In the wild, there is a continuous background of nature sounds; birds vocalizing, insects buzzing, leaves rustling in the wind, raindrops, etc. Birds living within the confines of our sound proof homes live in relative silence. Silence in the wild is usually a warning signal, indicating the presence of a predator.
Sounds are very stimulating and intriguing to our birds. Just ask any owner of an African Grey how many noises they have learned to imitate and perform at just the appropriate time. The noise from a running vacuum cleaner has often been observed to stimulate a bird's interest in bathing and it has been suggested that this is because the sound is reminiscent of raindrops hitting the leaves in the rainforest.
Therefore it seems logical that birds might benefit from some form of environmental sound enrichment. This would be especially true if their owner is absent all day and they don't have a feathered flock to hang out with.
Perhaps the best sound enrichment is nature itself.
- If you live in the country and the climate/ allows, then opening the windows (screened) may be the simplest option. This will allow your bird to hear the outdoor songbirds and enjoy some fresh air as well.
- There are some exciting new products specifically designed to entertain pet birds with sounds and even pictures of parrots in the wild.
- It's a well known fact that many birds enjoy music as demonstrated by their singing and dancing to the beat. Leaving a radio on during your absence may be both entertaining as well as comforting.