Birds are friendly, loyal and intelligent pets that can learn to replicate human speech and interact with their owners in very unique ways. Such attributes have helped make birds increasingly popular pets.
Interest in pet birds has risen, as statistics from the American Pet Products Association National Pet Owners Survey 2017-2018 show that 7.9 million American households have pet birds, and roughly 20 million birds reside in homes across the country.
Although there are many different bird species that can make wonderful pets, certain birds may make better companion animals, particularly for first-time bird owners, because of their amenable personalities.
Before getting a feathered friend, prospective owners are urged to learn about bird care, including researching the type of caging, exercise, food, and attention required to care for birds. This education can help bird lovers find companions who will get the care they deserve.
When considering birds, here are some of the more popular species, courtesy of PetMD and PetSmart.
The average parakeet has a life span of seven to 10 years, and their docile personalities make parakeets great companion birds. Also known as Budgies, parakeets are good for people new to bird-keeping. Parakeets are quite intelligent and can learn a few basic commands. Some may be able to pick up some human words. Parakeets thrive on interaction with their owners and should be handled for around a halfhour or more per day. Early socialization and handling are advised to raise a parakeet that’s part of the family.
These personality-heavy birds can also be great pets for first-timers. Well socialized cockatiels recognize and respond to their owners. Cockatiels are a bit larger than parakeets and require medium-sized cages. They can benefit from socializing time outside of their cages and require mental stimulation to stay healthy.
For people who like to watch birds more so than handle them, finches might be the ideal fit. These little birds thrive in small flocks and are content to pay more attention to their cage mates than humans. They’ll flit from perch to post, and their delicate tweets can fill a room with vitality.
Conures are social and outgoing and love to hang out with people. They tend to be loud birds, so owners should keep this in mind. Conures can live 20 to 30 years, so they require a lengthy commitment. Mental stimulation is important to a conure so it doesn’t get bored and begin to pluck feathers. Toys, foraging puzzles and time outside of the cage can help keep conures healthy and happy.
Canaries are another type of bird that can be watched instead of cuddled. They’re popular thanks to their prolific, operatic songs. Some are even bred to perform specific songs. When properly provided for, canaries can live from five to 10 years.
Those interested in pet birds can speak with employees at local pet stores or avian specialty shops to get detailed guidelines on caring for these increasingly popular pets.