Are you thinking about getting a feathered friend as a pet? You might have a lot on your mind, like their size and species. Don't worry, our vets at Jackson have some suggestions for you.
What Are The Best Types Of Birds For First-time Owners?
If you're considering getting a bird as a pet, it can bring joy to your home. Birds have beautiful feathers, can brighten your day, and might even learn tricks.
However, doing your homework before deciding which bird is right for you is important. While birds may look similar, they have unique needs.
Remember that all birds require love, attention, and a specific diet based on their species.
Additionally, they may need veterinary care. Before choosing a bird for your home, research their personality traits, size, weight, and lifespan.
Budgie / Budgerigars
Weight: 1 ounce
Length: 6 to 8 inches
Physical Characteristics: Found in a variety of colors including neon green, yellow, blue, violet, and more with black bars on the head, wings, and back.
Budgies (also referred to as parakeets or budgerigars) are well known to be exceptionally warm, friendly, and gentle when properly cared for and trained.
These delightful birds are also among the smallest of bird species generally kept as pets, relatively easy to care for, and if you get a young one they can also be easy to train.
These beautiful feathered friends make affordable pets that are both playful and active. Their tricks may include learning to talk and providing hours of amusement.
Lifespan: When cared for properly a pet budgie can live for 7 -15 years
Weight: 3 ounces
Length: 12 to 13 inches (adults)
Physical Characteristics: Predominantly gray feathers with orange spots around the ears and yellow and white accents. Males are yellow-headed while females are almost completely gray.
Easy to read, the crest on top of a cockatiel's head indicates the bird's emotional state; a flattened head crest means the bird is fearful or angry; a completely vertical crest indicates your cockatiel is startled or excited.
Female cockatiels are as gentle as they come, and males are particularly good at mimicking sounds around them including phones, alarms, and even outdoor birds. But you should be aware that cockatiels need a huge cage with several toys and perches to keep them stimulated.
These smart little parrots crave social interaction and require an owner who can provide them with the time and attention they need to thrive and prevent loneliness, or depression. It's recommended they either have a companion 'tiel friend or that owners dedicate significant amounts of time to interacting with their feathered friend.
Plus: Be sure to watch out for their whistle: if they do one for you, it's a compliment as they whistle at things they like.
Lifespan: With proper love and care a pet cockatiel can easily live for 15 - 20 years. In rare cases, these birds have been known to live for as long as 30 years.
Weight: 5 to 8 ounces
Length: 11 to 13 inches
Physical Characteristics: Brown and dull gray feathers, black eyes, beak, and a collar surrounding the neck. Alternative colors include orange, white and pied (ring-necked doves).
Doves can be incredibly gentle and sweet when it comes to hand feeding and domesticating them. These birds are easygoing. Though they'll enjoy your time together they typically aren't overly demanding of their owners' time or attention.
That said, unlike parrots, doves cannot climb up and down cage bars but instead need to fly from perch to perch, making a huge cage essential.
Lifespan: When well cared for a pet dove can live from 8 -to 15 years depending on the species.
Weight: Less than 1 ounce
Length: 4 to 8 inches
Physical Characteristics: These lovely birds can be yellow or green, bright orange or brown. Known for their vibrant color and ability to carry a tune, canaries are ideal if you're a beginner who isn't sure if you want a bird that requires a lot of attention. While they'd prefer not to be handled, canaries are happy to play the entertaining beauty. But beware, these little birds are fragile and can be easily frightened.
Though somewhat shy, canaries will need space to fly to stay happy and healthy, so you'll need a large flight cage. Note: Male canaries sing, while females do not.
When you're shopping for a pet bird, always buy from a reputable breeder or bird store. Healthy and well-socialized birds will make the best pets.
Lifespan: The canaries typically live for between 9-10 years if well cared for, although in rare cases these little birds can live for 15 years or even longer!
Weight: 2 to 3 ounces
Length: 10 to 11 inches
Physical Characteristics: Mostly green with gray head and breast, blue-tipped wings, and maroon tail. Other colors include yellow, cinnamon, and turquoise.
On the quiet side but just little mischievous, green-cheeked conures are playful and smart birds who typically don't talk but are charming species nonetheless. They'll entertain and engage, and can be comical and outgoing under the right circumstances.
Lifespan: With plenty of love and attention these friendly birds can live as long as 30 years.
Weight: .5 to .9 ounces
Length: 8 to 10 inches
Physical Characteristics: Finches generally have round heads, with triangular-shaped bills, and either rounded or slightly elongated bodies. Their tails are forked or notched and their wings are noticeably pointed.
Finches come in many different colors including white, red, brown, and black. There are many varieties of finches including Zebra finches, Red finches, and House finches.
Lifespan: Finches can live 15-20 years long, but your household pet will live 5-10 years on average.
North Madison Animal Hospital Expertise in Exotic Pet Care
When you bring a bird into your family, it's crucial to have a vet involved in your bird's life. Look for a veterinarian who has a genuine passion for learning about birds and is certified in avian medicine. Once you've welcomed your perfect feathered companion, make it a priority to take them to the vet promptly for health tests. This will ensure your bird's well-being.