If you live in an area where parrots congregate, you’ll 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 a pigeon or sparrow.
You can attract wild parrots to your yard by setting up feeders that are large enough to hold a parrot’s weight. Some will hold fruit and nuts. You can pair them with shallow water dishes, elevated bird baths, and nesting boxes.
Parrots will brighten up your yard, share their calls, and become like pets, all while taking care of themselves. However, parrots are loud and messy birds. They’ll also attract predators that hunt them in the wild.
What Attracts Parrots to Your Yard?
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 these things.
What Can I Feed Parrots In My Yard?
Putting out food is a good way to attract parrots. You may consider putting up normal bird feeders in your backyard with seed. These attract 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 with specialized parrot feeders. These are larger than standard designs, which allows large 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, requiring a high amount of protein. Options include:
- Almonds, peanuts, and Brazil nuts.
- Bananas, nectarines, berries, and apples.
- Canary seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and perilla seeds.
Check your parrot feeder regularly, as fruits spoil quickly. Any rotten fruit should be removed and replaced.
Attracting Parrots With Water
You can 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.
Attracting Parrots With a Place to Bathe
Your public water bowl may double as a bird bath for parrots. Parrots like to bathe themselves whenever they get the opportunity to get rid of any dirt and debris in their feathers.
Parrots enjoy certain types of water dishes. When picking out your makeshift bird bath, consider the following:
Parrots like bathing in areas that are slightly above the ground.
Aim to place your birdbath on a pedestal, such as on top of a garden ornament or a statue. Alternatively, you can get outdoor water fountains that double as bird baths.
Parrots don’t 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 very particular about cleanliness. They may be reluctant to use a bird bath containing used or dirty water that other birds have bathed in. You should change this water daily to attract parrots.
Attracting Parrots with a Shelter
Parrots need a quality shelter to stay safe and comfortable.
You can 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. 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.
Set up nesting boxes and hang them from the trees in your yard. These could be made from wood or straw.
How to Attract Parrots to Your Window
The ideal way to draw parrots to your window is with a window bird feeder. There are many types, including:
- Tube feeders: These are cylindrical bird feeders with small holes or “ports” that parrots 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.
- Ball feeder: These are hemisphere-shaped cages that can be filled with fat balls made from suet, seeds, and nuts.
Plants That Attract Parrots to Your Yard
Many tropical plant varieties cannot survive in North America. If you live inland, or your soil isn’t well-suited to the plants any nearby parrots will enjoy, you can be creative.
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
Some plants offer parrots shelter from predators, while others produce fruits that parrots enjoy eating.
Why Are There No Parrots in My Yard?
Even after taking certain steps, you may be disappointed to find that no parrots come around. There are external factors outside your control that affect whether 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 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 them in your yard.
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 predators, they may have depleted the local parrot population.
Parrots are also likely to avoid regions that contain such predators.
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 threat to wild parrot populations.
Is It Good to Have Parrots in Your Yard?
Enthusiasts may spend time attracting parrots to their yards. However, it’s worth asking yourself if it is a good idea to attract parrots in the first place.
Advantages of Having Parrots in Your Yard
Attracting and watching parrots is a popular hobby. The advantages of having parrots in your yard include:
Brightening Up Your Yard
Parrots are pretty birds that enjoy socializing in their large flocks. It can be nice to have parrots around as they provide a splash of color to otherwise boring yards.
Pleasant Parrot Sounds
Parrots can produce 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 a great way to get your parrot fix without taking on the responsibility of owning your own parrots. For example, you may not have the time, funds, or space to accommodate a pet parrot.
Some people are allergic to parrots, making it impossible to keep one around.
Disadvantages of Having Parrots in Your Yard
Attracting parrots to your yard does have drawbacks. These include:
Attracting Other Predators
Parrots are prey to a wide variety of animals. Drawing parrots to your yard may cause their predators to appear as well. They won’t just be bad for parrots, but they’ll be a nuisance for your home’s residents.
If your yard becomes popular with parrots, be prepared to deal with the mess. They will leave poop, seed dust, and nest debris everywhere. So, regularly sweep your yard.
Some high-pitched calls are comparable to a baby crying or a plane going overhead. This is most common during the mating season, where disagreements in the flock lead to a lot of noise.
Encouraging Pest Species
Certain parrot species, such as the monk parrot, are considered pests that disrupt public infrastructure and damage crops. Encouraging them to hang around your yard may lead to problems for others.
You can attract parrots to your yard. You need the right lures, shelters, and enough space.