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Indian Ringneck Parrot

Indian Ringneck parrots natively reside in Asia—mainly India and Pakistan. They are forest dwellers that will occasionally forage for food on the ground. Due to deforestation, they have moved to larger cities where they survive from bird feeders and food offered by people.  They have managed to establish healthy populations in Britain, the Middle East, and the United States.
 

They are known to be sentinels (watchmen) and will quickly make it known when danger is present as they make loud calls. They flock together in the hundreds and branch off to find a nesting cavity during breeding season. The nest cavities usually consist of damaged holes in buildings or holes in trees. In the wild they feed on seeds, fruit, and blossoms. During the spring and summer it is not uncommon to see them moving from tree to tree looking for blossoms or ripe fruit.

 

The normal green Indian Ringneck has a lime green body and blue tail.  Their beaks are cherry red and mature ringnecks will have yellow and black eyes. The normal green Indian Ringneck today has been bred to encompass many mutations. These birds can be purchased in solid colors such as blue, yellow, white, or gray. Along with these solid colors, there are many other mutations such as cobolts, clear tails, pieds, cinnamons, and lacewings just to name a few.

 

These birds are sexually dimorphic, which means the birds can be visibly sexed. The males develop a black ring at about 18 months and by three years the ring is highlighted with pink and blue. The females do not have the ring; however, they do show a lighter green ring that can be seen upon closer inspection.

 

Indian Ringnecks are not typical parrots, nor are they suited for first time bird owners. They are best left for owners who have a bit more experience with parrots in general. When purchased as  handfed babies, they make remarkable pets. They are extremely smart creatures and demand to be challenged mentally by the owner and their environment. Teaching them tricks, playing games, and giving them complex toys is highly recommended.

 

The cage needs to be large as Indian Ringnecks have long tails. The bird should be able to climb around without damaging their tails. It should also be large enough for the bird to turn around, flap its wings, and hop form perch to perch. They are not picky eaters and should be offered fresh fruits and vegetables as well as a base diet of seeds and pellets.

 

Their average lifespan is 15 to 30 years.

Green-cheek Conure

Packing a lot of personality into a pint-sized parrot, Green-Cheeked Conures are known to be affectionate and playful with their owners, thriving on the time they are able to spend socializing with them.  Some can learn a few words, but are not generally known as great talkers. However, most Green-Cheek owners will tell you that their personalities more than make up for what they might lack in the speech department. As is typical of all conures, Green-Cheeks are a very social bird.

 

Green-Cheeked Conures are found in the forests and woodlands of Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Bolivia. In the wild, they feast on fruits, vegetables, seeds, and the occasional insect or two. In captivity they should have a similar diet. For optimum health, feed your conure a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables along with a high quality seed mix for parrots.

 

The  normal color of a Green-Cheeked Conure is mainly green, with a dark head and a maroon belly and tail. They have a slight grey scalloping on their neck, black feet and beak, and dark blue flight feathers. There are several color mutations available, the most popular are Cinnamon, Pineapple, Turquoise, and Turquoise-Cinnamon. Their average lifespan is over 30 years.
 

Budgies

Thebudgie bird is one of the most popular pets in the world, ranking just behind dogs and cats, and it's no wonder. This cute, affectionate bird is small and inexpensive, and can even mimic human speech. The origin of its formal name-- Budgerigar-- is a mystery, but by any name, this little bird is a charming companion for many pet owners. Some people refer to budgies by their full name (Budgerigars), and some call them parakeets. Neither is exactly wrong, but neither is 100 percent correct, either.

 

Budgies are one of the smallest true parrot species. They're not the smallest parrots -- that distinction belongs to the parrotlet. Most budgies in captivity average between 7 or 8 inches from the beak to the tip of the tail. Wild budgies in their native habitat of Australia are even smaller. There are actually two distinct types of budgies -- the traditional Budgerigar, hailing from Australia, and the larger English budgie, bred in England specifically for show and the pet trade. While the two are clearly both budgies, there are differences when they're observed side by side. English budgies are usually 1 to 2 inches longer than their Australian counterparts and have decidedly larger heads and puffier feathers around their faces and crowns.

 

Budgies can learn to talk better than some larger parrots, but there's no way to guarantee that your budgie, or any other parrot, will learn to "speak."Budgies  certainly have a knack for it, and many times they speak with greater clarity and broader vocabularies than larger parrot species such as Macaws and Cockatoos.

While their voices are small and gravelly-sounding, budgies have an impressive ability to pick up on human words and phrases, and even using them in proper context sometimes.

 

 While you're normally accustomed to seeing a variety of colored budgies for sale in pet shops, the only natural color of budgies in the wild is the yellow/green variety. All other budgies, including the blue budgies, white budgies, and others, are color mutations bred specifically for the pet trade. There's nothing wrong with these birds, but don't expect to see a blue budgie in the wild. 

