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Old 03-23-2019, 04:41 PM
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Owning a bird as a pilot

Let's cut to the chase. I am considering buying a green cheeked conure in the future, but I was wondering how they would adapt to my job. This summer, I will go and get my commercial pilot license (it's a 2-year study). As far as I know, I might not be home for 3-4 days. I was recommended buying two birds, as that would provide some social interaction for them (specifically they said that I should buy one male first, tame him, then buy a second female one). I hope that someone can provide some good info on this.
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Old 03-23-2019, 05:11 PM
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Re: Owning a bird as a pilot

Get into the (parrot)community, find a friend who can birdsit for you?
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Old 03-23-2019, 05:15 PM
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Re: Owning a bird as a pilot

I would of course try to find someone who would come over and feed them, but how would they behave without having anyone there most of the time?
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Old 03-23-2019, 05:45 PM
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Re: Owning a bird as a pilot

One of our members is a pilot. I’m sure he’ll comment soon on how he has worked things out with his birds.

It would be ill advised to buy a male and female of the same species if they were to live in the same cage/room where they’d have unsupervised contact. They will, inevitably, do what males and females do and you will end up with WAY more than you bargained for in terms of needy baby birds that require round the clock hand feeding. It would be better to buy 2 males or 2 females or a male and female of reproductively incompatible species. It would also be nice if they remained friendly towards humans but unlikely they’ll be cuddly human pleasers if you’re hardly ever around. You would also need huge cages or an entire bird proofed room for them if they are to be left unattended beyond feeding/cleaning for days at a time. Honestly though, with 2 years ahead of a difficult/unpredictable schedule, I’m not entirely sure why you want to take on the responsibility of any pet of any species TBH. If I were you, I’d wait until I had a predictable schedule and could plan better...
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Old 03-23-2019, 05:56 PM
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Re: Owning a bird as a pilot

Sorry but nobody can predict how well two birds will get along.
Forcing parrots to live together, especially in the same cage/room, is a risk.
Keep in mind dogs have been selective bred by people for quantities that please humans.
Parrots? No so much.
They, are at most a few generations removed from the wild.

Harm (or worse) may come to the birds.
Just saying.

IMO the less a person is going to be home to give it the attention that a parrot needs the less I recommend they get one.
Two can be a bigger disaster than one.

Oh, and don't listen to advice on this topic from anyone who sells birds, because of their obvious conflict of interest.
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Old 03-23-2019, 06:07 PM
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Re: Owning a bird as a pilot

I would have to echo most of the previous responses, I really would not recommend you have pet birds if you’re going to be away for days at a time. They are simply too high maintenance, emotionally needy and too intelligent to be left alone with no out-of-cage time every single day. Having someone come to feed and water them when you’re not there is not sufficient.

It’s great that you’ve asked this question and sought advice before taking the plunge, but in my very humble opinion you’re better off waiting until you’re in a position to be available for your birdie companion/s on a daily basis.
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:47 PM
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Re: Owning a bird as a pilot

Honestly, a parrot, or parrots are not a good fit for your immediate life style. Parrots need almost daily interactio with their person(s) in order to remain tame and to develope their personalities. I would recommed you wait for awhile 'til your own life style stabilizes. Parrots thrive when they can trust you will be there, and do poorly when there is predictable routine in their lives. Thank you for askiing the questions though.
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:37 AM
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Re: Owning a bird as a pilot

Quote: Originally Posted by Spinnern View Post
I would of course try to find someone who would come over and feed them, but how would they behave without having anyone there most of the time?

I meant the other way around: a person that will take in your parrot when you are not there (daycare/ hollidaycamp situation), not someone "to water the plants".
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Old 03-24-2019, 09:34 AM
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Re: Owning a bird as a pilot

The information you got about buying two birds so they "have a friend" is totally and completely wrong, and it's horrible advice, as you would likely just end-up with 2 birds that cannot be inside of the same cage, or possibly even be together at all under supervision outside of their individual cages. Parrots form relationships very much like people do: They may love each other, just like each other but not be able to share a cage, just tolerate each other and not be able to be together without supervision, hate each other and want nothing to do with each other, or hate each other and be aggressive and violent towards each other...And there is no way to know how 2 parrots of any species are going to react to each other unfortunately, whether you buy them at the same time, even if they are siblings that were from the same clutch, or if you buy them at different times. You just have no way of knowing what will happen, so no, you never want to "buy a friend" for your first bird...You only buy a second bird because YOU want a second bird as a companion for YOU, and because you have enough time to spend equally with both of them, separately if need be, every single day.

