We hear so much about adopting a dog or cat but rarely hear about adopting a bird. Birds are wonderful pets that provide comfort, companionship and entertainment.
In 2002, ASPCA declared that January would be dedicated to finding happy homes for the thousands of companion birds that are abandoned annually. These precious feathered friends will fly into your home and capture your heart.
There are countless breeds of birds to adopt. Do your research to learn which type would fit into your lifestyle for a long and rewarding relationship with your feathered friend. Some of the things to consider before adopting are cost, noise level, space and commitment.
Here’s a little bit about the five most popular pet bird breeds to get you started.
1. Parakeets / Budgies
Parakeets are the most popular pet of all pet birds, they offer the companionship of a feathered friend without the burden of a 50+ year commitment. If you have never before owned a bird, or have children who want a new feathered family member, the parakeet would be a good choice for you.
They require less space and maintenance than larger birds and these little, beautifully colored birds are quite intelligent and affectionate. Most are content to sing and whistle, but don’t be surprised if they learn to say a word or two. With time and patients they will love to be stroked, held and talked to. They will require around thirty minutes a day of interaction with you.
Parakeets are drawn to shiny things (a mirror is a must), things that make noise, and objects they can move around with their beaks or feet. Their average life expectancy is 12 to 14 years.
These Australian natives are colorful medium sized and members of the parrot family. Their advanced whistling and singing abilities are remarkable. They are capable of talking, but prefer to whistle and mimic sounds. I once had a cockatiel who would cat whistle every time I walked through the door, so they can also be a great ego booster.
Cockatiels can be very vocal when they wake up, before they go to sleep and if you have been out for a while and come home to them. They can get spoiled and learn now to control you with their excessive screaming. This behavior occurs because they are extremely social birds. Males tend to be a bit more vocal than females who are more likely to be fairly quiet.
A single bird will be more attached to their owner and will be more demanding of your attention. Getting two birds will help give them the socializing they require. Their average life expectancy is 15 to 20 years.
3. Finches and Canaries
Finches and Canaries are good choices for a family with children or older adults since they require less maintenance and prefer to stay in a cage. Canaries are famous for their singing while Finches are known for their extraordinary colors and markings. Be aware they are not usually finger-tamed and need the largest cage you can afford so they have plenty of room.
Most finches need to be in pairs (one male and one female) or large groups. Canaries, on the other hand, have a reputation of needing to be housed alone. The male canary sings only to attract a mate, so there will be less singing if a female is present. If you must keep a single male, make sure he has a large cage to fly around and several toys to entertain himself. These little birds thrive in small flocks and do not need much human interaction. They are perfect pets for those who love to watch birds, so long as you have the space.
Finches and canaries tend to be messy eaters, so it would be wise to place their cage in an area that can be easily cleaned up. They are charming, captivating, peaceful to watch and can live for up to 10 years.