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Good Birds for First Time Owners

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Good Birds for First Time Owners

Two young Green Cheek Conures perching happily on their owner.

First-time bird owners are often captivated by large, colorful parrots, and who can blame them? The truth is, however, that these species are often too much bird for a novice owner to deal with. If you know you want a bird but are not quite sure what type would fit best with you, it is always best to start small. For a few ideas on some more manageable bird species, check out this short list of birds that are great for beginning bird owners. These birds are generally easy to care for, a snap to tame, and are usually independent enough to allow their owners some breathing room every now and then. Try out one of these little guys before bringing home a large parrot on impulse. Everyone involved will be much happier!
  • Parakeets and Budgies. These smart and colorful little parrots are easy to tame and wildly entertaining, making them a longtime favorite among bird lovers everywhere.

  • Cockatiels. Relatively quiet and affectionate, Cockatiels are a great choice for those who have time to handle and interact with their bird several times a day.

  • Finches and Canaries.Preferring to stay in small flocks in flight cages, Finches and Canaries are a good option for the new bird owner that wants to look, but not touch. Although they can be very sensitive to environmental factors and are known to make quite a mess for their small size, they continue to remain popular pets. These tiny birds, in general, do not tolerate handling well, but are beautiful to look at and offer pleasant songs.

  • Doves. Gentle, calm, and quiet, Doves make great pets for bird owners that don't want to deal with the vocalizations inherent to most hookbills. Handfed Doves can make wonderfully affectionate pets, and true to their symbolism, are all around one of the most peaceful pet bird species out there.

  • Green Cheek Conures. Smaller in size and quieter than most Conures, Green Cheeks have a reputation for being highly trainable, intelligent, affectionate pets. They bond strongly to their owners, however, and need a good deal of attention and interaction from their caregivers. Nonetheless, a committed first time owner could consider the Green Cheek Conure a good starter bird.
Choosing the right bird is the most important rule to remember when you embark into the world of bird ownership. Without doing research on the different species, their personality traits, and care requirements, it's almost impossible to find a pet that you will be happy with. Keep in mind that the best birds aren't always the biggest or most brightly colored. In fact, these are the types of birds that are often the most demanding! Start small and work your way up -- you'll be a much better owner for it.

Photo courtesy of Wilma Crawford.
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