Birds As Pets – Everything You Need To Know As Beginner!
Birds are the closest descendants to mammals in their evolutionary history. So, when we talk about having aves as birds, we expect much higher pet intelligence than shown by amphibians and reptiles as pets. Out of 10,000 bird species known to humans, not all can be kept as pets. Especially, it is cruel to capture a bird from the wild and keep it in captivity. Also, wild birds are difficult to groom and maintain as you cannot provide the required diversity in diet and habitat because it's a natural habitat.
Birds are famous for their adorable features, love for their human fellows, and vibrant colors. However, whenever you enter a pet store with an idea to have the best captive breed without pre researching one for you, the diversity there will rattle your mind. And there will be a high chance that you make a wrong choice, especially if you are a beginner. It is because most of the talkative and companion breeds are high maintenance and require a lot of time and attention from their owner. However, if you are a beginner and a busy office person, you need to opt for a low-maintenance pet requiring little time daily.
Many other considerations come to play when you think of having a bird as a pet. In this article, we will clear all your questions and provide you with the best and comprehensive information on the most common bird species you can have as pets. Also, we will discuss all the important and specie specific points for each bird species. So, continue reading till the end and pen down the important points. You can then easily select the best for you.
Birds As Pets
Birds are smart animals which makes them great pets for humans. If you train your pet bird well, they can fly in your house freely and never fly away. Also, depending on species, quality of the environment, and training, birds can interact with their fellow humans in multiple ways, respond to name calls, and talk! So, depending on the type of characters you like in your pet bird and the amount of care, attention, and time you can invest in your aves partner, you can select the right species for you.
Before talking about species of birds, let us summarize some pros and cons of having bird pets to let you have a wider picture.
Perks Of Having Bird Pets
Here are a few of the many perks you will enjoy when you keep a bird as a pet:
- The first and foremost thing that keeps birds on a higher rank than other mammal pets is that you don't need to walk them outside for hours. Neither do you need to take them anywhere for environmental change or exercise.
- Birds are best companions. It is scientifically proven that having birds will cheer you up if you have anxiety, loneliness, and depression.
- Birds are very intelligent animals. It is estimated that some bird species, especially large adults, understand more than a human pre-schooler.
- When you dive into the aves world, you will discover that it is full of diversity ranging from characters to body shape, color, and height.
- Birds are very social animals. They do great with their fellow pets and species. Also, they love the interaction with their human friends.
- If you are afraid of losing your pet due to a shorter lifespan, then you need to give birds, reptiles, and amphibian pets a try. All these pets are specifically long-living and can live with you cheerfully for decades.
Cons Of Having Bird Pets
After going through the above list of perks of bird pets, you must be excited to have a bird friend and share your apartment with it. However, it would help if you looked at the few challenges that come along when talking about having birds as pets. There are:
- Birds are quite demanding. They demand cost on feed, a cool open living space that is large enough for them to fly freely, and your time and attention, especially in talkative species.
- When we say birds live long, long years, it is not always the perk. All this lifespan is accompanied by continuous care, grooming, and maintenance. Some birds have such long lifespans that they may outlive you. So, be ready for that.
- All the birds are not suitable for all the conditions and living environments. So, even if you are attracted to vibrant colors and amazing species, you cannot have anyone without meeting their very specific living conditions.
- While many pet bird species can talk, they may not necessarily! Pet's response to sounds and mimicking all depends on specific environmental conditions. Moreover, many bird species can't speak no matter how hard you try!
- Birds are the messiest pet one can ever have at their home. They feed everywhere and reach any place. It is hard to make a proper defense. So, be ready for a messy site and crunchy beds and sofas when you have your pet bird.
Bird Species That Do Well As Pets
Here are the most popular bird species that make amazing pets. Depending on the level of maintenance, they are recommended for beginner to intermediate and expert birders.
