If you are considering adding a pet to your family and are looking for an intelligent, loving, loyal and interactive pet, why not adopt a bird? Pet Finder is a great resource to start your search for an adoptable pet bird. There are a few local groups that can be accessed from this site. A Helping Wing is a rescue group based out of New Jersey that specializes in rescuing pet birds. A Helping Wing deals with many pet birds that are displaced due to owner dedication or pet birds that outlive their caregivers. Many larger birds can live well up to 80 years if taken care of properly. For this reason many larger birds, like Macaws, tend to find themselves displaced due to nothing more than outliving their owners.
Having a pet bird can be very rewarding; it also can be very demanding! Some species require much more time and dedication than others. Make sure you do thorough research on the specific species before deciding what type of pet bird might be appropriate for you and your lifestyle. Getting in touch with bird clubs, like Chester County Bird Club, and specific species breeders is a great way to get one-on-one advice to make the best choice for your new pet bird.
There are many types of cages, accessories, toys and diets to choose from. Small to medium size birds (Finches to Lories) can usually be kept in cages that range in sizes up to 18”x18”x57”. Larger birds (African Grays to Macaws) need to be kept in much larger enclosures up to sizes such as 58”x42”x74”. Birds should be able to fully extend their wings and have ample room to play and entertain themselves with multiple types of toys in their enclosures.
Diets can range from seed, nectar, pellets, fruits & veggies to even meat, or all of these! Certain things are dangerous to pet birds just like they are to cats and dogs. Chocolate, caffeine, salt, avocados and even Teflon cookware are all major dangers to birds. Female birds need to be closely monitored so they do not become “egg bound” since you cannot spay a female bird. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can also play a huge role in the health and well being of your pet bird. Birds are just as big of a responsibility as a dog or cat; intelligence also adds a very interesting and complex factor to having a pet bird.
Being able to grow and bond with a bird is a wonderful thing. So if you also don’t mind having a perpetual 2 year old living with you, a bird may be right for you! Seeing your bird learn and interact with you is very rewarding and makes the entire experience priceless!
– GVH Veterinary Technician