 

The budgie's small size makes it relatively inexpensive to care for and feed. But contrary to popular belief, a diet consisting only of seeds is not good can cause health problems. Instead, a budgie diet should includes pellets and fresh fruits and vegetables including leafy greens. It's OK to feed budgies seeds as part of this diet, as long as they're getting enough nutrients from other foods. 

 

The budgie's lifespan is about 15-20 years.

Lovebird

Lovebirds are one of the most popular pet parrot species, and for those who are familiar with them, it's no surprise. Beautiful and intelligent, these little birds have been one of the most beloved types of African parrot for over 100 years. 

 

There are many different types of Lovebirds. There are nine separate sub-species of these little parrots, each carrying their own distinct traits and characteristics.  These include the Masked Lovebird, the Black-Cheeked Lovebird, the Fischer's Lovebird, The Nyasa Lovebird, the Swindern's Lovebird, the Red-Faced Lovebird, the Abyssinian Lovebird, the Madagascar Lovebird, and the most popular, the beloved Peach-Faced Lovebird. Peach-Faced Lovebird can be identified by the rainbow of yellow, green, and blue on their bodies, and their bright peachy-pink faces. There are also many beautiful color mutations that are quite popular in the trade. 

 

Although they are a type of parrot, and they do have the ability to mimic human speech, Lovebirds are not among those species that most would consider talking birds. It is not known why some Lovebirds are more prone to mimicking speech than others, but it is widely believed that those who do learn to talk are taught from a very young age.

 

It is a widely purported myth that you should never own a solitary Lovebird and that if they are not kept in pairs, they will die of loneliness. While it is true that they are extremely social birds who thrive on interaction and must be socially stimulated, in many cases, it is better for bird owners to keep single Lovebirds.  Birds kept in pairs tend to bond with each other. They also breed readily in captivity and most bird owners are not prepared to handle the amount of time and dedication it takes to raise healthy baby birds. Those who would like their bird to be affectionate and open to being handled by human hands have found that it's best to keep birds by themselves and devote as much time as possible to playing and socializing with them so that their needs are met.

 

Like all parrots, Lovebirds are extremely active birds that need quite a bit of exercise to stay in top physical condition. You must be willing and prepared to give your feathered friend a bird-safe place to play outside of its cage for several hours per day. They also like to snuggle in huts or tents. This gives them a sense of security, especially at bedtime. 

 

 

In the wild Lovebird eat a variety of seed, fruits, and insects. Offer your bird a variety of fruits and vegetables along with a good seed mix.

 

On average, Lovebirds can live up to 20 years in captivity.

Umbrella Cockatoo

The umbrella cockatoo is by far the cuddliest member of the parrot world. Their plumage is proof and it's as soft and fluffy as it looks. In general, they are magnificent birds and keeping one as a pet means you may have found the best-feathered friend you could hope for. They are beyond affectionate—bordering on obsessive—with their caretakers, and they do require more attention and care than many other species.

 

You can teach them to do tricks and mimic speech, making them delightfully entertaining companions for bird lovers of any age. Their comical charms will steal your heart and they will never let you forget that they're around. 

 

Umbrellas are native to the tropics of Indonesia. They were originally found in the central and northern parts of the Maluku islands but have been introduced to a number of the other islands over the years.

 

They are often found in forests, mangroves, swamps, and open woodlands. They live along rivers and the edges of clearings and farmland.  In some areas, they're seen as a nuisance to farmers.​

The vast majority of hand-fed umbrella cockatoos make extremely sweet, charming, intelligent, and well-behaved pets. Just as with any bird, however, prospective owners should be sure that they can meet the needs of an umbrella before rushing out and acquiring one.

 

Umbrellas need a lot of cage space so it's best to go as large as possible because these birds do not enjoy containment. They may act out or become very unhappy in a tight space and this can lead to self-mutilation.

These cockatoos can also be quite loud when they decide to be. This may happen when they want attention or feel neglected and they are able to produce a call that can be heard for very long distances. For this reason, an umbrella may not be the best choice for those who live in apartments or condos or anyone with close neighbors. You may also want to bathe the bird regularly to reduce the powdered dust they emit naturally.

 

Umbrellas are very social and very intelligent, so their brains need stimulation on a daily basis. A properly prepared cockatoo owner will have an arsenal of safe bird toys at their disposal and be able to devote a minimum of one to two hours a day to socialize with their pet.

 

Most cockatoos thrive on being handled, loved, and petted, so equally affectionate and devoted owners are a good match for these parrots. It is definitely a bird that begs to be spoiled, and it requires a lot of time for training, attention, and enrichment in order to maintain a healthy relationship.


The ideal diet for these birds should consist of a high-quality seed mix, fresh fruit and a wide variety of vegetables including leafy greens and root vegetables.

Umbrella cockatoos are active birds. Like all parrots, they need ample time out of their cage each day for play and exercise. They have strong beaks so it is critical that you provide your bird with several appropriately sized, chewable bird toys. Rotate the toys every once in a while to provide something new to play with and prevent boredom.

