Parrots are colorful, social birds. If you live in an area where they congregate, it’s only natural to want them in your yard or to come to your window. Their interesting behaviors, exotic plumage, and unique calls make them a welcomed change from your average pigeon or sparrow. However, it’s not always easy to attract these intelligent birds.
Attract wild parrots to your yard by setting up parrot feeders. These are unique feeders that are large enough to hold a parrot’s weight and give it access to the food. Some will even hold fruit and nuts, which parrots naturally prefer over seeds. You can pair them with shallow water dishes, elevated bird baths, and nesting boxes.
Before you undertake this venture, you should consider the pros and cons. Parrots will brighten up your yard, share their lovely calls, and be your semi-official pets, all while taking care of themselves. However, parrots are also very loud and messy. They’ll also attract other predators that hunt them in the wild.
What Attracts Parrots to Your Yard?
Like most other birds, parrots are attracted to places that offer them easy access to their basic needs. This includes food, water, a place to bathe, and shelter. You can attract parrots by offering them as many of these things as possible.
What Can I Feed Parrots In My Yard?
No animal can resist a little bribery, and that makes putting out food a great way to attract parrots. You may consider putting up normal bird feeders in your backyard with seed. These are great at attracting the various birds that live in the neighborhood or migratory birds passing through.
However, a regular bird feeder may attract all kinds of birds and not just parrots. You can get around this issue by purchasing specialized parrot feeders. These are larger in size than ordinary designs, which allows big parrot species to access the food.
As for filling your parrot feeder, you can’t rely on your normal wild bird seed. Parrots love eating a wide variety of fruits, seeds, and nuts and require a high amount of protein. Options include:
- Almonds, peanuts, and Brazilian nuts
- Bananas, nectarines, berries, and apples. Seedless fruits are best, but you can also remove the seeds and pits from existing fruit.
- Canary seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and perilla seeds.
You should remember to check your parrot feeder regularly, as fruits tend to spoil fairly quickly. Any rotten fruit should be removed and replaced.
Attracting Parrots With Water
You can also attract parrots by offering them fresh, clean water. Parrots are high-energy birds that fly up to 30 miles each day. All this activity can be dehydrating for them, so they often flock to safe areas where they can get a drink.
Parrot enthusiasts can draw parrots in by setting out a bowl of clean water in their yards. However, it may be wise to keep this bowl somewhere above ground.
Keeping a water bowl on the ground may expose parrots to predators, such as cats. For this reason, you should consider hanging a plastic water bowl from a tree or a ledge. However, it may also help to keep the bowl somewhere where you can access and refill it easily.
Attracting Parrots With a Place to Bathe
Your public water bowl may also double as a birdbath for parrots. These birds like to bathe themselves whenever they can. This activity helps them get rid of any dirt or other items that get into their feathers.
However, parrots enjoy certain types of water dishes over others when it comes to this activity. When picking out your makeshift birdbath, you should consider:
Parrots like bathing in areas that are slightly above the ground. It would be best if you aimed to place your birdbath on a pedestal, such as on top of a garden ornament or a statue. Alternatively, you can purchase outdoor water fountains that double as bird baths.
Parrots do not enjoy bathing in deep water. If possible, you should choose a bowl that is only a few inches deep. It should allow them to keep half their body above the water level. Alternatively, you can choose a slightly deeper bowl and line the bottom with stones.
A bird bath should also be situated in places that are well-shaded. Placing it under direct sunlight may cause the water to heat up, which can be unpleasant for parrots to bathe in.
Parrots are particular about cleanliness. They may be reluctant to use a bird bath containing used or dirty water that other birds have recently bathed in. You should change this water every couple of days to attract parrots.
Attracting Parrots with a Shelter
Parrots also need a good shelter to stay safe and comfortable. You can help provide wild parrots with a home in your yard using a variety of structures. This doesn’t necessarily mean setting up an outdoor bird house. In fact, if your yard should offer natural shelter if it has the right type of trees.
Parrots are native to tropical regions. This means they are naturally attracted to trees, such as deciduous trees with large leaves. You can also deck out your yard with tropical plants to help them feel more at home.
It may help to set up nesting boxes and hang them from the trees in your yard. These could be made from wood or straw. Just make sure to place them somewhere that is easy to view from your home’s window.
How to Attract Parrots to Your Window
Of course, you may prefer to attract parrots to your home’s window. This is best if you do not have a yard within view of your main living space. The ideal way to draw parrots to your window is with the help of a window bird feeder. There are many different types of window bird feeders that parrots will be lured to. They include:
- Tube Feeders: These are cylindrical bird feeders with small holes or “ports” that birds can stick their heads into to access the seed contained inside.
- Open Tray Feeders: These are simple open trays or troughs that provide easy access to seed.
- Tray Feeders With Roofs: Tray feeders with roofs are useful for keeping your bird seed dry. They also prevent snow from getting into your bird seed and ruining it.
- Ball Feeder: These are hemisphere-shaped “cages” that can be filled with “fat balls” made from suet, seeds, and nuts. Ball feeders are also useful for holding pieces of fruits, which parrots love.
