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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 10-12-2013, 04:46 PM
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Re: Questions from a teenage girl interested in parrots

Cockatiels are certainly easier to care for, cheaper to feed (as they only eat seed/pellet..you can also offer them fruit and veg however they don't require it and may not be interested in it) and they are quieter than Conures.

Personally I don't like Cockatiels in general. They bore me too much haha. I prefer the Green Cheeks who are full of personality and cheekiness.

The loudness can vary. One of the Green Cheeks I hand-raised and sold just last week (named Eugene), was very VERY quiet. He did make some noise but only in the mornings when I got up, and it wasn't incredibly loud at all.

He'd only ever nip, and gently, when he wanted scratches and wasn't getting them. He NEVER nipped my children (2 years old and 4 months old) and he absolutely adored them. He would fall asleep on my 4 month old son and stay there for a couple of hours. He was also quite content to just sit on my lap for hours and hours just getting cuddles and scratches.

His sister, however.. She is VERY loud in the mornings once she hears someone up and walking around, Her squawks are very ear piercing and my ears ring every time she squawks when she's on my shoulder. She also loves scratches, but not as much. She'd much more prefer playing chasey with my 2 year old daughter and sitting on us. Sepha also has an annoying tendency to chew/nip on things, including people.

Sun Conures are definitely much louder, and from my experience tend to be rather beaky/nippy.

Conures eat seed, pellets, fruit and vegetables. Here is a picture of some foods that are ok and not ok for Conures/parrots in general.



So the choice is yours. Depends on what you want, Cockatiels live for 15-20 years, Conures can live up to 35 years. Can you keep a parrot and spend time with it for that long?

Do you want a cheap, easy, sweet and relatively quiet pet bird? Or a cheeky, fun ball of affection who will need regular handling/training to stay tame and well-behaved, and may or may not be quiet?

Last edited by Kinny; 10-12-2013 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 10-12-2013, 11:00 PM
matthias7490
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Re: Questions from a teenage girl interested in parrots

Quote: Originally Posted by Cressy View Post
Okay, so I found this place and made an account specifically for some very specific help! I have some questions that I am finding various answers for, and would like some confirmation.

I'm a 16 year old girl that passionately wants to become a vet, and I feel that I should uphold the hefty responsibility of owning a pet before I start trying to poke needles in them, also because they're so dang cute. However my grandmother is adamant against getting a dog or cat (or rodent or any slithery thing), and for understandably good reasons. We live in an apartment (condo) and simply cannot accommodate for one. Also she's scared of them.

I have discovered, however, that she does have a soft spot for birds, specifically those that mimic! She likes to teach them Chinese. So she's finally allowing me to own an animal that's not stuffed with polyester, (under the condition that the cage stays in my room and I clean it frequently) and I'm considering a parrot.

She has decided to let me buy a bigger/medium bird, and I was considering a sun conure or a green cheek conure. All in all, my heart is set on a conure. A sun conure, because I hear they're very excitable and affectionate, just like me, and make great long-term companions. Or a green cheek conure, because I hear they are slightly quieter and more laid back, which may please my brother who has Hulk-like tendencies when awoken at 5am, which I expect to be happening often. What do you guys think? The green cheek, or the sun? You're the experts. I'm aware that birds enjoy screaming. I'm willing to put up with it, and possibly discourage it if it's possible.

Secondly, socializing. My grandmother will not socialize with it much, and my brother will look at it once and forget it exists. There's nobody else in the house but me! Is this a problem? For just one person to socialize with the bird? Maybe, should I get two? Obviously as a student I'll be gone frequently, 8:00am-3:00pm every weekday at the very least. However, I fully intend to get in its daily training and socializing in every single day the moment I get home. It'll probably never be in its cage once I get home. However, obviously there will be days where I'll be home late. Mostly Fridays, you know, dates, football games, movies, and just random stuff that pops up. Will these infrequent days also be a problem? If so, is there a way to remedy this?
....
Let's start at the beginning. First of all - tons of these responses are from people that mean well, but don't offer anything other that their own personal experience with one bird. Even if they've owned that one bird for many years, or several birds for many years - they cannot speak for a species.

I've even seen the phrase "starter parrot" somewhere in here.
I Don?t Believe In ?Starter*Birds? | Parrot Nation

Here's one of my favorite quotes from it:
"If you want a bird, do your homework first and keep learning. If you have your heart set on a cockatoo and you just know this species is what you want, find someone who has one and knows what they are doing. Learn from them and take your time. Read about them. Take some classes. Learn about what they need and require."

