If you’re interested in having a bird, there are a few things you’ll want to consider. Birds are charming little (or some not so little!) creatures that require the right care, but basic bird care is only the start! There are many varieties of birds, and finding the right one for you is important.
Jumping right into it and buying the first pretty bird you see isn’t likely to work out for the long term. While we are attracted to certain birds because of their beauty, finding the right bird is going to involve a little research and planning.
Some things to consider when choosing a bird are size, age and life span, common sounds (including speech, noise level, etc.), personality, interaction level, dietary needs, and whether the bird is a baby or being rehomed.
Things to consider:
A bird’s size often directly correlates to the level of commitment regarding your time, space, and finances. Make sure you have the space to offer your bird a large enough cage and play area to ensure their overall health and happiness. Remember, birds of any size and age are not simply room ornaments and will always need your love and attention.
Age and Lifespan
Would you prefer a hand tame baby bird? Or are you ready to accommodate the needs of an older bird in need of a new home? Babies are usually a bit more happy to build a relationship with someone, but some adopted adults are just as eager! It really depends on the individual bird, and your willingness to work with it.
Some birds live just a few years, like Finches, while others, like Macaws or African Greys could live nearly 100 years! Knowing the bird’s age and potential lifespan is key in finding a good fit.
Sounds/ Noise Level
All birds will make sounds. If that’s not something you can tolerate, then a bird is not for you. Some, like Linnies (Lineolated Parakeets) or Budgies (Budgerigar Parakeets) are not very loud at all.
Others, like Sun Conures or Macaws can be heard from across the neighborhood! Pet birds are sometimes mistreated and left in the dark for extended periods because their owners don’t want to hear their sounds. This punishment is unfair to the birds, so please only consider having one if you can appreciate the sounds your bird will make.
Personality/ Temperament/ Interaction Level
Some birds are very social and will need lots of attention. Birds like African Greys and Quaker Parrots need a lot of stimulation and engagement from their keepers. Other birds, such as Canaries and Finches, will be happier living with other birds and enjoying flock life. Some birds, even when tame, will have demanding personalities and may prefer one person in particular. Some love their chosen person so much that they will become aggressive toward anyone else!
For the most part, birds will thrive from a varied diet, consisting of seeds, nuts, pellets, and prepared fresh fruit and vegetables. Some birds will require very specific diets though, so it’s important to research each breed you are considering bringing into your home. Consider where the bird is from, and what it would naturally forage. Try to include foods that are also fun to eat for fulfillment points!
Birds love to eat with their flock, so if you’re eating something that’s good for them, sharing is caring!
It’s also a good idea to know which veterinarian you’ll be able to take your bird to in the event that you need one. Many issues can be solved or avoided altogether by learning good care, but in an emergency, a vet could be your best bet. However, not all vets will see birds, so know where to go before bringing a bird home.