Despite what some people may tell you, birds can be surprisingly easy pets to keep, but it depends largely on what species you choose. So, how should you go about choosing your next pet bird? Even before that comes another key question – is a pet bird even the right option for you? Well, by the time you are done reading through everything we have listed below, you should have a pretty decent answer to both questions.
What Do You Expect from Your Pet Bird?
This is the most important question that we usually neglect to ask ourselves before getting a new pet; what are your expectations from it? Birds can truly be wonderful pets, especially when kept well, but they are not dogs or cats. They have their own charms, but do not adopt a grey parrot and expect it to play with you like a dog, although they can imitate your dog’s bark with surprisingly hilarious accuracy! On the other hand, smaller parakeets such as budgies and love birds can be beautiful to watch in small flocks, or even just in a single pair, within a comfy cage.
However, they will usually be busy with themselves, and pay you very little mind, if at all. We will further elaborate more on some of the friendliest pet birds later on, but for now, keep the following pointers in mind while trying to determine what kind of bird you need:
- Note down the type of companionship you are expecting
- Note down the birds that you are considering, or would like to adopt
- Research about the birds you like and see if their general nature suits your own expectations from the bird
- Research more about other birds that you did not consider before to know if there’s a species you have missed that would make a more ideal pet for you
We are going to help with the research a bit by explaining the important characteristics of some really popular, friendly pet birds next.
Budgies are native Australian birds which are now being bred in every corner of the globe due to their demand in the booming pet trade. This is both a good thing and a bad thing, because:
- The Good: Easily available, wide range of colors, patterns and subspecies to choose from
- The Bad: Poor, uncontrolled breeding often leads to short-lived, short-tempered sub species of budgies with lower intelligence being bred
Well-bred, healthy budgerigars should have bright and beautiful plumage, and if handled well, they can be quite friendly with humans. With enough dedication, budgies can be taught to say a few words, although their vocabulary is not as wide range as the Indian ring-necked parrot, or the cockatoo by any means. Do note the following points about them and see if any of that appeals to you:
- They are happy birds and are one of the easiest to keep, since they are known to be happy even in just a pair
- They do not need human affection, if they are in a pair or a flock; single birds require a lot of attention though
- They chirp continuously, and it’s a pleasant sound, but they can (like all other parakeets) be quite shrill at times too
- Unless handled, they do not bite and when the bird learns to recognize you, they won’t bite, even when handled
- All you need is a mix of high-quality bird food, a few bird feeders, a constant supply of fresh water, mineral blocks, a few perches, chewable toys and a frequently cleaned, big cage for them to fly about
You will find everything you need, from top quality bird food and adequate bird feeders, to bird cages and toys for your pets at Little Peckers. This online shop is dedicated to providing excellent products that are specifically designed/mixed for each species, as well as top notch, customer service to all bird lovers in the UK. Little Peckers also sells garden bird supplies, supplies for wild birds and mating boxes for different caged pets.
Cockatoos are incredibly intelligent, and live nearly as long as we do, so they are multigenerational, house pets. Keep that fact in mind before adopting a member of this species. Consider the following pros and cons of adopting a cockatoo first, before diving in:
- They require lots of attention and affection
- These are not birds that can stay cooped up in a cage all day
- They can mimic and even understand a few words
- Being highly jealous pets, they might be aggressive towards anyone whom they perceive as being responsible for taking up all your attention away from them
- When left alone and unloved, they will pluck their own feathers, as well as becoming depressed and aggressive
- Cockatoos can be extremely funny and loud, mostly with a clear understanding of their comic antics
- If you wish, this brilliant bird can be taught a whole range of tricks
Unknown to many, pigeons are considered to be one of the most intelligent birds in existence. They have been kept as pets since the ancient times and often used as messengers, which shows their incredible ability to navigate to various destinations and come back. If you are thinking about adopting a dove or any other species of pigeon, consider the following aspects of these misunderstood birds first:
- Pigeons do not bite or peck hard, not even the wild ones
- They do not need to be caged, but can be, if that’s what you decide
- If caged, the enclosure must be large, and the birds should be allowed to go out and stretch their wings daily
- Unlike other birds, pigeons can be allowed to fly freely, given that they always come back before sunset
- Bird droppings can be a problem, since they do relieve themselves almost constantly
- They need shelter and protection from extreme weather, as these birds can dehydrate or freeze quickly
- Pet birds are very friendly and even the wild ones are extremely docile
As a last bit of advice, we would like to point out that there are no beginner’s pets, because learning to take care of budgies will not teach you much about taking care of a finch, or a grey parrot. On the other hand, taking care of a ring neck might indeed make taking care of cockatoos feel a bit easier, but that’s only because ring necks require a lot of attention to be kept well too! Before adopting any animal, always be sure to do your research first and be ready for the responsibilities that come with having it at home. If you are careful with your first pet parakeet, your feathery friend will be by your side for decades to come, making him/her the only pet you will ever need!