When picking a pet, the sky’s the limit. And when that pick is a pet bird, the sky really is the limit. Most people have a wide variety of reasons for picking their type of pet. And more than a few have the pet pick them! But there are some common reasons that people want birds and parrots as pets.
Keep in mind that some of these reasons may not be valid reasons for picking a bird or parrot as a pet. And some are absolutely the WRONG reason for picking a bird or parrot as a pet. But here are the most common reasons (in no particular order) that people pick a bird or parrot as their pet of choice. We have many more Pets Care Articles Now Available.
- They ‘talk’ – Without question, this is the most popular reason that most people select a bird or parrot as a pet. You don’t see a lot of dogs or cats talking but a lot of birds and parrots have the ability to ‘talk’. Just remember, not all parrots ‘talk’. Even some of the best talking species such as the African Grey don’t learn to ‘talk’.
- They’re unique – Dogs and cats are very common pets at least in the US. According to the AVMA (American Veterinarian Medical Association) in 2007, 37.2% of households (43,021,000) have dogs, 32.4% of households (37,460,000) have cats and only 3.9% of households (4,453,000) have birds.
- They’re beautiful – Birds and parrots are some of the most colorful and beautiful animals in the world. While not everyone prefers a bird for a pet, almost everyone agrees that they are amazingly beautiful with all of their colors and plumage.
- They can do ‘tricks’ – I know, I know, dogs and cats (and other animals) can also do tricks. But have you seen some of the tricks that birds and parrots can do? AND they don’t even have ARMS!
- They’re intelligent – “Bird Brain” used to be a phrase used to indicate inferior intelligence and some people still believe it’s accurate. With the help of Alex and Dr. Irene Pepperberg (among others) this has been shown to be invalid. It’s very difficult to compare the intelligence of different animals (for example birds -vs- dogs) but most animal trainers these days agree that most bird species are very intelligent.
- They don’t have the time, space, or money for a cat/dog – This is a MAJOR misconception but a very common reason that some people select a bird or parrot as a pet. The reality is that some species require MORE time and cost MORE to maintain than a dog or cat. Don’t fall for this misconception if you’re considering a bird or parrot as a pet.
- They’re cuddly and social – Who hasn’t had an ‘aaawwwwwww’ moment when seeing a big Cockatoo nestle up to it’s owner to get it’s head rubbed? Yes they’re very social and yes they can be very affectionate if nurtured and treated correctly. But be warned, that if they aren’t treated correctly and reared correctly, they can be just as un-cuddly and un-social as a trained fighting pitbull. The fact is that they are very social and absolutely require social interaction far and above anything that your typical dog would require and absolutely more than the typical cat would require.
- They’re an indoor/domestic pet – Unlike dogs that require walking, birds don’t need to be walked or let out to ‘do their business’. This may be almost true but the reality is that your pet bird or parrot should get plenty of time out of the cage (though not technically ‘walked’) and given the opportunity to get plenty of exercise. Yes, birds and parrots need exercise too! This may or may not include trips outside with a harness or leash.
- Their apartment rules don’t allow cats or dogs – When is a pet not a pet? When you live in an apartment. Most apartment rules that don’t allow ‘pets’ include only dogs or cats in their definition of ‘pets’. While birds tend to fall in the ‘not really a pet’ category with fish and most apartments will look the other way when it comes to pet birds. So frequently people that can’t have a bird or dog in their apartment select a pet bird or parrot. This may work occasionally but it can be a very bad decision depending on the type of bird. Some birds can be very LOUD and are not appropriate for apartment living unless you have VERY VERY accommodating neighbors. We have many more Pets Care Articles Now Available.
- Keeping up with the Jones’ – This is a common American expression for comparing yourself with your neighbors concerning material things. The comparable British catchphrase is “keeping up appearances”. Either way, it’s that desire to have what someone else has and this includes a pet bird or parrot. Most people get their first desire for having a pet bird when they see someone else with one. What they DON’T see is all the work that goes into correctly providing and caring for a parrot. It’s not easy, in fact it’s often very demanding but it’s also always rewarding.