Most beginner bird owners may have been drawn to the world of bird ownership mainly because of their visually appealing feather colors and patterns.
However, these feathery friends are more than just their colorful plumage.
They can bring you joy and entertain you with their vocal talents.
But they also come with a responsibility and a cost.
So, before you embark on a journey of bird ownership, join us as we uncover 9 crazy facts about birds that you should know about as a future avian owner.
If you’re planning to adopt or purchase a bird, this quick guide can help to prepare you for the challenges ahead of you.
Without further ado, let’s get right into it.
Pet Bird Owner’s Guide – 8 Things You Should Know Before Buying
There are over 10,000 bird species in the world, and they display different behavioral and feather patterns.
They can be the best companions who won’t just add color to your life but also bring solace to your mind.
However, there are 9 facts you should know about our feathery friends if you’re joining the avian world as a beginner bird owner.
1. Birds are long-living creatures
Just in case you don’t know, pet birds can live longer under human-loving care than in the wild.
That’s because of the predator’s presence in the wild.
They tend to reproduce quickly due to the fear of getting extinct because of hunters and predators.
And it causes them to drain their metabolic resources, eventually leading to early death.
But pet birds like Budgies or Parakeets can live up to 18 years, while Lovebirds can last for ten years when taken care of properly.
On the other hand, species like Cockatiels and Conures have a life expectancy of 25 years.
Stunning African Greys’ lifespan ranges from 25 to 30 years, but Cockatoos can live longer than them, with an average life expectancy of 60 years.
But if you think that’s long enough, brace yourself for species like Macaws that can potentially live up to 100 years.
They can literally outlive humans if they’re kept healthy and happy.
2. They Can Be Amazing Pets Even for Beginner Bird Owners
Aside from the bird’s striking and colorful feather patterns, they’re also intelligent and trainable.
Birds like African Grey Parrot can be trained to talk while others fancy chatting and playing with their owners.
Like dogs and cats, birds love cuddling with their owners too.
They can also learn playful tricks, and they can be interactive, which makes them more adorable.
Another advantage of choosing birds over other pets is the less costly veterinary cost.
Although they need regular vet checkups and blood tests when they get older, they usually don’t need vaccines and other expensive vet services if they’re healthy.
3. Pet Birds Can Be Destructive and Messy
Pet bird ownership also comes with many sacrifices.
As the bird’s beak grows, they’ll need something to chew, and your furniture can become their target if they have no toys to chew on.
That’s why you’ll need to provide them with toys to entertain them and help them exercise their jaws while preventing their beaks from overgrowing.
Aside from that, they tend to be messy as well.
Back in the wild, animals who live underneath the trees feed on birds’ mess, and they have retained such habit.
So, don’t be surprised if your feathery friend likes squandering some food or tossing some tidbits.
But the good news is you can minimize the mess by using some cage skirts.
As mentioned earlier, birds can vocalize. And while some of it can be pleasing, other sounds can be pretty annoying.
They create various sounds like chirping, cackling, screeching, and cooing, and you can’t keep them silent unless they want to be.
So, if you’re planning to adopt or purchase a bird, you have to weigh if these traits are tolerable for you.
4. There’s a Lot of Species Options for Beginner Bird Owners
There are many pet bird options, but finches and canaries are the cheapest and easiest to keep as pets.
The canaries may not be as colorful as Finches but what makes them exceptional is their angelic vocal talent.
Long-tailed Budgies or Parakeets are also ideal for beginners since they’re affordable yet entertaining at the same time.
They can perform tricks and imitate speech with a surprisingly melodic tone.
Aside from these affordable species, Cockatiels, Peach-faced Lovebirds, Parrotlets, Quaker, Pionus Parrots, and Hyacinth Macaws are also beginner-friendly birds worth checking out.
5. Pet Birds Are Affordable Even for Beginner Bird Owners
Owning a bird requires financial preparedness because aside from the purchase price.
You’ll also have to spend a considerable amount on their housing, diet, and veterinary needs.
Bird price varies depending on its species, your location, and where you bought it. But small-sized pet birds are more budget-friendly for beginner bird owners.
