Choosing the right bird

There are many factors to consider that will help you determine which species of bird is right for you. Your level of experience, budget, time commitments, environment, and personality are all key elements in choosing the right bird.

Parrots have long life expectencies ranging from 15 years for a cockatiel, to 70 to 100 years for larger parrots. Parrots form strong bonds with their owners. It can be very traumatic and stressful for them to be sold to another family. Be sure you can make the commitment before you purchase a parrot.

Remember that each bird is an individual and has his/her own unique personality. General species characteristics may not apply to individual birds.


  • Have you previously owned a parrot?
  • Do you have other birds?
  • Have you done a lot of research on birds?
  • Do you know how to take proper care of the species you are considering?
  • Do you have an Avian vet?
  • Do you have other resources available to you?

Before you purchase a bird read as much material as you can on various species of birds. Research as many different species as possible. Talk to several breeders, pet stores, and avian vets to find out as much as you can on particular species of birds. Make sure the place of business you are purchasing your bird from will answer all of your questions and is willing to continue to answer your questions long after the sale is made.

First time bird owners may want to start out with a smaller bird, such as a Cockatiel, Lovebird, Finch, Parakeet, or a Canary. Smaller birds may be less intimidating and easier to handle than their larger cousins. First time bird owners should purchase a bird that was handfed and well socialized. Birds who were handfed and handled as babies are usually tamer and friendlier than parent raised babies.

Conures, Quakers, and smaller African birds are usually the next bird purchase for people who have owned smaller birds. These birds are a little larger but are still easy to handle.

Macaws, Cockatoos, Amazons, and Greys require owners with previous experience in owning parrots as pets. These birds need a firm hand and new owners may find them intimidating.

Birds who have been abused, neglected, or have behavioral problems should be purchased by people who have a great deal of experience working with birds. These birds may require special care, taming, training, diets, environments, and handling.