Choosing the Right Pet Bird for You

Birds can be intelligent, enjoyable companions, but choosing the wrong bird can really cause heartache and frustration. How do you choose the right pet bird for you and your family? Before you try to decide which species of bird you want, you may want to think about whether a bird is really the right type of pet for you.

Many people decide to buy a bird because they want to have a pet that provides some company, but doesn’t require a lot of time and energy to take care of. Actually, caring for a bird properly may not be quite as hard for caring for a dog, but it involves a bit more than tossing some seed in the cage every day.

Birds need to have the papers or litter in the bottom of the cage changed daily and the entire cage should be washed down once a week to keep it clean. Also, if your bird has been handfed, you will need to spend some time interacting with it each day to keep it tame and friendly.

If you don’t have a lot of time to spend with your bird, you may want to consider finches or canaries. Although these little birds will be tamer if you spend time with them, they won’t pine away if they don’t have human interaction. They do scatter seeds a bit, but are not as messy as most other birds, so you will have less clean up, as well. Their pleasant vocalizations make these birds the ideal choice for apartment dwellers.

If you want to have a bird that you can interact with, but you don’t have a lot of room for cages and equipment, you may want to take a look at lovebirds, parakeets or cockatiels. These birds are all excellent pets for first time bird owners. Although they are louder than finches, these birds are not unbearably loud. Most apartment dwellers do not have trouble with the neighbors over the vocalizations of their lovebirds, parakeets or cockatiels.

If you feel that a lovebird or cockatiel isn’t enough of a parrot for you, you may want to look at mid-size parrots, such as Senegal parrots and conures. Most of these birds are entertaining and cuddly pets. However, they can be loud enough to cause problems for apartment dwellers. The brighter conures, such as the sun conure, can be especially loud. Unfortunately, their loud vocalizations do not mean that they have the extensive vocabularies and clear speech that large parrots have. If you are looking for a mid-size parrot that talks well, the Nanday conure or the Quaker parrot are good, but loud, choices.

For people looking for a great talker, larger parrots are the best choice. However, just keep in mind that even African grays do not always develop extensive vocabularies. Every bird is an individual. Larger parrots have the intelligence of a toddler and need plenty of mental stimulation to keep them happy, so you will need to be prepared to spend plenty of time with your bird.

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