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African Grey Plays with a Fortune CookieQuite often your own parrots will give you ideas for providing them with enrichment. This tip comes straight from my Congo African Grey parrot, Zorba. My husband, Jerry, and I had been to lunch at our favorite Chinese restaurant and I put the fortune cookies in my pocket for later. When we got home I emptied the contents of my pockets on the kitchen counter.

Later, the parrots were all out and I was fixing their evening supper when behind me I heard Zorba's wings. I looked around to see him land on the counter, steal one of the fortune cookies and fly off to his basket perch hanging from the ceiling. I had forgotten they were on the counter. My initial reaction was this was not something he should have. Realizing there was no way to retrieve the fortune cookie from him without getting bitten; I got the camera and watched to see what Zorba would do.

I watched as Zorba tore off the cellophane wrapper. Then he took bites off the cookie, tossing them down to the floor. He took out the fortune, dropped the rest of the cookie and beaked the paper strip of fortune for a few seconds. He didn't eat the cookie or the cellophane wrapper. Instead he treated it more like a shredding toy. He was more interested in getting the paper fortune out of the inside of the cookie.

This is another one of those ideas where I feel the need to add a cautionary note at the end. I'm satisfied this is a safe enrichment item to give Zorba. But for your own parrot - it may not be. Here is where you need to know your parrot to determine if this item is safe to give to your own bird.

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You are forever responsible for what you have tamed.