What Are The Most Difficult Parrots To Keep As Pets For Most Bird Owners

Kea Bird biting tourist s car at Otira Viaduct Lookout, New Zealand
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What are the most difficult parrots to keep as pets for most bird owners?

First a little housekeeping.

When we talk about species of birds, it’s important to be specific.

To say that “cockatoos are needy”  would be inaccurate.

“Cockatoos like umbrellas and moluccans are needy and affectionate” is more to the point.


Major Mitchell cockatoos are not affectionate birds.


To say that “cockatoos are noisy” can be incorrect.


Cockatoos like umbrellas and moluccans are noisy parrots.


Corella cockatoos are not noisy birds.


And now to the heart of the matter.


I humbly disagree with Dr.Lenhard.


To say that captive birds “cannot eat a diet only of seeds and nuts, because that is completely unbalanced for them and they will end up with all sorts of skin, feather, gastrointestinal, and liver problems” is a problematic statement, at least for me.


Original Quora question: What are the most difficult parrots to keep as pets for most bird owners?


I do agree with her on “Most parrots are fed poorly in captivity”.


I ask rhetorically how do we have hundreds of thousands of “grass parakeets” and budgies surviving on a seed only diet – for 99 million years?


How did all the Macaws and conures survive for long as they have in South America with no pellet trees?


I have 11 rescue birds, a female Senegal, a male African ringneck and 9 budgies.


But I’m not just the guy who has a lot of birds.


I’ve been running one of the largest websites on the Internet that sells stuff only for birds over the past 15 years.


I interact with 90% of the people who never get the birds into a veterinarian’s office.


I’ve created the title of captive bird environmental specialist – for myself.


She (Dr.Lenhard) talks about birds need to fly which I agree with 100%.


All our birds are flighted.


What needs to be taught is where and how to land which is a counter-intuitive process for them if they had not flown before.


This gets rid of “breastbone injury problem”.


If I’m giving a bird “flying lessons” I’ll start with using the cage as a landing area.


As an example when we rescued our cockatiel Popcorn she was fully flighted which is why I found her entangled in a bunch of bushes a couple of blocks from the Birdie Boutique, she had escaped from somewhere.


Once I got her home, and then let her out of the cage, she immediately took off.


She ended up bouncing off the wall and falling down in between a wall and an entertainment center.


We decided the best course of action was to clip her wings to help her adjust to her new environment.


Cockatiel’s wings grow back quickly, she was fully flighted in about 90 days.


Editor’s note: Senegal wings, grow back much slower than cockatiel wings.

Also published on Medium.


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.