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New Members Welcome Post here to introduce yourself! Tell us a bit about your bird(s), hobbies, setup, etc! Parrot Owners Introduction

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 11-01-2017, 04:17 PM
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Re: Help with bird choice?

I would suggest you start cutting your teeth with parrots by volunteering at an avian shelter (if you have one nearby) and not get too focused on any one species yet. It doesn't sound like you've met very many parrots to have a real gauge of what species you like and feel comfortable with. A shelter/rescue is where you'll learn the good, the bad and the downright ugly about parrots. You'll see everything from neurotic pluckers to birds who bite anything that moves to birds who are so afraid of people they have fits and everything in between (including some very friendly and loving birds). You will also come to understand why larger parrots (and specific species) are so much more prevalent in shelters (i.e. some species get dumped more often because they are harder to care for and deal with). I would imagine in a major metro area like Atlanta, you would have an avian shelter somewhere you could get in contact with. Like any animal shelter, they always need volunteers! Most likely, you'd start with cleaning, food prep and the like before any real interacting with the birds. Many shelters also offer (paid) courses in parrot care and they are a requirement if you ever consider adopting a parrot from them. Volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitation center with wild birds, while potentially a rewarding and interesting time, will be a VERY different and mostly unrelated experience than dealing with pet parrots.

I know everyone loves a baby bird, but don't write off rescues either this early in the process of learning. Especially if you start volunteering and witness firsthand the capacity these animals have to forgive and learn to trust humans again. Homeless parrots really is a huge issue. There are less parrots overall than there are dogs and cats, but I bet percentage wise, more parrots are being abandoned than other pets and the average large parrot gets rehomed somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 times in it's lifetime. I adopted my amazon when he was 10 and am his 3rd KNOWN home. There are few things more rewarding in life than pulling an animal out of that cycle of broken trust and potential abuse/neglect and earning it's trust. And there is no greater bond than the hard earned one from a rescue bird who has no reason to ever trust a human again.

Last edited by Kiwibird; 11-01-2017 at 04:21 PM.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 11-01-2017, 04:20 PM
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Re: Help with bird choice?

Thank you Jackie! You are one of the first members to not attack me with insults! I am going to get a bird when it is fully weaned and ready, and I am most definitely getting an African grey or similar large to medium variety. I hear what everyone is saying about hand feeding babies, it is very difficult for first timers so I won't risk it. I will be getting a bird in a few years but until then I want to learn all I can and go to sanctuaries and help out.
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:25 PM
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Re: Help with bird choice?

Thank you KiwiBord! I am going to begin volunteering with a shelter very soon, I want to help out these parrots that have been abandoned. I honestly just want to help, and I want to have a companion of my own one day. I want to learn, just not from those that are obviously posting out of bad intent.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 11-01-2017, 04:52 PM
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Re: Help with bird choice?

Matt, take it easy, no one here has insulted you; you interpreted it that way but not a single person here has a mean bone in their body and only want to help you. And to tell a well established member of this forum to kick rocks like that does not bode well for building good will to help you.

Tomango is absolutely right. Your upset is that you didn’t get the answer you wanted. But it’s the answer you needed. Your plans were THAT dumb and dangerous, not to mention needlessly expensive. Just because we are emphatically telling you it’s a bad idea and you’re going about it @$$ backwards (which every poster on your thread has said, yet only some are accused of insulting??), a point that REALLY needed to be driven home, doesn’t mean we are being mean or insulting.

Read between the lines. Better yet, read the exact line I wrote that said “this Will harsh but is supportive because you need to hear it”.

Heed the advice you’re getting here. You’re getting it because you asked for it.

Last edited by chris-md; 11-01-2017 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 11-01-2017, 05:16 PM
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Re: Help with bird choice?

