There are many different factors to be taken into consideration when trying to find out which are the best house birds to keep as pets, since your motivation behind getting a pet bird could affect your decision. Check out the following things to think about before taking the leap:
Make sure this isn’t an impulse buy – as birds can live a long time and need a lot of care.
All members of the household need to be on the same page when it comes to owning a pet bird.
Having the right amount of space in the home is crucial, along with the size of the cage.
How Much do House Birds Cost?
Expenses are ongoing and include food, medical care, cage and equipment, toys, etc.
Can you afford a bird-sitter for times when you go out of town, if needed?
Finding a veterinarian who can care for birds is great, but can be costly.
Caring for House Birds
You need to devote at least half an hour per day socializing with your bird.
The cage will need to be cleaned every day and the food and water need to be changed regularly.
Watch for signs of illness and ensure their safety around children and other animals.
Another thing to consider is knowing how to pick a healthy specimen, so don’t forget to ask about their medical history. Your bird (or birds) should exhibit the following:
- Bright eyes
- Shiny, sleek feathers
- No bald patches
- Smooth and clean feet with wrinkles
The Best House Birds to Keep as Pets
While personal preference might dictate what kind of bird you choose, it’s important to consider the research and knowledge needed to make it work. Also, since birds are very social, you might need to buy at least two birds, but if you don’t want them to breed, find out if 2 birds of the same sex will get along.
Some species are easier than others to take care of, so if you want birds who don’t require that much handling or birds that don’t screech at some ungodly hour of the night, make sure you find the perfect bird that fits your lifestyle. Read on to learn more about different types of pet house birds.
Whether you’re new to bird-keeping or an experienced enthusiast, Cockatiels are a popular choice. Considered to be great talkers and whistlers, these birds are also affectionate, with a fondness for head scratches and plenty of time out of their cages. Other positive reasons for choosing a Cockatiel include:
- They are relatively cheap and easy to maintain
- They are not big eaters
- They enjoy regular socializing
Mostly yellow/green, Canaries can come in different colors and belong to the Finch family. The males are lovely little songbirds who enjoy singing, whistling talking and making eye contact with humans. They can live up to 15 years and their sizes range from 5 to 9 inches. Canaries are also:
- Happy to spend time by themselves
- Likely to prefer being in their cages, provided they are big enough for flying
- Quite territorial, so they suit people who only want one bird
These playful birds are also known as Parakeets or Budgies. Like Cockatiels, they are affectionate, easy to care for and a lot cheaper than other, more exotic birds. Small enough to be suitable for almost any home, they are relatively quiet and like to play with their toys. Other reasons Budgerigars are a great choice include:
- They have a lot of energy
- They’re great talkers and are very charming
- They like to show off
If you’re romantic or sentimental, then Lovebirds could be for you. As the song says, “It takes two..” so you’ll probably need to buy a couple if you want the birds to be happy. These birds are quite verbal and love a lot of attention, as well as:
- Playing and enjoying a snuggle
- Snacking on fruits and vegetables
- Basking in indirect sunlight
African Grey Parrots
These intelligent birds are somewhat quiet and sensitive, according to those who are lucky enough to own one or two. African Greys can be affectionate but they also have an independent streak, so they won’t be pining away for your attention too much. Having said that, these birds love to:
- Have a cuddle with the right person
- Live in a big cage with toys for stimulation
- Learn new tricks
If you’re a first-time bird owner who has the time to spend with your feathered friends then the Green-cheeked Conure could be the right choice. Usually gentle and quiet, they can emit a loud alarm every now and then, but they are loyal, intelligent and can also be:
- Affectionate and charming
- As alert as a watch dog
- Fast learners
These small, energized birds originate from Australia and they can grow up to 8 inches. Although short lived, with an average lifespan of 5 years, these charming little Finches make a unique sound, like quick staccato beeps. Other characteristics include:
- Rapid metabolic rates which means they need to be well fed
- A preference for staying in their cage (they usually don’t like to be handled)
- They like to have a mate but can be territorial with those of the same sex
Larger than the usual house bird, Cockatoos enjoy interacting with their owners, provided they are given enough freedom to fly about on a daily basis. Intelligent and affectionate, they can learn tricks if handled with patience. Cockatoos are great because:
- They’re large enough to handle and like to cuddle
- They’re not too noisy unless excited
- They like to dance and act silly
Of course, there are other choices if you want to know more about which are the best house birds to keep as pets, such as Amazon Parrots and Macaws, but the more exotic an animal is, the more care, patience and knowledge you’ll need to have.
Also, it’s important to make sure you’re buying a bird from a reputable seller who does not source his animals from poachers or other unscrupulous sellers. Once you’ve decided on the right birds and the right source, you’re well on your way to becoming a happy bird owner.