This is an issue about which I am often questioned and my answer is simple: YES!
In their wild environments, Parrots move about to find different resources such as food, water and safe roosting areas.
While we cannot replicate their natural environment in our homes, we can at least provide our companion Parrots with interesting variety in their day.
So even if a Parrot has a play gym (or whatever) on top of or next to its cage, it is still spending all of its time in just one place.
How boring it must be to sit in one corner of one room for years at a time? I certainly would not enjoy that!
We Parrot behaviour consultants also theorize that the smaller the space you give to a Parrot, the more territorial that bird might become over that space. Rather like the tiny territories of communally nesting sea birds.
Couples might only have a small circle amongst thousands of other birds’ nesting circles, but they will guard it to the death and any bird that crosses that invisible line is going to bleed!
Birds with larger territories are often less obsessed about such things. So we Parrot behaviour consultants encourage Parrot people to provide more than just one area in which a Parrot can hang out.
My Blue and Yellow Macaw Sam has always had at least three places in which to spend her time.
First and foremost is, of course, her cage. It is large and airy and situated by a window which allows her to look out on the street, as well as barriers that allow her to be invisible should she wish.
She is not allowed to hang out on top of her cage, though. Too many problematic things in that room, such as my cats’ litter boxes – in which Macaws are NOT allowed to play no matter how much fun it is!
Her second place is her tree in the living room. It provides a different window – with a view of the songbirds at the bird feeders and the pond with the wading birds that hang out there – and lots of toys. Sam spends a lot of her time there.
Sam’s third hangout is a T-stand in my office, offering yet again another view from a different window. In this room, she spends a lot of time either on her T-stand or sitting on my left knee while I peck away at my keyboard.
Three different places, each providing different forms of stimulation for my Macaw. And each is valued for its variety. I believe this keeps life more interesting for my old Macaw, which I consider extremely important.
We must always remember how intelligent Parrots are, and intelligent animals require much more stimulation than those that are less intelligent.
So when it comes to play stands, the more the merrier, as far as I am concerned! If possible, there should be one in each room in which humans spend their time.