Veterinarian - San Diego
1540 Morena Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92110



By Heather Beeson of Morena Pet Hospital
June 01, 2012
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged


Choosing a Bird:  How to decide which is the right pet for you!

Color. Song. Playfulness. These are some of the reasons people choose birds for pets. Birds don't take up a lot of space and they are very social creatures. Have you ever visited the nearby pet store and become “twitterpated” by the vividly colored parrot greeting you with a loud, animated “Hello-rrrarrr” and thought for a moment “oh what a cute pet you would make”.  Only to be reminded by your significant other that macaws can live close to 100 years and have drastically different dietary requirements and husbandry conditions compared to the love birds you had as a child. 

Rather than impulsively walking out the store with your new parrot friend (which unfortunately, more times than not in these situations, lead to an unhappy owner and worse, an unwanted bird), your best bet is to thoroughly evaluate your current lifestyle and determine how compatible this particular species would fit within your life.  Some things to consider are what size bird is best for you (are you more comfortable handling a smaller or larger species), what noise temperament and social behaviors do you prefer, do you have the proper housing requirements, budget and finances (cages, accessories, toys, diet, veterinary care, etc.), and time commitment to build upon your pet/pet owner relationship.   It goes to show that with a little research and some careful consideration, you can choose the pet that will be the most compatible with your lifestyle.

Birds As Pets

Birds can make great pets, but (like people) some can be more high-maintenance pets than others because they are very sociable and demand attention. Birds need daily stimulation, which can come from lots of toys, an engaging environment, and attention from their human counter-part. Parrot-type birds, in particular, tend to be noisy. Smaller birds are generally easier to manage than larger ones. You'll need adequate room in your home to accommodate the appropriate size of your bird and its cage.

Why do birds require attention?  Birds require a lot of attention because they like challenges and new experiences. Routine bores them. You will have to spend time every day not only feeding and keeping their cages clean, but playing and training them. However, they are very responsive and can learn new behaviors.

The best birds for families with children are some of the smaller varieties of parrots, such as Budgies, Cockatiels and Lovebirds. For larger birds, Cockatoos, Pionuses and Conures are a little less noisy and destructive than other large birds. If screeching sounds disturb you, look at Finches, Parakeets and Canaries. The best way to make your specific choice is to research the various species. Find a species that you can physically accommodate and then make choices based on the personalities of the birds.

For a more extensive list of common types of pet birds or tips on how to best care for your avian friend, please visit our Pet Care Library.