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8 Popular Pet Birds and Their Fun Facts

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8 March, 2023

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Birds are not the easiest pets to care for, especially if you have no experience at all. They can be very noisy, messy, expensive, and tiresome (especially if you consider all the work involved in cleaning their cages). However, if you choose the right match for you (in terms of your personality and schedule), then you might find the experience more rewarding than you’d ever expected.  So, if you’re ready to dive into the world of bird-keeping, here are some fun facts about popular pet birds that might just help you.

Fan Favorites: Some of the Most Popular Pet Birds

Parakeets

Courtesy of Pexels

  • These birds come in different shades of blue, green, white, and yellow.
  • They require very low maintenance, so they are perfect for beginners. 
  • They can also be very friendly and affectionate once you earn their trust. 
  • Letting them fly and exercise their wings is recommended for at least an hour every day, so keep their wings clipped for their own safety. 

Cockatiels

Courtesy of Pexels

  • These birds are typically gray and white, with a tinge of yellow around the head, a familiar feathered crest at the top, and those red-spotted cheeks.  
  • They are known for being highly trainable. 
  • They are very sociable, easily getting comfortable with people.
  • They require a bigger cage than parakeets and they need a few hours off-cage to exercise their flight muscles. 

Parrotlets

Courtesy of Pixabay

  • These birds come in shades of blue, green, and even yellow, and they look like miniature versions of the Amazon parrots.
  • They might be small but they have huge personalities. These feisty little birds can resort to nipping when scared, so they need frequent interaction and socialization. However, after gaining their trust, these birds can be highly trainable. 
  • These birds can live for 30 years. 
  • They are pretty active birds, always moving around and looking for things to do. So, make sure that you have plenty of things in your bird’s enclosure that will engage your parrotlet physically and mentally. If you need help in taking care of your parrotlet, you can watch this video guide for more information. 

Lovebirds

  • These birds are very sociable. They prefer living in flocks or as pairs. So, if you’re planning on getting lovebirds, get at least a pair. Otherwise, they’ll get easily stressed and problematic living solitary lives. 
  • They can easily get into trouble when they get let out of cages, so make sure you keep a close eye on them and keep their wings clipped. 
  • They keep close to their partners and will stay with them for life. When one of the mated pair dies, the remaining bird will never mate again.
  • Although they can be picky eaters sometimes, lovebirds will normally feed on grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. 

Finches

Courtesy of Pixabay

  • These birds are more suited to pet owners who would rather observe than cuddle with their birds. 
  • They can live for 5 to 10 years. 
  • They thrive in groups and prefer not to be handled. So, if you want a bird that you can cuddle with, finches are not the birds for you.
  • It’s better to keep them in huge cages because off-cage exercises with these birds can be problematic, especially for a beginner.

Canaries

Courtesy of Pexels

  • Yellow is not their only color. These birds also come in red-orange, pink, white, and brownish variants. 
  • Unlike other birds, these birds can eat jalapenos. 
  • They love singing. Because of this, they’ve been used by miners as warning devices inside the mines. When the canaries they bring into the mine stop singing, this signals the miners of unseen danger, like the presence of poisonous gas or the lack of oxygen.
  • Tweety Bird is a canary.

African Grey Parrots

Courtesy of Pexels

  • They can be a challenge for beginner pet handlers because these parrots are quite active, always seeking mentally challenging activities. Research shows that these birds can have an intelligence level comparable to that of a toddler. 
  • They can live as long as 80 years.
  • They like to eat nuts. 
  • They are also monogamous birds. They stay with their mates and share co-parenting responsibilities.

Pionus Parrots

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

  • These birds are perfect for those who would like to experience taking care of parrots but don’t want to deal with their loud noises. Pionus parrots are considered the quietest of the Amazon parrot family. 
  • These birds look quite amazing with their blue and green iridescent plumage. 
  • They have a naturally good disposition, but it would still certainly help if they get frequent socialization and interaction with you. Remember that the more comfortable they get with humans, the less chance they’ll accidentally get frightened of you, and the less likelihood you’ll get nipped by them. These birds carry a serious beak, and getting bit by them will certainly hurt. 
  • If you have your heart set on the Pionus parrot as your first pet bird, then go through this comprehensive guide before getting one yourself. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How much would you need to spend to start on bird-keeping?

On average, according to expert pet owners, you would need an initial investment of around $300 or more to start on your very first pet bird. This cost includes a small- to medium-sized cage ($70-150), bird food ($75), toys and treats ($25), routine checkups ($50-85), and a non-exotic bird like a parakeet ($15-65). 

However, this amount can quickly change if you go for more exotic birds because not only will exotic birds be more expensive, but their cage sizes and other requirements will probably change as well. 

Are birds sensitive to household fumes? 

Birds are built with highly efficient respiratory systems. This is due to the high oxygen demand of their flight muscles. As a result of their excellent respiratory system, pollutants in the air also make their way to the blood of birds and circulate faster, making them more vulnerable than other creatures. That’s why some birds like canaries are used by miners to assess air quality in the mines. 

According to bird experts, household fumes like the ones coming from cooking, bathroom cleaning agents, varnish, and even hair products can cause respiratory problems in some birds. These negative effects may not always present themselves immediately in your pets but may build up in time. 

Are there birds that are illegal to have as pets?

Yes, there are. Birds that are considered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as near threatened, vulnerable, endangered, and critically endangered should not be kept as pets. 
Also, birds considered to be invasive species are illegal to have since they pose an ecological threat to the local fauna if released. Each state or country usually has its own list of illegal species to own. Read up on these before buying any species so you don’t get in trouble. You can also check out the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Environmental Conservation Online List of Animals here.

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