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Bird Perches 101
October 18, 2022

Do you ever observe wild birds? You’ll notice that they’re constantly perching on and moving between various branches. Choosing the right perches for Polly is very important! A Las Vegas, NV vet discusses perches below.


Many birdcages come with built-in perches. These should be considered starter perches, or something to use while you run to the pet store for more. Polly really needs several different perches. Our feathered friends use perches for sleeping, grooming themselves, socializing, playing, and eating. Their feet have adapted to gripping branches of all sizes and textures.


Polly should have some perches that are made of natural materials, and some that are synthetic. That variety is important for keeping her legs and feet healthy and strong. Rougher materials, such as manzanita, can be good for birds’ feet, as they can help slough off dead skin. However, avoid sandpaper and concrete perches: they can actually cause foot injuries. Ask your vet for recommendations.


Different perches serve different purposes. A shower perch may be a great option for birds that enjoy showers, while a corner perch may become Polly’s favorite sleeping spot. A rope toy, on the other hand, can be fun for playing. We generally recommend mixing and matching.


Polly will need perches of a few different sizes. However, these will need to be within the correct range. A finch could get hurt using a perch that was meant for a cockatiel! In general, Polly’s feet should go about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way around the perch, which should be at least as long as her wingspan. If you aren’t sure what size to get, ask your vet.


Location is also important. Don’t put Polly’s perches over her bowls, as her food and water will quickly be contaminated by droppings. Also, make sure your feathered pal’s wings or tail won’t touch the cage walls or roof when she’s perching. We recommend putting perches at different heights, so your colorful pet can enjoy several different vantage points.


You’ll need to thoroughly clean and disinfect your winged buddy’s perches every week. (Tip: this is something you can do during your weekly cage cleanings.) Don’t put things back the same way: changing and rearranging the perches will keep things fresh and fun.

Do you have questions about bird care? Contact us, your Las Vegas, NV animal clinic, today!