Why Do Birds Like To Throw Things? [ANSWERED!]


You may have noticed how some birds like to throw things, causing a huge mess! Being a highly curious person, I’ve always yearned to understand the behavior of our favorite feathered friends! So I took it upon myself to compile this resource with a reasonable answer to my question. Here’s what I found:

Birds like to throw things for fun and to cope with their boredom. Birds also throw things around for a few other reasons such as to test for suitable materials for their nests, to test for edible food, to explore their surroundings, to show dissatisfaction, and to reject unsatisfactory food given to them.

Aren’t birds such puzzling creatures?! If you read on, I’ll cover the reasons why birds like to throw things in more detail! I’ll also answer a few FAQs so you wouldn’t need to keep searching for answers you are curious about too. Read on for more!

Why Do Birds Like To Throw Things? (Full Answer!)

Birds can really mess up our homes. (But we still love them!) Have you ever encountered a situation like this?

Oh yeah, that all familiar havoc that a single bird can cause by throwing things and pushing things off tables!

This behavior that many pet birds share has got me curious for a while now. Okay, let me start my explanation of why birds like to throw things around.

Here are 6 reasons why birds like to throw things around:

1. To Cope With Their Boredom

When birds throw things around, they are most likely to be doing it due to this reason: they’re simply bored! Being cooped up indoors all the time, birds can get really restless, bored, and just want to have a little fun messing things up.

If birds do not have sufficient foraging toys or materials for them to throw, rip, or interact with, they will get restless and feel more stressed. As a result, birds take to throwing and pushing off glass cups, pens, and other precious things we don’t want breaking!

This video explains why throwing things is fun for many!

If you are looking for ways to let your bird relieve some of that stress, consider letting them rip and play with paper! Here’s an article I wrote on safe papers for birds to play with. Check it out if you’re interested!

2. To Test For Nesting Material

Birds have a natural instinct to use their beaks to nip and pick at things, which was probably originally used for nesting purposes. If birds are picking up items that are similar to twigs, leaves, or soft material strips, it’s likely that they may be manifesting their natural instinct to use them for nesting material when they breed.

Birds will pick things up to test if they soft enough or rigid enough for nesting materials, then throw aside any that don’t match their criteria. That’s why they tend to make such a mess when they throw things around.

It’s not that they like to do throw stuff around, it’s actually just like how we like to crunch up our paper and throw them away when we get frustrated with an idea – we leave a mess!

3. To Test For Edible Food

Many birds out in the wild will pick things up to test if they are edible food suitable for their diet, and drop them if they’re not!

Here’s an example of a wild American Robin picking at juicy worms for a tasty meal:

Cool, ain’t it? It’s not that they love to throw things around for fun all the time, sometimes they just want to check if it’s edible, and if they’re not then they spit it out. Although, I wouldn’t recommend you to do the same! Also, make sure the items that your bird has access to aren’t toxic for them, so they won’t accidentally swallow something they shouldn’t

4. To Explore Their Surroundings

Sometimes, when our birds are new to our house surroundings and its items in them, they like to a little exploration by picking stuff up and dropping them. Birds seem to be intrigued by how different items land with different sounds. Sometimes with a ‘boing’, sometimes with a ‘thud’, and sometimes tragically with a loud ‘CRASH’ that will send them flying.

Birds also probably do things that render stronger responses out of us. If they were to push our precious china or glassware off the table, we definitely react with loud gasps or with anger, which seems to somehow excite them. Maybe they just need some attention!

5. To Show Dissatisfaction

I seem to notice many bird owners agree on this one point. Birds somehow also have an evil glint in their eyes as they grapple the items on our tables and throw them off! Birds can get dissatisfied. With what? Well, it could be their sexual frustration, increased territorial instinct, or simply not satisfied with their living quarters.

Here’s another video of birds throwing stuff for you to enjoy! I laughed a lot at this one. :’)

6. To Reject Unsatisfactory Food

Birds like to throw food to either express their dissatisfaction with the food or for pure entertainment purposes. However, birds could also be fed food that is not appropriate or suitable for them, resulting in them throwing them out.

Many times, bird owners like to fill up bird feed supply in excessive amounts, so that their birds won’t go hungry when they’re out for the day. However, this common mistake will cause the birds to throw out excess food for fun. Birds tend to throw food out lesser when they have less to go around.

Also, larger bowls give birds the illusion that there is less feed, making them treasure it more and not thrown around as much! It’s best to adjust the amount of feed to find the optimal ‘sweet spot’ amount that works for your bird!

Another common mistake that new bird owners make when preparing food for their birds is this: they fill their feed up in a mix. Birds will be more likely to throw food out by picking out their favorite feed and playing with the rest! It’s wise to just feed one type of feed at one time!

Here’s an example of a bird throwing away food:

Why Do Birds Like To Push Things Off Tables?

Most birds like to push things off tables for fun to cope with their boredom. However, birds can also push things off tables to explore the property of the items, to show dissatisfaction, and to reject unsatisfactory food given to them. Birds also like to hear and see the way things fall off tables.

Why Do Birds Push Things off?

Most birds like to push things off for fun to cope with their boredom. However, birds can also push things off to explore the property of the items, to show dissatisfaction, and to reject unsatisfactory food given to them. Birds also like to hear and see the way things fall and land.

Why Do Parrots Throw Things?

Parrots like to push things off for fun to cope with their boredom. However, parrots can also push things off to explore the property of the items, to show dissatisfaction, and to reject unsatisfactory food given to them. Parrots also like to hear and see the way things fall and land.

Why Do Cockatoos Throw Things?

Cockatoos like to push things off for fun to cope with their boredom. However, Cockatoos can also push things off to explore the property of the items, to show dissatisfaction, and to reject unsatisfactory food given to them. Cockatoos also like to hear and see the way things fall and land.

How To Stop Birds From Throwing Food?

Here are some steps to stop birds from throwing food:

  1. Don’t fill bird feed in excessive amounts
  2. Feed birds in larger bowls
  3. Don’t fill up bird feed in a mix

1. Don’t Fill Bird Feed In Excessive Amounts

Many times, bird owners like to fill up bird feed supply in excessive amounts, so that their birds won’t go hungry when they’re out for the day. However, this common mistake will cause the birds to throw out excess food for fun. Birds tend to throw food out lesser when they have less to go around.

2. Feed birds In Larger Bowls

Also, larger bowls give birds the illusion that there is less feed, making them treasure it more and not thrown around as much! It’s best to adjust the amount of feed to find the optimal ‘sweet spot’ amount that works for your bird!

3. Don’t Fill Up Bird Feed In A Mix

Another common mistake that new bird owners make when preparing food for their birds is this: they fill their feed up in a mix. Birds will be more likely to throw food out by picking out their favorite feed and playing with the rest! It’s wise to just feed one type of feed at one time!

Final Thoughts

Birds seem to really love to mess things up but we still love them dearly! In this article, we covered a lot on why birds love to throw things provided with some examples. I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I loved researching and writing about it. Thanks for reading and happy birding!

Justin

Justin is a hobbyist birder that hopes to share his birding knowledge with the world. His favorite bird is the Large-tailed Nightjar and he really loves potato chips!

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