It sounds like you want a conure. Great. Then a conure is for you. Don't listen to people that say other birds are "easier" to care for - because they have only two things at their disposal - their own personal history with one or two birds - and google. There are silent sun conures, and ridiculously mean cockatoos (my girlfriend's brother has one, and yes - it's treated well, he's an excellent bird owner, it's just the bird's temperament). Please don't listen to people that say "green cheeks are cuddly" or "lovebirds need to be in pairs." They're just wrong. The phrase "starter parrot" means that some birds are lesser or easier or someday you might move on or "graduate." Every parrot is majestic and has a life of it's own - and once you buy it or take it home or add it to your household - it's yours, forever - until the day one of you dies. Anything else, and you're just another horrible parrot abuser. If you're worried now that you might outgrow a parrot (or anyone else that said that in this forum) - stop owning parrots.

A species is not able to be generalized. Birds are NOT tame, or domesticated, as much as they are advertised that way. You get a bird because it's able to bond with humans in the way that a human child bonds to an adult - while still keeping its own personalities, wants, desires, hates, loves, and selfish needs.

However, something you mentioned worries me. Your grandmother seems to like them because they talk. Your bird may never talk. You cannot expect a bird to ever do what you want it to - you still need to love it, regardless. NO bird will ever turn out how you want it to. So yes, to answer your question, it is a very large problem that only you will socialize with your bird.

Your bird will not understand that the people around it do not want to be with it. You cannot tell it to love you - and only you. It may pick your brother, or your brother and your grandmother, or some days like you and only you, or next month like nobody at all. If you are the only one to spend time with it - it will want to be with you when it wants to be with you, and when you do not want that, it will be hurt and upset. Birds are flock creatures, and it reserves the right as a sovereign animal to change its mind and it doesn't understand that it's "your pet." It won't understand that someone else in the house that it has picked doesn't want to be with it. If it gets ignored by you because you're busy, or the object of it's desire - that's a problem. If this happens often enough for long enough, it will become permanently mentally damaged, and you'll be back asking why the bird's screaming for attention. One of the questions that you have to ask EVERYONE in the household, regardless of whether or not they will play with the bird is, "are you prepared to be part of a bird family?" Will they help you take care of the bird when you cannot? Will they tolerate when the bird wants attention, but you cannot give it? What if you're sick, or go out of town? Birds don't take days off, even mornings off. Papers need to be changed every day - food bowls changed daily, water changed sometimes twice daily (mine empties out the water bowl sometimes twice a day for a bath).

I'm sorry to say, but you cannot be the only "bird person" in the house. Birds are not that type of pet. If EVERYONE in the house is not ready for a bird, you cannot have a bird. If you are still going to go ahead with this, understand you are preparing to treat a bird to a life of possible loneliness, frustration, and eventual neurosis. It's better to have everyone in the house excited for the bird - because birds can read body language, and they can tell when they're not wanted.

What about when you go to college? Birds live for longer than you plan for. Birds have gone insane and neurotic because eveningtime play that was devoted to the bird suddenly goes to book studying - and then the bird doesn't understand. BOTH of my birds are college throwaways. One was a "fess-up" - the owner tossed him out the window hoping that he'd be okay in the wild, and when he showed up at the rescue tried taking him back. The reason? Couldn't have birds in the dorm. Who will have your bird when you can't? Will your bird survive being left behind by you, whom it loves? Is it fair to get a pet that might die when you leave it?

Understanding that birds scream is good. Already preparing to "discourage" screaming is bad. You need to understand that no bird screams as a normal course of life. Screaming is a human effect - we teach them to do it by wing clipping, excessive caging, and ignoring. If you really have done your parrot research, you'd know that the most basic truths about parrots are that other than sleeping in a cage as "home," a parrot needs to fly, be CONSTANTLY stimulated, continually eat a wide variety of foods that is still mostly unknown to humans (closely simulated by pellets, and usually screwed up by well-meaning owners), and be with it's flockmates 100% of the time. Anything other than that deviates from normal lifestyle.

Before getting a bird - please do your research and understand that they are one of the most complicated and wonderful pets on the face of the earth - but that they are not fun ornamental pets. They are demanding children that are the MOST given up and abused animal in petdom because of all the owners (we are in the millions), very few actually know what they're doing before they take baby home.

