What Species of Parrots Make the Best Pets?

Let’s start with parrots falling under a definite no. 

Kea for one. The New Zealand Alpine parrot lives in the snowy mountains and is really smart but extremely destructive.

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Can You Help Me With Lighting for My Eclectus Parrot?

Victoria K. has an avian lighting question,

hi there, I purchased this hanging full spectrum light for my Eclectus a while ago and can’t seem to find the setup instructions (and don’t see them on your website).

Would it be possible for you to provide it to me?

Green Bean is in his cage 12-14 hours/day and is otherwise on a playstand most days unless I am away from home.

Is it ok for this light to be on for a full 12 hours (I am not often gone that long but just want to make sure because I think one of your articles mentions that retina damage can occur with more than 4-5 hours of UVA/UVB lighting in certain circumstances)?


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What Is a “good” Diet for a 3-year-old Eclectus Parrot?

Julia M. asks,

Top of the morning! Could you tell me what a “good” diet is for a three-year-old Eclectus?

I have had him since the middle of his weaning.

Editors note ~ about 20% of parrots are sexually dimorphic meaning you can tell the sex by the bird’s color. Males are green, females are red, so Julia can use the pronoun “him” with certainty. Endnote


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What Should I Do for a Hormonal Male Caique, 17 Years Old?

Donna L. asks:


What should I do for a hormonal male caique, 17 years old?


Screaming while holding a toy with his beak on the cage bottom or screaming while hanging on the cage bars, screaming at 2:30 AM.


Losing weight, killing any toy he can find, and just starting to pick at his chest and bottom of his foot.


Editor’s note: I suggest a magnified visual of both feet bottoms seeking any sores or irritations. Endnote


Stopped eating his pellets (Harrisons), I have combined them with other pellets, not interested. Will eat them if I soak them in water and mix them with cooked bird rice and spaghetti.


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How Do I Care For My 2 Eclectus Parrot Pluckers?

Hi Randall

I’m looking at the pictures you sent, thank you.

Obviously, the birds have feather self-destruction issues.

Typically these need to be addressed holistically.

Before we get granular on the issue let’s do some housekeeping and talk about this particular species.

 About 20% of parrots are sexually dimorphic meaning you can determine the sex of the bird by its color or markings.

Eclectus parrots are either red and blue (female) or green (male). 

Male ringnecks have the ring,  females have none.



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What Sizes Do the Tropican Parrot Food Pellets Come in?

Linda L. would like to know:

Is the size of the Tropican Lifetime Parrot granules much bigger than the Tropican Lifetime Cockatiel granules?

Hard to tell from pictures

Dear Linda,

The Cockatiel size granule is 2 mm, the Parrot size granule is 4 mm.

The stick-sized pellet is about 3/4″ x ¼”.


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Why is My Female Eclectus Hormonal but My Male Grey Not So Much?

Trish G asks:

Both are regularly seen by an Avian Diplomate Vet and are in great health, and they eat Harrisons, organic veggies (from the freezer section) and I hide sunflower seeds and pistachios all over their cage for them to hunt, which they do enthusiastically. 


We take them camping and sailing with us (my husband is both patient and tolerant!).


Lucy usually lays eggs 1-2 times a year, fall and spring, and I let her sit on them at night for about 3 weeks because I found if I pull them she keeps laying more. 


For the last month she’s been biting me quite hard (blood!) when I try to return her to her cage and random other times, and I’m not able to identify why. 


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In Response to “Do You Serve Your Pet Bird Chop?”

Sherry L. comments:

Yes, my birds are fed ‘chop’ (Arlo the grey, calls it ‘bobbity’) This is a new term for what I have done for 28+ years.

Chop is chopped veg, grains, and sometimes, a tiny bit of seed sprinkled on top or a bit of walnut, or something.

I used to cut the vegetables larger because Arlo was pretty accepting of lots of things, and I didn’t have a food processor.

I also (now) feed Arlo a pelleted diet, along with the chop.

She also gets a small amount of fruit, and sometimes about an inch square of chicken breast (baked) or some steamed scallop (yum).


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Why is It So Critical to Know Different Pet Bird Species?

Why is it so important to understand the differences between bird species?


I’m not ashamed to say we get more deliveries from Amazon (like most Americans) then we care to talk about.


This week a new Amazon driver “Patrick” handed off an envelope then said “I’ve never been here before – this place looks cool.”



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