Scientific Name: Gallus gallus domesticus
Lifespan: 5 to 10 years
One of the most famous pets in the bird family is chickens. These low-maintenance pets are beginner friendly and provide a continuous source of excitement for the whole family. Along with providing a continuous supply of organic poultry products, these pets are highly rewarding. You will enjoy not only the surprising pet behaviors and cuddles but also fresh eggs far richer in Omega 3 fatty acid and Vitamin E than store-bought ones. Also, their fecal matter makes supreme quality manure for your garden.
Care of chickens is highly inexpensive, and they can do well in your backyard. Also, if you do not have big enough space, you can always go for breeds that do well in smaller spaces. Chicken is available in multiple breeds varying a lot in shape, size, color, and patterns. If you have space to keep them, there is no reason to avoid these loveable creatures.
Scientific Name: Coturnix coturnix
Lifespan: 2 to 3 years
Quails are famous for their cheerful nature and social chirps. These birds are full of entertainment and love for their owner. Quails are being kept as pets from ancient times due to their excellent behaviors and pet intelligence. These little game birds prove highly rewarding when it comes to keeping them as pets. The continuous supply of healthy organic eggs gives them another shining star.
Quails vary greatly in their characteristics, egg sizes, behaviors, body shape, size, colors, and patterns. The adult usually weighs up to 90 to 100 grams. However, the weight ad length also varies a lot from breed to breed. Some breeds are of bright, magnificent colors, while some are more inclined to warmer tones. Owing to their affordable care and low maintenance, they are ideal for beginners.
Scientific Name: Anatidae
Lifespan: 5 to 10 years
Let us talk about another friendly and rewarding low-maintenance pet. (Well, I just thought of that adorable Tweety). Ducks are one of the calmest, poised, and amusing pets in the bird family. These pets are highly social and love to live in groups. Moreover, they get attached to their owner in very little time and love to interact and play with them. These birds are highly intelligent and can be trained in multiple ways. Ducks can also develop a great emotional attachment with their human fellow, which may leave them in separation anxiety and depression on ignorance. These birds love waters. So, if you cannot provide them the right habitat, they may not be a suitable option for you.
One of the most remarkable features of these amazing pets is that they do not smell like other birds, especially chickens. Moreover, they also do not carry pests and parasites on their skin. So, these hygienic pets are great for children too. So, if you can afford ducks' maintenance and living requirements, they can be one of the best picks.
Scientific name: Cacatuidae
Lifespan:40 to 70 Years
If you want to have a good companionship pet, then cockatoos are a great option. They are not preferred for beginners because of their high maintenance but are a good option for birders. As they are companion birds, they need attention and, if not given, can be a little dangerous. It would help if you daily spend some time with them. Lack of awareness makes them aggressive. The aggressive behaviors include chewing furniture, walls, and even your finger, causing an injury. But on the other hand, they are loyal, and even if they fly, they return to you. These friendly pets are very popular among seasoned bird keepers.
Scientific name: Nymphyicus hollandicus
Lifespan: more than20 Years (Oldest Confirmed Specimen 36 Years)
Cockatiel birds are easy to maintain for beginners. They are good companion birds and can start recognizing you if loved and cared for. Their cage requires a lot of space with many playing stuff for their enjoyment. They love their playing stuff so much that you only need to take away their toys and cover the cage if you want to punish them for not behaving well.
No doubt beginners can pet cockatiel, but sometimes it becomes tough for them to deal with their health problems. Their diet mostly contains seeds, and sometimes they lack essential nutrients. For example, calcium deficiency can cause chronic issues while laying eggs, making them difficult to lay. Cockatiels usually poop everywhere after a short period of time ( every 10-15 minutes), so they can be quite messy to deal with.
