What is a reflection in the mirror anyway, it can’t be harmful can it? Well in the Avicultural world some bird owners find mirrors to be controversial.
Many believe birds cannot decipher between the reflection of themselves and another bird and therefore will become obsessed and even bond with the reflection. Others feel it is a perfectly acceptable form of entertainment for the bird to play in the mirror. I tend to agree with the latter.
My birds are both very healthy, happy birds with no plucking issues and they love to preen in the mirror. They also concentrate on other activities throughout the day. I will state here that this mirror is NOT inside the cage however, and perhaps that is the key.
My large mirror sits behind the bird’s play area where the perches and toys are. This is where my birds spend the majority of their day. I will even go so far as to say, it used to be my vanity table, however since the birds took over, it has become their play stand.
I made sure that nothing on the vanity was harmful to the birds or toxic if chewed and/or swallowed. This is extremely important and be sure to check out my TOXIC! post along with How to Bird Proof a Room. Both are essential to parrot ownership.
These little cuties love to chew and play with things, knock over stuff, you name it because everything is considered a chew toy as long they can get their little beaks on it!
That includes laptops too so please use caution when leaving your birds unsupervised in a room. ALWAYS make sure the room is bird-safe and I like to supervise my birds as much as possible in any event. If you absolutely have to leave the room, make sure there is nothing they can get in contact with that would be questionable.
I learned my lesson the hard way when my Quaker Parrot thought it was entertaining to pull some of the keys off of my laptop. Luckily, it wasn’t harmful to him, but annoying and expensive for me. Now he is obsessed with my laptop and I have to hide it from him at all times!
Birds have been known to become obsessed with their reflection but I don’t really see this to be true with my birds. My lovebird is enamored with her reflection, but as previously stated, she has other interests as well.
I do notice that she kisses herself in the mirror and sleeps next to her reflection, but she is a happy, healthy and active lovebird so I really do not the see the downside to this.
Any form of entertainment and mental stimulation should be considered a PLUS for your birds. They really need it! Boredom and depression promotes plucking and other issues. I don’t want to deal with an overly needy bird either so the mirror might give you a break if you have an extremely needy bird.
If you feel that your bird is a little TOO into the mirror, try removing it and see what happens. I don’t think there is any harm to this but like I mentioned before, it seems to be a controversial subject in the aviculture hobby similar to clipping your bird’s wings.
The best thing to do is use your own judgment, experiment if you have to, and come to your own conclusion about using mirrors for your bird.
Mine are narcissists but it does not bother me and until one or both become neurotic pluckers, I don’t see the harm in mirrors for my birds. I think it keeps them mentally stimulated and content along with music, toys and the love and interaction I can provide them. Personally, they have great lives and I consider them spoiled rotten babies. I believe they would agree!
Having a mirror for your bird’s entertainment should really be your own choice. I do not think there is a right or wrong way to go about this, just speculation.
Until next time….Cheers and Happy Parroting!