Linda Crampton is a former biology teacher, a writer, and a long-time pet owner. She has or has had dogs, cats, and birds in her family.
Moustache parakeets are attractive, intelligent, and playful birds belonging to the parrot family, or the Psittacidae. They’re entertaining to watch and can be trained to talk. Unlike some birds kept as pets, such as my dusky conure, moustache parakeets are generally not cuddly. They do like and respond to human attention, however. If they’re socialized and handled daily from an early age, they are friendly and affectionate birds and make lovely pets.
Moustache parakeets are also called moustached parakeets, mustache parakeets, and mustached parakeets. The bird's scientific name is Psittacula alexandri. The wild birds belong to the same species as the pet and are known as red-breasted parakeets. They live mainly in Indonesia and Southeast Asia.
It's very important that pet moustache parakeets are hatched in captivity from eggs laid by another pet. I knew that this was the case for Petra, my moustache parakeet, before I got him. The wild population of the bird needs to be protected. The red-breasted parakeet is endangered in some parts of its range. The species as a whole is classified as near threatened by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).
Physical Appearance of a Moustache Parakeet
Pet moustache parakeets are attractive green birds with a salmon-coloured chest and upper abdomen. The upper part of the lower abdomen is lilac, and the lower part is green. Females usually have a paler colouration than males. The birds have a blue-grey head, a thin black band between their eyes, and a wider black band on each side of their face, which looks something like a moustache. There is a yellow patch on each wing. The tail is a mixture of blue and green.
When the birds are mature, the males have an orange beak while the females have a black one. Immature birds of both genders have a black beak and a green chest and abdomen. Adult birds are between 13 and 16 inches in length.
A Wild Red-Breasted Parakeet
What Wild Birds Look Like
There are eight subspecies of red-breasted parakeets. The chest and upper abdomen colour of the wild birds ranges from orange to pink, and the amount of lilac on the abdomen varies. In addition, the grey feathers look bluer in some birds than in others. In some subspecies, the upper mandible of the male's beak is orange and the lower mandible is black.
Feral populations of moustache parakeets have become established in some areas, such as Singapore, and hybridization between subspecies has occurred. This has resulted in a wide variety of appearances in the wild members of the species. Even pet birds vary in appearance depending on their genetic background, although they seem to be more homogeneous than the species as a whole.
Petra: My Moustache Parakeet
Petra was hatched in captivity and hand-reared. Hand-rearing is very important in the case of moustache parakeets to develop their friendliness and prevent any aggressive tendencies from appearing.
Moustache parakeets are often said to be feisty, but Petra was a calm bird. He was affectionate, but he wasn't as outgoing or as cuddly as Cece, my dusky conure. Petra was free-flying most of the time. He got onto my hand and liked to be carried around on my head or shoulders. He enjoyed nibbling my ears and let me stroke him in certain places on his body. He had a very different personality from Cece, who loved to be stroked all over his/her body. Judging by his behaviour, I suspect that Cece was a male, though we referred to her as a "she." A DNA test is required to confirm the gender of conures.
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Although some moustache parakeets enjoy being petted, others are very particular about where they are touched or like to be touched by only one person. The birds need to be handled daily to maintain their friendliness with humans. Keeping them used to being handled also makes vet visits less traumatic.
Moustache parakeets live for about twenty to twenty-five years in captivity, assuming they remain healthy. They have a loud voice, although I didn’t consider Petra to be a loud bird compared to my noisy, shrieking conure.
Feeding a Moustache Parakeet
Wild moustache parakeets usually live in flocks in forests or wooded areas. They feed on fruit, leaves, grains, seeds, and nuts. Pet birds also like a varied plant diet.
A moustache parakeet does well on a mixture of the following:
- Fresh, raw vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, and carrots
- Raw fruits such as bits of peeled apple, orange, and strawberries
- Small amounts of protein, such as hard-boiled egg
Petra loved cooked sweet potato. He also enjoyed corn on the cob, after the cob has been cooked for a short time. Cooked rice or beans can also be given to a moustache parakeet. Seeds and nuts should make up only a small proportion of the diet. Avocado is poisonous to pet birds and should never be given to them.
If you have a pet bird, make sure that all produce is pesticide free and wash it thoroughly before you give it to the bird. Remove uneaten produce quickly so that it doesn't spoil. Also make sure that seeds and nuts are unsalted and unsweetened and are as fresh as possible. Petra loved peanuts, but they are high in fat and should be given as an occasional treat rather than as a regular food. He loved spray millet too, but this should also be given occasionally, since a bird can gain weight if he or she eats a large amount of millet.
