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Birds are beautiful, fascinating creatures, and, in turn, many people are fascinated with birds. There are approximately 300 billion birds of almost 10,000 different species that inhabit the Earth. They are also among the most beloved group of animals on the planet. Their brilliant array of colors, intelligent actions and comical behavior make them fun to watch and easy to love. Birds are found on all the major land masses from the North Pole to the tropics. Societies, such as the National Audubon Society of America with 550,000 members, and the RSPB with over one million members demonstrate just popular birds are to humans. Bird clubs and bird societies have members who are dedicated to promoting pet bird ownership, responsible breeding and share a desire to further the study of birds and preservation of bird species. Pet birds have now become the fourth most popular pet, behind dogs, cats and fish, and the third most popular animal companion.

Pet birds can make exceptional companions, but it also takes a special person to love and properly care for a bird. There are many things to consider before purchasing a pet bird. Choosing the right type of bird for your lifestyle is an important first step. Some birds need daily stimulation, lots of toys and interaction with people or other birds in order to stay happy. Whether you choose a large pet bird or a small to medium size bird also depends on how willing you are to accept some “destructiveness” to your home. Large birds, such as parrots, can be loud and like to chew on furniture. This is because, in nature, parrots chew on large tree branches all day long. It's also important to note that parrots are very intelligent creatures and without proper care and “things to do,” they can develop serious psychological and behavioral problems. In general, the larger the bird, the more destructive. However, this doesn't mean you must endure chewed up furniture to own a large pet bird, but you must help keep your pet engaged in activities and entertained, which means some creativity and involvement on your part. Remember: in the wild, birds are social creatures and they are never alone.

Behavior and temperament, nutrition and maintenance are other things to consider before purchasing a pet bird. Do you prefer a bird that likes to be seen but not touched or do you want a pet bird that will come out of its cage and socialize? Since large birds are generally louder, messier and more demanding than smaller species, it is often recommended that novice bird owners start out with a smaller species. Some birds require special diets and some species live a very long time, so deciding to own a pet bird means committing to feeding, housing and providing veterinary care throughout their lives. All of these factors, and more, should be taken into consideration before purchasing a bird. The more research you do – the better. Choosing to live with a pet bird may mean making changes in your lifestyle that you didn't realize. However, with careful research and knowledge beforehand, owning a pet bird can be a very rewarding experience.


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