They can live up to 70 or 80 years or more in captivity when properly cared for. 

Blue and Gold Macaw

In the wild, blue and gold macaws are found from Panama in Central America, extending into almost every country of northern South America. They have also been introduced in Puerto Rico.

 

They typically live in the forests near rivers and swamps, though they can be found in savannas if tall trees are available. They are most often seen in pairs but will gather in large flocks at certain times of the year and during morning and evening foraging for food.

 

Wild blue and golds are an endangered species. Much of their population decline has been due to habitat destruction, hunting, and trapping. Quite often, the young birds were taken directly from the nest, intended for the pet trade, and many of the defensive parents have died while protecting their babies.

 

Among the most popular and common species of macaws to keep as pets, blue and golds have been bred in the United States since 1935. Breeders are readily available and their prevalence makes them one of the most affordable large parrots.

 

The blue and gold macaw is intelligent and sociable and does well as a pet when the owners are dedicated, responsible, and well informed. When allowed to socialize with a variety of people, blue and golds do very well adapting to various situations. Around the house, these macaws can be as friendly as a dog. They enjoy being near their owners and will often wander around looking for someone who can give them attention. Their sweet personality is sure to make you drop whatever you're doing for a little play time. Yet, they can also be quite content on their perch, watching the activity around them.

 

The males and females are barely distinguishable because this is a monomorphic species. It's believed that the male has a flatter head and the female has a narrower beak, but the only way to prove the sex of this macaw is through surgical or DNA sexing.

 

Blue and gold macaws are active birds, and they love to climb, swing, bounce, and chew. Owners should provide a minimum of two to three hours of playtime outside of the cage each day so the bird can stretch and exercise his muscles. Strong toys are a must as these birds have powerful jaw muscles, so chewing and gnawing is necessary to keep them healthy and in shape. Chewable toys made of leather and wood are a great choice. The more nooks and crannies in the toy, the better. That big beak loves to investigate those little corners and crack them wide open. 

 

The cage and perch should be big enough to comfortably house such a large bird, with lots of room to stretch his wings, hop and climb around, and keep himself occupied. Some owners even have a dedicated bird room. Do be careful, though, the blue and gold is known for being destructive in a home that is not completely bird-proof. They will chew almost anything, including electrical wires, jewelry, and furniture.

 

Captive blue and gold macaw's diet should include a high-quality seed mix and as many different types of fresh foods as possible. Fresh vegetables, including leafy greens and root vegetables, are required as well.  Do be careful to avoid treats that are high in fat because pet parrots can gain excess weight and even become obese.

 

 

As with most large parrots, bringing a blue and gold into your family is a commitment for a lifetime because they can live 80 to 100 years.

Cockatiels

Cockatiels are an extremely social bird. Generally, well-socialized birds are gentle and friendly. Some enjoy physical contact, lending themselves well to taming. Cockatiels and their owners often develop shared rituals such as petting, scratching and preening. A cockatiel that wishes to be petted will often lower its head or nibble at the owner's fingers to indicate that it wishes to have its head and neck scratched (two places it can't easily scratch on its own), and will emit a low squeak to show its pleasure. A single bird will get more attached to its keeper.

 

Cockatiels that are hand-fed from a very young age make the best pets as they may continue to enjoy the human contact well into their adult life if handled often. Tamed cockatiels require a consistent few hours of quality time with their human companion, and have a reputation for demanding the attention of their owners on a regular basis. Their vocalizations range from soft cheeps to piercing cries.  You will become familiar with what these vocalizations mean. A single bird will get more attached to its keeper but if you are not at home a lot it is best to get two birds. It is a fact that two birds of the same sex get along just as well as a mixed pair. Even more so if the cockatiels were introduced while they are still young. Their vocalizations range from soft cheeps to piercing cries.

 

Sexing a cockatiel can be very confusing. Bright, orange cheek feathers don't always mean the bird is male. Some mutations have very faded cheek feathers such as the Pastelface. The Whiteface, as the name implies, has no cheek color at all. Males have great vocal abilities and females are fairly quiet. Females are more aggressive and they are more likely to hiss and bite more. Male cockatiels are better at parenting. While the mothers are responsible for hatching the eggs and caring for the newborn chicks, the male cockatiel doesn't fly off and abandon them, either. In fact, they are quite protective of their family, and in the wild, will face much larger birds and predators just to keep them safe. They are also nurturing and affectionate with their young. In cases when the mother cockatiel was killed or injured, the father quite capably steps in and assumes all the parenting duties.

 

Their diet, like most other parrots, consists of a variety of seed, fresh fruits, and vegetables.

 

 Cockatiels can live 15 to 20 years.

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Pets and Kids

Taking into consideration factors like age and temperament, what's the best pet for your child?

Is it wild?

Bringing wildlife into your home

A proper wing trim

It can save your bird's life and change her behavior.

To pair or not to pair

Do you want your friend's undivided attention? Can you find homes for all those babies?

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