Plants That Attract Parrots to Your Yard
As mentioned earlier, you can attract parrots to your yard with the help of certain plants. Parrots are native to tropical regions, so it is best to go with several different types.
However, many tropical plant varieties cannot survive in North America. If you live a bit in-land, or your soil isn’t well-suited to the plants any nearby parrots will enjoy, you can get creative. It’s best to opt for tropical plants that are capable of handling cooler climates or diverse soil types, such as:
- Maypop (passion flower)
- Hardy banana
- Elephant ears
- Hardy ferns
- Jelly palm
- Fig trees
The plants mentioned above attract parrots for a variety of reasons. Some offer them shelter from predators, while others produce fruits that parrots enjoy eating. You can pick through your favorites based on their look, the amount of care they need, and how much yard clutter they create.
Why Are There No Parrots in My Yard?
Simply having a yard and living in a region with parrots does not guarantee that the birds will show up there. If you wish to attract parrots, you should try each of the techniques mentioned above.
Even after taking special steps, you may be disappointed to find that no parrots come around. The truth is, there are many external factors outside your control that affect whether or not parrots will come to your yard. This includes:
The U.S is no longer home to any endemic parrot species. For example, according to the Biodivers Data Journal, the Carolina Parakeet that was once present in the country went extinct in the early 1900s.
Another endemic species, called the thick-billed parrot, is now only found in Mexico. This means any “wild” parrots in the U.S have escaped from the family home or are feral monk parrots.
Rare exceptions are found in tropical areas, such as Florida. About 20 different parrot species have established large populations in its coastal regions, but they are not native, and this is in very condensed areas. They often fly up from southern countries. Depending on where you live in Florida, the population may be thin enough that attracting them to your yard often is a rare event.
Monk parrots are found throughout the year along the east coast and some parts of Texas. If you live in the Midwest, you are unlikely to see these birds in your yard. However, there is always a chance of escaped pet parrots showing up.
Parrots are attracted to regions where there is an ample food supply. You can try setting up bird feeders for them in your yard. However, there is a chance these birds are avoiding your city or region because they have not found a steady food supply there in the past.
This makes sense, as insect populations are declining in many different parts of the country. Erratic weather patterns are also known to disrupt natural seed production.
Parrots have many natural predators to look out for. This includes foxes, cats, falcons, hawks. If your city is home to many of these predators, they may have depleted the local parrot population.
Parrots are also likely to avoid regions that contain such predators. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to attract these birds if this is the case.
Parrots are also prone to falling ill with diseases. It’s not uncommon for parrot populations to deplete severely or to be wiped out following an outbreak. According to the Archives of Virology, psittacine and feather disease poses a great threat to wild parrot populations.
Is It Good to Have Parrots in Your Yard?
Parrot enthusiasts may spend lots of time attracting parrots to their yards. However, it is also worth asking yourself if it is a good idea to attract these birds in the first place. Let’s discuss the pros and cons, so you can decide.
Advantages of Having Parrots in Your Yard
Attracting and watching parrots is a popular hobby for a reason. Some pros of having parrots in your yard include:
Brightening Up Your Yard
Parrots are pretty birds that enjoy socializing within their large flocks. It can be nice to have these birds around, as they provide a splash of color to otherwise boring yards.
Pleasant Parrot Sounds
Parrots can also produce pretty chirping and singing sounds that are pleasant to listen to. They even develop unique contact calls for members of their flock.
Enjoying Parrots Without the Responsibility
Attracting wild parrots is also a great way for you to get your “parrot fix” without taking on the responsibility of purchasing and owning your own birds. For example, you may not have the time, the funds, or the space to accommodate a pet parrot.
Likewise, some people are allergic to parrots, making it impossible to keep one around. By attracting parrots to your yard, you can enjoy these birds without worrying about the downsides of a pet.
Disadvantages of Having Parrots in Your Yard
Attracting parrots to your yard does come with some potential drawbacks. These include:
Attracting Other Predators
As mentioned earlier, parrots are prey for a wide variety of animals. Drawing parrots to your yard may cause some of these predators to appear as well. They won’t just be bad for the parrots but also a nuisance for your home’s residents.
If your yard becomes especially popular with parrots, you should be prepared to deal with the mess. They will leave poop, seed dust, and nest debris wherever they please. Be sure to sweep your yard and scrub certain surfaces regularly.
Parrot calls may be considered pretty, but they’re also excessively loud. Some high-pitched calls are easily compared to a baby crying or a plane going overhead. This will be especially true during mating season, where disagreements in the flock lead to a lot of yelling.
Encouraging Pest Species
Certain parrot species, such as the monk parrot, are considered pests that disrupt public infrastructure and damage crops. Encouraging these birds to hang around your yard may lead to problems for others. For this reason, you may want to think twice about encouraging parrots to visit your yard.
You can attract parrots to your yard. You need the right lures, the shelters, and enough space to accommodate any birds that arrive.