What should a 1st time bird owner know before they buy?

attractive woman touching a budgies beak with her lips
Read in 9 minutes

To start with, begin understanding the scope for your choice of pet birds. Here is a list of more than 500 species you can choose from each having its own nuances.

I stress making this distinction because so many people talk about things like “make sure you don’t get a bird larger than a conure or a parakeet”.

If you break down that statement it’s really nonsensical because conures range from 64 grams (green cheeks) to 280 g (pategonians) the size of a timneh african grey.

All conures are parakeets but not all parakeets are conures. There’s actually close to 400 species of parakeets. Most people refer to budgies as parakeets so I want to be as clear as I can in directing you to a possible relationship with a new bird.

Indian ringneck parakeets can be great talkers. Australian Grass parakeets like Blue-winged parakeets, Elegant parakeets, Orange-bellied parakeets, Rock parakeets, Scarlet-chested parakeets and Turquoise parakeets are quiet little chirpers not known for their ability to talk. There’s also the the Bourke’s parakeet having it’s own sub species.

You’ll want to understand how unique a bird’s respiratory system is. Why you can’t burn candles in your home, it’s not just the smoke and oxygen depletion, birds don’t know what “hot” or a “flame” is.

Speaking of candles, let’s take a little side trip.

There are no safe candles for birds scented or not. Why humans insist on burning them indoors is beyond me except perhaps in an emergency.

I see scenes in movies and TV shows where romantic settings in bathrooms or bedrooms are based on dozens of candles lit in and around the bath or the bed.

Does anybody wonder besides me where they are storing all these candles? Once the decision is made by at least one of the two team members that “tonight’s” THE night, how much time needs be allotted to put them in place, light them, then remembering to extinguish them before falling asleep so the house doesn’t burn down. Finally placing them back in that mysterious storage area?

Have you thought of revisiting those LED party bulbs at Menards? At least if the night goes south, then it’s just a switch or two:-)

Anyway it’s important to understand that some candles are made of paraffin wax. Benzene and toluene (“ene’s” like gasoline) is created when the paraffin wax burns.

And wouldn’t you know it? The very same toxins emitted from paraffin wax candles are identical to diesel fuel fumes.

Why am I not feeling romantic?

You can’t use nonstick cookware like Teflon which has PTFE’s.

%name What should a 1st time bird owner know before they buy?


A heated Teflon pan has the ability to kill a bird in minutes. Teflon is also found in waffle irons, hair dryers, humidifiers and dozens of other household items.

You’ll want to learn about bird nutrition. Even a small bird, a 25 gram budgie has 2000 to 4000 feathers. Feathers require amino acids for growth and amino acids come from protein.

The internet is awash with the many recipes captive bird keepers provide for their birds. Vegetables (chop) and perhaps some rice and/or beans.

My experience after interacting with tens of thousands of bird companions over the last 15 years is that malnutrition is one of the most preventable maladies found in pet birds but unfortunately is quite prevalent.

Don’t take my word for it. I’m sure anyone reading this will agree that Harrison’s bird food is one of the finest bird food pellets made today. So I quote:

Pages ( 1 of 3 ): 1 23Next »


He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they would visit their monthly birdie brunch in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.