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Ideal Beginner Pets for a Bird Lover

Updated on September 4, 2017

Beginning Your Journey as a Bird Owner

For a budding bird owner, there are three specific types of birds that I would recommend for purchase: parakeets, cockatiels, and lovebirds.

These species are ideal for newbies because they are relatively simple to care for, and if you treat them right they will provide love and affection for years to come. However, there are significant differences between these three species that one should know before they decide which one is the perfect bird for them.

Please note: This is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to caring for your new bird, but merely an aid for decision-making. Before making a purchase, be sure to do some research on how to care for your new bird.

Research, research, research!

You can never possibly spend too much time researching a potential pet. They are a lifetime commitment, and the choice to purchase them should be treated as such. Do not be the type of person to purchase an animal only to give it up for adoption a few months later.

 A yellow and green domestic parakeet; Image uploaded by user Althepal to Wikimedia Commons
A yellow and green domestic parakeet; Image uploaded by user Althepal to Wikimedia Commons | Source

Parakeets

The most common recommendation for a new bird owner is to purchase parakeets. There are a number of good reasons that many people consider this to be the ideal first bird:

  • Parakeets are very easy to care for, even for a beginner.
  • If you are patient and caring, you can develop a bond with your bird very quickly.
  • There is a very low barrier to entry for parakeets. They are extremely cheap to purchase compared to other birds.
  • A parakeet's diet is quite simple and affordable.
  • Parakeets are capable of mimicking human speech, and are often very adept at it compared to other birds of their size.

It is important to note that, despite the ease of caring for a parakeet, they still require your care and attention and should never be neglected. Affection and interaction is a key component of caring for any bird. If you do not have time every day to spend with your parakeet, you should consider purchasing at least two of them in order to make sure that they are adequately socially stimulated.

Cockatiels

Cockatiels are a few steps above parakeets in terms of the level of care they require. You will need a larger cage in order to accommodate them, and they are typically a good deal more expensive. Here are some things you should know if you are considering purchasing a cockatiel:

  • Cockatiels live for a longer time than parakeets, typically living for over 10 years. You should only consider purchasing one if you are ready to make this kind of long-term commitment.
  • Cockatiels have a very wide range of personalities. You might find a mild-mannered cockatiel that will be the sweetest bird you will ever own, but you could also wind up with a feisty cockatiel who likes to bite with very little provocation.
  • Most cockatiels thrive on human interaction, and require just as much attention as you would give any other pet.
  • Many cockatiels have an affinity for song, and will love listening to their human sing or whistle. Some are even capable of learning to whistle songs back to you!
  • Cockatiels are somewhat easier to socialize than parakeets, as long as you are not afraid of being bitten.

Much like with parakeets (or any other pet), cockatiels are wonderful companions but are also a significant commitment. Always do your own research before purchasing a new bird.

A group of bright yellow cockatiels
A group of bright yellow cockatiels | Source

Lovebirds

Lovebirds are not purchased as commonly as parakeets or cockatiels, but they are every bit as lovable as the other birds that I've described here. The most important difference to note is that they should always be kept in male-female pairs, as they bond very strongly and typically bond for life. Apart from that, here are some other characteristics that set them apart from parakeets and cockatiels:

  • Lovebirds can be notoriously difficult to socialize with humans, but this does not mean that they will never bond with you. When a lovebird does bond with their owner, they are typically extremely affectionate.
  • Lovebirds are very curious creatures compared to many other birds. They love to explore their environment and find new places hide or new objects to experiment with.
  • Lovebirds need a good amount of room to fly due to being very active birds, so it is good practice to let them out of their cage regularly in a safe and hazard-free environment.

Just to re-emphasize: Having a partner for your lovebird is very important. Lovebirds will get lethargic and depressed if they are deprived of socialization with a partner, and this can lead to severe sickness.

A pair of wild lovebirds; Image By Gediminas (Picasa Web Albums) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
A pair of wild lovebirds; Image By Gediminas (Picasa Web Albums) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons | Source

Thanks for reading!

For any fellow bird-owners, what was your first bird?

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    • Michael Arnott profile image
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      Michael Arnott 8 weeks ago from New England

      It sounds like you're already on the right track! In my experience, the only thing you can do is make sure that your birds have a suitable environment for breeding, and from there you just have to hope that they take the initiative. You can try different nesting materials in the clay pot to see if your bird might prefer them, and you can also try to adjust the temperature in their room to make sure they are comfortable enough to breed. It also helps to make sure that they both have access to plenty of food and water to stay healthy throughout the process.

      Good luck!

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      Kishan 8 weeks ago

      I have a pair of lovebirds the female used to lay egg at the bottomof cage they used to live it so i arranged claypot for their breeding even though they are laying at the bottom of cage not in claypot .so sir/madam i request u to suggest any opinionfor this