The Best List Of What Woods And Plants That Are Bird Safe Or Not

black cockatoo family - male - female - juvenile
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i have some drift wood that my grandkids collected from a creek way out in country wanting make bird perches to put in bird cages. what do i have to do to wood or is this safe.

i soaked in tub for 2 days putting new water on 2-3 times a day. can i use or should i throw away do not know what kind of wood

Catherine says:

Driftwood is not recommended for bird cage perches as it may contain toxins, insects, plus you cannot identify the original wood.

Some are toxic to birds.

It would be better used for reptiles who would not consume it.

mitchr says:

​we are not big fans of using random pieces of outdoor wood for bird perches even if it “safe wood”.

As well as the issues Catherine stated we can add biohazard, from migratory birds, undetectable molds, parasites and danger you shouldn’t chance on passing to your bird

(Allegedly) Safe Wood for Perches

What is safe for toys and perches? (Some trees you might not ever see or use.) Purportedly Safe:
Acacia
Almond
Apple
Arbutus
Ash
Aspen
Bambo
Beech
Birch
Citrus
Cork Oak
Cottonwood
Crab apple
Dogwood
Elm
Fig
Fir
Fruitless Mulberry
Ginkgo
Grape Vines
Grape Palm
Guava
Hackberry
Hazelnut
Hibiscus
Hickory
Ironwood
Larch
Lilac
Liquidamber
Madrona
Magnolia
Manzanita
Maple
Mediterranean Laurel
Mesquite
Mimosa
Mulberry
Norfolk Island Pine
Oak Palm
Papaya
Pear
Pecan
Pine
Poplar
Ribbonwood
Rose
Sassafras
Spruce
Sweet Gum
Sycamore
Thurlow
Tree Fern
Umbrella Tree
Vine Maple
Walnut
Willow
Allegedly toxic:
Apricot
Bis d’arc
Cherry
Eucalyptus
Horse Apple
Nectarine
Peach
Plum
Prune
Sequoia
Sitka cedar
Yellow cedar
Unequivocally toxic:
Box Elder
Crepe Myrtle
Chinese Popcorn
Chinese snake tree
Chinese Tallow
Hemlock
Holly
Laurel Pitch pine
Redwood
Sumac (Rhus/Toxicodendron)
Yew
Conflicting information
Oak is bad because of plant tanins but parrot toys made of leather tanned with plant tanins are good.
Fruit such as red grapes are good in the diet but red grapes contain plant tanins.
Ethanol is toxic but is present in ripe/over-ripe fruit. Parrots like fruit and it’s good for them.
Can anyone sort this out ?
Some people would have you believe that the only chemical nasties in the world are man made and anything ‘natural’ is automatically safe.
Not so!
Many plants wage violent chemical warfare on each other and on the animals that might eat them.
This can make it tricky finding suitable materials for toys and perches.
The whole issue is fraught with difficulty and conjecture.
For one thing, many sources of information are from north America where the species of trees are different from those found in Europe.
Another problem concerns the loose use of common names which may mean different things to different people.
On top of that, how good is your botany – are you sure you have correctly identified your target tree ?
For making wooden toys you may find the information on the right, culled from searching the internet a handy starting guide.

Also published on Medium.

Author:

He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they would visit their monthly birdie brunch in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.