Growing up, I wanted to own one or two pet parrots. The many pirate cartoons on television fueled the dream. As I grew older, the hustles of life took over, and this dream was shelved; until now.
Parrots are lovely creatures that make for a very entertaining companion. The intelligent bird can learn some neat tricks and can even imitate and interject into conversations within the right context. This makes parrots the most popular pet in most households across the world. This does not in any way cushion the parrot from abandonment and ill-treatment by some.
Like any other bird, parrots are wild, and even if they are bred in captivity or domesticated, the wild traits still linger. The parrot’s beak is designed for chewing and nest building, making it a very powerful weapon. If frightened, parrots like all other animals come with a fight or flight response and can call on those wild traits and become aggressive or bite.
This learned behaviour is why most parrots are abandoned or sold off to unsuspecting pet lovers. For those who love their silence, parrots come with a nerve-wracking shriek that can be quite irritating. The size of the parrot does not matter; even the tiniest parrot can make a very loud noise meant to call on its kin from miles away.
Common Types of Big Parrots
Although there are several types of parrots, I wanted a big parrot and had the following choices to choose from.
5. Amazon parrots
Easily the most formidable parrot in the market, the amazon parrots form part of the larger sized parrots which make them a tricky choice for those with limited space. On the upside, their comical characteristics, as well as panache for speech, more than makes up for this.
4. African Grey Parrots
This parrot makes for a great companion. It comes with remarkable intelligence and can even reason and mimic speech. A native of to the equatorial regions of Africa, these parrots are quite friendly and affectionate towards their owners. Still, they tend to favour just one person as opposed to the whole family. African greys memorize hundreds of words and sounds and tend to repeat everything they hear (not a good idea for those who have something to hide).
The adorable cockatoo is every parrot lover’s dream. With the right diet, space, attention, and exercise, the cockatoo is the best choice for any home. The friendly and affectionate bird pays for his expensive needs over its lifetime, which can be more than half a century.
2. Eclectus Parrots
These parrots make for an elegant pet. Their striking colours and speech abilities, as well as their adorable personalities, have turned this bird into every parrot lover’s choice. The only problem with this bird is that it requires a lot of attention, which can be quite stressful for a family with young ones.
If you want a fashion-conscious bird, go for the Macaw. This bird comes in attractive colours that keep on improving thanks to hybridization in the pet trade. This beautiful bird puts some class in any home but comes with its own needs that need to be catered for to avoid problems.
If you still cannot make up your mind on which parrot to go for, consider the bird’s needs and what you can comfortably keep up with. Parrots require additional cleaning, veterinary and feeding costs and can sometimes destroy property or injure young ones. If you have enough space and are up to the challenge of parrot ownership, here are a few tips to ensure that your bird is comfortable and has a long healthy life.
Get Rid of Unsafe Cookware
When you eventually get that bird, it is advisable to keep it indoors with the family. Remember that Teflon or nonstick cookware comes with a coating that when heated, gives off odourless, toxic fumes that cause sudden death to the birds when inhaled. Say bye-bye to candlelit dinners and air fresheners. The fumes from air fresheners and candles easily irritate the bird’s respiratory systems. These fumes can cause either death or persistent health issues.
Cigarette smoking is harmful to humans, but it is more detrimental to birds. It is advisable to smoke away from the birds, wash your hands after a smoke, and avoid any lingering scents on furniture or clothes as these too can cause ongoing health issues for the birds.
Be an early bird
Birds wake up with the sun. They expect freshwater, air, and food as well as some entertainment as soon as they are up. Covering the birdcage can give you a few minutes of shut-eye, but as soon as the bird registers some noise, its day starts.
Vacuuming will be a daily thing
Birds shed feathers and food debris all over. It is advisable to invest in a good vacuum cleaner that can suck up most of this inconvenience.
Be selective with house plants
Avoid plants like lilies, shamrocks, philodendrons, and amaryllis flowers because some of them can cause sudden death or illness. If you are a nature lover, plants like the African violet or spider plant make better choices.
Change your wardrobe
Birds love shiny objects. It is advisable to get rid of jewellery or sequins before handling birds. Birds can also chew on buttons, so it is advisable to avoid overly shiny buttons.
Overall, owning a pet parrot is one of the best things a pet lover can do. This decision should, however, be made with utmost commitment because parrots are lifetime companions and call for a lifetime commitment.