The main characteristic features of Parrots are their strong, curved bill, called a hookbill, and clawed zygodactyl feet.   Zygodactyl feet have four toes, two facing forward (digits 2 and 3) and two back (digits 1 and 4). They are built for climbing and grasping, which Parrots are very good at! 

Parrots have very strong feet with sharp, elongated claws, used for climbing and swinging.  Most species are capable of using their feet to manipulate food and other objects with a high degree of dexterity, the same way we humans use our hands.

What is most interesting is that there was a study conducted with Australian Parrots demonstrating that adult Parrots had a distinct preference with regards to the foot used to pick up food.  Dr. Culum Brown, who conducted the study, noted "Just like in human children, young Parrots tend to experiment with both hands before they settle on one hand or the other."  The study concluded that adult Parrots are almost exclusively "left-footed" or "right footed”.  There are very few examples of extreme (foot) hand preferences in any other animals except humans.

This natural dexterity coupled with their innate curiosity make foot toys a favourite for many Parrots.  They love holding things with their feet: they might examine a new object, crack open a nut, or even give themselves a head scratch. 

A Parrot can spend hours playing with a favourite foot toy, or type of foot toy.  And the way you might feel a sense of accomplishment when you solve a puzzle like a Rubik's Cube, your Parrot may let out a happy squeak when she unties that final knot and all the pieces of her foot toy scatter on the floor or the bottom of the cage. 

Foot toys are also small by nature. You can put several of them in a toy box or bucket in your Parrot's cage to keep them occupied during the day when you are not at home. 

At Parrotdise Perch, we have more than 100 varieties of foot toys. Foot toys come in many sizes, big, small, and in between. They're made of leather, stainless steel, wood, plastic or paper. They might have holes in them for foraging, or big knots for untying, noisemakers, chewy plastic or shreddables. 

Next time your Parrot holds food or a foot toy, take note of which foot they use.

Check out our Talon Treasures this week.  Buy 2 foot toys and get 1 of equal or lesser value* for free, then add a stainless steel bucket for 25% off!  Simply use coupon code BLOG0211 in the Discount section.

*We will adjust your order for the free toy after you check out.