By Michael Russell
Birds make great pets, but it requires making a good decision before you take on your new companion. A little knowledge before you make your choice can save you lots of headaches down the road and ensure that you and your new pet will get along just fine in the years to come. Purchasing a bird for a pet doesn’t have to be difficult.
There are birds that a very personable, like cockatiels and lovebirds, birds that talk, like parrots and mynah birds, those that sing, like canaries and those that are fun to watch, like finches.
Some of these traits cross over. For instance, male cockatiels can learn to talk and whistle. In fact, a friend of mine had one that liked to ask him, “Where’s my baby?” and even whistle the theme to the Andy Griffith show.
If you like smaller birds, you might go for finches, lovebirds or parakeets. If you are not intimidated by large birds, a parrot, macaw, cockatoo or conure might make a good companion.
If you are on a budget, get a Budgie, which is a Parakeet. They are not only affordable, but they make great pets for kids. Most of them are beautifully colored and they can be very affectionate if you spend time with them. Some even learn to talk.
If you want something more exotic and showy, try a large Parrot. They can learn to talk and do tricks and they love to show off. These brightly colored birds can also be very affectionate once you have earned their trust.
Certainly, this is not an all inclusive list of birds that make good pets. Some people even keep doves and pigeons, among others. One thing you don’t want to do is make a wild bird a pet. They don’t adapt well, they don’t take well to humans and they may carry diseases.
Typically, you can figure the bigger the bird, the bigger the mess. Birds can be messy because they get their food all over the place, especially when they are breaking shells from nuts and seeds. But it’s worth it. You can get supplies to help reduce this undesirable mess.
Don’t be in a hurry when you go shopping for your bird. Plan on spending some time looking at several birds. You will soon discover they have different personalities. If you are a laid back person, you might want a laid back bird. If you are outgoing, you might want the one that is proactive and runs up to greet you as you approach the cage.
Remember, it’s cute to have a bird that talks, but they do not come with ‘on and off’ switches. If you are not prepared for a noisy bird, don’t get a parrot or a cockatoo. Certainly you can usually quiet them temporarily by putting a cover over their cage or putting them in a dark room, but this is not fair. Understand what you are getting into before you make a purchase or adopt your new friend.
Whichever bird you decide is right for you as a pet, be fair and make sure you are going to be dedicated to giving your new friend a happy home. Birds like these enjoy attention and need proper care. If you take good care of them, you may be companions with them for decades, so be prepared to take on the responsibility.
Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Birds
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