Scientific name: Ramphastidae
Lifespan: more than 20 Years (Oldest individual 26 Years)
Toucans are attractive but are not common bird pets. If you like jolly birds, then toucans are excellent pets. Toucans eat those fruits and items which are sometimes difficult to find. They are difficult to train and can sometimes become noisy and aggressive with their owners and fellow bird pets. This makes it a challenging task to keep them as pets. They are best only for birders because of their high maintenance.
Scientific name: Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus
When it comes to pet birds, the hyacinth macaw is an attention seeker because of its large size and bright blue color. It is has a strong beak from which it can eat nuts and can even break the cages. Hyacinth macaw needs unstained cages and a cleaner environment. It is not a common pet bird because of its high maintenance, and its breeding is not as simple and easy as other pet birds. If you want Hyacinth as your pet bird, you should have a lot of information about it. They are very expensive because they have experienced a drastic decrease in their population and are considered endangered.
Scientific name: Columbidae
Doves are simple living and common pet birds and are low-maintenance pets. They are good options for beginners because there is nothing about them that needs to be strictly followed. They eat worms and snails. You can also potty train them, so they are usually a lot less messy than other bird species. Doves love to socialize and can be handled by teenagers. But if you are fond of pet birds that talk and interact a lot, then doves are not a great option for you.
Scientific Name: Amazona
Lifespan: up to 50 years
A very popular pet species owing to its captivating colors and features especially impressive talking abilities. They have a bright green color with diverse head colors in 15 subspecies known. Amazon parrots can build large vocabularies, mimick multiple sounds, and have very clear voices, unlike parakeets and other birds. Moreover, you can also train your pet to perform numerous tricks. In fact, these cheerful guys are more like another family member at home that can also dine with you at the table. Mostly they grow up to 15 inches from head to toe and weigh up to 25 ounces.
Owing to all these amazing features of an Amazon parrot, they are very social and need continuous attention. If you are a busy person, never go for having an Amazon Parrot at home. It is very likely for them to develop separation anxiety from loneliness, generating aggressive behaviors, leading to self-harm and even death. Also, the grooming and maintenance of these parrots take a lot. So, these pets are recommended for expert bird keepers.
Scientific name: Columbidae
Lifespan: up to 6 years
Pigeons are surprisingly good birds to pet by beginners. They are intelligent, calm, and can become their owner's great friends. But it requires some time for them to recognize you. Because of their friendly nature, they usually don't fly away. When it comes to the upbringing of their young, they are good parents. We can say that pigeons are quite similar to doves and can be interchanged with them.
Scientific name: Pyrrhura molinae
Lifespan: up to 15 years (cared for properly 30 years)
Conures are smart pets that are great attention seekers. If you are a busy person then they are not a good option for you. They can be trained with many tricks and try to dance, hang upside down, and talk moderately to draw your attention. Conures need toys for playing around to meet their daily exercise needs because they don't get to fly enough miles as pets. Owing to their difficult handling, maintainence requirements and time required daily, they are not good starter pets for beginners.
Scientific name: Melopsittacus undulatus
Lifespan: 5 to 8 Years
Parakeets, budgerigars, or simply tiny budgies have the amazing ability to talk and mimic human sounds. Though parakeets are small birds, their intelligence is compared to and sometimes more than large parrots. With proper living conditions, you can make your parakeet learn hundreds of words of multiple languages and also respond to them. However, it is sometimes hard to interpret the exact word owing to their high bases. Nonetheless, these chatterboxes are amazing cheerful pets that can excite any bird lover. Usually, these birds grow up to 7 inches. They have bright, amazing colors of gray, blue, violet, white, yellow, light green with dark-colored wings, etc.
Parakeets are easy for beginners to maintain. But at the same time, they require a proper clean environment. It is necessary to wash the area of the cage before it gets too dirty. Parakeet birds love to fly, so they should be kept in a big place to have free space for flying. No doubt, they are easy to maintain and can be kept as pets for a child, but they require quality time. If you are unable to give them the proper time, they will pluck their feathers out of loneliness. If taken good care, you will enjoy a friend in your bird.
