have an appointment with a qualified Avian Veterinarian (a member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians) to make sure your bird is healthy. See our Trusted Avian Vets page to help you get started.


Additional things you may want to acquire for your bird:

  • Swing of some kind - most birds LOVE to swing around
  • Plastic chain or ladder  - Climb back up from the bottom of the cage or from the bottom of the play stand
  • Small portable perch for training or focused project time with your bird
  • Bird-safe disinfectant for deep-cleaning the cage
  • Bird-safe houseplants checklist
  • Sleep cage or travel cage - Provide a nice quiet place apart from the main-stream of your house so your bird can get a solid 10 hours of sleep
  • Privacy area - Privacy tent or swing with lots of hanging pieces like a curtain where your bird can retreat
  • Gram scale to monitor your bird's weight (Tip: Include a perch for your gram scale so your bird can stand on something familiar while being weighed)
  • Emergency supplies kit and first aid information
  • Full-spectrum lighting
  • Local bird club membership
  • Air Purifier
  • Humidifier
  • Trick training instructions and props
  • Bird harness with leash
  • Earplugs for people when the going gets too loud
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