Birds can be wonderful pets, provided you know what you’re getting into beforehand. Birds can be messy (just ask any statue), and they can require a lot of care to keep them healthy. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your home and you lifestyle, one of the most important choices you’re going to need to make if you decide to get a pet bird is: which kind of bird fits your way of life?
Some birds make better pets than others, and it’s strongly recommended by both seasoned bird owners and the Human Society of the US that people choose a type that has been selectively bred and considered domesticated. Birds that fall into this category will typically include: canaries, finches, parakeets, cockatiels, and lovebirds. It’s not uncommon to find people with pet parrots, macaws or cockatoos, but these birds haven’t gone through generations of breeding to make them amenable to living in a cage their entire lives. That being said, owning one can be considered cruel.
All that being said, here are a few things to think about when deciding which type of bird you’d like to own:
Looking for just one pet bird? Canaries like to be alone. If you don’t mind getting more than one, cockatiels, lovebirds and finches love company.
If you want a bird that you can teach to talk, look into parakeets and cockatiels. Some species of these birds can be taught to mimic human words. Make sure to find out from your local pet store which ones can be taught to speak and just how extensive their vocabulary can become.
Disposition is extremely important to take into consideration when deciding which bird to buy. Canaries and finches don’t much care for human contact. Canaries prefer to be alone, but finches love being around other finches. Parakeets and cockatiels, though, are incredibly smart and often relish contact with humans. If you’re looking for something to add a bit of music to your home, but don’t necessarily need to handle it much, think canary – an excellent singer. If you’d prefer a smart, cheerful pal to sit on your shoulder and periodically squawk “pieces of eight, pieces of eight,” then a parakeet or cockatiel may be right up your alley.