Birds come in as the 4th most popular pet behind fish, dogs and cats. They can make great companions but exotic birds are complex creatures. Unlike dogs and cats, they are not domesticated. They also have a much longer lifespan compared to fido and fluffy. Birds can live up to 60 plus years – talk about making a commitment. But similar to dogs and cats, they too fall victim to the pet overpopulation problem. “Bird Mills” breed large numbers of birds which are then sold through pet stores. People who make impulse decisions about purchasing exotic pet birds usually find out that avian care responsibilities are more challenging than anticipated. And also similar to dogs and cats, there are many unwanted exotic pet birds in need of adoption.
How To Adopt
If you are interested in an exotic bird as a pet, you should first consider adopting. Online pet search websites like Petfinder and Overstock are good resources to help you find available birds. If you have never cared for an exotic bird then adopting through a exotic pet bird rescue organization is highly recommended. They can provide you with guidance in your search for the right bird as well as help get you informed and prepared for your new pet. The Avian Welfare Coalition is the a great place to start when looking to adopt.
Also Read <Intro To Exotic Pet Birds>
Top 4 Exotic Pet Birds for Newbies
If you are new to caring for exotic pet birds, then here are 4 exotic pet birds species that you should first consider.
1. Zebra Finches
The Zebra Finch hails from Australia and lives in a group in the open grasslands. Zebras are colorful and their soft chirping sounds are soothing. Consider a pair; they like the companionship of other zebras. The most important issue for keeping zebras is ensuring a balanced diet; it is essential to their health and well being.
Zebras in the wild live on seed and this is fine for captive birds as well. A commercially prepared mix is fine. They will also eat most vegetables, eggs, and bread crumbs. Egg shells provide needed calcium and the birds really enjoy these. Rinse shells and microwave for four minutes to kill bacteria before giving to your birds.
Zebras are not the most social birds towards humans, but they are wonderful to watch and listen too. They may live up to ten years.
Canaries are beautiful, can live up to 15 years, and come in a rainbow of colors, such as green, orange, brown, and the best known yellow. The males are wonderful singers, also. Canaries have been kept as companions since the 1400s. They do not like to be handled, like the zebra finch, and they enjoy living a solitary life, so more than one is not needed or recommended.
The canary’s diet is very similar to the zebra’s. Your canary will eat a mixture of seeds, as well as many fruits and vegetables.
Ah, the humble parakeet. Parakeets make great pets because they love their human family. A parakeet will enjoy riding around the house on your shoulder, and they can be taught to mimic sounds and words. They They live up to 15 years.
In order to bond with your parakeet, it is optimal to interact with your bird between 30 and 90 minutes a day. Keeping a pair of parakeets is recommended, but they may prefer their own company to yours.
In the wild parakeets eat mostly grass seed, but a captive bird can be fed an array of organic vegetables and fruits, bread crumbs, and pasta. These all help to add needed nutrients to the bird’s diet.
The cockatiel is also an excellent bird if you desire interaction. They are very entertaining and love to hang out with the family. The males are better at talking and whistling than the females, since they use sound to attract a mate in the wild. Although mostly gray in the wild, in order to blend in, companion cockatiels come in a variety of colors. They live for 15-20 years. They, like the parakeet, thrive on your company, and they need mental stimulation as well.
Birds make wonderful pets, and there are many different types to consider. These are all great starter birds, but aficionados may find themselves unable to keep just one bird or one species.
Photo Credit: istockphoto.com