So, if you’re a beginner pet bird owner, we recommend starting with newbie-friendly species.
Tiny species like the Canaries cost around $25 – $150, while Budgies are somewhere between $10 – $35.
If you’re interested in medium-sized pet birds like Cockatiels, their price ranges from $50 – $150, while Lories cost around $400 to $900.
As expected, larger species have a higher upfront price and maintenance cost.
African Greys, for example, cost somewhere between $600 to $2000, while Macaws come at a staggering price of $900 to over $5,000.
6. Pet Birds Require Specialized Diet
Seeds may be your pet bird’s staple food, but they need more than that to keep their body healthy.
Like humans, they also need a balanced diet combining fruits and vegetables daily.
For example, ideal species for beginner bird owners like Budgies, Cockatiels, and Lovebirds need about 50% quality pellets in their diet.
Aside from that, they also have to consume a 30% seed mix specifically designed for their breed.
And the other 20% will be fruits and vegetables.
But you can’t just give them any veggies and fruits because some are toxic to birds.
These hazardous fruits and food include avocado, chocolate, table salt, mushroom, apple seeds, onion, garlic, and celery stalks.
High consumption of junk foods like chips and doughnuts can harm them too.
Some of the healthy veggies and fruits for birds are broccoli, beans, corns, carrots, mangoes, kiwis, and strawberries.
7. Pet Birds Needs Socialization with Their Owner
Like dogs, cats, and other pets, birds need socialization for their growth and development.
They love it when their owners play and cuddle with them.
However, they may develop complex relationships over time, become picky, and play favorites.
That’s why each family member must participate in bird care to stop prevent from playing favorites.
8. Some Home Items Are Hazardous to Pet Birds
If you want to provide a safe environment for your pet bird, then you should avoid the following items which are hazardous to their health:
If you’re welcoming a pet bird in your family, you may have to say goodbye to your favorite nonstick cookware.
Its Teflon coating gives off an odorless yet toxic fume that can kill a bird in just a few minutes when overheated.
This condition is called Teflon poisoning, which can happen rapidly and put your pet’s life on the line.
Their respiratory system is super sensitive, so even the scent that lingers in your clothing can put their lives at risk.
Yes, second-hand smoke can hit them so badly.
Scented candles and air fresheners
Sadly, your go-to air fresheners and fave scented candles can harm them. So, it’s not good for their respiratory health, just like cigarettes.
Plants like lilies, amaryllis flowers, and philodendrons are also toxic to birds.
Their health effects may vary – others may cause mild illness, but others might lead to sudden death.
This sad reality calls for another adjustment. You may need to transfer the plants to a location your bird couldn’t access.
9. Pet Birds’ Home Need A Handful of Cage Accessories
A bird’s cage or enclosure needs accessories to help the birds grow and develop.
It includes mentally stimulating toys like swings, puzzles, foraging, and hanging toys.
They also need perches where they can climb or sit, a birdbath where they could splash themselves, and food and water bowls.
If you’re living in a cold area, it’d be best if you could provide cage cover too so they can have an extra layer of protection and warmth.
When choosing a cage for them, it’d be best if you’d provide him with the most extensive enclosure you can provide.
But it’s not always possible, so here’s a tip for beginner bird owners:
Ensure that their cage or enclosure is large enough for your birds to spread their wings and fly around 3-4 wingbeats.
That way, they wouldn’t feel much restricted, and they can have some space to exercise.
A Pet Bird Owner’s Guide – Conclusion
That wraps up our list of the most important things you must know about pet birds.
As shown by the bird’s lifespan, they’re a long-term commitment that requires time, effort, and some bucks.
So, before purchasing or adopting a pet bird, you need to put a lot of thought into it to ensure you’re ready for the responsibilities and sacrifices entailed to avian ownership.
But these flying creatures are wonderful natural gifts that can bring comfort and joy to you and your family.
So, owning one can be surely rewarding.
With the right preparation and wise food and cage investments, you’ll be apt to face the challenges of bird ownership and enjoy your time playing, cuddling, and singing with them.
If you need a more comprehensive guide about pet bird costs, check out the article below.