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    Picking Your Bird

    Learn about small- to medium-sized birds

    En español

    Rule of thumb: the bigger the bird, the bigger the commitment from its owner (training, housing requirements and social interaction).

    Most experts would recommend novice bird owners begin with a small- to medium-sized bird:

    Parakeets (about 6 to 12 inches; live on average 8 – 10 years)

    • Can easily entertain themselves with toys
    • Come in many beautiful colors
    • Can become "talkers"

    (about 13 inches; live on average 12 – 15 years; in the parrot family)

    • Can whistle, sing and mimic sounds (males can sometimes mimic speech)
    • Have smaller beaks to "discipline" you while you're learning their needs
    • Are intelligent, with the ability to learn entire songs and tricks like ringing bells, waving bye-bye and playing ring toss

    (5 inches or less; live on average 10 – 15 years)

    • Require minimal social interaction
    • Pay little attention to humans
    • Lovebirds (about 6 inches; live on average 10 years)
    • Are intelligent
    • Have pleasant personalities

    Large-sized parrots
    (15 – 40 inches; live 3 – 70 years, depending on species; includes African greys and macaws)

    • Demand more stimulation as a result of their intelligence
    • Form strong social bonds with humans
    • Play with toys, which are often torn apart and can get expensive, though you can make your own
    • Require a very big cage
    • Leave larger messes of scattered food and waste
    • Can make ear-piercing vocalization


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