Doctor Hess: When you have a bird at home, obviously you need a cage and you need food bowls and you need sometimes a cage cover if the bird likes to be covered, and a water bowl. Beyond that, certainly you need to have toys. You can make toys at home out of various objects you have at home, paper, cardboard, wood and leather. Lots of things are safe at home. But there are some other things that you might need that you have in your house for your bird that are very important. Things like... what, Sarah? What would we focus on?
Sarah: A lot of people say that their birds are happy when they leave the television on for them. Even our birds boarding at the hospital, when they stay with us, they watch PBS all day. They actually are very happy when they are watching their television shows. You can hear them talking and singing and they're very happy back there. They are entertained. It's not just that they are listening to something, they are also getting a visual stimulation and I really think that they enjoy that a lot.
Doctor Hess: People say to me when I ask them "oh, do you leave the TV on for your bird", they'll say "Oh, I leave the radio on". My answer to them is "what would you rather do? Sit in a room with a radio all day or sit in a room with a TV?" Radio's great but after a while, it's noise. There's nothing to do with your eyes. If you actually have a visual, and we love kids' cartoons and things are very active and bright and colorful and lots of music and lots of action, birds love that. I know with my bird when I first moved into my home, we had no cable for several days. This was years and years ago, and my birds stopped eating. I never made the connection that the reason the bird stopped eating was there was no TV. And then once the cable was hooked up, the bird went back completely to normal, and that was 15 years ago and my bird has watched TV every day since then and he is no lesser for it.