Foraging or Enrichment?

Baby eating a nutriberry

Foraging Series

[ Part 1 of the Foraging Series ]

Is it Foraging or Enrichment?

From toy descriptions to scientific articles the words ‘foraging’ and ‘enrichment’ have become buzzwords in the parrot community.

Yet while foraging and enrichment are related they have two different definitions:


Searching for food resources


Environmental stimuli added for optimal mental and physical well-being of the parrot


Baby eating a nutriberry

Enrichment encompasses anything you add to your parrot’s environment:

  • Toys
  • Puzzles
  • Perches
  • Treats


Foraging is a type of enrichment.

Marbles mixed with pellets in bowl

As an example, if you mix marbles with pellets in a food bowl you are providing enrichment that promotes foraging.

Why is Foraging Important?

Multiple studies suggest that foraging provides important mental stimulation for captive parrots.

Interestingly, several scientific studies have shown that parrots prefer working for food even when food is freely available, which suggests that foraging fills a necessary behavioral urge.

Other studies have shown that foraging increases activity, reduces boredom and reduces both stress and aggression.

What Type of Foraging is BEST?

There is no simple answer as to what type of foraging is best for your parrot.

So rather than create a single post on the topic I opted to make a series on foraging.

Please join me as I analyze scientific studies on parrot foraging and offer a variety of foraging suggestions!

Next up: Infographic that compares 11 different types of foraging enrichment devices!

Part 2
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