Six things to Consider before Buying a Bird


Name this bird: Shot in Costa Rica Nov. 2008

When choosing a bird as a pet you have to do your homework first. First we have to consider the following:

What can I afford?

The price of a parrot varies greatly depending on the species. You can buy for example, a budgie for less than $10. The price of the cockatiel varies between $25 and $35. An Amazonian parrot and grey parrot can be purchased for about $300 – $400; cockatoo for $1,000 …… and the price of some parrots reach $15,000! This is one of the initial questions which you have to answer.

How much space will the bird need?

Larger birds and even some of the small ones are very active physically and need big cages and space in which to play.

Is there any free time for the bird?

Probably this is the most important question. Birds are intelligent, playful and mostly social creatures. Will you have time to play with your bird, to care properly for it? Will it have the chance to be a part of your family?

Consider the fact that birds live fairly long. A small parrot cockatiel lives for 20 years and more! Amazona or African grey parrot can live for 50, 60 and there are documented cases for birds that lived up to the respectable age of 100 years! Can you devote time to this? It is not unusual to inherit birds from previous generations. Don’t buy a bird if you think that you will soon get bored of it.

How noisy is the bird? Will the neighbors complain?

Budgies and cockatiel are comparatively quiet. They are suitable to look after in a flat or apartment. Moluxco cockatoo could live in an apartment only if you have neighbors around you that are six floors above or below you that like listening to screams and possibly breaking their ear drums.

The African grey parrot tends to be one of the comparatively non-noisy parrots. Certainly, there are individual differences between birds. Somewhere there could be cockatoo, that don’t make much noise. If that really were true such an enterprising person could make a fortune selling them. Remember that noise is a subjective and relative sensation. A bird can be considered as ‘non-noisy’ only in the background of another bird considered as noisy.

How destructive can a bird be?

Do you possess peerless old furniture? What about rare books? Remember that these birds have strong beaks. Some of them are less inclined to nibbling than others, but nibbling is a completely natural behavior for them.

Does the parrot or bird need special food?

Lory parrots, for example, need a specialized diet. Do you have the time and means to provide it? Once you have made a preliminary investigation and have decided what kind of parrot you want, you can go looking for it and buy it. A word of warning, NEVER, buy a parrot impulsively! That could be one big mistake you’ll never regret.


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