With the high cost of most store-bought parrot trees and play stands, it is little wonder that many bird lovers make their own parrot trees. Custom stands offer bird enthusiasts the ability to fully customize a stand to suit their space and size requirements and their birds; own preferences. Any wood gathered for the stand must be natural hardwood (never pine or cedar) and must not be toxic for birds. Good choices are manzanita, oak and maple.
Things You'll Need
- Hardwood branches
- Plywood (3- by 3-foot sheet)
- 2 36-inch 1- by 3-inch strips
- 2 35-inch 1- by 3-inch strips
- Lag bolt and washers
- Latex paint
Select clean, dry branches without signs of decay or insect infestation. Use branches with at least a 3-inch base diameter for the main portion of the parrot tree.
Thoroughly scrub and disinfect the branches with a mixture of 1 gallon water to 1 cup bleach. Rinse well and air dry in a sunny location to allow bleach fumes to dissipate for at least 24 hours.
Cut the plywood sheet into a 3-foot by 3-foot square.
Place the 1-by-3 strips carefully along each edge of the plywood square, working with one at a time, and drill into place. The 1-by-3s will create a lip to catch seed and feathers beneath the tree.
Paint the entire base with a high-gloss, nontoxic interior latex paint, and allow to dry.
Cut a straight edge across the base of the branch which will connect directly to the tree stand to ensure a smooth, flush fit.
Pre-drill the holes to connect the tree branches to the base using a 5/16 drill bit, drilling through the stand and approximately 2 1/2 inches into the base of the branch.
Connect each branch to the stand using a lag bolt and washer.
Connect any cross branches to the parrot tree by tying with twine or sisal, or using stainless steel nuts and bolts to bolt branches together. Toys can also be affixed in this way.
Tips & Warnings
- The lumber yard or home improvement store will cut lumber for you, sometimes for a small fee.
- For the sturdiest hold, drill from beneath the plywood up into the 1-by-3 board.
- You can opt to leave the parrot tree free standing, or you can screw 4-by-4 posts into each of the four corners to create a parrot table with a built-in tree play stand.
- Lay newspaper or crushed walnut shell in the seed tray to help make cleanup easier after your parrot has used the tree.
- Photo Credit parrot image by Mariusz Blach from Fotolia.com
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