Is Plywood Safe For Birds?

If you have a bird that you like to entertain with a variety of perches and toys, you might have thought about building these fun activities for your bird yourself.

Although this can be a fun project, many people don’t realize that there are some types of wood that can be toxic to birds.

This includes plywood.

Plywood can be toxic to birds as they are often glued together with formaldehyde.

There are other types of woods and materials that can be toxic to your bird that should be avoided.

What Type Of Plywood Is Safe For Birds?

Parrots use their beaks to explore their surroundings.

This means that they will often chew the wood that makes up their perches and toys.

Therefore, it is important that the type of wood used is not toxic to birds.

Plywood is not generally considered a safe type of wood for birds.

This is due to the fact that plywood contains glue that can be toxic to them.

This glue used is called formaldehyde which is unsafe for consumption of any sort.

The amount of the toxic formaldehyde gases might sometimes be minimal by the time it reaches the consumers, but it should be avoided as you never know how much of the toxic gases it may contain!

Although plywood is not usually considered safe for birds, it can be used if you specifically purchase formaldehyde-free plywood.

Be very careful buying these, however, as most plywood’s are glued together with formaldehyde. 

What Wood Is Safe And Unsafe For Birds?

Besides plywood, there are many other wood options to choose from when building a perch or for your bird or a birdhouse outside.

By using other safer woods, you can eliminate the risk of harming the bird and simply watch the bird enjoy the finished product!

Some great options for bird-safe wood include pine, birch, walnut, apple, maple, poplar, elm, and ash.

These woods are great, soft materials, so they make for great bird toys in particular!

Alternatively, besides most plywood, there are also other types of wood to avoid when building something for your bird.

Woods like cedar, alder, avocado, elderberry, holly, and juniper.

And it should be noted that you should never use treated wood as it will often contain arsenic.

Another thing to keep in mind is to avoid using wood that has other chemicals on it such as pesticides.

There is quite a large list when it comes to wood to avoid, so make sure to do proper research on what type of wood to use before you start building.

What Materials Are Toxic To Birds?

Now that there’s a clearer picture of what types of wood are safer and which ones are toxic, it would be smart to take a look at which other materials can be harmful to your feathered friend.

There are many toys that can be built for your bird such as chains, rings, and bells, so which materials can’t be used to make these toys?

Try to avoid purchasing anything for your bird that contains a zinc coating.

Birds are quite susceptible to zinc toxicity, so it can be incredibly harmful for them.

Signs of zinc toxicity include symptoms such as depression, seizures, anemia, and even vomiting.

It is not recommended to buy or make toys for birds that are made of acrylic or plastic.

The issue with these toys is that they are easily breakable and therefore easily ingestible.

Not only do the sharp edges hurt your bird, but also ingesting plastic is toxic to your bird in general.

You should also be careful with leather.

Dyed leather and leather donned with toxic chemicals like formaldehyde are quite common.

So make sure to avoid letting your bird chew on leather to prevent it from ingesting toxic fumes.

You should check out this website naturalbirdco to find out all about safe wood guide

Wrapping Up

It might be a fun idea to make perches and toys for your bird, but as birds love to use their beaks to explore and chew things, it is important that you use safe, non-toxic materials.

Woods such as plywood and cedar can be toxic to your bird, so be sure to avoid these types of wood!

Besides wood, there are other materials that can be toxic such as zinc and plastic.

It’s best to purchase good and natural materials for your bird’s health and safety!

Here’s an article you will find interesting and useful so do check it out!

Is acrylic paint safe for birds?

Why does my parrot fall of it’s perch?


We at write about bird health and diet however it should not be taken as medical advice. For advice on your bird you need to seek out an avian vet. The information you find on is for educational purposes only. At we are not liable for any information that you may find on here. Birdcageshere is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice about your bird.