Moustache parakeets are messy eaters, dropping food to the ground as they eat. My dog took advantage of this behaviour. He waited wherever Petra and Cece were being fed and tried to pounce on the dropped food before the other dog in the family got it.
Entertaining a Pet Bird
A moustache parakeet should have a large cage with plenty of room for climbing. The cage should contain lots of interesting toys. Since the moustache parakeet is intelligent, its mind needs to be kept occupied. Boredom will make the bird miserable and may lead to behaviour problems. Even if a bird has to be left in the cage at some times, it should be let out for a lengthy period each day. Before you let your bird out of the cage, make sure that the room is safe for exploring, especially if the pet can fly.
Moustache parakeets love to chew. They need to be provided with lots of safe, chewable toys and equipment. Chewing is a natural instinct that needs to be satisfied. Toys are an ongoing expense when you own a moustache parakeet, since he or she will love destroying wooden ones. Other wooden items that are safe for birds can also be put into the cage for the pet to chew.
A Bird Tantrum
Molting in Birds
Molting is a normal process in a bird's life as new feathers replace old and damaged ones. Molting in a moustache parakeet can be an alarming process the first time you see it, because in addition to the loss of feathers the bird may look dowdy and seem quieter than usual. I made sure that Petra was getting highly nutritious food during this period and also gave him special molting food. He soon returned to normal.
You should watch your bird carefully during the molting process to make sure that he or she really is molting and isn’t sick. It's also a good idea to record the molting date so that you can see if your bird is losing feathers due to the change of seasons, for example, and so that you know what to expect in the future.
Cleaning the Cage
To keep pet birds healthy, their cages and the objects they come into contact with need to be kept clean. Food and water bowls need to be washed daily and filled with fresh material. The cage liner also needs to be replaced daily. The whole cage should be cleaned once a week. The job is made easier—and the cage kept healthier—if small sections of the cage or items in the cage are cleaned once a day.
Bird droppings stick to bars, trays, perches, and toys. Cleaning the cage is an easier job than it used to be now that there are bird-safe liquids on the market that dissolve the droppings. A damp cloth or brush plus a cage cleaner liquid gets the job done efficiently. Every when you're using a cleaning liquid that's claimed to be non-toxic, the cage and equipment should be rinsed thoroughly after the liquid is used. Everything needs to be dry before a bird gets into the cage again.
A Safe and Interesting Cage for Birds
Perches must have a suitable diameter for your pet’s feet. Natural wood perches are good. They should be placed at different levels in the cage so the bird can move from perch to perch as he or she would move from branch to branch in the wild. Don’t put perches directly above the water or food bowls, since bird droppings can contaminate the bowls. Perches covered with sandpaper shouldn’t be used, since they are too abrasive and can cause sores on the bottom of a bird’s foot.
You need to make sure that your moustache parakeet’s cage is safe and interesting. You also need to make sure that it contains items that have surfaces with different textures to help your bird keep its nails and beak in good condition. However, you do need to be careful that the cage doesn’t become so crowded that the bird doesn’t have much room to move. Designing the inside of a cage can be fun. It’s easy to get carried away.
Finding an Avian Veterinarian
Try to find an avian vet or a general vet that has had a lot of experience with birds to attend to your moustache parakeet. As is true in human medicine, there is a great deal of information for a modern veterinarian to know. A specialist in a particular area of veterinary medicine—such as the care of birds—is very useful. Hopefully, your bird will never get sick, but if he or she does, you will need a vet visit. In addition, if your bird needs a nail trim, you might prefer to get your vet or a veterinary technician to do it.
The breeder of your bird may know of a good avian vet. Bird clubs and societies may also be helpful. Even pet store owners may be able to help. Until recently, the store where I bought bird food was run by a couple who breed birds and are very interested in keeping them healthy. The couple is very knowledgeable and always had excellent advice to share when I visited the store, including the location of a good avian veterinarian.
Courtship Displays in the Red-Breasted Parakeet
A Wonderful Pet
There’s a lot to plan before you bring any pet bird into your home. Anyone who would like to buy a pet moustache parakeet should find a breeder with a good reputation. They must also purchase suitable equipment and food before the bird is brought home.
