What are the absolute worst types of parrots for a first-time bird owner?

Young woman in ornamental dress and beautiful gold jewelry with 3 parrots one on each arm and one on her head
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Once again, although well-intentioned, people are breaking down your choices into the macro of species (Quora question).

One answer started with

  1. Cockatoos
  2. Macaws
  3. Amazons

Yet these three species come in close to a combined 100 flavors.

 

Major Mitchell cockatoos are not loud, and not necessarily cuddly

 

Bare eyed cockatoos are all but demure

 

Noble macaws are only 12 to 14 inches long.

 

Hyacinth macaws are up to 44 inches long – 4 times the size of a noble macaw.

 

You can’t compare the two just because the are macaws.

Everything about the 2 species is different.

 

Bird cage size, diet, inside and outside of the cage environment.

 

Mealy Amazons, are the largest of the Amazon parrot species at 15 – 17 inches long weighing up to 2 lbs (about 900 grams)

 

The smallest Amazon, white fronted Amazons are less than 10 inches long and weigh only about 220 grams, almost a quarter of a Mealy amazons weight.

 

Because they are Amazons, does not make them identical pet birds to keep

 

Ringnecks are in the 110 – 120 g range as well as Senegal parrots but – Ringnecks are 12-16 inches long vs a 7 inch Senegal.

 

Why do I make these differentiations?

 

I can place a perch in a Senegal’s cage on the side, one or two inches from the back of the bird cage.

 

The Sennie’s tail will not touch the back of the cage.

 

The Ringnecks tail would be rubbing and poking through the rear cage bars requiring more preening time and less chance it (the long tail) will ever look its best.

 

That’s just a single perch issue – there is much more to consider.

 

Long tail birds need play stand perches higher so their tail doesn’t get dragged below the bird.

 

Presuppose nothing when bringing a new bird into your home.

 

You can’t assume that it will talk, be playful, or bond with every family member.

 

We have a friend who’s a first time caged bird keeper that bought a Timneh African grey from a breeder exactly a year ago this week.

 

All the “experts” on Quora will tell you do not get an African grey as your first bird.

 

“Start with a cockatiel, it’s your best play.”

 

Our friend Kim, runs one of the finest day cares on the planet.

 

A single African gray parrot is no challenge when you been providing care and guidance to young humans for a quarter of a century.

 

Zoe (her Timmy) is loves by everyone in the family and the family reciprocates.

 

She gets along well with anybody in the household and all the daycare students.

 

The experience has so emboldened Kim that she is now seeking a second African grey parrot.

 

Yes Martha, parrots are much like potato chips, you just can’t have one.

 

But I digress.

 

As luck would have it, an elderly (in his 80s) customer of ours is in the process of giving up a Congo African grey since his wife died recently and the bird is too much for him to handle alone.

 

I believe the bird has been in the family for decades.

 

I need to fact check this.

 

In any case he is about to relinquish the bird to a good friend of ours who runs a private rescue where we have gotten a couple of our birds from.

 

Catherine (my wife) is in the process of reaching out to the rescue operator, with the hopes of enabling at least a dialogue with her and Kim.

 

Stay tuned.

 

In the meantime Jessica, if at all possible I would advocate that you spend some time in a bird rescue.

 

Some here on Quora are fanatics that dictate you should volunteer your time, which I certainly would not discourage.

 

Just visiting a bird rescue though, will offer insights about the hundreds of species of parrots that we keep as pets.

 

How all these people on Quora can predict the outcome of a single parrot’s relationship with you is mind numbing.

 

Go back and begin to understand birds and their 99 million year evolutionary existence because right now your question to somebody like me who provides caged bird care solutions for living sounds something like this:

 

“Should I get a dog a pony or a horse” they’re all four-footed mammals right?

 

Birds are the only pet you can have that flys.

 

Think about that.

 

BTW – if you don’t like to vacuum, don’t get a bird.

 

written by mitch rezman
approved by catherine tobsing

Author:

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.

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