I came across a Parrot Foraging Tower at the bird store while shopping for some supplies. It was very expensive but the store owner seemed fairly eager to get rid of it by lowering the price to just expensive. Thus I brought the tower home for Kili and Truman to play with.
Kili being the trained parrot that she is was ready to learn the trick but only with my guidance. She would not just play with the tabs and figure it out on her own despite the treat being in plain sight. She waited for me to show/tell her what to do but then mastered the basic task very quickly through clicker training. She already knew the pull command from the magic drawer trick so it was mainly a matter of clicker training her to apply it to the tower. But the tower is much bigger than she is, so she couldn't go beyond two tabs to pull on.
Truman on the other hand became master of the parrot foraging tower. Not only is he tall enough to reach the top tab if he stands on his tippy toes, but his hooked beak is perfect for pulling the tabs open. Truman had a slight advantage in that he watched me train the trick to Kili. However, I never worked with him and the only rewards he got for attempting the trick were from the tower itself. After just a handful of almonds and sessions, Truman learned that pulling all the tabs out was key to getting the nut to fall out. Still, he does not follow any logical sequence for pulling the tabs. However, from a reinforcement standpoint, the sequence is irrelevant and the nut will only come out when all tabs are pulled out.
All advantages are on the side of Truman with this one. Not only on size and strength but also perseverance. Kili is more focused on following commands and doing tricks to earn treats from me. If the toy isn't rewarding her quickly enough, she'll turn to me and say hello or show her wings for a treat rather than keep working at it. On the other hand Truman is slower and more thoughtful. He'll approach the tower from different sides and keep working for 10 minutes if he has to until the nut is his. Then he'll spend a few more minutes still, working the nut out of its shell. Quite the entertainment package for a brainy Cape Parrot. In the video you can see Truman step away and think before approaching the tower again. He takes many breaks but he doesn't give up. His persistence pays off with a large tasty nut.
I watched the video with Léa close-by - when Truman flew to the ground to retrieve his almond and made the "woo" noise as he landed, that got Léa quite interested; she looked up intently at the screen and made a very similar "woo" noise back at him!
I gotta get one of these. I found one online from NORTHERNPARROTS.COM, but they're in England. I don't know if they'll ship to the US. I've written them an email to ask, but I probably won't hear anything back until Monday. Did the one your purchased have any identifying tags from the manufacturer? Did the store you purchased from have any more?
I've seen a lot of budgies hallowing out light wood so I guess getting a block and drill small holes and poke in nuts etc would be terrific for budgies to dig out, I use heavier wood for my amazon doing that. And I saw them selling blocks of light wood shaped into a bamboo shape with a hole started in it that was basically designed for budgies to dig out a nest from