Diversions #1: Hanging Bird Gym

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Blog entry by BethMartin posted 04-11-2009 12:07 AM 1030 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Diversions series Part 2: Kids and Bird Houses »

I’m still waiting for a part for the table saw, so in the meantime I did another little project. It’s made of wood, so I think it fits here. ;)

This summer I plan on getting a little Hahn’s macaw. They have the personality of a large macaw in a little tiny package. They are good talkers, and have the sweetest talking voice. For the past year I’ve been stocking up on bird supplies and one of the things I wanted was a hanging bird gym. I could buy one for about 60 bucks, but I figured I could just make one for pretty much nothing.

A friend of mine recently pruned their pear tree and I asked for some branches. They are big into organic stuff, so I knew they didn’t spray the tree.

I cut 12” pieces for the cross bars, and then a ton of little randomly sized discs. I left all the bark and twiggy bits on to chew. Once all the pieces were cut and drilled I washed them and baked them in the oven for a bit before stringing them together.

I had some leftover star cutouts from a craft project long ago, so I used those too, and I stringed a store-bought foraging toy in the midde. The string I used is made out of paper that I bought from a local parrot toy warehouse. Then I put bits of raffia on it too. The whole thing is a chewy/preening extravaganza. I hung it in my kitchen for my future Hahn’s and the budgies if they ever venture in there.

You woodworking people should consider saving your wood scraps to make chewing toys for parrots. There are a ton of parrots in rescues that are always in need of toys. They can buzz through wood very quickly, and the big macaws would appreciate some hardwood chewies. Bags of wood scraps, especially if they have holes drilled in them, would probably be welcomed at bird rescues/shelters. It would also make a great youth group project to make toys for the birds. Use untreated sisal or cotton rope to string wood chunks together. (You can tell rope has been treated if it smells like kerosene – don’t use that).

Here is a list of wood that is safe/not-safe for birds:

Obviously, you also wouldn’t use treated lumber or wood that has been sprayed with pesticides.

Thanks for looking! :)

-- Beth

1 comment so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3581 days

#1 posted 04-21-2009 11:30 PM

that is SO cool… I don’t have birds but I could picture a plant hanging in it.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

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