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Choose the right perch for your pet bird

From large parrots to tiny finches, pet birds come in a wide range of shapes, colors and sizes. These intelligent, active animals require safe, stable perches for play, exercise and comfort. 

What to know before buying a bird perch

What your bird needs

Bird species have unique behaviors and preferences. Macaws, for example, use their powerful beaks to tear apart materials that less destructive birds such as canaries show no interest in. Budgies and finches, because of their small size, feel comfortable clinging to thin branches as opposed to the thick logs that larger birds like cockatoos need.

To keep your pet happy, research your bird and select perches that appeal to their natural inclinations and habitat.

Your bird’s size

Even large birds are fragile and easily injured. To prevent your pet from falling, choose perches strong enough to hold their weight without bending. Perches that span the entirety of the cage are the most stable.

The perch’s material

  • Natural wood is an excellent choice for all birds. Free from dye and paint, this material gives parrots a safe way to exercise their beaks. Muted browns and grays won’t frighten skittish finches, and the surface of untreated wood provides a safe grip. 
  • Dyed wood is a good choice for birds that are playful and enjoy vibrant toys. As long as the wood is colored with harmless dye, these perches can be safely chewed.
  • Mineral perches are great for birds that need supplemental calcium. Sometimes these perches contain flavoring or bee pollen to encourage chewing. These perches aren’t suitable for large parrots because they are quickly destroyed.
  • Rope perches made from braided thread let you create a playground for your pet. However, these perches should be used with great caution. Rope can ensnare a bird’s claws and cause it to panic and hurt itself. A rope perch should be removed at the first sign of chewing, as ingesting too much thread can result in illness.

The perch’s mounting style

  • Metal hardware. Most perches mount with a metal wing nut and a washer that screws into a threaded rod placed between the bars of your bird’s cage. This mounting style lets you easily remove the perch for cleaning. 
  • Slotted. Perches that span the entire enclosure usually have a slot cut into each end that the bars of the cage slide into. This mounting type needs a snug fit so your bird can’t move it. That tightness, however, also makes slotted perches challenging to remove and replace.
  • Hanging. Some perches are hung from the top of the cage with a clip or clamp. Hanging perches give your pet a place to practice acrobatics. Be sure to buy one strong enough to support your bird’s weight.
  • Plastic clamp. Perches made out of rope usually have threaded tips. These are sent through the bars of the cage where a plastic cap is screwed on to clamp the perch in place.

The perch’s color

Some birds are afraid of especially bright colors, while others take great interest in them. Bird perches are available in many hues, so consider your pet’s personality and security while you shop. If you are unsure of your bird’s preferences, unpainted wooden perches are a safe choice.

The perch’s texture

Your pet will feel stable and confident on a perch with an uneven, textured surface. Perches that are too smooth prevent birds from getting a good grip, which makes them feel uneasy and may result in a slip or fall. Avoid perches covered in sand or sandpaper, which cause irritation, pain and bleeding.

Heated perches

Most birds enjoy cuddling up to warm surfaces, and some perches have a heating element inside to keep them comfortable. Heated perches include a power cable that must be kept out of your pet’s reach so it can’t chew be chewed.

Diameter and variety

Because birds thrive on exploration and activity, accessorize your pet’s cage with a variety of perch types. Birds kept in cages that are filled with perches of the same shape and diameter can suffer from foot pain and deformity. Providing different perch sizes keeps your bird’s legs and feet healthy.

Best bird perches

Best natural wood bird perch

Best Mogoko Natural Wood Bird Perch Set

Mogoko Natural Wood Bird Perch Set

What you need to know: These wooden bird perches give birds the feel and texture they would experience in the wild.

What you’ll love: With four pieces included, this set lets you adorn your bird’s cage with many perching opportunities. These perches mount with sturdy metal hardware. Five sets are offered.

What you should consider: These sets are only appropriate for small to medium birds.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best dyed wood bird perch

Pets-Best CoCogo Parrot Ladder

CoCogo Parrot Ladder

What you need to know: This ladder is made of brightly colored wood steps and beads for hours of perching and play.

What you’ll love: Available in 8- or 18-inch lengths and in sets of up to 18 units, these ladder perches let you accessorize even large cages. Flexible and easy to mount, you can use these ladders to create a jungle gym for your bird.

What you should consider: The dye on these perches comes off when they get wet.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best mineral bird perch

Best Polly's Tooty Fruity Pollen Bird Perch

Polly’s Tooty Fruity Pollen Bird Perch

What you need to know: Made from natural bee pollen and calcium, this perch provides nutrition as well as a place to rest.

What you’ll love: This perch is fruit-flavored to encourage chewing. It attaches to the cage with a metal wing nut and washer. Its cactus wood texture offers a good grip.

What you should consider: Artificial flavor and coloring is used in this perch.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best rope bird perch

Best Pets VV Rope Bird Perch

Pets VV Rope Bird Perch

What you need to know: This set of two cotton rope perches can be positioned however you like.

What you’ll love: This kit includes a flexible rope perch that can be bent and twisted into whatever shape you prefer and a coiled perch that can be hung from the top of your cage. These perches are offered in 43- and 63-inch lengths.

What you should consider: Rope perches should only be used under supervision, especially with birds who enjoy chewing.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best perch for large birds

Best Birds Love Large Wood Perch

Birds Love Large Wood Perch

What you need to know: This large perch is available in two wood types.

What you’ll love: With a 2-inch diameter and 16-inch length, this perch is sturdy enough for big birds such as macaws and cockatoos. It attaches to your cage with strong metal hardware.

What you should consider: This perch is fairly basic and doesn’t feature any extended branches or size variations. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best perch for small birds

Best Large Manzanita Bird Perch

Large Manzanita Bird Perch

What you need to know: This natural manzanita branch gives small birds a lot of safe perching options.

What you’ll love: Because it features multiple twigs and branches, small birds have many opportunities to flex their feet. It’s made from natural wood and attaches with metal hardware.

What you should consider: Only a single perch is included with your purchase, so you will likely need to buy more than one. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best hanging bird perch

Best Mogoko Hanging Branch Perch

Mogoko Hanging Branch Perch

What you need to know: Made of natural wood, this perch hangs from the top of your bird’s cage.

What you’ll love: It has four branches and can be hung from the center of your cage to create a gathering place for multiple birds. Its bark is fun for birds who like to chew and its metal mount is safe and secure. 

What you should consider: A drawback to natural bark is that it is hard to clean and requires scrubbing.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best heated bird perch

Best K&H Pet Products Heated Bird Perch

K and H Pet Products Heated Bird Perch

What you need to know: This perch features an internal heating element to keep tropical birds comfortable all year long.

What you’ll love: Available in three sizes, it comes in a gray color that won’t alarm sensitive birds. Its power cord is covered in metal to prevent chewing.

What you should consider: This perch has a smooth surface that some users prefer to wrap in thread or tape to provide a better grip. The smallest size available is still too big for tiny birds such as finches. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Chewy and PetSmart

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Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.


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