I've been following your blog for a while and really love when you throw down some birb facts. My sister and I are "rescuing" our childhood conure from our father who hasn't been giving him the attention and handling he needs. He's about 20 years old... anyway, do you have any suggested reading for setting up a stimulating environment?
20 years old! That’s a good age for a conure! Here’s to another 10!! I think it’s great that your and your sister are bringing him into a home where he can receive the love and attention he deserves <3
If he’s hand tame and enjoys being around you guys, I’d suggest at least an hour of time out of his cage every day; but the more the merrier!
In his cage, you want to give him a variety of toys, as many as you can fit without it being over crowded. Conures are a decent sized bird and should be allowed to get around his cage without flight paths or perches being obstructed with toys. But boy howdy, these birds do need a lot of activities. Which does equate to a lot of toys.
Bells and mirrors are generally a bad idea. Especially mirrors, I’d avoid them completely! Bells depends on the bird…Some birds get really aggressive with their bells, but other birds get along just fine with them. Since a lot of bird toys come with bells, I’d just observe your boy’s behavior with them, and if it seems to bring the angry brawler out of him, you can just remove the bells off the toys.
Foraging toys and shredding toys should probably make up most of what you put into his cage. To be fair, almost any toy can be turned into a foraging toy… They are just fun ways to provide nutritious treats; by hiding the treat on, under, or inside the toys so that he’ll have to look for them and devise clever ways to gain access to them. It’s really great for their brains!
Shredding toys are to keep that destructive, chewy beak of theirs busy. Find textures that he seems to looove putting his beak on, and put them in his cage. Keep him in the busiest part of the house and next to a window so that he’s always got something to look at and people to see. Parrots love being a part of the action, so make him feel as included in the house’s hustle and bustle as you can.
And, so long as your tv is not very old, you can let it play for him. But I wouldn’t leave it on for the whole day if you’re out, since just as it is for people–it can get irritating or overstimulating.
If he gets a lot of time outside of his cage (and if he is in a smaller/’minimum requirement’ sized cage, he really should be allowed ample time outside of it), you can set up a play area around your home office, tv room, or where ever it is you spend the most time relaxing. A lot of hand-tamed birds tend to be quite clingy and would prefer to do nothing else but steal the time and attention of their human flock members–and these birds generally tend to ignore any outside play area. But it’s good to have one set up anyways. This should mimic a similar environment to their cage.
And…that’s about all I can think of for stimulating environments!
If you want to see a really wonderful setup (albeit for parrotlets, but their requirements are not terribly different from conures), I invite you to check out flock-talk’s bird room tag!: http://flock-talk.tumblr.com/tagged/bird%20room
I hope this helps!! But let me know if I failed to address anything, or if you have any more questions! :D I’ll answer the best I can!!
(edit: Oh, balls. I meant to send this privately. My apologies!!!)