Cockatiel perched on a tree branch

Do Pet Birds Get Bored? (Signs + Tips)

Like us, our birds do not have regular jobs or a weekend plan with the gang to look forward to. 

Their daily schedule mostly consists of chirping, eating, sleeping, and some more chirping if they have time left. 

In the wild, birds tend to stick with their flock for social interaction, mating, and foraging. While as pets, birds find companionship in their owners and the toys they have.  

However, certain intelligent species of birds like parrots, cockatiels, cockatoos, and others require more attention and interaction from their owners.

So when we’re not around, do birds get bored?

Birds that are highly social in nature can get bored when they lack stimulation or opportunities to engage in natural behaviors. This is especially true for birds that are kept in captivity, such as pet birds or birds housed in zoos or aviaries. Without the ability to fly, forage for food, or interact with other birds, these birds may become lonely, depressed, and even develop behavioral problems.

Signs Of Boredom In Pet Birds

While pet birds can bring joy and companionship to our lives, they also require mental stimulation and physical activity to stay occupied. Here are some of the notable symptoms of boredom in birds: 

Excessive Screaming

You can think of excessive screaming in birds as their way of crying out for help. A bird may scream out of boredom when it feels neglected or when left alone.  

As we go about our day, we are often unable to devote much time to our birds. This can cause their idle beaks to vocalize in frustration and scream excessively. 

Just like how we humans become restless when we are not mentally or physically engaged, birds can also choose to express their anger by screaming loudly when they feel they are being ignored or not taken proper care of.


Birds are generally known to be peaceful and docile in nature. However, when they are feeling frustrated or annoyed, they may resort to biting as a way to vent out.

Bored birds are more likely to pick up bad behaviors and may go from just nibbling or beaking to really biting. They may do this as a means of seeking attention because they crave interaction from you. 

Decreased Appetite

Boredom can make a bird inactive and lethargic, which can suppress its appetite. A decrease in appetite or interest to eat and forage is also a symptom of stress which is closely associated with boredom.  

Stress can lead to feelings of depression and cause them to lose interest in their surroundings and daily activities, including eating. Furthermore, this can trigger the release of stress hormones leading to overall health issues.

Destructive Behaviours

Bored pet birds exhibit many negative behaviors, from screaming excessively and biting, to self-harming behaviors such as feather plucking.

Furthermore, boredom can lead to a lack of physical activity, which can result in weight gain and obesity. This can also lead to an increased risk of developing other diseases. 

Boredom can have serious negative consequences for pet birds, both physically and mentally. This is why it is important to be more observant of your friend and address this issue as early as possible. 

How To Keep Birds Entertained?

It is hard to imagine a bird just sitting in one place by itself and doing nothing. By nature, birds are pretty chattery and inquisitive creatures that require companionship throughout the day. Here are some ways you can provide entertainment to your birds:  

More Out-Of-Cage Time

While cages provide a safe and secure environment for birds, they can also be limiting. Birds kept in small cages with little enrichment have been observed to engage in repetitive and self-destructive behaviors, such as feather plucking or excessive screaming.

Similarly, chickens that are kept in crowded or barren environments have been seen exhibiting symptoms of frustration, such as pecking at each other. All of which are signs of boredom and frustration. 

Birds are naturally active and social creatures and require plenty of mental and physical stimulation to stay entertained. Providing your bird with regular out-of-cage time allows them to open their wings, exercise, and explore the environment. It also provides opportunities for interaction with you and other family members, which can help to strengthen the bond. 


Giving your birds attention and love is the first step to having a healthy relationship. Spend time interacting with your bird every day by engaging in activities that they enjoy, such as singing, talking, or playing. 

You can also consider getting a second bird if you have the resources and experience to do so. Just make sure to introduce them slowly and carefully to prevent any potential conflicts. Having a mate will prevent your bird from feeling lonely when you’re gone and also provide other forms of enrichment.  

Rearrange Their Toys 

No one likes to play with the same toys every single day, not even your bird. When a bird has access to the same toys for a long time, it may become bored and lose interest in playing with them. 

Rotating toys regularly helps to maintain your bird’s interest in their toys, and it encourages them to explore and interact with new items.

One way to rotate your bird’s toys is to provide them with a selection of toys and then switch them out every few days or weeks. This can be done by removing some of the older toys and replacing them with new ones. 

Alternatively, you can keep all of your bird’s toys out but change their placement in the cage or aviary. This simple change can make the toys feel new and exciting, encouraging your bird to play with them.

Other Fun Activities You Can Encourage Your Bird To Do:

  • Playing with puzzles
  • Flying
  • Singing or mimicking sounds
  • Interacting with the environment
  • Climbing on perches or ropes
  • Socializing with other birds or humans
  • Exploring new objects or surroundings 
  • Chewing on cuttlebones


Even while being outside more often, your bird with have a lot less space for physical activities when compared to their natural environment. In the wild, birds fly long distances, forage for food, and engage in various other activities that help keep them active and healthy. 

By providing your bird with opportunities to fly, engaging in fun activities together, and trying new things every day, you can promote their physical and mental well-being and prevent boredom.

Foraging Activities 

When confined to the limited space of a cage or even a house for that matter, a bird does not get adequate room or opportunity to spread its feather making them bored and inactive. 

Birds are different from other pets and constantly need something to do. Foraging is an essential activity for pet birds, as it promotes physical activity as well as mental stimulation. 

Engaging in fun activities such as finding hidden treats around their surroundings or using foraging toys for food, birds will be able to reconnect with their natural behaviors and use their problem-solving skills. These activities can help to prevent boredom and promote a healthier, and happier lifestyle for your pet bird.


Can Birds Die Of Boredom?

Boredom is not a direct cause of death in birds, but it can lead to health problems and behaviors that can eventually have negative consequences. Stress is the most prominent by-product of boredom which can lead to lethargy, anxiety, and self-destructive behaviors such as feather plucking. 

Stress and anxiety can be detrimental to a bird’s health, and prolonged exposure to these negative emotions can compromise its immune system and even lead to death.

Do Birds Get Lonely? 

Birds can experience feelings of loneliness if they lack social interaction and companionship. Certain bird species like parrots are highly social creatures that thrive on the company of other birds or their owners. When a bird is left alone for long periods or does not receive enough social interaction, it can become lonely, stressed, and even depressed.

Dorson Joseph
Dorson Joseph

I'm Dorson, a bird enthusiast who's had a lifelong fascination for the avian world. I am a parent to my beloved Senegal parrot and budgie, which has deepened my love for avian creatures and taught me a lot over the years. I co-run a bird store and care center with my friends, where we work with experienced professionals to care for our flock. Now, I find great joy in sharing my knowledge with others, hoping to assist fellow bird keepers and enthusiasts in understanding birds and helping them live happy lives.

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