Parrots are alert, intelligent animals that make friendly home companions. For the cost of a cage, some toys and a steady supply of bird seed, a parrot owner will be rewarded with decades of exciting daily activity and a loyal friend.
Each parrot has its own, distinct personality. Getting to know that personality is one of the best parts of owning a parrot. They will spend most of their time watching you and responding to what you do. After awhile they will even learn your routines and comment on your actions. For instance, a parrot might learn that after work you go to the kitchen, open the refrigerator and get a can of soda, so it will start to mimic the sound a can of soda makes when opened as soon as you get home, like an inside joke.
A parrot’s contribution to your life isn’t limited to observant noises. Parrots love to be taken out of their cages and stroked and petted just like other common house pets. You can fill a bowl with water and watch your parrot take a bath. Some parrots even love to watch television and will spend hours happily sitting on their owner’s shoulders doing just that.
A parrots natural instinct is to fly to a different tree every night to avoid predators. To foster this instinct it’s a good idea to rearrange your parrot’s cage every night. The reward is watching your bird make themselves at home and react to their new surroundings every night, often with hilarious results.
Parrots interact with their owners every day to provide excitement, humor and joy.
A Look At The Different Parrot Types
Most of the parrot types we see in pet stores, zoos, or homes, are tropical birds. A fair portion also come from Australia and New Zealand, and a few parrot types are to be found in more temperate climates. One of the few parrot species native to the United States has since been hunted into extinction.
There exists on the order of 370 different species of parrot. The parrot consists of three families, one family consisting of the Cockatoo, the second family made up of the various true parrot types, while the third family consists of what are known as the New Zealand parrots. Many of the more colorful and larger parrots we may come across are native to the Amazon region of South America. The African Grey, another distinct parrot type, are not nearly as colorful as their Amazon-dwelling cousins, but are considered far and away the most intelligent members of the parrot family. While many members of the parrot family can be taught to replicate the human voice, some African Grey have been known to accumulate a vocabulary of several hundred words.
The Parakeet Is A Good Pet Parrot
Another of the better known parrot types are the Budgies, most commonly known as the parakeet. Parakeets are small parrots, often not much larger than a canary. They make excellent pets, and can be trained to talk and to do tricks, which they seem to enjoy. While there are exceptions, parakeets will often not learn to talk if they have a cage mate, and males usually are easier to train to talk than are females. Parakeets in the home can usually be allowed to fly around inside the house on occasion, although doors and windows should be kept closed during those times. Once trained, a parakeet is not difficult to return to its cage, and often would rather ride around on someone’s shoulder than fly about, a dangerous practice should you decide to step outside, not realizing you have company. The parakeet is a good pet for children, who may not be able to handle a larger parrot.
The Cockatoo – Pet Parrot
The cockatoo, the one member of another parrot family, is also a good pet. The cockatoo is larger than a parakeet, usually about the size of a robin or a small jay. Cockatoos can also be taught to talk, though do not always seem to learn as quickly or as much as do the parakeets. Most cockatoos one is apt to see are white in color, but they exist in other colors as well, including black. Cockatoos are also noted for their topnotch, a crest of feathers the raising and lowering of which is very much a part of the bird’s personality.
Other Popular Pet Parrots
One of the most popular birds in America, are Cockatiels. These small parrots are perfect for beginner bird lovers, people with kids and people that live in small apartments.
Parakeets also known as budgies are great too. However, they don’t live as long as they used to due to over breeding. Unfortunately, they quite often develop malignant tumors after only a few years.
Lovebirds, Quakers, and Conures are great choices if you have limited space.
Macaws, cockatoos and amazons have beautiful and exotic plumage, are very affectionate and talk.
The biggest hooked beak birds of all times are parrots. However, they are very aggressive and can give a very serious bite.
Lorikeets and Lories have needs that can be very challenging. When they are in the wild, they love to eat nectar. When they are caged birds, they require a special diets and also special cages to hold their droppings. They can spray up to approximately 6 feet away. However, there are some people that prefer Lories because of their comical personalities and their devotion.
Once you have decided on the type of bird you wanted you have two options of where to buy them. You can buy them either from a breed or a pet store.
Pet stores are the fast and convenient way to buy birds however usually the employees aren’t very knowledgeable to answer any questions you might have. Also if you buy a bird from a pet store it is impossible to know the age, health or background of the bird.
If you buy your bird from a breeder, they are able to tell you anything you want to know about the behavior and care of the bird. They also sell younger birds that are more tame. However, there is never a guarantee that hand fed birds will remain tame. There are some breeders that have cruel practices.
There are thousands of bird rescue groups where you can adopt a bird. These organizations sometimes have actual buildings where you can see the birds, however most of them have foster homes where they care for thousand of parrots that are unwanted.
If you can’t find a rescue organization near you try checking out your local animal shelter. Some shelters that have dogs and cats also have a few birds that are up for adoption.
Pet Parrots Based on Size: Largest to Smallest
Pet parrots definitely come in a variety of sizes to meet every fancy. I don’t know about you, but many people are curious to know the size of particular parrots and their age expectancy before deciding on which pet parrots to think about.
Some pet parrots are very large but if you live in an apartment and want a smaller parrot then it is best to find out which pet parrots are better for apartment dwellers.
I have made up a list that will help you if you are deciding on which pet parrots to look into based on size and life expectancy.
Which Parrot Makes The Best Pet For Kids
Parrots tend to be not very good pets for children because of their nature. For the most part, parrots and children do not mix well. However, there are a few that will fit in with your family and adjust well to children. The Bungie is a good parrot to have around children. Because of their small size, they do not tend to scare children as easily. The Bungies have an extensive vocabulary as well and can provide hours of entertainment for your family. However, because of their small size they are more delicate that other parrots and this needs to be taken into account as well.
The Meyer’s Parrots, a member of the African Hook bill Parrot species, is a very docile parrot which seems to fit in well in families with children. They have the ability to form long lasting relationships with a number of people rather than just one person like so many other birds. They are calm and sweet, but not shy.
Pionus parrots are not well known and don’t attract very much attention, probably because they are not as brightly colored as most other parrots. These parrots are also not loud and obnoxious. While all parrots require play time outside of the cage, Pionus will be content to sit on top of the cage and watch, rather than needing to be involved in the going on around him.
Another option is a Cockatiel. Cockatiels are friendly, sweet and less hyper than other parrots. Because they have less behavioral issues and hormonal issues than other parrots, they are great pets for families with children. They bond well with many different people.
Preserving The Species – There are many more parrot types, and we’ve just scratched the surface by mentioning the better known ones. All parrot types are regarded as exotic birds, and many of the types are endangered. Not all are sweet loving little birds, some are pests, but nevertheless, efforts to preserve the different species are under way and fortunately are becoming more effective as time goes by. There is still a large illegal trade in the birds in many parts of the world, with some of the larger species being especially threatened. Zoos, and even local organizations are also doing their part, by protecting different species and working to stop illicit trade and marketing of the birds. Hopefully these organizations and groups will continue to be successful, and most of the nearly 400 different species can be saved from extinction.