Once a bird has arrived, it will need plenty of care. Owners should touch and interact with their moustache parakeet every day. If a bird is left too long without human contact, it may become wary and unfriendly. If you’re ready for the commitment, a hand-reared moustache parakeet bought when it's young and given plenty of personal attention is a wonderful pet.
References and Resources
- Basic Pet Bird Care from the Association of Avian Veterinarians.
- How to Care for Your Pet Bird from the University of Florida Small Animal Hospital, College of Veterinary Medicine.
- Red-Breasted Parakeet status and information from the IUCN Red List.
Questions & Answers
Question: How much time do you spend with your mustache parakeet per day? I would love to have a mustache parakeet, and I am researching them now to find out if this is a good bird for me. I don’t want him to get bored and unfriendly because I work the whole day. I can spend the whole evening with him, though. Is that enough?
Answer: Personally, I don't think that is enough time. There is nearly always someone in my home, so Petra isn't left alone very often. In addition, when we do leave him home alone, he has another bird for company. Another potential problem is that while I'm sure you would do your best to keep your bird company all evening, you might find that other activities in your life would sometimes have to take priority.
Question: I have been having some behavioral issues with my mustache parakeet as of late. Do you have any advice on trying to develop more trust with him?
Answer: I do have a couple of thoughts based on my experience. I've noticed that my moustache parakeet requires regular attention in order to remain friendly. He's certainly not as outgoing as my other bird, who is very confident and forces me to pay attention to him (or her) whether it's convenient for me or not. I have to take the initiative where Petra is concerned. He needs attention from me multiple times a day in order to remain confident.
Another thought that I had is that it might be an idea to check your bird for any signs of ill health, such as poop with an unusual colour or texture or a change in feather condition. If he doesn't feel completely well, that could explain his grumpiness.
Question: My moustache parakeet is almost thirty years old. He's producing black poop. Is this just due to old age or should I be concerned?
Answer: I'm not a veterinarian, so I can't diagnose bird health problems. I can say that if your bird's poop is black when it's first released from his body and if he hasn't eaten anything unusual that could add colour to his poop, he probably has an illness of some kind. Black poop is not a normal sign of aging, though it's possible that your bird developed an illness partly because of his age. It's important that he visits a vet for a diagnosis and treatment soon.
The illnesses that I know of that can cause black poop require veterinary treatment. They can't be treated with home remedies, though conditions at home may help a bird to recover while he or she is receiving treatment prescribed by a vet.
Question: What causes a moustache parakeet's feathers to curl and turn bright yellow? My moustache parakeet is over 30 years old.
Answer: You need to consult a veterinarian, preferably an avian one or one with experience in treating birds. If neither of these specialty vets are present in your area, a general one should be consulted.
The fact that your bird’s feathers have changed both their colour and shape might indicate the presence of a viral infection and a skin problem. Feathers can also change their colour and appearance due to other illnesses, which are sometimes serious. Whatever the cause, it’s important that your bird sees a vet soon to get a diagnosis and treatment.
Question: Do Moustache Parakeets like to bathe? At which age do Parakeets start to bathing themselves?
Answer: My Moustache Parakeet likes to take a bath and started to do this when he was young. (I didn't record his age when he first entered the water bowl.) He has never been as enthusiastic about water as my dusky conure, but when my conure bathes, so does Petra.
Question: Are these birds legal in Kansas?
Answer: You would have to check the laws in Kansas. I would be surprised if pet moustache parakeets weren't allowed in the state. Moustache parakeets are bred in captivity for people to buy as pets. The red-breasted parakeet is the wild bird and probably wouldn't be allowed in Kansas or in many other places. There's no need to catch wild birds since there's a local and thriving pet trade in many parts of North America.
© 2011 Linda Crampton
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 26, 2020:
I've never recorded the time or even thought about it, but in my home, when we're awake and active, so are our birds. When we go to bed, they seem to go to sleep, too.
tom on May 25, 2020:
how many hours do these birds sleep a day
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 10, 2019:
Hi, Patty. I have no personal experience with breeding the birds. It's good that your bird is behaving normally, but I think the bleeding is something that should be checked by a veterinarian. If she were my bird, I would talk to the vet. I believe that bleeding always requires a diagnosis by a qualified person.
Patty Olyarchik on May 10, 2019:
Our Moustached Parakeet has laid 4 eggs in the last month now she seems to be bleeding when pooping. She is her usual noisy self and eating lots, do you think we should be worried.?
