If you have been around parrots and other exotic birds much, you probably know that most wood is no match for their powerful beaks. These birds like to chew and their wooden perches and toys can eventually become sawdust, or maybe I should say “beakdust”. But there is a wood that can hold up to these feathered wood chippers.
Along the west coast of North America there is a small tree called Manzanita. This tree is slow growing and doesn’t get very big but it grows very dense hard wood. Manzanita wood resist a birds chewing, is non toxic, easy to clean, and is very attractive to look at.
The trees don’t have much for a trunk and usually start forking into separate branches low to the ground. With this and their small size, manzanita often resembles a shrub more than a tree. Manzanita doesn’t get big enough or grow straight enough to make lumber out of and is too small for most wood projects.
These things that make manzanita useless for other wood products, make it an idea wood for birds. The thin twisted branches are ideal for bird perches. Both the bark and wood underneath are smooth but still provide a good gripping surface. The natural twists and forks all with varied diameters can make good obstacle courses to keep your bird entertained and provides them with good exercise.
Manzanita bird perches can be a simple twig or a forked twig or even complex play stands. Play stands can use the natural forks of manzanita branches to give your bird a variety of places to perch and play on. Manzanita play stands are also commonly made by attaching several manzanita branches together to make a complex bird playground.
Mananita is an endangered plant in some areas and is illegal to harvest. There are also varieties that grow abundantly in other areas. Manzanita can be an ideal wood for your bird but check with your source to make sure it is being responsibly harvested.
Learn more about manzanita and manzanita bird perches.