Last Updated on by mitchrezman
“Parrots Secrets Newsletter”
Released On: July 12, 2011
This special issue includes:
1) “11 Things You MUST Consider When Purchasing
a Parrot” by Nora Caterino
2) “Free Content for Your Birds/Parrots Web Site or Ezine!”
3) Tell Us What You Think!
I realize that most of you already own parrots.
However, if you are like most parrot parents, you are tempted
from time to time to add to the flock. Whether you are buying
your first parrot or your 10th, the considerations are the same
and you want to be smart. There really can be too many parrots
for some people while other people are happy to care for dozens
and dozens or even hundreds of parrots.
I’ve learned these things that must be considered because
of my personal experiences and experiences of my friends in
relation to becoming new parrot parents. Yet, I have had to
make mistakes to learn from them myself. Even with years of
experience with parrots, it is easy to make an error if you
don’t go back to the list of factors and review them from
time to time.
1. What is your motivation to buy
a first parrot or to add to the flock?
You’ve all read about my SunDance, the sun conure I had from
age eight weeks until her death. I’d like to tell you how wrong
my motivation for buying her really was. Now, understand that
I enjoyed 17 happy years with her and loved her dearly, but
my true motivation was flawed. I would not have missed those
years with her for anything, however.
My honest motivation was that I had just moved from cold
and snowy Colorado back to my former home in Cape Canaveral,
Florida and bought a brand new bicycle. Everyone in that area
rides their bicycles around town and on the beach and very good
bicycle paths are provided.
I had seen several people riding their bicycles with parrots
and I wanted one to ride my bike with me! I already had cockatiels
and budgies but I wanted a beautiful, striking, bigger parrot to show
off riding around town. Now, realize I had already been published
in Bird Talk magazine and I was dumb enough to think along these
lines of motivation.
SunDance was TERRIFIED at the sight of a bicycle! There was
no way in the world that I could get her to even consider sitting
on me while I was NEAR the bike, much less on board!
However, things worked out and I knew enough about parrots
to love her for what she was and we were happy, even though
I never went bike riding with a parrot – but then how safe would
that be, anyway? I would NOT recommend it at all!
Why do I tell you this? I am sharing this because it is
so very important to search ourselves and find exactly why
we want a parrot. If we want it as something to impress our
friends or to show off as a status symbol, we are using the
The only right motivation is that we have a place in our
lives that will provide room and care for the parrot and we
want to give of ourselves and our time to the parrot.
After all, it takes work and dedication to keep parrots
properly and they require a consistent schedule and daily
2. Is the expense something you can afford
initially and over time?
Parrots are NOT inexpensive. The bigger parrots cost lots
of money. Sure, a budgie isn’t a major investment, nor is a
cockatiel, but you also have to provide proper housing, food,
treats, toys, vet care, and you have an expense in time you
have to spend with the parrot.
If you want a large parrot, before deciding you have the
money for the parrot, price the large cage it will call its
home. A large, sturdy parrot cage that would be roomy enough
for a blue and gold macaw, for example, can cost as much as
Toys for big birds can run into money as well. Some of our
subscribers have stated in their interviews an average expense
of up to $500 per month for total average expense of caring
for their parrots – and they only have one, two or three!
Sure, this includes their wing clipping or other grooming
by a vet and health check ups, plus lots and lots of toys and
treats. Even a budgie, however, costs money and it has to have
the things it needs to be happy and entertained.
3. Consider family structure and family stability.
Right now you may be a single person with lots and lots of
time to spend with a long-lived parrot. But what happens to
the parrot if you…
a) Marry and have children?
b) Become unemployed? (Do you have the resources to care
for the parrot during times of financial stress?)
c) Are you in college and have time right now, but once you
enter your new career, will you be working long days and
leaving before daylight only to return after dark?
d) Do you travel a great deal or plan long international trips?
SunDance loved me through more than one marriage, several
jobs, different housing and even different family components.
However, that might not be the case for you. Think long and
hard about your future plans. She traveled with me at times
and other times visited with her Grandmother (my mom) or
with another trusted friend or relative.
I once had to change roommates because SunDance could
NOT stand the roommate I chose. She was right and I was wrong,
but nonetheless, I had to go through finding another roommate
because I couldn’t afford the housing alone. There’s a lot to
consider about what could happen in the future.
Also, parrots are long lived and plans must be made for
their care should something happen to you. They can easily
outlive their owners.
One African Grey in Alaska was documented by
Bird Talk magazine to be 112 years of age!
4. Do you have time and desire to provide
attention to your parrots every single day?
One mistake made by many parrot buyers is that they buy a hand-fed just weaned baby parrot and, because the parrot is new, pay loads of attention to the parrot.
Then, reality sets in and the parrot doesn’t get nearly
as much attention as it previously was lavished with. Some
parrots become stressed out by this and begin to pluck
Cockatoos are especially emotional parrots and, if you
choose a cockatoo, you should begin at Day One paying only
as much attention to the parrot as you reasonably expect to
provide on a daily basis.
5. Do you have reasonably consistent work hours
or live on a consistent schedule?
Parrots need consistency in their lives. They live on a
schedule and they expect their humans to do the same.
They can adjust to different schedules to an extent as long
as there is consistency. TOO MUCH CHANGE can result
in a stressed-out parrot!
Parrots want to be awake, uncovered, and fed in the morning.
