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Before you acquire a bird

You and a bird would be a perfect match if you...
Birds can make interesting and entertaining companions, as long as their basic needs are met. There are a wide variety of birds that have been kept in captivity, and each species has its own special requirements. It is important to carefully research any bird you consider adding to your household, to make sure that your commitment and available time are well suited to the bird you choose.

General Bird Care Tips

  • Non-stick coating can be deadly to birds if it is overheated -- keep birds out of the kitchen.
  • Change water and food daily, more often if necessary.
  • Clean cage thoroughly on a weekly basis.
  • Keep chocolate, avocado, and alcohol away from birds-- these foods can be deadly.
  • Research the pet store or breeder before purchase.

Canaries/finches

  • Small, delicate, generally not handled.
  • Eat seeds/fruits/ pellets/fresh greens.
  • Do well in aviary type situations.
  • Should have nesting areas available.
  • Tend to chirp and sing.

Other birds such as toucans, mynahs, toucanettes

  • Not usually easy to handle.
  • Need very large aviaries in which to fly.
  • Can be very loud and messy.

Parrot Type Birds

  • Range in size from parakeets and parrotlets (2" long) to macaws (3' long).
  • Need a wide variety of foods to stay healthy: fruits, veggies, pelleted foods, seeds - the more varied the diet, the healthier they are.
  • Vary greatly in temperament, sociability, food requirements, and noise level.
  • Can be EXTREMELY loud and destructive.
  • Can be very long lived- some can live up to 75-80 years so they are truly a lifetime commitment.
  • Need to spend large amounts of time with their human "flock."
  • Need large, secure cages - at a minimum, the bird should be able to fully extend wings and tail without touching the sides of the cage.
  • Need lots of variety in toys and perches to keep them active & engaged - particularly wood on which to chew.
  • Parrot tips:
    • Choose a captive bred, hand fed, and well-socialized bird.
    • Thoroughly research the individual species to learn about typical behaviors and temperaments for that kind of bird.
    • Keep your bird's wings trimmed for safety.

 

City of Bloomington, IN
Last updated: Sept 14, 2009



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