- Step 1: Do research First, and most important, do your research. Take time to learn everything about pet birds that you can—the pros and cons of all the different birds you’re considering.
- TIP: Libraries and bookstores have lots of books about pet birds; pet stores have lots of bird magazines; and there are hundreds of bird-related websites online that profile types of pet birds.
- Step 2: Determine time commitment How much time you have available for a bird? Be realistic. Apart from their emotional needs, some birds can be a lot of work to keep clean. Do you work outside the home? Do you travel a lot? Are you busy raising kids?
- TIP: Generally, the larger and more intelligent the type of bird, the more demanding it will be. Many parrot owners compare parrots to two-year-old kids in terms of the amount of attention they need.
- Step 3: Consider available space Think about the amount of space you can give a bird. Although every bird should have the biggest cage you can afford, there’s quite a difference between a finch cage and a floor-to-ceiling parrot aviary.
- TIP: If you have a small apartment or live near lots of other people, you may be best off with a quiet bird. Some parrot species really like to let loose and scream.
- Step 4: Set your budget Think carefully about what you can afford. Large birds need regular vet visits, but you will have to budget for a budgie, too. If you travel, you will need to pay for boarding your animal or hiring a pet sitter.
- TIP: Young children and birds can be an iffy combination—for both the birds and the kids. Big birds mean big beaks, but little birds are fragile and easily frightened.
- Step 5: Consider your personality Last but definitely not least, think about your own personality. What kind of companion are you looking for in a feathered friend? Do you want to train a bird, or just to enjoy watching it?
- Step 6: Talk to breeders If you have questions, talk to bird breeders and owners. Tell them the types of birds you’re considering and why you think they might make a good match. Then it’s time to go make a new fine-feathered friend!
- FACT: Nurse Florence Nightingale had a pet owl that she carried around in her pocket.
You Will Need
- Time to research your choice
- Bird books
- and websites for research
- Bird breeders or bird owners who can answer questions