This is a huge life changing decision. It is on par with deciding to have children. Definitely research. Also know that there are African Greys that never talk. No bird is guaranteed to talk, ever. No bird is guaranteed to even like you, and trust can take months or years to earn, even with a baby bird. You may put your all into your bird, and it may choose to like someone else more than you. It may ignore you completely after it chooses it's person, and you're not it. These are the risks we have to be willing to take, and the timeline is the rest of your life because parrots outlive owners a lot of the time. I believe I've read that the average person who adopts/buys a bird only keeps it 3 years before they give up. That's a terrible statistic. You'll learn a lot about those things by reading through the forums here. There are many experts here.
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 11-01-2017, 06:09 PM
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Re: Help with bird choice?

Sounds like you're doing all the right things by learning and volunteering and asking for advice WELL in advance. Bravo!

To the naysayers who say he's too young for a bird, 18 years old seems very young to me as an old fogey looking back, but I do remember when I WAS 18 and didn't FEEL like I was too young. Everybody's different. When I was 18 I was putting myself through college and managing a comic book shop, having been living on my own for 2 years at that point. By the time I was 21 (which is about when Matt is thinking of getting the bird) I was out of college, engaged, and certainly was mature enough to take care of a pet. After all, many people have kids by that age and that's more of a commitment then a parrot. Who's to say what is the right age and what is not? Matt, if you feel ready, go for it! Just remember a larger parrot, freshly weaned like you are thinking about is going to be alive and with you long after you have retired!! Think about that... where will you be in 50-60 years? Actually... the bird will be lucky to grow up and grow old with you.

On the other hand, I've got a little green cheek conure (I originally wanted a larger parrot also, African Grey was where my heart was set), but my husband was a bit nervous about diving into Parronthood with a bird that large, intelligent, and long-lived. Now that I have Yoda, I kinda like that he's hand-sized. After all, he's ALWAYS with me so I have been able to learn to do everything one-handed. If he'd been a huge Macaw... well, I don't think I would have been able to get ANYTHING done with a Macaw hanging off my shirt all day, every day.

Of course there's cost of the bird, cost of care, and cost of cage to consider, which can be very expensive for larger birds. Another thing to think about is that the larger the bird, the louder it's cries (generally). Chances are you will be living in an apartment at some point in the next 10 years. Your neighbors will hate you if they have to listen to a Macaw screaming for love and attention at 6am. My experience has been that African greys are much quieter, but they CAN still be loud if they want to.

So keep doing what you are doing, visit and volunteer to get more exposure to parrots of all sizes and get to know ALL of the options out there before you take one home. Also keep in mind, sometimes the bird that's right for you will pick YOU and not so much the other way around. Yoda stole my heart when I first met him, while the African grey at the bird shop just didn't connect with me.

Good luck, whatever you end up doing! And welcome to the forums!
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 11-01-2017, 06:44 PM
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Re: Help with bird choice?

Squeekmouse, many of us have had birds as older teens, and the consensus opinion is that it’s not a good age, not because they lack the wherewithall to do it, but because of priorities.

I’ll share my own experience. I had a red throated conure, Aphrodite, when I was in high school/college. However, as college students are, I was living on campus so my bird stayed home with my family who really didn’t care for her. She was bonded to me, her person living an hour and a half away, and nobody else could handle her. So she never got much attention when I left. They covered her a lot because she was always screaming.

Well, parents went on vacation and left the bird to my brother to care for. They covered the bird and left. Brother forgot about her for a week and she died.

Someone like the OPs age will be going away to school, moving into apartmnents where birds really can’t live, or will have roommates who can’t tolerate birds. Parrots thrive best in a stable enviornment, with a steady hand. Early twenties are no t an ideal age to be having birds when you’ll be mobile and unsteady. Not to mention not likely to be able to afford the proper care for the larger birds he purports to want.

It’s about what’s best for the bird, after all.

Last edited by chris-md; 11-01-2017 at 07:04 PM.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 11-01-2017, 07:33 PM
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Re: Help with bird choice?

Quote: Originally Posted by matacalro View Post
Hello Parronts,

My name is Matt and I am new here. I wanted to join a community of fellow parrot lovers, and luckily I've found this retro yet charming website.

