Bird hesitant of playing with a new toy

Why is my bird scared of new toys?

Most birds are very suspicious of anything new that is introduced into their space. They need to make sure that the item introduced in the cage is not a dangerous item or a predator and won’t harm them in any manner.

Why is My Bird Scared of New Toys or New Objects? (In-Depth Look)

Different birds have different personalities and hence you may find some birds will start playing with new toys instantly whereas others will get terrified of the sight of new items in their territory.

In fact, such behaviors are totally common in all kinds of animals. By natural instinct, animals are suspicious of newer items that they don’t have any idea about. Here you are talking about suddenly introducing a new item in their living space, about which they have no idea.

Once they understand that the new item is not harmful and is completely safe to be around they will start to get comfortable with it. Hence it is important to not pressurize them and to support them while they take the needed amount of time to get habituated with the newer toys being present in their living space.

How do I get my bird to like toys?

  • Take things slowly. Most birds will take time to trust a new toy in their living circle. Over time they will understand that it is completely safe and dont pose them any harm.
  • Let them get acquainted with the toy: PLace the toy for a few days besides their cage, play with the toy yourself in front of the bird. All these activities will help them to trust the toy more.
  • See how the bird responds and acts as per that. Remember every bird is different, so even birds of the same species will act differently to toy introduction. Some will be easygoing and won’t show any strange behavior. Some will take a few days to get acquainted with the toy. Others may need a few weeks to get okay with the toy.
  • Let them take their time. Even after introducing the toy inside the cage, you may find that they are not playing with the toy. They are doing things as per their own timeline. They will at one point try interacting with it and as long as it doesn’t hurt them in any way, they will realize it’s a safe item to be around.

How do you introduce a new toy to a bird?

  • In the beginning, play with the toy yourself in front of the bird for a few days. Your bird trusts you the most in its life. So if they find you interacting and playing you with something it will make them curious.
  • Make sure you keep the toy beside their cage after you are done playing with them, say about 5 to 7 feet away. This will ensure that the toys remain well within their eye range and they will get acquainted with the new item. This will nullify the shock response to the newly introduced toy.
  • Introduce the toy just beside the cage and see how the bird reacts. If it acts suspiciously, increases its distance from the cage and let a few more days pass before you again do the same thing again. Keep on playing with the toy and keep it a few feet beside their cage.
  • Once the bird doesn’t show any strange behavior and acts terrified to the toy, move it into the cage. Keep a watch over how they react to the toy for the next few days.

It can take birds anywhere from days, weeks to even

Few Important things to remember

  • If the bird is in a new environment, they will find it hard to accept a new toy. When they are in a new play they are on high alert. So under those suspicious times, they will be more suspicious of a new toy than they would once they get habituated to their new environment.
  • months to get habituated with newly introduced toys. Certain birds prefer toys of a certain type. So if you find the bird not liking a new toy even after 2 or 3 months, it is probable that that toy doesn’t excite the bird and kind of bores them.

So you should experiment with a newer type of toy. Before you give up on any toy give it at least 2 months’ time because you never know you may find theme playing with it suddenly one day.


When introducing newer items in the cage, patience is the key. The main goal is to take things slow and you need to act as per your bird is acting. Keep things slow and don’t push stuff.

These tips can be used for any kind of pet bird including parrots, cockatiels, budgies, canaries, finches to every single other kind of pet bird available.

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