Some bird species are more difficult or challenging to care for than others, and normally these types of birds are recommended for people who have several years of bird ownership experience under their belts. If you feel like you've attained a level of expertise that would allow you to successfully keep one of these "experts only" species, then you may want to consider adopting one of the birds listed here. While these species may offer a bit of a challenge, those familiar with bird behavior, health requirements, and social needs should be able to enjoy a successful relationship with one of these feathered beauties.
Hyacinth Macaws are the largest parrot species found anywhere on Earth -- so it should be no surprise that they are not exactly the easiest birds to care for! Hyacinths need a lot of space to play, climb, exercise, and fly, which is something that not many bird owners can realistically provide. In addition, these birds are highly intelligent with complex social needs. Those who own Hyacinth Macaws must devote many hours each day to interacting with their pet in order to maintain the bird's mental and emotional health. Because of this, these birds are not recommended to those who haven't had many years of experience keeping large parrots.
Moluccan Cockatoos are striking birds with an impressive crest of pinkish-orange feathers atop their heads. They are quite large, with some measuring nearly 2 feet in length from the beak to the tailfeathers. Like the Hyacinth Macaws, these birds need a lot of bird-proof space to play and exercise in, and they form extremely strong bonds with their owners in captivity. Moluccan Cockatoos are highly social both in the wild and in the home, seeking to spend every spare minute with their beloved owners. Only consider a Moluccan Cockatoo if you have had successful experiences raising other types of Cockatoos as pets, and only if you can devote the time and space necessary to keep them healthy and happy.
While Amazon Parrots are popular, widely available birds, the sad truth is that many end up going to homes with owners who are grossly misinformed as to their care requirements. Amazons are often in constant need of new sources of mental stimulation, as their high intelligence leads them to getting bored with the same old toys, sights, and sounds. Not only that, they require lots of time outside the cage to exercise and maintain their physical conditions -- time that very few people have to spare these days. If you are considering an Amazon Parrot, make sure that you are able to fully commit to providing it with adequate socialization and playtime. Doing so is the only way to keep these birds happy and thriving in their roles as pets.
African Grey Parrots
In recent years, the popularity of African Grey Parrots has skyrocketed among bird owners and enthusiasts, mostly because of recent scientific findings as the the intellectual capabilities of these talented birds. While it may seem neat to own a bird who is as smart as a 5 year old child, it's important to realize that owning a pet with that level of intelligence and awareness comes with great responsibility. Please only consider adopting an African Grey if you have had many years of experience in keeping large parrots. Only then will you be able to comprehend the level of commitment necessary to successfully care for one of these special birds.
Black Palm Cockatoos
Black Palm Cockatoos are so rare in captivity that many bird owners have never heard of them before -- and that's probably a good thing. These are the largest Cockatoos on Earth and are extremely sensitive to problems in their immediate living environments. Reported to be somewhat less affectionate than other Cockatoo species, it's likely that a Black Palm Cockatoo would be content spending a little time here and there entertaining itself with bird-safe toys, but even then its owner would still have to devote a significant portion of each day to positive, meaningful socialization, rigorous exercise, and training sessions. While these birds are certainly beautiful, there are very few pet owners for whom they would be a good "fit."