As far as being a commercial-pilot, I can't comment, but no matter what your profession you need to be able to provide a parrot, any parrot of any species, with at least a good 4-5 hours of out-of-cage-time every single day, with a good couple of hours of direct attention with/from you. You have to remember that YOU and the others who live in your home are going to be your parrot's Flock, they are Flock animals, and they have the intelligence of a 3-4 year-old human child, and the reason a lot of pet parrots start to Pluck and Self-Mutilate is because people buy them as pets and think they can get away with letting them out of their cages for an hour or two a day at night when they get home from work and that's it. And that obviously doesn't work, they are like having a human child in many ways, no joke, so if you think you can do that as a commercial-pilot then by all means, enjoy the experience and love your little guy every day...Just don't EVER buy a second bird for your first bird...YOU are your first bird's friend/Flock, and any bird you bring home after that...

***If you're talking about taking trips away from home, like a 3-4 day trip, or any type of vacation, No, you cannot leave a parrot at home alone for 3-4 days without having someone to come and check on them at least once or twice a day, change their food and water, talk to them a little bit, etc. You can't just leave them inside of a cage for 3-4 days and have that be okay...At most about 24 hours is as long as you should leave them without having someone come to check on them, and even that is a long time...

So for your trip this summer to actually get your license, which I guess is going to be a 3-4 day trip, then you just need to either find a friend or family member that you can trust to come and check on your Conure at least once each day, give him fresh water and food each day, some treats, and a little attention and time...And that's what you would have to do for any trips where you're going to be away for longer than 24-hours, like vacations and work trips.I don't know if you live alone right now, it sounds like you do, and I do as well, I've been single now for about 6 years and I own my own home, and I do take week-long vacations, well, I go on week-long road-trips traveling from concert to concert, and I go to a few music-festivals each summer, like the Peachfest, Bonaroo, Lollapalooza, etc...Sometimes I take my dogs with me, I've taken my birds with me, depending on what I'll be doing...But it's a really good idea if you live alone that from the day you bring home your baby Conure, you choose a close friend or family member who is good with animals and who is willing to take care of the bird for you during vacations, trips, etc., and you introduce the bird to them early-on in life so that they know each other and so the bird feels more comfortable, and then when you do go on vacations or work-trips you might even be able to just take your bird over to this person's house and they can keep them with them full-time while you're gone, which is really much better for a parrot than leaving them alone all that time with short check-ins.

***Again, I have absolutely no idea what the life of a commercial-pilot is like, so it's very hard for me to comment on how a parrot would fit into that life-style, and I would assume that just like any other job it is going to depend on exactly where you live, what airport you work out of, and what airline you work for as to how much time you are going to be away from home...I honestly don't know if that's a job where you can leave in the morning and come home in the late-afternoon each day in some cases/positions, or if it's always going to be a job where you are doing over-night trips with long hours and days (if not weeks) away from home...All I can say is that if it's the latter in any way at all, then I highly suggest that you DON'T GET A PARROT as a pet, because it would not only be unfair to any species of parrot, but it will do damage to any species of parrot and will end in one of many possible bad-outcomes for both the bird and yourself, but mostly for the bird. You can't have a human child by yourself and work those kinds of hours and be away for days at a time, and it's no different with a parrot at all...

A lot of people actually think that since they work a lot and don't have much time at home to spend with a pet that they can't get a dog, but that they could get a parrot/bird of any kind they want to because they live in cages and they can let out huge dishes/containers of food and water and they can go for days at a time alone...And that thinking is just so backwards, incorrect, unfair, and ultimately dangerous and harmful to the bird that the re-homing rate for pet/captive-raised parrots is over 80% in the US alone right now...Dogs can handle being alone much, much better than any bird or parrot can, dogs aren't Flock animals, nor do they possess nearly the level of intelligence that any species of parrot does. Not even close! Parrots, all parrots including Parrotlets, Budgies/Parakeets, Cockatiels, etc., use logic and reasoning skills. They all have much better memories than we do. The best way to think about owning a parrot of any species really is to think about what it is like to have your own 2-3 year-old human child, that's as close a comparison as you'll get... So be sure that you're well-aware of your work hours BEFORE you decide to bring home a bird of any species, and if you don't think you will be able to provide at the VERY LEAST 4-5 hours of out-of-cage-time to the bird every single day, with most of that time having YOU being directly involved with them, talking to them, reading to them, playing with them, eating meals with them, and just hanging out with them like you would your own human toddler, then a parrot/bird is not for you. Period. Because you'll only end-up with a bored, depressed, lonely parrot who starts to Pluck and Self-Mutilate themselves out of depression and sheer boredom.
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Old 03-25-2019, 05:44 AM
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Re: Owning a bird as a pilot

Here is my 10 cents

I think Aquarium Fish especially Cichlids can make great pets for someone with a busy schedule like you.

Cichlids are colourful, active and many of them are very intelligent and almost all have very good breeding and parental care behaviour.

In fact I am primarily an Aquarium hobbyist who ended up having an abandoned non tame cockatiel.

Here is a good place to get started


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