So You want a Parrot?
Unlike dogs and cats, parrots haven’t been domesticated for very long. As such, we have to remember that the loyalty and undying affection that we have come to expect from our pets is not going to be quite the same with our birds. Sure they bond to you and even show their affection by regurgitating for you! However, they still have a lot of “wild” in them and only your knowledge in reading their body language might save you a bite. Oh you WILL get bit! But you can’t take it personal. They still love you. They only want you to pay attention to their mood. They act the same way with their relative, only instead of losing a couple of feathers, we lose a bit of blood. We are such wimps, aren’t we? You will learn your bird’s body language just by spending time with him, from a change in feather position to eye pinning to stance.
When you decide to add a parrot to your household, you make a commitment to live with a wild animal with wild reactions at times. Even a hand-fed baby will have this deep connection with his wild cousins. You will see it come out at times. You bird will call out to his flock (you), to sunrise and moonrise too. It will be loud so that you can hear it properly throughout the rainforest, I mean your house! However, a happy bird will learn to entertain himself and be a bird. Treat him as one. Don’t baby him too much, his parents don’t! Some people will try and fill the void of parenthood with a baby parrot and treat him as a human baby. That is a disservice they are doing to him. The bird ends up with separation anxiety, neediness and doesn’t know how to fill his days by himself. He will grow up and never understand the mom/child relationship but rather will see it as a mating relationship which will be quite frustrating for him come breeding season! Biting and screaming behavior can follow. Then the bird is being re-homed. Treat your bird like a roommate you have affection for, with his moods and messiness. He will want to spend time with you and sometimes will want to be left alone. He will want to take your things to destroy it, that beak has to be busy to keep healthy. Have plenty for him to chew and put valuables away, they don’t understand “NO”.
Make sure you are getting the parrot suitable for your household. Do some research and ask questions. Join a parrot forum and learn from parrot owners. Make sure you are ready to invest in all the inside and outside cage accessories you will need to keep him happy and exercised, insuring YOUR happiness as well. Make sure you are willing to cook and prepare healthy food, even though half of it will end up on walls, windows and floor. Make sure you like your vacuum cleaner, you will use it daily….as well as your mop.
If after all you decide to get a parrot, Congratulations! You will be amazed at how much more fulfilled your life will be. Having a wild tamed creature within your walls who will makes you feel like a piece of yourself is kept uncivilized. You will feel like you are in a jungle at times! I sure do, and it keeps my “wild side” alive! ;)
Life With Parrots Aviary