Birds As Pets:What to Consider

PetsExotic Animals

  • Author Gord And Gertie Guide
  • Published June 22, 2011
  • Word count 575

When we think of pets, we usually think dogs and cats. But there is a large part of the population that has chosen to enjoy their lives with birds. They are entertaining, colorful and are the perfect pet for someone who may not have the space for a larger animal.

As in any home, there needs to be a match between the family and the pet, or you may end up with an unhappy situation and an unwanted pet. Often the first choice is a big, colorful exotic bird which may seem like a great idea but this type of bird may be too much to handle for a first time bird owner.

It's not just about a bird in a cage with food and water and occasionally talking to it talking to it when you have the time. There are a variety of factors that need to be considered before making the decision on which type of bird would best suit your family. Each bird species has different dietary essentials, social needs and space requirements.

What to Consider

Bird Size - A good rule of thumb is the bigger the bird, the bigger your commitment level. Larger birds are beautiful but they also require more space and more care.

Budget - Exotic birds are expensive to purchase and costly to maintain. They are a huge commitment as they have an extensive lifespan. However, they are incredibly smart and easy to train.

Temperament - Different species have different behaviors. Some people may like their birds to come out of the cage and socialize, while others don’t. You will need to decide what is best suited to your family.

Time - How much time are you willing to spend on care and attention? If there is training involved how much time can you commit?

The Right Bird for You

It's always best to start small and go with a smaller sized bird becoming familiar with its needs. They are easy to care for, easy to handle and perfect for a beginner.

Parakeets and Budgies are the most popular choice among bird lovers. They are colourful, smart and a great source of entertainment as they can be tamed quite easily.

Canaries and Finches make good pets for those who would prefer to enjoy them visually but rarely handle. Their songs are sweet and though they are small, they can make quite a mess so be prepared with adequate space.

Doves are known for their cooing and their calmness. They are affectionate and can be hand fed for those who would like a more hands on bird. However, they are larger and can make an impressive mess so space will need to be considered. Also of note, their cooing is indeed beautiful, but constant. You may need to cover their cages in the evening for quiet.

Cockatiels are relatively quiet and can be quite affectionate. They are smart, easily trained with some consistent effort and are the perfect choice for one who wants to interact with their bird regularly.

Even though birds are smaller pets, they still require attention and care. Before choosing, do your research into each species you are interested in and what is involved in their care and maintenance. Keep personality in mind and the time you and your family can commit to. Having a better understanding of the bird you choose will be a wonderful beginning for your new pet and your family.

Got a burning question when choosing a bird as a pet? Grandpa Gord and Grandma Gertie put a sensible spin on expert advice, with a little humor thrown into the mix. We cover topics ranging from pets to parenting, careers to hobbies, relationships to lifestyle, finances to food, and everything in between. Visit us at for some simple and straight from the hip advice from people who’ve been around the block a few times.

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