What Are the Absolute Worst Types of Parrots for a First-time Bird Owner?

What Are the Absolute Worst Types of Parrots for a First-time Bird Owner?

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Once again, although well-intentioned, people are breaking down your choices into the macro of species (Quora question).

One answer started with

  1. Cockatoos
  2. Macaws
  3. Amazons

Yet these three species come in close to a combined 100 flavors.

Major Mitchell cockatoos are not loud, and not necessarily cuddly

Bare-eyed cockatoos are all but demure

Noble macaws are only 12 to 14 inches long.

Hyacinth macaws are up to 44 inches long – 4 times the size of a noble macaw.

You can’t compare the two just because they are macaws.

Everything about the 2 species is different.

Birdcage size, diet, inside and outside of the cage environment.

Mealy Amazons, are the largest of the Amazon parrot species at 15 – 17 inches long and weighing up to 2 lb (about 900 grams)

The smallest Amazon, white-fronted Amazons are less than 10 inches long and weigh only about 220 grams, almost a quarter of a Mealy amazons weight.

Because they are Amazons, does not make them identical pet birds to keep

Ringnecks are in the 110 – 120 g range as well as Senegal parrots but – Ringnecks are 12-16 inches long vs a 7-inch Senegal.

Why do I make these differentiations?

I can place a perch in a Senegal’s cage on the side, one or two inches from the back of the bird cage.

The Sennie’s tail will not touch the back of the cage.

The Ringneck’s tail would be rubbing and poking through the rear cage bars requiring more preening time and less chance it (the long tail) will ever look its best.

That’s just a single perch issue – there is much more to consider.

Long tail birds need play stand perches higher so their tail doesn’t get dragged below the bird.

Presuppose nothing when bringing a new bird into your home.

You can’t assume that it will talk, be playful, or bond with every family member.

We have a friend who’s a first-time caged bird keeper who bought a Timneh African grey from a breeder exactly a year ago this week.

All the “experts” on Quora will tell you not to get an African grey as your first bird.

“Start with a cockatiel, it’s your best play.”

Our friend Kim, runs one of the finest day cares on the planet.

A single African gray parrot is no challenge when you have been providing care and guidance to young humans for a quarter of a century.

Zoe (her Timmy) is loved by everyone in the family and the family reciprocates.

She gets along well with anybody in the household and all the daycare students.

The experience has so emboldened Kim that she is now seeking a second African grey parrot.

Yes, Martha, parrots are much like potato chips, you just can’t have one.

But I digress.

As luck would have it, an elderly (in his 80s) customer of ours is in the process of giving up a Congo African grey since his wife died recently and the bird is too much for him to handle alone.

I believe the bird has been in the family for decades.

I need to fact-check this.

In any case, he is about to relinquish the bird to a good friend of ours who runs a private rescue where we have gotten a couple of our birds from.

Catherine (my wife) is in the process of reaching out to the rescue operator, with the hopes of enabling at least a dialogue with her and Kim.

Stay tuned.

In the meantime Jessica, if at all possible I would advocate that you spend some time in a bird rescue.

Some here on Quora are fanatics who that dictate you should volunteer your time, which I certainly would not discourage.

Just visiting a bird rescue though, will offer insights about the hundreds of species of parrots that we keep as pets.

How all these people on Quora can predict the outcome of a single parrot’s relationship with you is mind-numbing.

Go back and begin to understand birds and their 99 million-year evolutionary existence because right now your question to somebody like me who provides caged bird care solutions for living sounds something like this:

“Should I get a dog a pony or a horse” They’re all four-footed mammals, right?

Birds are the only pets you can have that fly.

Think about that.

BTW – if you don’t like to vacuum, don’t get a bird.

Written by Mitch Rezman
Approved by Catherine Tobsing

 Mitch, you are right on the mark, birds are individuals. A certain amount of tendencies can be expected from each group, but like us, not all Chinese people use chopsticks, and all Italians don’t speak with their hands! I advise new owners that their first bird should not be one with anger and training issues. In 50 years this has worked well. I only have 4 bird brains now: 26 yo B&G, 24 yo Congo, 76 yo blue-front Amazon, 20 yo Alexandrine. I love what you do for all birds, Aloha, Chris 

 1 rescue grey then another rescue grey then a rescue cockatoo…. and always on your web site for help….the vacuum cleaner is essential!! thanks, Lee and the birds 

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Mitch
    What you said is very wise and true. I have owned dogs all my adult life but it was entirely a different experience owning a bird. My daughter fell in love with birds in Middle School. At first we had an African Grey but it was purchased from a pet shop but she couldn’t survive long with her continued poor health. I believe they can be good birds for a first time owner if you are very informed and patient. We then separately rescued a male and female Blue Crown Conures (my daughter saw the movie “Paulie.”) BTW we never tried to breed them– that would have been irresponsible. OK, they couldn’t talk well (as one did in the movie) like the African Grey but they sure could vocalize loudly. The male passed away but we still have the female at age 24 and she is still very noisy.. My daughter, Amy, died at age 23 and Louie is the only living memory I have left of her. When I got my birds it was before I heard about the bird rescue, The Gabriel Foundation, which is about an hour away from where I live. I would have adopted my birds from there had I known about it. As a now 70 year old woman I believe birds should not be pets. They are wild animals who can live with you on their terms but can never be domesticated like cats and dogs. However, if you decide to adopt a parrot you are helping this bird get a home and properly cared for they are intelligent and interesting animals beyond your imagination. Louie talks a little, comes in the shower with me, occasionally shares my food and I love her unconditionally. Rest in Peace, Amy. I have lost you but I still have my memories of Louie burrowing in your sock drawer to make a nest and you laughing at her. Thank you for listening to my comment, Mitch.

  2. First timers should consider nothing larger than a cockatiel as a pet.

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