Think You'd Like a Parrot? Several Things You Should Know

Owning a parrot is a lifelong commitment, as many species will live for 25 to 100 years. However, there are many misconceptions about owning a parrot. You may think that screaming and biting are normal behaviors, for example, but they're not. Parrots are extremely smart, social animals, and if you don't immediately begin training them, they'll begin training you. 

Dealing With Behavior Problems 

Many behavior issues begin with mistakes made by owners. Before you begin searching for a bird, learn about parrot body language, play behavior, signs of distress or irritation and appropriate ways to deal with inappropriate behavior. 

If your bird screams once and you come and tell him to hush, he has just taught you to come at his scream and will then scream any time he wants attention. Biting is also not normal parrot behavior, so when interacting with your bird, pay close attention to body language so you can learn when to leave him or her alone so biting never becomes an issue.

Improper nutrition can be another source of behavior issues. Birds are natural foragers and in the wild, they have a varied diet of fruits, nuts, greens and even minerals from mud or bugs. Different species will have different nutritional needs. It's important to not only provide a daily source of balanced nutrition, but to also add healthy treats and raw foods that are non-toxic and healthy for your particular species. Some common foods such as apple seeds, avocado, mushrooms, tomato leaves and many houseplants can actually be poisonous to birds.

A proper regimen of healthy foods, regular exercise outside the cage and daily mental stimulation is part of the lifelong commitment you'll make as a bird owner, but it doesn’t have to be a chore.