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Old 05-13-2013, 09:19 AM
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Prospective Bird Owner: Narrowing Down A Species of Bird

Hello all,

I am a prospective bird owner who is in the process of researching specific species in an attempt to select the bird best suited for my particular situation. I am hoping that all of you can offer your knowledge and experience in helping me with this. I have provided information below regarding housing situation, lifestyle, and what I am looking for in a feathered friend.

Housing Situation: I currently live in four bed-room, two-story suburban home with both a front and back yard, and ample space between the neighbors and us. I live with two older adults, my parents; two siblings, aged 18 and 19; and a misfit assortment of dogs, some of which are breeds that have been bred (but ours are not trained) to hunt birds. My parents are experienced bird owners and, while they have not owned birds since long before my arrival, they have experience owning and training conures, 'toos, 'tiels, and a variety of other small, moderate and large sized species. They have owned birds with dogs before, and know the process of training both to co-exist without consuming each other. They also know which breeders to go to. I am a student at a community college who will be moving in seven to fifteen months (it depends on if I transfer for Spring or Fall 2014) to a four year university.

At that time, unless I am accepted into my first choice reach school, I will be moving from this house to an apartment community or dorm-style living arrangement. While it would be possible for me to bring the bird (confirmed), and likely get a single room, it poses the challenge of space and noise. To begin, I would need a bird that could physically fit and be content in such limited space. In addition, while I do not need, or desire, a bird that is dead quiet, I do need a bird that, after six+ months of training and a move/change in living situation, will not get me evicted. That means that while they can have periods of high noise (shrieking/shouting/yelling), these periods must be both limited in duration and quantity. At the point of this move, I cannot have a bird that shrieks through the night or for hours during the day when I am in class. Shrieking once or twice a day for a few minutes, however, such as when I get home or at sunset, [I am pretty sure] would be tolerable. Their non-shrieking/high noises, ex chatter, clattering, etc, must be at a level that they can blend in with or not be significantly louder than a TV/radio (which I would likely keep on) at a volume acceptable for a dorm, other dorm/apartment community noises and outside noises. I would also likely invest in moderate sized plants to reduce the noise level further. Again, I need to not be evicted, or have other students hate me during finals week.

Due to the community situation of dorms and college apartment communities, I would also need a bird that can do well with others. It does not need to lavish affection on everyone, but I would like to be able to have him out and about, in my arms or on my shoulder or on my head, without having him panic, flee, or become aggressive and territorial.

Lifestyle: I am a student and, as such, my schedule is not always typical 9-5. Next semester, Fall 2013, I will be at school (from the time I leave the house to the time I get home) from 830am to around 600pm two days a week, and will have an internship with similar hours for two to three other days of the week. Thus, at the moment, it is fairly typical; however, once I am on campus, I will be able to stop in and out in-between classes. I will at minimum have four waking hours per day to dedicate to the bird during the week more days than not.

While I am social and enjoy being with friends, I am not a party type of person. I much prefer to simply spend time with friends -- around campus, in town, at the dorm, at the student union, etc. In addition, I am an introvert and, as such, need time alone to recoup from social situations, leaving more time when I am "home". I cannot see myself having weeks where I am out all night and neglecting the bird; it's just not me and, if it was, I would not be considering this. I realize this is a living, feeling, thinking companion, and have the schedule, personality and maturity to dedicate time to him.

Finally, as a student seeking professional/graduate degrees, it should be noted that my living situation will not be stable for quite some time. I will likely be moving every two to five years (four year university, grad school, post-doc, actual job) until my late twenties/early thirties. I will likely be in apartments throughout.

Money: I am not wealthy, but I am willing to dedicate the money to buying a hand-fed bird, as well as daily living and medical expenses. Once I have a more narrow list of birds to work from, I will consider what I can and cannot afford.

What I Am Looking For: I want a true companion. I want a bird that I can invest in, and spend a significant portion of my life with. I want a bird that I can bond with, and interact with. I want a bird that I can play with. I want a bird that I can cuddle or lounge around with. I want a a bird I can take walking down the street or around campus with. I want a bird that I can do things with, and be with. I want a bird with personality, who can do a trick or get into non-threatening mischief now and again. I do not want a perfect, cuddly angel, because I can't think of any animal that describes, but a companion. I would likely want the biggest bird that fits my situation, but am open to all sizes. Again, I want a companion.

I apologize for the long post. Hopefully, the info will allow some recommendations to form.

Thank you!

Star
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:29 AM
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Re: Prospective Bird Owner: Narrowing Down A Species of Bird

Hello Star, and welcome to the forum.

My recommendation would be a Pionus, considering your current and subsequent living situation.

Pionus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pionus Online
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:16 AM
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Re: Prospective Bird Owner: Narrowing Down A Species of Bird

I agree with Jersey Wendy, Pionus are very quiet and cuddly. Well my suggestion would be a green cheeked conure. They are on the low end spectrum far as cost unless you start out looking @ mutations. A plain green cheek can cost $150-200. Of course it was depends on the breeder in your area.

