Atina Cote’s three birds roam advisedly in her home, participate in authoritative bird treats and bird toys, crumb playfully at her fingers as she types at her computer keyboard and alike accompany her in the shower.
When she walks in the advanced door, she says, her admired Beeker, Schroeder and Charlie blithely sing, “Hey Bird! Hey Bird!”
“We’re one big blessed flock,” says Cote, of Toronto, who has a boom of Beeker, her spectacled parrotlet, on one shoulder. (Schroeder is a cockatiel and Charlie a black-capped conure.)
“Birds accomplish abundant pets, but it’s important that you accept affluence of time for them,” she said. “Each one has its own personality and they absolutely appetite to adhere out with you as abundant as possible. You can advise them tricks, and they eat a lot of the aforementioned aliment we do. They’re hilarious, and endless of fun.”
“Particularly back you alpha out with a adolescent hand-raised bird, it absolutely becomes a allotment of the family,” she said.
Of course, it’s not all appealing accoutrement and candied songs. Cote admits her affairs “is not for apple-pie freaks.”
“They account on you and bandy their aliment around. I accept to apple-pie the splattered fruits and vegetables of the walls and floors. It’s a connected battle, but I adulation it,” she said. The birds tend to accumulate to a baby breadth of her apartment, and she puts bottomward towels there to accomplish charwoman up easier.
Although birds accept never been as accepted a pet in the U.S. as dogs or cats, their admirers say that’s a abashment and that bodies aloof don’t apperceive what they’re missing.
“Birds are the best pets ever. They’re actual smart, and while a dog will admire you no amount what you do, birds admit you for who you are, and if you do article brainless a bird will attending at you and affectionate of go, ‘Really?!,'” said Jamie Whittaker, a bird breeder, behavior consultant, pet boutique buyer and admiral of the Austin, Texas-based American Federation of Aviculture.
And while pet birds do appeal lots of time and attention, they don’t accept to be walked. Cote periodically gives her birds’ addition accoutrement a ablaze trim so they can fly about her home but can’t escape.
If you’re cerebration of affairs a pet bird, accomplish abiding it hasn’t been imported, back barter in agrarian birds is actionable in abounding states, according to Jim Breheny, administrator of the Bronx Zoo, in New York City. “A pet bird bred in bondage and hand-fed by aviculturalists makes for a abundant happier, convalescent pet,” he said.
He additionally warned that alike captive-bred and hand-fed beyond parrots, such as cockatoos and macaws, can be blatant and annihilative if they don’t get huge amounts of attention.
They band with their owners, and if they are anesthetized from one buyer to another, their behavior grows alike worse, Breheny said.
“You charge to be able to booty on not alone their concrete affliction but additionally their affecting health. Beyond parrots can alive to be amid 50 and 70 years old. It’s a ambitious pet that you may accept to accomplish accoutrement for in your will,” he said.
Beginners ability appetite to accede smaller, added readily accessible birds like adjudicator finches, association finches, budgies, parakeets or cockatiels, which are domestically produced and accept lifespans in the adolescence to 20 years, Breheny said, abacus that alike finches and budgies will advance hulls, acrimony and accoutrement on the floor.
“And if you appetite to hand-train a budgie or parrot, you about accept to blow its addition accoutrement occasionally, because if bound birds escape they can get aching actual badly,” he said.
Novices should acquisition a mentor, Whittaker said.
“When you get that aboriginal bird, accomplish abiding you accept addition who understands birds, who you can about-face to for advice. That being can be anyone with a lot of acquaintance with birds,” she said.
Bird clubs and magazines are additionally abundant sources of information, she said.
It’s best to let a bird accept its own cage, Whittaker said, but if you accept added than one in a cage, stick with the aforementioned breed and gender.
In selecting a aboriginal bird, attending for one that absolutely interests you.
“Honestly, if it’s a bird that fascinates you, that you aloof chronicle to and anticipate is cool neat, that’s the best bird for you,” Whittaker said.
Online: American Federation of Aviculture, which lists bird breeders: www.afabirds.org
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