Manzanita wood is considered by many bird experts and owners to be the best wood for bird perches. Whether or not is the best is anyone’s opinion, but it definitely has some great qualities that should be considered when selecting a bird perch.
Birds in the wild have an endless variety of perches to chose from. As they fly around their natural world, the sizes, shapes and textures their feet get to land on are also endless. For birds in captivity, this is not so much the case. When a straight wooden dowel, or other straight uniform perch is used, it eliminates variety.
What does this mean to your bird? It means that it’s feet will remain in the same position all the time it is perched, which is most of its life. This can lead to fatigue, atrophy or even repetitive stress injuries, just as if your body was to remain in a constant position all the time.
This is where natural branches have their advantage. A natural manzanita branch typically has a varied surface. With twists, different diameters, and different textures, your bird will have more variety for a more healthy and enjoyable life. Manzanita play stands and play gyms with multiple branches can give your bird even more variation.
There are many types of tree branches that will provide varied surfaces, but manzanita also has other qualities.
Many plants, including trees, produce resins and other chemicals that can be toxic. Manzanita is not one of them. Manzanita wood is not toxic, which is important to birds like parrots, who like to chew wood to pieces.
And that brings us to another advantage of manzanita. It is one of the hardest woods on Earth. So hard that even these little beaked wood chippers will have hard time chewing it up.
The reason this wood is so hard, is because it is so dense. A high density also means it is less porous than other woods. The advantage there to you is that is soaks up less bird goo, making it easier to clean.
You may have to pay a little more for manzanita wood, but you are getting a better perch, and if you have to replace it less often, you may save money in the long run.