JoJo’s Perch – toys

Hello everyone! And happy Spring! Who here missed the sun? I know I did. I spent an hour sitting by the window last week. I just couldn’t leave it. You never really miss it until it’s gone for 3 months, right? Another thing I always miss when it’s gone – my favorite toy. My birdie friends will back me up on this. There’s nothing worse than getting ready for a little destruction time and finding the toy already in tatters. My current favorite is anything woven. Wicker balls, woven grass matt, the little baskets filled with goodies! I’ve been going through them so fast my human has had to resort to making toys to keep up with my destructive ways. I decided I should put together a little “Toy Guide” to help my birdie friends maximize their play time.


  • Know what you like – tell your human what you do and don’t like to play with/destroy. The more money they waste on what you don’t like the less there will be to spend on what you do like. Don’t make them guess, they will probably be wrong. I know that it sometimes takes time to be ready to tear into a toy, but try to play with it a bit so that the humans know you approve.
  • Don’t be afraid to try new toys – New isn’t bad! Different isn’t scary! Each color and texture is something new and exciting. Try different toys to find out what you like and tell your human. You can start out with the same materials in different forms but don’t be afraid to go to new materials. You never know what you might like. And variety is the spice of life!

And for those of you afraid of new things (looking at you African Greys!) there’s a little trick I learned from my days at the rescue. It’s the best way to find a new toy without worrying about having something new in your cage. Step 1: Have your human hang your favorite toy wrapped in a paper towel or white tissue paper. Make sure that you see them do it, got to make sure that’s your favorite toy, no substitutions. Step 2: Rip up the paper and then play with your toy. Step 3: After a couple of times doing this – have your human switch out your favorite toy for a new toy, still wrapped in tissue. Step 4: Destroy the tissue to reveal a new favorite toy! It’s the best way to meet new toys.

  • Try homemade toys – there are two types of homemade toys. Your human can get the toy making kits from the store or online to put together at home or you can make toys out of household items. The household items are pretty much the best thing ever. My favorite of course is a shoe.       Slippers, boots, tennis shoes; anything for the foot really. Bath tissue rolls (great for destruction!), egg cartons (great for foraging!) and paper bags (great for hiding and destroying!) are all household favorites. When making use of household items – always make sure that they are clean and non-toxic. When in doubt, skip it!
  • Cannibalize pieces – not as gross as it sounds, I promise. When one part of the toy is no longer usable, take the rest and add it to your other toys to make them more interesting. Pull all the stuffing out of the woven basket? Refill it with other foot toys or treats. Destroy the netting around the crinkle paper? Use the paper in your egg carton foraging toy. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle!

What do you think? Have any suggestions to add to JoJo’s Bird Toy Guide? I’m pretty sure that if I can get enough suggestions for a full length book I could be the first bird on the New York Times Best Seller List.

About me…

I’m a 26 year old Senegal parrot. As with any creature as small as I am, I have a big attitude and know how to get what I want. I share my home with my human servant Megan and her Australian Shepherd, Kona, whom I torment to my heart’s content. Coming from a rescue, my history is a little bit of a mystery. My early life has caused me to be a picker, but it doesn’t matter too much – I know I’m gorgeous!

Have a question for me? You can contact me through my secretary, Megan Van Deren at or you can call one of the staff members at your friendly Veterinary Hospital – the Santa Rosa Veterinary Hospital.