Birds are lovely little creatures with big fun personalities. However, they’re not right for everyone. Just as with any other pet, there is a lot of time and energy that is required to properly care for a bird. Before you head out to a pet shop and buy that cute little budgie in the window, here are some things you should consider:
They make a mess. There’s no nice way to say it. Birds are messy. The majority of their food will be wasted, and you’ll find it scattered on the floor below their cage. This is a bit more manageable with a few minor investments, such as cage skirts and a hand vacuum, but either way, you should be prepared for a fair amount of daily cleanup duties.
They make a lot of noise. Bird songs are a lovely treat, especially on a sunny spring morning. Midnight screeching from the bird who shares your home? Not so enjoyable. While some birds are certainly noisier than others, it’s something that comes along with every species to some degree. Make sure that you have a high tolerance for these types of sounds.
Generally speaking, birds are not a good match for children. Birds are naturally defensive creatures. Because they are prey animals in the wild, they do not react well to sudden noises or movements. You’ve heard of the fight or flight response. In the case of bird meets child, you just might find that you have both fight and flight on your hands. Give it some time, and allow your child to develop the emotional maturity that is required to handle birds in a gentle and loving manner.
All of those things considered, here are a few suggestions for first-time bird owners. These species have all been proven to be a great match for beginners and are all capable of learning the simple tricks that make pet birds so appealing.
Budgies (most often referred to in the United States as “parakeets”)
Take a look at Charlie in the video below. Is he lovable or what?!
This pint-sized parrot is a family favorite, with good reason. They are very easily tamed, require minimal space to thrive, and have an expected lifespan of up to 15 years.
Cockatiels can live up to 30 years, so be prepared for a pretty hefty commitment. They are also a relatively small bird, which makes them a feasible option for most families. They’re outgoing and friendly, making them another favorite among household pets. For a more affectionate pet, choose a female. Males are generally more vocal and will provide hours of comic relief.
The rosy cheeks of these tiny parrots are irresistibly cute. They come in a variety of colors, and can live for about an average of 20 years.
Whatever species you choose, remember that all pets deserve a loving and committed home.