Mahogany pods are popular in bird toys because they are a soft fun component for you parrot to tear to pieces, as well as an attractive addition to a toy. But where does this strange pod come from and how is it collected?
Mahogany is a tropical hardwood species of tree that belongs to the genus Swietenia and is native to the Americas. The three species are Honduran also known as Big Leaf Mahogany (S. macrophylla), West Indian (S. mahagoni), and S. humilis mahogany. Big Leaf Mahogany is the primary species used in the lumber trade today.
In parrotJOY natural parrot toys, we only use pieces of the Mahogany fruit for our parrot toys. Our mahogany pods come from Swietenia macrophylla or Big-Leaf Mahogany, which is native in Mexico and south to southern Amazonia. The fruits are known as sky fruits because of their upward growth towards the sky. The fruits can reach 40 cm in length and each fruit capsule contains up to 71 winged seeds. The seeds can reach up to 12 cm in length.
In our parrot toys we most frequently use the inner pod, which contains the thin blade shaped seeds. Once the seeds are removed, only the inner pod is left and this inner pod is what we refer to as the mahogany pod. We utilize this uniquely shaped and beautifully colored pod in our Gentle Nibbler, Mahogany Pod Shredder, Naturally FANtastic, and, All Natural Parrot Activity Mat. These fruits are protected by a hard shell, called a capsule, which we also use in toys. The capsule breaks into 5 pieces called carpels. Unlike the soft inner pod, the carpels are extremely tough – only for the strongest of beaks!
At parrotJOY we recognize the environmental impacts that the harvest of various resources can have on the natural world, therefore, we only use the nonviable components of the mahogany fruit. We hope that alternate wood use and sustainable harvest of mahogany wood is practiced in the future so that this majestic tree can be enjoyed by wildlife in its natural habitat and also so that your parrot may get to enjoy a taste of the tropical forest with enigmatic mahogany pod.
Bridgewater, Samuel (2012). A Natural History of Belize: Inside the Maya Forest. Austin: University of Texas Press. pp. 164–165.
“Mahogany,” Encyclopedia of Environmental Science (University of Rochester Press, 2000, ed. John F. Mongillo), p. 216.
Baidya, D., 2016. Application Analysis of Swietenia Mahagoni (Mahogany) Seed’s Unique Aerodynamical Landing Characteristics. American Journal of Aerospace Engineering, 3(3), p.31.