I would strongly suggest to stick with just 1 bird. Then once you are out of school then you really start a flock! Well all the best in your school as well as your bird search, peace.
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:24 AM
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Re: Prospective Bird Owner: Narrowing Down A Species of Bird

I would say Green Cheek Conure, they do like to play but mine really prefer just sitting with you or snuggling most of the time. They can be loud but its not too bad and hardly ever do they scream. Also be sure to only take your bird outside in a harness its the safest way to take them outside. Good luck with your decision!
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:37 AM
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Re: Prospective Bird Owner: Narrowing Down A Species of Bird

I agree with Green cheek.
I know someone with a Pionus that screams all day long.
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Old 05-13-2013, 11:06 AM
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Re: Prospective Bird Owner: Narrowing Down A Species of Bird

I second (or third)...gcc. My girl is so quiet and a great "starter" bird. By starter...I mean it can teach you about birds in general so that when you are ready for more/bigger birds you have a basic understanding of them!
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:07 PM
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Re: Prospective Bird Owner: Narrowing Down A Species of Bird

I've owned a pionus before--bred them actually and although someone has posted all over the internet how nice and quiet they are--they really aren't. Mine were pretty loud and the last one I sold I made sure they owners did not live in an apartment or they surely would have been evicted.
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:26 PM
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Re: Prospective Bird Owner: Narrowing Down A Species of Bird

Quote: Originally Posted by JerseyWendy View Post
Hello Star, and welcome to the forum.

My recommendation would be a Pionus, considering your current and subsequent living situation.

Pionus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pionus Online
Thank you for the suggestion.

The Pionus seems like a wonderful bird, and I like the fact that they're a bit larger than most other birds people seem to cite for apartment living. Their gentle, non-aggressive nature also seems to be a fantastic fit for college living. I will definitely be looking further into this species!

Quote: Originally Posted by FineFeatheredFriend View Post
I agree with Jersey Wendy, Pionus are very quiet and cuddly. Well my suggestion would be a green cheeked conure. They are on the low end spectrum far as cost unless you start out looking @ mutations. A plain green cheek can cost $150-200. Of course it was depends on the breeder in your area.

I would strongly suggest to stick with just 1 bird. Then once you are out of school then you really start a flock! Well all the best in your school as well as your bird search, peace.
I have heard Green Cheeked Conures mentioned as good birds for small living spaces before, and I have been reading into them. Cuties, too. Is that price that you cited for hand fed GCCs?

As for sticking with one bird, absolutely! Until I have a solid source of income, the plan is to stick with one bird. Eventually, when I am in a place where I can rent or purchase a home, I would like to look into getting one of the larger cockatoos, who seem to be simply wonderful companions, if intense. I know enough, however, to know that making that leap before I am totally solid and secure would be disastrous.

And thank you!

Quote: Originally Posted by MarciaLove View Post
I would say Green Cheek Conure, they do like to play but mine really prefer just sitting with you or snuggling most of the time. They can be loud but its not too bad and hardly ever do they scream. Also be sure to only take your bird outside in a harness its the safest way to take them outside. Good luck with your decision!
Snuggling sounds fine to me! In fact, that sounds wonderful.

The screaming is what I am trying to avoid. College dorms and apartment communities are loud places at baseline, so a bird making a bit of noise isn't likely to be concern. But if a bird is shrieking frequently, that is going to be noticed, and won't be acceptable. Thus, it's good to hear that GCCs don't seem to be prone to that!

Quote: Originally Posted by sonja View Post
I agree with Green cheek.
I know someone with a Pionus that screams all day long.
Do you think your friend's Pionus is the exception, though, ie do you know of others that scream all day long? I ask because everything I read on the Pionus lists it as being quiet and suited for apartment living.

(Note: I realize that all birds are individuals and there are exceptions to each rule. I am looking for species tendencies, however).

Quote: Originally Posted by RiosMom View Post
I second (or third)...gcc. My girl is so quiet and a great "starter" bird. By starter...I mean it can teach you about birds in general so that when you are ready for more/bigger birds you have a basic understanding of them!
Thank you for sharing your experience!

@Everyone: I have a question about actually purchasing a bird: In your experience, when one is researching birds, would most breeders be receptive to the idea of a prospective buyer contacting them to learn more about the species and come and see the birds as to get an idea of how they behave? Or would one have to be willing to commit before they could do this? I would like to actually interact with a species before I commit to it.

Edit:
Quote: Originally Posted by Peeker
I've owned a pionus before--bred them actually and although someone has posted all over the internet how nice and quiet they are--they really aren't. Mine were pretty loud and the last one I sold I made sure they owners did not live in an apartment or they surely would have been evicted.
That's unfortunate to hear! I appreciate your experience and expertise.

Would you have insight as to why they are touted as great apartment birds if, in your experience, they are not? Everything I read about them seems to suggest that they are gentle, quiet and great for small spaces.
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:09 PM
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Re: Prospective Bird Owner: Narrowing Down A Species of Bird

Love cockatiels, so so often over looked but great snuggle birds.with I also have fallen in love with Parrotlets. Great little bird, quite with a huge brain!
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:57 PM
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Re: Prospective Bird Owner: Narrowing Down A Species of Bird

Star, you should probably check into the dorm requirements of the universities you are looking at. I know that most colleges will only allow fish! I'd hate for you to get a bird and then not be able to bring it!
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