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 01, 2019:
The price of the bird varies considerably. You should contact breeders that you feel produce good birds and ask them what their prices are.
Archita on May 01, 2019:
What is price
paul simpson on April 15, 2019:
how i tame him semi tamed let me kown pls
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on November 29, 2018:
Hi. Whenever one of my pets starts behaving abnormally and stays behaving that way, I always suspect that they might be ill and take them to the vet. I've only had one moustache parakeet, but he's older than yours. His behaviour hasn't changed as he's aged. I think you should should consider taking your bird to a vet—preferably an avian one.
Maria Valencia on November 29, 2018:
I have a mustache parakeet, he is 14 years old, he was so sweet always, few months ago he started biting and he has bad mood, before I trusted in him 100 percent, now I don’t, he bit me twice, more times he tried to do it again but I stopped him... I don’t know what’s wrong with him or if he is getting older that why he is grumpy now
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on September 17, 2018:
Thanks for the visit and the comment, Zia.
Zia Uddin from UK on September 17, 2018:
Great article, pleasure to read about this parakeet which i aint even heard of.
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on June 21, 2018:
Thank you very much for the comment and for sharing the link, Jeff. I've changed the caption on the photo to make it a bit more descriptive.
Jeff Forsha on June 20, 2018:
This is such a great site, I had to send a link for it to a buyer of one of my three baby moustaches the other day.. Thanks for creating the page. Btw, the picture of the male and female perched side by side isn't quite accurate. They are actually inn the act of mating. Anyway, thanks for letting such awesome info.
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 20, 2018:
I don't remember exactly when Petra's beak changed colour. I've read that it happens somewhere between five and eight months. That seems about right from my memories of Petra's experience.
Sue Fleming on April 19, 2018:
How old are birds mature enough to say for sure they are male or female, by beak color.
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on October 13, 2017:
Hi, Bibiano. I'm sorry to hear that you are having trouble with your bird. I don't give training lessons, but you may be able to find help at a bird club or a pet store that knows something about birds. A vet who is experienced with birds could also be helpful. You could also contact online bird forums or bird websites to see if they have any ideas. Your local library or bookstore might be a good resource, too. Perhaps the best step to take first of all would be to contact the breeder or store where you got your moustache parakeet to see if they have suggestions. Good luck.
Bibiana terre on October 13, 2017:
hello, i am wondering if you help me with my mustache parakeet, he’s 7 month old but he is biting a lot. I want to learn to take care of him but he is making it very difficult for me to keep him. Please help me, if you do online training sessions I am welling to pay.
My email address is email@example.com
Thank you so much.
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 28, 2017:
I got my moustache parakeet from a bird breeder in British Columbia a long time ago. I don't think that she is breeding birds any more.
Owen Walsh on May 28, 2017:
Hi i am looking for a moustache parrot and I cannot find many where did you get yours at
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 19, 2017:
Thanks for the comment, Mackenzee. I'm glad that the article was helpful for you.
MACKENZEE gray 10 years old on April 19, 2017:
Im interested in buying a bird so I looked at this and it was very helpful.
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on February 08, 2017:
Whatever the reason for your bird's behaviour, I'm glad that you took the toy away from him. I'm sorry that he's injured. I hope his wound heals well.
Shelly on February 06, 2017:
I have moustachekeet and he is 16 yrs old and he has just recently started humping his toy and he hides it every waking moment not, he has done it so much I had to take his toy away from him because he has started to bleed due to him rubbing himself so much. Does anyone have any idea why he has started doing this. He is. Very friendly bird and sits with the family and gets lots of attention.
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on November 07, 2016:
Thank you for sharing the information, John Cena.
JOHN CENA on November 07, 2016:
MY MUSTACHE PARROT IS QUIET UNLESS IT WANTS ATTENTION
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on October 26, 2016:
Hi, Lauren. Petra has quite a loud voice, but he isn't annoying. He never makes a sound at night. Once the lights are turned off, he's quiet. Turning out the lights is my version of covering the cage, which I never do.
I'm lucky because there is nearly always someone in my home, even when I'm at work, so Petra can be given attention. I'm not sure that being shut in a cage all day while the owner is at work would really suit a moustache parakeet. The more attention that Petra gets, the friendlier he becomes. Leaving him alone for a long time wouldn't be good for his relationships with the humans in the family.
