Things You Need To Consider Before You Choose A Pet Bird

Things You Need To Consider Before You Choose A Pet Bird

Things You Need To Consider Before You Choose A Pet Bird


If you are interested in a pet bird, there are many things you need to consider before you settle on a species. Carefully considering such things as how much time you can devote to a bird and how much noise you can tolerate can help you make a good decision and find a bird that will be a good match for your personality, lifestyle, and household. Finding the right bird is essential to paving the way for a long and happy relationship with your pet bird!


How much can you afford? Don't forget to factor in the cost of a cage and other equipment you will need, and ongoing costs such as food, toys, and veterinary care. Birds can be anywhere from less than a hundred dollars to many thousands of dollars. The larger or more exotic the bird, the more it will cost, and caging for large parrots can be very expensive. Avoid the temptation to take a bargain-priced bird; a healthy hand-raised bird is well worth the cost in the long run.


How much time do you have to spend with your bird on a daily basis? If you don't have a lot of time, re-think getting a single parrot (this includes cockatiels and budgies). Finches or a canary might be a better choice if you are not home much. You must also consider the commitment needed to care for your bird over its whole life span. Larger parrots have long expected life spans (50 years or more) and some bond so closely with their owners that adapting to a new home can be difficult.

Talking and Training

Many people choose parrots for their ability to talk. While certain species are renowned for their talking and mimicry ability, think twice if that is your motivation to get a parrot. Even within species known for speech, the ability to talk varies between individuals. However, most parrot species are very intelligent and can be trained to do various tricks and behaviors. Even some of the smaller parrots can be trained to whistle tunes and can be quite entertaining.


How much do you want to interact with your bird? Some birds do not really take to handling (e.g. finches and canaries), while others bond very tightly to their owners and can be quite cuddly (e.g. cockatoos, some other parrots). If you do want a bird you can interact with socially, you need to be be able to commit the time to do so, as the more social birds can be very demanding of attention and resort to neurotic behavior if denied the interaction that they need.


How much space do you have for a cage? You can't skimp on cage size; even smaller birds like finches and canaries need sizable cages because they get generally only get exercise within their cages. The larger the bird, the larger the cage that is needed. Parrots (including budgies and cockatiels) will also need time outside of the cage for extra exercise. It is good to give larger parrots a special space of their own outside the cage, such as a play gym or stand.



Most species of pet parrot require a diet made up of pre-formulated diets (e.g. pellets), a variety of fresh foods such as greens, sprouted seeds, grains and fruits, along with some seeds (generally, the larger the parrot the fewer seeds that should be fed). Some birds (e.g. lories, toucans) require very specialized diets, but some (finches, canaries, doves) have less complicated dietary needs. Find out exactly what your selected species of bird requires and decide if you can provide it.


Noise Level

Parrots often screech. There is no way around that, so if you live in an apartment or townhouse, a large parrot may not make you popular with your neighbors (especially very loud parrots such as cockatoos and macaws). Similarly, if you don't handle noise well, some birds may not be a good fit for you. Budgies, cockatiels and lovebirds can be fairly noisy in their own way, but not as loud as larger parrots. Finches, doves, and canaries are better choices if noise is a concern.


How much space do you have for a cage? You can't skimp on cage size; even smaller birds like finches and canaries need sizable cages because they get generally only get exercise within their cages. The larger the bird, the larger the cage that is needed. Parrots (including budgies and cockatiels) will also need time outside of the cage for extra exercise. It is good to give larger parrots a special space of their own outside the cage, such as a play gym or stand.

Mess and Destruction

Birds can be messy (for example, when eating), and it is not always easily contained in the cage. Also,  Parrots are also fond of chewing, so you will need to thoroughly bird proof your home for times outside of the cage, not only to protect your belonging from destruction but to prevent injury or poisoning to your bird.





Vitamin-Rich Foods for Pet Birds

Vitamin-Rich Foods for Pet Birds

To ensure your bird against a vitamin A deficiency, offer it foods such as cantaloupe,papayachili peppersbroccoli leaves and flowers, carrots, sweet potatoes, turnip leaves, collards, endive, butter, liver, egg yolks, beets, dandelion greens and spinach

Top 10 Household Dangers to Pet Birds

Pet birds are extremely susceptible to a wide variety of household dangers. There are numerous reasons for this, including their small size, rapid metabolism, and sensitive respiratory systems. Of course, with parrots, there is also an intense curiosity and need to explore everything with their beaks. Owners need to be vigilant about protecting their birds from dangers throughout the home.


  1. Poisoning

Birds are susceptible to a wide range of toxic substances which can injure or kill birds either by ingestion (eating) or inhalation (breathing them in). One of the most common toxicities in pet birds is insecticides sprayed in the home. Others include ammonia, bleach, oven cleaner, glues, nail polish remover, paint, perfumes, heavy metals (e.g. lead and zinc). Poisonous plants are also a danger.