I am 18, not that it matters, and I have fairly recently discovered a love for these beautiful and intelligent animals. I am going to get a parrot of my own, not very soon, but I want to make a choice or at least be confident in what I want.

The two parrots that I personally am most interested in are Macaws and African Greys. Now I KNOW I will be lectured about these birds being "too advanced" for a first-time owner and that I should get a "starter bird." I don't believe in the smaller "starter birds" because I simply don't want smaller birds, and I don't want to be with them for 20+ years. Quite honestly, these birds have their own minds and are amazing creatures I am not going to buy one just to practice so I can get the bird that I actually want. I HAVE done my research. Now that we have THAT out of the way, I have some questions.

EDIT: I will only buy birds that are fully ready for an adoption from breeders or rescues.

Also, is there another intelligent large bird that I have looked over? What is another bird I should consider? I know that Macaws can be risky, one bite can do damage, but Greys are less dangerous.

Do you trim your birds nails and beak at home? Did you take a class to learn this?

I am not going to be getting a bird until years from now. I am here to learn, I want to know everything I can. Thank you so much!
I must say I don't understand such harsh treatment.

Nothing in this post said he/she was looking for unweened birds. He/she says "ready to adopt".

I bought my first bird (Amazon) when I was about 20-21 not knowing anything and not having internet for learning. It was a learning experience for both of us (the bird and myself).

African greys are amazing birds and very intelligent. Don't let there smaller size make you think they cant do serious damage with that beak. You have to treat all birds even the smaller ones with respect. even the smallest can draw blood.

I felt the same way about small birds until a Cockatiel landed at me feet and I took him in. A small bird can have a big personality.

Sorry for such harsh treatment to your OP. I think there may have been some misunderstands.

texsize
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Old 11-01-2017, 08:38 PM
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Re: Help with bird choice?

texsize: The original post has been edited pretty significantly. That's why people came on a bit strong initially.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 11-01-2017, 08:47 PM
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Re: Help with bird choice?

Quote: Originally Posted by Squeekmouse View Post
Sounds like you're doing all the right things by learning and volunteering and asking for advice WELL in advance. Bravo!

To the naysayers who say he's too young for a bird, 18 years old seems very young to me as an old fogey looking back, but I do remember when I WAS 18 and didn't FEEL like I was too young. Everybody's different. When I was 18 I was putting myself through college and managing a comic book shop, having been living on my own for 2 years at that point. By the time I was 21 (which is about when Matt is thinking of getting the bird) I was out of college, engaged, and certainly was mature enough to take care of a pet. After all, many people have kids by that age and that's more of a commitment then a parrot. Who's to say what is the right age and what is not? Matt, if you feel ready, go for it! Just remember a larger parrot, freshly weaned like you are thinking about is going to be alive and with you long after you have retired!! Think about that... where will you be in 50-60 years? Actually... the bird will be lucky to grow up and grow old with you.
I was engaged at 18, got Kiwi at 19 and had been living on my own for some time, making me even a little ahead of the game compared to most 18/19 year olds. College was totally out of reach financially for us (especially once the economy tanked!), but full time, mind numbing jobs weren't! Now speaking in hindsight in my late 20's, I think Kiwi was by far the hardest part of those first few years as an adult. I could budget, I could save, I could show up to work on time, I could talk things out like an adult with my husband, I could pay bills on time but Kiwi was a complete wild card. As are ALL parrots, he is a force of chaos and requires complete commitment and that is difficult to a young adult.

It's not that a 18/19/20 year old can't be a good bird owner, it's just that it makes a big impact on your life and doesn't afford you the chance to be a "normal" 18/19/20 year old who is figuring out life and could do with fewer responsibilities. I think the OP is on the right track volunteering and learning now, then getting a bird down the line when he is older and ready.

Last edited by Kiwibird; 11-01-2017 at 10:08 PM.
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