Lauren on October 26, 2016:
Hi If I had to consider a Mustage Parrot, what are their habits regarding screaming and making huges noises especially at night. If covered are they quiet I am a working person so can only give the parrot a certain amount of attention, would this affect the Mustage badly.
Parrotdise on June 15, 2016:
Thank you. I updated our website with this information. Great article by the way.
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on June 15, 2016:
Hi, Kathleen. An adult moustache parakeet is said to weigh between 110 and 140 grams, or between 0.24 pounds and 0.31 pounds.
Parrotdise on June 15, 2016:
What is the average weight for a Moustache Parakeet?
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 26, 2012:
I'm sorry that you're having problems with your moustache parakeet, Ramona. It's wonderful that you rescued the bird. I've never been in the situation that you're in, but I would suggest that you have patience and keep persevering, taking baby steps as you train your bird.
In the beginning you could try sitting by your bird's cage several times a day and talking softly to him for about five minutes each time. Then you could try offering him food by hand through the cage bars once he calmly accepts your presence close to him every time you sit by the cage. The next step could be to open the cage door and to hold food at the entrance -- and so on. If you do an Internet search for "training an unfriendly bird" or "training an aggressive" bird you will probably find some good ideas to help you solve your problem. Good luck!
Ramona on May 26, 2012:
We recently found a moustache parakeet in our back yard, walked right up on my shoulder! Went and purchased a large cage, toys etc and now he just wants to nip and bite every time we hold our finger up for him to climb to step up, what happened to mr. friendly? We try to interract with him but he is not having any of it. :-) Advise?
Anne on May 10, 2012:
Thanks If I end up buying him then I will expect him to be quiet noisy. We do have other birds but I find them all ok. Just when owner said he chirps all day long it worried me a little and he was quiet loud. I get very attached to all my animals and would not want to have to onsell one. Maybe I should give this one a miss.
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 09, 2012:
Hi, Anne. I've only owned one moustache parakeet, and he is quite noisy even though he has a companion. I don't find his noise excessive, though, and it's not continuous. He just gets loud when he's excited about something!
Anne on May 09, 2012:
Hi I am thinking of purchasing a moustache the one I am interested in is very noisey but also very pretty in a cage buy herself in a shop with no attention the bird is also hand raised. I am worried about the noise as owner says it chirps all day does anyone think that if i buy bird and give lots of attention and maybe get a friend for it too it may not be so noisey????
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on December 18, 2011:
Hi, daniel_58. One day is a very short time to have a new bird in your family. The bird has to get used to you and your home and you have to get used to the bird! The best person to ask for help would be the bird’s breeder. Breeders have a lot of experience and can give you great suggestions for looking after birds. There are also websites with care tips and forums where you can submit questions about the specific problems that you are having and get answers. If you do an Internet search for “moustache parakeet forum” or "parrot forum" you should find helpful sites.
daniel_98 on December 18, 2011:
i just got my moustache parakeet yesterday, he is a very nice bird indeed, however we are having some problems with it, can you please help me
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on August 01, 2011:
Thank you very much for the visit and the comment, Binaya.Ghimire. It is fun to hear birds speak!
Binaya.Ghimire on August 01, 2011:
Once my mother had a parrot, and as a child I envied the bird because when it said mommy, my mother shook with delight that she never did when I called her. This was a wonderful hub
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 21, 2011:
Thank you, K9keystrokes! I think that moustache parakeets are pretty, too. I'm very fond of Petra - he's a lovely bird.
India Arnold from Northern, California on July 21, 2011:
Petra is the cutest bird name ever! What a unique little feathered cutie. I, like many others, was not familiar with the mustache parakeet, but now am in awe of this little wonder. What a beautiful face with that adorable "swish" of a mustache! Fun and informative hub.
Up and very interesting!
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 20, 2011:
Thank you for the visit, writer20. I've never trained any of my birds to talk, so I find it very interesting to hear other pet birds talking. Some of the cleverer types of birds even seem to understand what they're saying, instead of just mimicking their owners!
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 20, 2011:
Hi, Simone. Thank you very much for the comment. I didn't know about moustache parakeets either until my sister met Petra's breeder!
writer20 on July 20, 2011:
Love Petra very cute.
When living at home my Mum always had budgies and made them talk up a storm.
Thank you for the information
Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on July 20, 2011:
Wow, I had never heard of Moustache Parakeets before! and Petra is so cute! Thanks for the great Hub, and for introducing me to a new kind of bird!