  1. Non Stick Coatings (when overheated)

This technically falls under poisoning but warrants a special mention because use of these products is very common. When heated, the non stick coating emits fumes that are very toxic to birds when inhaled. This coating is found on non stick cookware but also waffle irons, bread machines, irons, ironing board covers, curling irons, space heaters, blow dryers and more.


  1. Open Water

Toilets are the most common source of open water in the house, and it is all too easy for your pet bird to fall in and drown. Other water sources to watch for are sinks, bathtubs, buckets, and water bowls of dogs or cats. The kitchen can also be a dangerous place if there are hot pots of water on the stove.


  1. Inappropriate Foods

These range from those that are just unhealthy to those that might kill pet birds. Anything high in sugar or salt is inappropriate, as are fatty foods. More serious are things such as chocolate, which is toxic to many pets. Caffeinated or alcoholic beverages are also dangerous. Avocado should also be avoided (there is some debate about how toxic avocado is - better safe than sorry).


  1. Electrical Cords

Birds explore with their beaks, and exposed electrical cords pose a danger if bitten. Keep cords and appliances away from the bird cage, and conceal cords as much as possible. Covering exposed cords with corrugated plastic tubing (available at hardware stores) may help reduce the danger.


  1. Poorly Made Toys

Even toys designed for parrots may not be safe for them. Make sure your parrots (especially larger ones) are not able to break off or remove any parts and swallow them. Rope toys can also be dangerous if they are long enough to get tangles up in, and there have been cases of parrots separating the strands on braided ropes, inserting their heads, and strangling as a result.


  1. Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans pose a real danger to flighted birds - serious injuries have occurred when birds fly into them. Birds tend to be nervous with things moving above them, so may be stressed out by a ceiling fan running near their cage.


  1. Windows, Doors, and Mirrors

Windows and mirrors pose a danger to birds who might fly into them. Keeping wings clipped helps to alleviate this risk, although even clipped birds can try a run at a window or mirror. Of course, open windows and exterior doors leave a chance at escape. Even interior doors can be risky if the bird likes to sit on the top of an open door - the bird could be injured if the door is closed.


  1. Other Pets

While birds often live happily with other household pets, owners should always be careful when other pets are near the birds. The motion of birds can attract the prey instinct of cats and dogs, and an infected bite or scratch can quickly be fatal to a bird.


  1. Air Quality

Birds are especially sensitive to contaminants in the air. Aerosol products of any kind should not be used around your bird. Cigarette smoke has been implicated in respiratory disease in pet birds. Carbon monoxide is also dangerous to birds, so use a carbon monoxide detector in the home, and be careful not to run your vehicle in an attached garage.

Interesting Facts About Parrots

Ancient parrots. Most parrot fossils were excavated in Europe. The earliest dates back to the Eocene, and are 50 million years old. Most of the complete skeletons were found in Germany and England. These birds are considered the great “parrot ancestors.” However, fossils of modern parrots—with the same bone structure and appearance as the ones we see today, are about 23 million years old.

Two beautiful families. There are actually two major groups of parrots: the psittacidae, and the cacutaidae. The latter has a movable head crest while the psittacidae have brighter, more vibrant colors. There are also enormous skeletal differences. For example, the cacatuidae have a gall bladder and a different type of skull bone.

Parrot owners unite! Most parrot conservation efforts are actually spearheaded by pet owners who love the birds and want to make sure they thrive. Efforts include fund raisers and information campaigns. Their projects have helped fund zoo and wild life centers, and have led to brochures and other important collaterals distributed to schools nationwide.

Shout out! Parrots don’t have vocal cords, so they actually “trumpet” the sound by pushing air out of their trachea. They can control the pitch of the sound by manipulating the shape and depth of the trachea. Experts say that when parrots talk, they are actually making variations on whistling.

Eat meat. Most parrots will love seed and flowers, but there are some that don’t mind a little “steak”. The Golden-winged Parakeets like to eat water snails, while the New Zealand Kees even scavenge abandoned sheep carcasses.


Among the amazing facts about parrots is that there are roughly more than 350 species of the birds that are referred to as parrots. They include macaws, Amazons, lorikeets, lovebirds, cockatoos, African Grey parrots and many others.

A feature we are familiar with, are the strong curved beaks that all parrots have. Other characteristic features include four toes on each foot (two pointing forwards and two projecting backwards), an upright stance, and strong legs.

Wild Macaws and Cockatoos can fly up to 500 miles in a day, while searching for food.

Heart rate of a canary is about 400-800 and a larger parrot around  200 beats per minute. So they don’t need caffeine to speed it up.

Considering how small and light they are, birds are very big eaters. Since birds do everything quickly, they fly quickly, they run quickly, even their hearts beat quickly, birds need a lot of food energy to keep going. Most birds eat half their weight in food every day. That’s like a 100-pound person eating 50 pounds of food in a day. And some young birds eat more than their weight in food every day. Scientists watching a mother wren feeding her chicks found that she brought food back to her nest more than 1,200 times in 24 hours.