Scientific name: Fringillidae
Lifespan: 5 to 9 Years
Finches are cute, little, innocent pet birds. They require a big cage for flying when kept with other pet birds. However, at the same time, they do not need much of your space. As they are very social, they enjoy being around humans. However, it would help if you were careful with them around children less than eight years as they can easily harm finches during handling. These birds need little grooming. They grow their nails and beaks longer with time which should be cut by a professional bird groomer.
Scientific same: Forpus coelestis
Lifespan: 20 to 40 Years
These fearless, captivating, bright-colored adorable little birds definitely know how to pave their way to the hearts of their owners.
No doubt, Parrotlets are great pets owing to their intelligence and affectionate nature. However, sometimes they become quite difficult to maintain and are not suitable for beginners for their starter. They are very territorial and get to attack other living creatures if they are in any way challenging their supremacy. Therefore, out of the cage, they need continuous attention and are sometimes quite difficult to handle.
Parrotlets need regular social interaction. You can play with them and also can buy a pair of them for their continuous exchange for the sake of their happiness and social life. However, they mostly do well as single birds. When Parrotlets are happy, they usually sing and whistle more than usual. If you want parrotlet as a pet bird, you should be prepared for long-term care because they live a long life.
Scientific name: Pionus senilis
Lifespan: up to 25 Years
Pionus are shy birds when they are strangers, but with regular care and maintenance, they become very friendly around their owners. They are easy-maintenance birds and can be petted by beginners. However, at the same time, they require proper well informed care. Any change in their habitat can affect their behavior and health. These pets can suffer from serious infections and metabolic deficiencies if they lack any nutrients. Like, a deficiency amount of vitamin C can cause illness leading to breathing difficulties. Otherwise, they are good pets that required daily exercise for a healthy body.
African Grey Parrots
Scientific Name: Psittacus erithacus
Lifespan: up to 23 years
African Grey Parrots are getting immense popularity among bird owners owing to their very high pet intelligence. Bird owners report that they have so much voice clarity that it seems like someone is talking to a human fellow in the next room while discovering their parrot playing with their child. These birds can build an amazingly large vocabulary collection. These birds do amazing in every aspect. However, they need a lot of time and attention from their owners. These species are more likely to develop separation anxiety and develop aggressive behaviors in response. You need to dedicate whole 5 hours to socializing, caring, and grooming your pet per day. So, having one at home is not an easy job.
Owing to all these facts, these 13 inches and 18 ounce bright gray and red tail birds are reserved for expert bird keepers.
Birds make great pets. However, you see, not every bird does great as a pet in every condition. So, analyze the level of attention, care, and habitat closer to the natural one you can provide to your pet. This will give you a clearer picture of the range of species you can have for you easily as birds are quite long-living pets, better not make a hasty and emotional choice.
I hope this article gave you a clear direction to work on. You may visit other sections of our website to know all about these species in detail. Also, you will be equipped with all the necessary information about keeping your bird pets healthy and make them show the maximum of their abilities. In case of any query, do contact us. We would be happy to help.
I am a graduate of a veterinary university. Dealing with all the kinds of pets from the dawn to dusk, it's like understanding their language. That is the best time ever, I must say!
Writing has always been my orphenadrine. I love to share my experience and talk about the most common issues people have been facing with their pets. My writing career began in 2015. I aimed to work for pets to share my experience and make pet humans relation a lot better. I usually talk about the most significant or recurrent cases of the day. During my practice at pet centre, I face a lot of questions by pet owners. Moreover, I also own a variety of pets myself including different species of mammals, birds and reptiles.
Therefore, I have decided to educate all the pet owners about their little friends who can’t talk the way we do. Understanding what they are telling us is all we need to do. And most of us fail to perceive.
So, I am here to serve the purpose. Let’s help each other in better understanding the needs, behaviours, and problems of our best friends with the best possible solutions!