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Play Styles Guide

Think about your bird's current play style when selecting toys. While certain species may typically have a certain combination of play styles, not all individuals "fit the mold". Personality, background and how they were raised can impact play styles. Play style can change with the seasons, the bird's age, peer pressure, self-confidence and other factors. These play styles were adapted from the book Parrot-Toys & Play Areas, by Carol D'Arezzo and Lauren Shannon-Nunn.
High Energy These guys are always on the move. They may or may not be serious chewers. They tend to be rambunctious and sometimes mischievous. They like to do battle with their toys with flapping wings and indignant squawks. In their exuberance they may forget to keep their balance, and then blame their toy. Swings, mobiles and noisemakers hold special appeal for these guys. Amazons, Macaws, Cockatoos, Lories and Caiques often exhibit this play style.
Low Energy These birds are more peaceful and sedate. They also tend to be more detail-oriented. While some low-energy players are heavy chewers, many are not. They tend to prefer to have their toys within easy reach, and may not go out of their way to reach a distant toy. They will often delight in toys to preen and weave, puzzles that require concentration, softer destructible toys and toys with multiple textures. Eclectus, African Greys and Poicephalus are often low energy players.
Manipulators This group loves to take things apart. Not only do they delight in disassembling their parrot toys, but also their cages and gyms as well. They can be accomplished escape artists. Manipulators get a lot of satisfaction from unscrewing the quick link that holds up a toy and watching the toy fall to the bottom of the cage with a satisfying crash. Keep these guys busy with puzzles, the more intricate the better. Note: Almost every bird has at least a bit of the manipulator, and can be taught to really enjoy foraging toys for an intellectual and physical challenge, and natural stimulation.
Buzz Saws These birds need wood and plenty of it. They are very beak-oriented and need a constant supply of things to chew. If toys are scarce, they will often destroy their perches. Keeping up with their destructive natures can be a challenge. Some of the larger buzz saws will enjoy the challenge of hard wood toys; others strongly prefer soft wood's easier destructibility.
Weavers These are the artistic types. They can spend hours weaving things in and out of plastic chain links or through cage bars. They like to stuff things into tiny holes in other toys. Strands of sea grass, palm fronds, raffia, ribbon, leather or jute can provide endless fun for weaving and preening.
Gatherers This group is into collectibles. Bits of toys, foot toys and even food can find its way into the stash. Some birds make a goodie pile while others prefer hiding their treasures inside something. Small foot-sized toys, marbella beads and wood pieces can be a Gatherer's delight.
Acrobats These birds would just as soon hang by a toenail than stand on two feet. A 360-degree turn around a perch? No problem! Acrobats can also be found lying on their backs or even standing on their heads. Swings, hanging rope or chain, and bungees/boings are favorites for these guys.
Hide and Seekers Birds in this category seem to always be peering out at you from their secret spot. Sometimes they are shy; sometimes they just like their own private hideaway. Huts and tubes are special fun for the Hide and Seekers. Parrot toys themselves can be lined up along the perch and used as a shield for those who like their privacy. Another favorite is the privacy curtain swing, from whose depths these birds can peek and yet enjoy concealment.
Companions These birds are looking for toys to substitute for a cage-mate rather than something to chew up or destroy. While these birds rarely destroy their toys, they may bump into them to get them moving, or may snuggle next to them. Birds with the Companion play style are often perceived as not playing with toys. These birds probably have the most subtle playstyle of all.
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