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 19, 2011:
Hi again, carriethomson. It's great that you saved your squirrel from dying! You're right, she would be miserable in a cage. I wish you the best of luck in finding a good solution to the problem.
carriethomson from United Kingdom on July 19, 2011:
yes i know, have keep a constant watch, but squirrels are generally very active and keep on running here and there so caging her for a long time is not good.. more over she was brought when she was just a baby, hurt and coverd with ants and almost dying.. and has recovered from that and so cant leave her outside also..lets see i too hope to find a solution probably will give it away to a friend who has a big garden and keeps such animals..
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 19, 2011:
Hi, Polly. Thanks for the comment. I have both cats and birds. The cats were trained to leave the birds alone when they were kittens, but I never leave the cats and birds in the same area when they are unsupervised.
Pollyannalana from US on July 19, 2011:
Since I have a cat I never got to have a bird but since she is 17 now and lost hunting interest maybe it would be safe to have a caged one. Great hub.
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 18, 2011:
Hi, carriethomson. Thanks for the comment. I've rescued injured birds too. Luckily, there is a wildlife rescue centre near my home that does a great job of looking after injured animals, so I always take birds that are in trouble there. It sounds like you are having an interesting time with your pet squirrel! Squirrels do love to chew. The danger (besides the destruction of your curtains!) is that the squirrel may chew something that hurts it. I hope you find a solution!
carriethomson from United Kingdom on July 18, 2011:
very nice hub..loved reading it.. we had an injured bird a few days.. but it flew away as soon as the wounds healed.. rite now we have a squirell, the cage is too small so we have to leave her free and she consantly chews at the curtains..she has torn my living room surtains, dont know why she loves to chew at them.. leaving aside every thing else even nuts..
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 17, 2011:
You're welcome, Danette. Good luck with finding a cage cleaner.
Danette Watt from Illinois on July 17, 2011:
Thanks for the info AliciaC - I made a note of the cleaner and am going to look for it this week.
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 16, 2011:
Thank you very much, Prasetio. I agree with you - birds are lovely animals!
prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on July 16, 2011:
I had never knew about this parrot before. I am bird lovers. Thanks for writing and share with us. I always learn much from you. Vote it up! Cheers...
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 16, 2011:
I'm sorry that you had such a sad problem with your moustache parakeet, b. Malin. Petra has had two bird companions and has got on fine with both. When I got Petra we already had a Senegal Parrot in the house, and the two birds got on well. Then when our Senegal Parrot died of old age we brought Cece, the dusky conure, home. I wouldn't say that Petra has been in love with either of his two bird companions, but he's never had any problems getting on with them.
b. Malin on July 16, 2011:
Years ago, when my boys were little we had I believe a Moustache Parakeet. He was Happy and Fun until we bought him a friend. He then pulled out all his feathers and looked Bald! In the end we found new homes (apart ) for both of them and I was a lot wiser. This was a Wonderful and very Informative Hub, as usual, Alicia. Wish I'd have know all this back then.
Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 15, 2011:
Hi, Danette. My local pet store sells several non-toxic bird cage cleaners, but the one that I'm currently using is called "Lazy Person's Bird Cage Cleaner and Deodorizer". The bottle says that it contains only water, surfactants, active enzymes and fragrance, and that the liquid is non-toxic, biodegradable and safe for all birds, nursing animals, people and the environment. The other brands that I buy have similar ingredients. They're called "Poop Off Bird Poop Remover" and "Nature's Miracle Stain and Odor Remover". The only ingredient that I'd rather the cleaners didn't have is fragrance, so I always rinse thoroughly. The Nature's Miracle product claims that it has a natural citrus scent. I spray or pour the liquid on, wait a couple of minutes for it to soak in and then wash off the bird poop. I love these liquids because cleaning all the bars and crevices of a bird cage can be so time consuming otherwise, as I'm sure you know!
I have a full house of pets at the moment and couldn't possibly look after any more, but I must admit I'd like to have an Amazon parrot. The three birds that I've had have all been medium sized. It would be an interesting experience to have a big parrot in the house!
Danette Watt from Illinois on July 15, 2011:
I have a yellow-headed Amazon parrot and yes, they love to chew wood! I have to keep her perch/cage away from the windowsill or it would be all chewed up.
Can you tell me the name of the product used to clean bird cages or where I might find it? I could use something like that for Turkey's cage. Voted up useful and interesting