Choosing Your First Bird – 4 Popular First Birds
Do Your Homework Before Choosing A Parrot Species
Fortunately, getting into the lifestyle of keeping parrots doesn’t have to be this way – if you do your homework of assessing your personality and lifestyle and matching it with traits and care needs of parrot species, things will go much better. To make the best selection, it’s important to start out with an honest consideration of what traits you can deal with and match these with behavior traits of bird species. Can you put up with a very large, active bird or a loud bird or would you do better with a bird that can ride about the house on your shoulder while you’re enjoying your down time? Put simply, parrots are great pets. They are not only colorful, but they are smart, social and can be quite interactive. They will also amuse you for hours with their silly little antics. Birds are long lived pets that bond for life. A little well cared for Cockatiel can live for 25 years while a large feathery pal can live for 50- 60 years. This means that once you have one and get attached to him, chances are good that you will have a friend for a long time. Finally, parrots are fun and easy to train. They are as smart as a 4 or 5 year old kid and enjoy mental games. What follows is a list of the most trainable breeds of parrots available. Many species of parrots live in huge flocks in the wild. Flock based species tend to be the most trainable because they crave socialization.
Four Parrot Breeds That Are Perfect for Training
African Grey Parrots. The African Grey is perhaps one of the most loyal pets you could ever hope to own. They are small to medium sized, and are usually colored beautiful shades of grey. The African Grey is known to be excellent talkers and can imitate a wide variety of different sounds with equal fluency. Not every African Grey will speak, but even beepers and whistlers have very interactive personalities. Regardless, if left alone for too long without toys or something to do, they may get irritable and nippy or squawk and scream to get your attention or relieve frustration. It’s been said that an African Grey has the intelligence of up to a seven-year-old child with a propensity to get into just as much trouble. African Greys are known as “one person” birds unless consistently and properly trained, which means everyone in the family should regularly handle the bird. African Greys also need consistent training & socialization.
Conures. There are two types of Conures, the Aratinga and the Pyrrhura. Both are smaller and more colorful than African Greys, but probably a little easier to handle and tote about if you spend daily time with them. Pyrrura are smaller and quieter and not known to be talkers, while Aratinga are loud and boisterous and may talk, but not good for apartments and other close quarters. Both types have long tails and come in a wide variety of colors. Watching a Conure is fun because they know how to play and clown around and have a good time. Conures also pick up training, including talking very quickly and easily, although training them does take patience, it is not more than any other parrot species. The time you spend with a Conure also helps teach them to socialize, build trust and develop “home-worthy” behaviors.
Parakeets & Cockatiels. Parakeets and Cockatiels are both small and easy to handle than larger birds especially for those with less experience with birds. Both of these birds are known have excellent talking abilities and are relatively domesticated, with positive training techniques. Both Parakeets and Cockatiels love to spend time outside of their cages, and within a very short period of time, they will learn to love spending time close to you. These well-known shoulder birds still have the curiosity of a larger bird so they need close supervision, especially when around children or other household pets.
Different Parrots for Different OwnersHopefully, the above descriptions will convince you that there are many different types of parrots with very different characteristics and if you’re a bird lover, there is one to fit YOUR lifestyle. Generally, speaking, however, parrots are feathered love sponges, and love to be handled and kept busy. In fact, unless you have the time to play with your bird every day, it can develop terrible behavior problems. Just like all birds (and even people), parrots all have different characteristics and personalities that make them an individual and fun to live with. Fortunately, they can be very reasonably priced, reasonably sized, and just plain fun to live with. Start exploring parrot personalities today! Hey, did you learn some valuable lessons when it comes to choosing a first bird? Well, help your fellow bird lovers out by adding your two cents worth in a comment below. 8
- Diane Burroughs, LCSW