Many of them like to get up at sunrise and will tell you about
it if you try to sleep in. They want to settle in for the night
not too long after it gets dark outside. During the hours in
between rising and going to bed for the night, they want their
humans to pay attention to them.
6. Do you have the time and willingness to provide
proper training on a consistent basis?
Parrots need to learn good manners through basic
training. If you want your parrot to learn to talk, you’ll
have to provide that training as well. You will find that
you need to teach your parrot what belongs to it and what
it should not bother; keeping in mind they only learn this to
a point because they are mischievous, curious creatures
Parrots can actually be potty trained, but only through
consistency and training can that happen. Some talented
parrots can learn to use speech in context to let their
humans know what they want, but only if the time is spent
to teach them the words.
A parrot, as a rule of thumb, takes almost as much time
as a two-year-old human to raise properly! But the parrot
does not grow up and go to college after 16 more years like
the two-year old child! It’s a commitment of many years!
7. Are you willing to learn about your parrot
and ensure it has the proper care?
In order to care for a parrot properly, you need to know
what species it is and what that species needs to be healthy
and happy. Some parrots, Lorikeets and Hyacinth macaws for
example, have special dietary needs that must be met in order
to be healthy.
There are State laws in the United States about certain
species and I’m sure this is true in other countries as well.
Quaker parrots, for example, are illegal to transport in some
states and in others they are illegal to even have possession
of. Some states require closed bands to remain on the parrots;
others do not.
The parrot owner has to investigate and learn about their
specific species and how to best create a healthy, happy home
for the parrot.
8. Do you have space in your home for a parrot
or another parrot?
I once lived in a one-bedroom apartment with a dozen small
parrots. That isn’t for everyone, however. If you choose a
large parrot, you’ll have to have sufficient space to put a
large cage and you’ll probably want a place for a play gym.
Parrots are messy and you can’t just put their cage anywhere.
They’ll often sling food onto the walls and make a mess with
their food on the floor.
9. What is your housing situation?
If you rent your home, are pets allowed? Are the walls
sufficiently sound-proof so that your parrot will not bother
neighbors and result in complaints against you?
As I said, I did live in a one-bedroom rental apartment
for years with a sun conure without getting any complaints.
Whether that had to do with my neighbors or fate, I can not
say. I do know that most of my neighbors loved seeing SunDance
and our walls were not thin. Many apartments or attached homes
allow lots of noise to travel between apartments.
“A 747 Jumbo Jet produces as much as 140 decibels of noise.
Peacocks have been registered at 115 db. Moluccans hold the
record as the loudest bird on earth at 135db (average = 120db)”
by the San Diego Zoo.
10. Do you have the dedication neededto give a parrot everything it needs?
Just as with raising a child, there will be times that you
have to spend money you may prefer using for something else
to obtain things your parrot needs such as health care, a new
cage or toys. Also, your parrot will expect you to be with it
during part of every day.
I hear too many stories about people who obtain untamed
parrots and then don’t have the dedication to tame them. It
can take months or even years to get an untamed adult parrot
to become trusting of humans.
Do you have that kind of dedication?
This is a good time to bring up the differences of buying
an adult untamed parrot and a hand-fed well-socialized baby
parrot. If you want to ensure you have a loving pet that will
allow you to handle it and pet it, you should BUY A HAND-FED
Even with a hand-fed parrot, if the parrot is allowed to
exist as part of the parrot flock, it will learn to be a
parrot. If a baby parrot is placed in a loving family as an
only parrot and you follow guidelines about spending time
every day with your parrot, you’ll almost certainly have a
loving, cuddly parrot.
Some untamed adult parrots become trusting and loving;
this depends on the parrot and the humans involved as well
as dedication and consistency.
11. Do you want a parrot that talks and will
NOT be happy with a non-speaking parrot?
The only way to obtain a parrot that is guaranteed to talk
is to buy one that is already talking!
There is absolutely no guarantee that any specific parrot
of any species will talk. There are African Greys that never
learn to say a word and others that seem to know most of the
Webster’s Dictionary. Can you love a parrot no matter whether
it ever speaks? Will you love the parrot for what it brings to
your life, no matter what?
If you don’t feel you can be happy unless you have a parrot
that talks, you should either buy a parrot that already talks
or look again at your reasons for wanting the parrot.
If you do want a parrot that talks and is also tame and
loving, you can purchase a species that is known for talking
ability and then train the parrot, hoping it will learn to speak.
But you have to keep in mind that there are absolutely…
-No guarantees no matter what anyone tells you!
If you consider all these factors and become well educated
about the parrot you intend to purchase, you’ll make a very
good parrot parent.
Remember, other pets can harm a parrot. Today I have the
pleasure of owning BabyLove, a cockatiel who will never have
a pretty tail again because a former, less than attentive owner
let a dog attack him. Today, BabyLove lives in a home where
there are other birds and he enjoys spending most of his time
outside the cage since I am from the comfort of work. But in the past
was not so wonderful. Someone obtained this loving boy without
having thought their plans through well enough and it almost cost
BabyLove his life and he will carry the scars all his remaining life.
If, however, you find yourself thinking you may not be able
to provide enough attention or your other pets may cause danger
or stress, you might want to think about your purchase further.
It’s very sad when someone spends thousands on a parrot only to
learn they really don’t want to own the parrot!
Written and approved by the Windy City Parrot Content Team