Owning a bird can be a very rewarding task. Birds are inquisitive and intelligent creatures that flourish in the proper environments with good care. However, having a pet bird isn’t for everyone. Birds need a lot of attention as well as socialization and care when they are in captivity. The risk of not getting this care is that they may become unhappy and start acting out. This is particularly true for larger, highly intelligent birds such as African Grays or cockatoos. It’s for this reason that individuals should carefully consider whether they will be able to successfully care for a pet bird.
Pet birds definitely require a unique set of attention and skills from their owners, something that many prospective buyers do not anticipate. However, if you do have the capacity to take care of a bird, it can be one of the most enjoyable pets– and relationships– that you have in your life.
Getting a Bird for First Time Owners
Consider Your Circumstances
First time owners who are considering a bird should first evaluate their circumstances. Do they live alone, with family, with friends, or a roommate? You have to first make sure that not only will others not be bothered by the bird (which will cause tension, friction, and ultimately result in their departure, the bird’s departure, or you and your pet’s departure from the premises). Birds can be fairly loud, and some species are even quite talkative. If you live alone and have to work quite a bit, your bird may suffer from loneliness and become frustrated, so it’s important to have someone that can help care for your pet if necessary if you’re not going to be around much. If you have a newborn baby in the house, it might be wise to forgo buying a pet bird until the baby grows up a little; a bird can demand nearly as much attention.
Why Do You Want a Pet Bird?
Do you want something exotic and attractive to look at? Or are you truly interested in birds and think caring for one might be fun? Unfortunately, purchasing a pet bird for ornamental purposes rarely works out. Birds are a lot more work than most first time owners anticipate. They’re not as low maintenance as say, a gerbil, cat, rabbit, or fish might be. If you want another friend and you’re up for the responsibility, you may be ready to take on a pet bird. They should be an extension of your family that you’re ready to care for– more than just your average pet. That is the level of commitment a pet bird requires.
Know They Can Be Difficult
Birds aren’t difficult by nature, but even if you have the best of intentions, improper care can leave you with one seriously unhappy bird. Your bird may act out by screaming, squawking, feather picking, being aggressive, biting, throw their food, and even become depressed or crazy. Birds may even bond with you and think it is your mate. A bird isn’t easy, and they become more complex the more sophisticated they are.
The best idea for a first time bird owner is to start really slow. A smaller, simpler bird will be more appropriate for your experience level than a larger, more intelligent bird. A parakeet would be a great start and would allow you to grow into bird care with a bird that isn’t going to be as demanding of you. Read books, train your bird, spend time with them, feed them the correct diet, let them have out of cage time, and bird proof your house. You’ll still need to do research before you buy, but if you get a manageable bird and start slow, your first time should be successful.