Parrot Hope Education Section
Thank you for your interest in Parrot Hope Rescue!!! We have put together the links below which we hope will give you some direction for improving your relationship with your companion. The key to a long and happy life with your parrot is to be proactive and progressive while maintaining realistic expectations. If you have further questions after reviewing the material below please let us know.
Good bird Magazine by Barbara Heidenreich: http://www.goodbirdinc.com/
Steve Martin bird trainer for Disney, Sea World, zoo free flight shows, etc: http://www.naturalencounters.com/pressRoom.html
Lara Joseph does classes in OH: www.larajoseph.com
Kris Porter also offers a free PDF book of excellent foraging and enrichment ideas at http://www.parrotenrichment.com/
Great sources for general parrot information:
The World Parrot Trust www.parrots.org/
The Gabriel Foundation http://thegabrielfoundation.org/
Phoenix Landing http://www.phoenixlanding.org/
Natural Inspirations articles http://www.naturalinspirationsparrotcages.com/cage%20articles.asp
Thinking about buying a bird?
THINK TWICE! Reading this section will take a few minutes but could save you years of heartache and despair by helping you choose the correct parrot for you.
Years may sound exaggerated, but that commitment is very true. Once you get a bird into your home, you will be amazed how easily you fall in love with them and how quickly they becomes a part of your life. Having a parrot in your life means you will have a vibrant and intelligent companion if you have done your research and know how to properly care for and what to expect from your feathered friend.
You may find yourself asking "how do we know what parrot is right for us?"
Parrots are individuals and all differ slightly in their mannerisms and character within the same species. In general, the social problem that an individual may have usually runs right through the species with, perhaps, the odd exception to the rule.
Let's take a look at the common species and how they fit into the pet situation. Some of these descriptions may sound negative, but if you are looking for a parrot you have probably already considered the positive aspects of parrot ownership. We want to be very upfront and honest about all behaviors encountered when sharing your life with a parrot.
Cockatoos: These are probably the most social of all parrots, this makes them very attractive when they are chicks, but the main problem with this species is "noise" and need for interactive daily attention. All but the smaller species, such as the Lesser-and even these, have a huge voice, are far too loud to live in the average household. The Umbrella, Triton and Mollucan can also become very possessive and after a few years will make life unbearable for those around you. Why is this? This is usually because the birds have reached sexual maturity (around age 5 - 7) and/or have not been properly socialized and trained. Research, training and understanding on your part, hopefully before or early on in the relationship, can help to keep these types of behaviors to a minimum but these behaviors are natural and will happen. Cockatoos WILL scream everyday at least when the sun comes up and when it goes down. They will also scream with delight when playing or excited. This is just naturally how they are and always will be. Cockatoos can live up to 80 years. These birds will need to have a lifetime plan in place as they have the potential to outlive most owners. Cockatoos are not recommended to interact with small children.
Macaws: All the Macaw family is very rough sounding and harsh, their shear strength can be a problem if not supervised at all times. The Blue & Gold is the most popular out of the group. Macaws are goofy and playful by nature. As long as the bird has plenty of wing room and you are prepared to dedicate a long time catering for his needs, he will make a good loyal pet for a few years. They usually reach maturity at 5-8 years where he will then get problematic and various behavioral problems can and will arise such as excessive screaming and lunging/biting. It is at this point that many people get rid of their birds or decide to place them into a breeding situation because they do not know how to properly handle and live with a sexually mature macaw. Macaws can live up to 80 years. These birds will need to have a lifetime plan in place as they have the potential to outlive most owners. Macaws are not recommended to interact with small children.
Amazons: These parrots are very popular, and depending on species can make very good pets having good vocabulary skills and being very sociable. While they are not quite as loud as some of the larger species of parrots, they can still make quite a loud noise for prolonged periods of time - especially in the early morning. The Amazon family is very dominant and territorial; a need to keep them down in the pecking order is a must to stop natural aggression showing through. To do this requires a knowledge of the species. You should NEVER strike a parrot or use harsh physical discipline as this will only make things worse. For many amazons the breeding season (for several months in the spring/summer) is a very problematic and trying time for owners. During this time sexually mature birds become very hormonal and can attack to defend their perceived nest (cage) or their mate (their preferred person). Amazons can live up to 60 years and more. These birds will need to have a lifetime plan in place as they have the potential to outlive most owners.
African Grey: The African Grey and Timneh Grey are by far the most popular parrots around, more than likely due to the unprecedented mimicking ability and high intelligence. These birds are obviously more common as pets for that reason. The African Grey over the past few years has taken over as the single most popular parrot in a pet situation. They do however have some problems such, as self-mutilation and heavy sense of loyalty to one member of the family. All parrots are monogamous creatures, and all tend to put trust in a single member and tolerate the remainder, its just that the African Grey seem to show this a little more adamantly. They can also be spooked easily and for this reason should not be a "shoulder bird" as they have caused many facial injuries, some requiring plastic surgery, even after being in a home for many years. Greys can live up to 60 years. These birds will need to have a lifetime plan in place as they have the potential to outlive most owners.
Others: There are also smaller parrots that can make excellent pets, such as the Conure family, Budgies (parakeets), Cockatiels or the Poicephalus family which include Senegals, Brown Heads, and Jardines. These all still make noise (especially the Conures) and many people have gotten rid of them too because they are "too loud". Smaller parrots require just as much attention and understanding as the larger parrots and are just as intelligent. These smaller parrots can all live between 15 and 40 years so it is still a very long commitment.
Please, before bringing a parrot into your home do the parrot and yourself an enormous favor and research, research, research! You need to make sure you are ready to commit to a parrot for the rest of its life. Parrots are highly intelligent creatures. Some have shown the cognitive abilities of a four year old human child! Parrots need to have adequate housing, out of cage time everyday, stimulating puzzle toys to figure out and other toys that they can destroy on a daily basis. Parrots are not cheap to live with! There are many helpful books and websites out there to help you along. And, of course, you can always contact Parrot Hope to find out more about a specific type of parrot or parrots in general.