Adopting a Bird: Facts You Need to Know First

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Birds can make amazing pets if you’re ready and willing to give them the love and attention they need. They are social, affectionate, and very intelligent, plus they thrive in small living spaces like apartments.

If you’ve decided that you’re ready to dive into the world of bird ownership, there are a few things that you need to know before adopting a new feathered friend.

Birds Aren’t Domesticated

Birds aren’t actually domesticated animals like other pets. Domestic animals have been bred for hundreds of years (at least!) to live with humans, and have distinct differences from their wild ancestors. However, birds that are commonly kept as pets aren’t any different than those living in the wild.

Birds Are a Life-Long Commitment

All varieties of parrots have considerably long life spans, and depending on the species, you can expect them to live 20 to 50 years. Some larger species even live upwards of 75 years.

You’ll Need a Vet That Specializes in Birds

If you’re thinking of adopting a bird, you should first find a local veterinarian that specializes in birds so that you can be prepared for when you bring a bird home. They require specialized veterinary care, as they are (obviously) very different from other kinds of pets. The veterinarian will likely recommend a complete exam and diagnostic tests when you first get a bird, and then annual wellness exams, as well.

Birds Need More Than Just Bird Seed

Birds need variety in their diet beyond the regular bird seed or pellets. They also need beans, grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Birds Are Very Active

Parrots are very active and inquisitive animals by nature. they will do best with plenty of room to move around and play, plus lots of toys and climbing structures to keep them entertained. If possible, a “flight-safe” room with closed windows, without ceiling fans, and without any dogs or cats where the bird can fly and explore for a little while every day is a great way to keep a bird happy.

Birds Are Very Social and Require a Lot of Attention

Parrots are also very social animals, so be prepared to give them plenty of attention and affection. Emotionally and socially, their needs are very much like those of a toddler.

Birds Can Transmit Certain Illnesses to Humans

It’s important to know that there are a few illnesses that birds can transmit to humans. Diseases like avian chlamydiosis and avian tuberculosis can be transmitted through the air, and could cause significant illness especially for people with compromised immune systems.