Is Driftwood Safe for Birds?

Driftwood is a type of wood that is washed onto the shore.

As it can be difficult to determine where a particular driftwood originates, the majority of us won’t be able to identify exactly what kind of wood it is.

It is also hard to guarantee whether the driftwood is free of any chemicals or harmful substances.

Due to this, it is best to stay away from using driftwood for building perches or toys for your birds.

You never know what exactly you are using.

What Kind Of Wood Is Safe For Birds?

It’s important to keep track of what kind of wood is safe as birds use their beaks to explore their environment.

Even if you are only building a perch or a toy, you can guarantee that it will end up in your bird’s mouth.

Birds have an instinctual need to chew wood, so wooden toys and perches satisfy your bird’s cravings.

Related article – Why does my parrot chew his perch?

As a basic rule, stay away from any wood that has been treated with any chemicals.

Anything cheap may have been sprayed with chemicals such as pesticides which are unsafe for bird consumption.

When choosing a type of wood to use to build a nice toy or perch for your bird, ask yourself the following:

  • Has the wood been treated with pesticides?
  • Has the wood been dyed?
  • Has any other harmful chemical been sprayed onto the wood?
  • Has the wood been treated?
  • Is there any glue on the wood like cardboard?

If you answer yes to any of the above, use another wood.

Some types of woods that you can safely use for your bird include:

  • Poplar
  • Ash
  • Elm
  • Maple
  • Birch
  • Pine
  • Walnut
  • Apple

There are other types of woods that you can use to build something for your bird, but make sure you do your research first so you can ensure that the wood is safe in case it ends up in your bird’s mouth.

How Do You Sterilize Wood For Birds?

When you choose a wood type to use as your bird’s perch, you should consider disinfecting it to remove any unknown toxins that could harm your pet.

The best way to disinfect different types of wood is to use hot soapy water.

Soak and scrub the branches thoroughly, being sure to remove any dirt and grime.

Although dirt is not necessarily unsafe for birds, you never know what sort of bacteria or toxins could be there.

Birds will naturally chew on anything in their cage, so it is imperative that everything within their reach is safe for them to touch and gnaw on.

Natural wood perches are an awesome option and can be completely safe, just make sure to clean them well before putting it in your bird’s cage.

What Kind Of Wood Is Harmful For Birds?

Just as there are safe woods for birds, there are also a number of unsafe woods that you should steer clear of.

As already mentioned, driftwood is one type you should stay away from.

It’s hard to tell where driftwood comes from and you never know what kind of chemicals it might have been in contact with, so it’s best to play it safer than be sorry later.

Besides driftwood, you should also stay away from kinds of wood that have been treated with chemicals in any way.

Anything you wouldn’t want to put in your own mouth, don’t put it in your bird’s cage.

More specifically, some kinds of woods that you should avoid include:

  • Apricot
  • Alder
  • Juniper
  • Mango
  • Tobacco
  • Walnut
  • Oak
  • Pear
  • Yew

This is just a very limited list.

You can find a more complete list of types of wood to avoid with a quick Google search online.

Wrapping Up

You can save a lot of money using natural wood perches that you can find on the beach or in nature instead of store bought alternatives.

However, the reality is that you don’t exactly know where these woods come from or what kind of tree they are.

As there are many different trees that are harmful to birds, it is all the more important that you know exactly what kind of wood you put in your bird’s cage.

Additionally, you never know what kind of toxins and chemicals may be on them.

Thankfully, there is a long list of other types of wood that you can use to build a perch or a toy, so you will never be out of options!

Just be sure to do your research beforehand to make sure it’s safe.

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.