How To Choose Your Bird
We see birds in various shapes, sizes and colors. We bring you the questions that will help you make the right choice in getting a bird for your family and lifestyle.
After prolong discussions and so much thought, you and your family have reached an agreement that the right pet for your household is a bird. But you still don’t know the kind of bird to choose. There are so many varieties: pigeons, finches, and even parrots. You’ll want to make up your mind before you head to a breeder, pet store, or bird rescue. Otherwise, you could choose a bird because of how beautiful, or talkative, or intelligent it seems to be, and then to realize that you have made a wrong choice.
Think about what kind of bird you will like to have. Are canaries or cockatoos your kind of bird? Do you like falcons or waterfowl? Browse through various pet websites (such as this one!) to view the various kinds of pet birds there are. Here are the questions to ask yourself so that you can get the right pet bird for you and your family.
This is a critical notice. In Australia, it is illegal to keep most kinds of birds as pets. When you’re surfing the internet for all the pet bird options, some of them will be ruled out by local law. The sport of falconry is a good example, and it has been illegal here for decades, and that puts a pet peregrine falcon out of your list. (Ref earthwings.org)
There are federal laws in Australia governing which birds one can have as pets, and the states and territories also have local laws. Verify to make sure your choice is legal in your area. You don’t want to pick the wrong bird!
Now considering the local legal issues which bring us to another question: Are you planning to move? A bird that is legal in New South Wales might not be legal in Victoria. Many kinds of birds may not be taken in or out of Australia.
It is good to know that the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities maintains a helpful website about the national laws (http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/wildlife-trade/exotic-animals/index.html). If you’re in New South Wales, this list will be useful: [PDF 484 kB] http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/nature/CurrentSpeciesList.pdf
It will be amazing to know that some of the parrots live longer than we humans do. This is a serious devotion. If you decide to make one of these your choice, you will need to plan for preparation for its upkeep after you kick the bucket. Doves and finches don’t live as long as the parrots, in fact, they have shorter life spans than the average parrot. Also, finches can be re-homed with less stress to the animal, if the birds outlive their keeper. Parrots tend to become very fond of their humans.
Food, veterinary fees, and accessories for pet birds can be expensive. Put aside about $100 per month, for a pair of small conures. On the contrary, the food and accessories for a flock of finches run less than half that. If you need to consider the cost of feeding your birds, or the cost of getting a birdcage, you should probably not look in the way of the parrots, softbills, or doves.
If you are living in an apartment, find out if there are any noise restrictions. It will amaze you how much sound some birds can make. You may not want to have these vocal talents on your list.
Will you be able to commit time and effort to taking care of these birds? Parrots will need you to spend hours of interaction with them, and they need hours of flight time every day too. A small flock of finches will get along quite nicely as long as the food, water, and bedding is regular.
On the contrary, how much interaction are you hoping for? Do you just want to watch the pretty birds or listen to their songs? The Canaries and other finches would be a splendid choice. Do you want to race your birds or teach them to ‘home’? You should be on the lookout for the doves and pigeons. Do you want to teach your bird to talk, or ride a small skateboard? You should look in the way of the parrots and as well as some of the softbills.
If you’ve got lung disease or asthma, cockatiel feathers break down into fine powder, and so they are not the best choice for you.
You must know that any parrot larger than a budgie can break the skin with his beak, and some of the larger ones can break small bones. Do you or does anyone in your household have clotting problems or other health issues that might make small cuts dangerous? Do you have kids at home? If so, then you should go for the softbill or a dove or a budgie instead of a cockatoo.
Birds are wonderful pets, but it’s only fair to them and to you, to know what you’re getting into when you bring one home to be part of the family.
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