pet birds

Hey, so we are thinking about getting a pet bird. We met some cockatoos that we like, but a bit out of the price range, I think. Want something that is not incredibly loud (“sorta” loud is ok-- apartment living). Does anyone know anything about green parrots? What else runs in this price range ($300 US or so-- we aren’t loaded)? Any suggestions? We want something social, ok to hold and play a bit with-- talking is not a real priority. We aren’t looking for a “starter bird”-- we know birds this size can live for many many years, so this is an informed decision.
I’ve only ever lived with small birds so far:
Like: lovebirds, parakeets/budgies
Hate: cockatiels, the onery buggers. Once had an onery conure in the family, too, which seemed like it could be nice if it weren’t raised wrongly.


Well, you could get a Jenday Conure. As long as they are kept busy they aren’t really that loud. I’ve had mine for about two years and he is the greatest pet I have ever owned. Very social, likes to climb on shoulders, get is underwings rub, sometimes he even rolls on his back and lets me rub his belly. You should really look into one.

Pionuses are good too. My Mom has one and it never makes a peep. Very friendly though.q

Quaker parakeets, also known as monk parakeets, can be delightful housepets. I had one, myself. As with any bird, if you keep it entertained, it’s not too loud. (Unlike cockatiels, who are VERY LOUD PARROTS.) Their normal “chirping” noises are absolutely adorable, they’re not too small but not too large, they’re clever and can learn to talk (mine learned many words, and also learned to whistle a few tunes and would “sing” with me when I played guitar), and they love to cuddle. They’re also in your price range.

Our neighbors have a blue & gold macaw. I wouldn’t recommend one if you have young kids in the house. Regan is a large bird, maybe 12-14 inches long not counting the tail feathers. He can take a finger right off with his beak, they say. He has a post in the living room made of a wood 4x4 post and 1 inch dowels. When he gets mad, he can chew through the dowels in about 10 minutes. They have to rebuild the entire thing periodically. He can get loud, too - our houses are 100, 120 feet apart. When our windows are open, we can sometimes hear Regan shriek, when he’s inside their house.

His vocabulary is impressive, though, and he usually uses words in context - hello when arriving, goodbye when leaving, etc. The best story they told us about him was when they first got him. The pet shop owner said to come by daily and work with him, let him get used to them, etc, before they brought him home. For 2-3 weeks, they came to the store, talked with him, eventually carried him around, and so on. The big day came, and they put him in the cage, took him outside, and put the cage in the van. When they uncovered the cage, the bird looked around the van, and realized that this wasn’t his usual abode. He was quiet for a minute, and then quietly said, “Fuck”.

i have a moluccan cockatoo, who has been my sweet friend for 16 years now. i do NOT recommend any cockatoo as a 1st bird or for anyone in an apartment situation. they are extremely loud, and very needy birds. every time i have met another bird person and mentioned my girl, they have, every single one, said “oh, you have a love sponge.” 'toos are very neurotic, and unbelievably affectionate. they are the most commonly surrendered of all the large hook bills because of the noise and the neediness of the birds. some people just aren’t prepared for it. they also produce an amazing amount of dust from their feathers. i also had a blue and gold macaw, he was a rescue from someone who was abusing him. they are wonderful birds, smart and loving, but very destructive. after rehabilitating him, he went to a wonderful home with a woman who treats him like her baby. my 'too absolutely hated him, and tried to kill him every chance she got.

the quaker parakeets mentioned earlier are very sweet birds, and hand-raised babies are very easy to find. pionuses and rosellas are also great small birds. very sweet, but you may have a harder time finding baby rosellas, as they are very colorful, and therefore in high demand.

there are some things you should know: first, make sure you are getting your bird from a reputable breeder. check around to see if there is an avian society in your city, and if there is, make some phone calls to find breeders. they will be able to tell you who is good and who to stay away from.

second: all birds are messy. be prepared to do a lot of cleaning!! and some of your household cleaners are very bad for a bird’s respiratory system, so be very careful. a good book about parrots can be your best friend. ditto houseplants and some human foods. never give your bird chocolate or avocadoes. ever.
third: have a good avian vet lined up BEFORE your bird gets sick. running a sick bird to a vet who has never seen the bird before is no way to do it. my girl goes to the zoo vet here in town, so i know she’s got the best. also, find out where your town’s emeregency vet is before you need to use it.

fourth: a bored bird is a destructive bird. toys are great, but the best toy you can give your bird is YOU! be sure to play with and love your bird every day, several times a day. i’ve seen far too many birds that are bought with the best of intentions, and end up becoming just a piece of furniture that eats and poops. very sad.

fifth: keep wings clipped! keep wings clipped! keep wings clipped! i can not say this enough. i have had three friends who have lost birds who “would never fly away from me”. none of them were ever seen again. a parakeet, 'tiel or finch cannot live outside of it’s cage. they don’t have the instincts to find food, water, stay away from other birds, etc. i actually found a dead 'keet in the park near my house. there were bluejay feathers all around it. i assume the 'jays killed it.

ok, class, the lecture is over. there will be a short test next period.

OH! I know!
An African Senegal. I have one (and also an African Grey) and he’s the sweetest bird ever. He talks (“Kramer” “Kraaaamieeee” “Night night!”, etc), he swings like a monkey, and whistles to beat the band. He is great out of the cage and will go to many different people. He also is not very messy, which is a huge plus for birds.

I vote no on conures and such- Not all, but some make God-awful screeches that seem to be a natural cry. The Senegal is just a groovy all around bird.

I have a Senegal Parrot. She is fairly quiet for a bird (much quieter than my parents cockatiels), and I live in an apartment. It’s about the size of a conure, and they are also within your price range.