Are You Ready for a Pet Bird?

By Dr Eloise Bright 5 Min Read

It is one of life’s greatest pleasures to return home after a long day of work to the enthusiastic greetings of your flock. However, before adding companion birds to your family, you should review these tips and ensure that you’re prepared for the change.

Parrots, songbirds, and pigeons are social, intelligent creatures. (Although some may question the intelligence of certain rock pigeons.) The same intelligence and flocking instincts that make them such desirable pets also contribute to the challenges of keeping them healthy.


  • Intelligent—The notion that a “bird brain” is stupid is absurd. Birds are capable of counting, recognizing words, and learning tricks. Certain species can learn to speak. People believed for a long time that parrots and starlings simply imitated sounds. They can actually compose situation-appropriate sentences and talk around words they don’t know, similar to a person attempting to speak a foreign language.
  • The majority of pet birds enjoy hugs and scratches, and they are eager to participate in whatever you’re doing. Your budgie, mynah, or conure will enjoy crawling around on you as you watch television or chat with friends online. Your finches will sing along to YouTube videos.
  • Beautiful –  What else needs to be said here?


  • When a dog is frequently bored, he may chew things he shouldn’t and make a mess. If a pet bird is frequently bored, he becomes depressed and begins to self-mutilate or pluck out his feathers. This is particularly challenging with a single bird. Consider adopting two or more birds if you decide to adopt one, so that they can keep each other company.
  • The risk of injury pertains primarily to the parrots. An anxious bird will bite. The beaks of birds designed to penetrate living trees and crack open walnuts are sharp enough to draw blood. The larger ones are capable of biting off fingers. Never leave children alone with a parrot as a pet. Enforce the rule that children may never approach the parrot without you or another adult the parrot trusts.
  • Cost: Bird care and maintenance are expensive hobbies. The monthly cost of food and chew toys for two or three conures or cockatiels is approximately $100. Typically, five or six finches will cost between $25 and $50. This does not include the cost of the animal, cages, the initial supply of toys and dishes, or veterinary care. You probably don’t want to know the monthly costs for the largest macaws, but here’s a hint: a chew toy that will last three or four days costs between $60 and $120.
  • Some bird species are surprisingly noisy, even when they are calm and content. Will you continue to exist in situations that permit this? If not, exercise extreme caution when selecting a pet.
  • Long-term care and pet sitting: It can be difficult to find a qualified pet sitter for a bird. Start your search early and introduce the potential sitter to the pet before his services are required. If you select a species of parrot, you will also need to make arrangements for the birds’ care after your passing. Again, start early and contact local rescue organizations as well.



You have contemplated the matter and researched every aspect of your favorite species. If you’re certain you’re ready to add one or more birds to your family, you should wait a week before beginning your search. There are numerous rescue birds in foster care and parrot shelters because not everyone is as careful when bringing a bird into the home. Consider assisting one or more of these birds in locating a permanent home.

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Dr Eloise is a Clinical Lead at Love That Pet and one of our resident pet care experts. She also curates the select range of vet recommended and approved products which feature on our site.
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