If you REALLY want a conure - consider getting a rescue! You should never buy from a breeder. I have two of them - and the people that care for rescues will provide you with the information you need to take them home, and you could save a parrot's life and provide them with a good home for what would otherwise have been a miserable life.

Parrots in the wild die when their flocks reject them. Imagine being rejected 11 or 12 times by your flock - that's the fate of 90% of baby parrots. Hop on craigslist and type "parrot." They're all owners that had no idea what they were getting into, and all those parrots now have no homes. A rescue parrot is 100% able to bond to you just as strongly as a baby parrot - and is just as smart as any other parrot ("trainable," as some people put it).

Birds belong in one kind of home - stable, secure, and unchanging - where they can fly, free from things that can harm them, with plenty of backup "flockmembers" to care for the bird in the event of an emergency. If that's you - go for it. If not, do the right thing - and wait until that is you.
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Old 10-12-2013, 11:54 PM
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Re: Questions from a teenage girl interested in parrots

Quote: Originally Posted by matthias7490 View Post
I'm sorry to say, but you cannot be the only "bird person" in the house. Birds are not that type of pet. If EVERYONE in the house is not ready for a bird, you cannot have a bird.

First off, i completely agree that a person should not get a 'starter' bird, because its supposedly easier, because thats not the bird you want.. and you should choose the bird you will love for life...


Secondly, that is untrue ^

I am the only 'bird person' in my family.. Always have been, and there is absolutely no issues with overbonding..

Yes Fargo loves me the most, but he goes out on his harness and will let ANYONE touch him, he NEVER screams, he NEVER bites, he will stay in his cage all day long, whether i am there, or if i am at work all day...


It is ALL about how you train your bird, Fargo is incredibly well trained, and after being to 2 avian vets, they both agree he is a very well behaved boy!

Its all positive reinforcement.. Fargo loves me to pieces, and i love him to pieces... I am only 18, almost 19... And i got Fargo when i was 17..

Ohhhhh, so young to own a macaw huh? I study off campus, and have a full time job whenever i want it..



EVERY SINGLE SCENARIO IS DIFFERENT!!!!


You can not judge someone and someones lifestyle if you do not know them...

Anyone in the world would think i was an 18 year old girl that goes out partying drinking with friends..

I dont do that.. I spend every second of my time training my horses, playing with my bird, caring for my possum..

Each person is an individual, just like every single bird is different!

So i guess you cant jump to conclusions and tell a young girl she can not get the bird she wants...

Dont crush her dreams, it CAN work out perfectly...
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 10-13-2013, 12:21 AM
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Re: Questions from a teenage girl interested in parrots

I do not believe in starter birds. That said noise has to be considered since you live in a apartment or condo. The landlord also has a say. Also, being young you will go off to college and get your own life. Let me tell you what happen to me. While I was young my mom bought me a Green Cheek Conure named Paulie (she knew I would love him). When I was your age we were close little buddies. I would get him out of the cage when I got home and was always happy to see him. My regret? Not being able to take him with me to college. I sadly do not know if my dad properly cared for the bird and to be honest there was not as much info around as there is now.

Did having birds since I was a child introduce me to the world of birds? Yes, But no matter what I still despise that I had to go off to college without Paulie. Now to answer your question in my experience cockatiels can be sweet birds who are not loud. However, they are chatty and are known to love to whistle. Green cheek conures have more of a parrot attitude and can be playful cuddly and sometimes lay on their back. However, not all birds are the same. Green Cheek conures are not as loud as other species of conures but they can still make a horrible scream if they want to. Sun conures, Jenday conures etc are beautiful birds and people can be attracted to that and attracted to their funny and affectionate parrot personality and not so large size and beaks. However conures are known to have a terrible scream.

I am not concerned about you not loving a bird. However if your heart is set on a colorful loud conure I would wait until you get in a position to be able to freely get the bird. After I went to college I decided not to get a bird till I was settled in a house. It is liberating to not worry that Captain Jack is too loud or that a landlord could have a problem with him. I am also not at the mercy of my parents for money since I am the one that buys Captain Jack pellets, bountiful harvest blend, nuts, and makes sure he has rope, dragon wood etc perches, and toys. Since you gave the impression you will be the only person to be interested in the bird let me tell you how Paulie reacted in such a situation. The rest of my family showed no interest in him (only I did). Well to get to the point Paulie decided to be aggressive to anyone that went near his cage. I ended up being the only one that could handle him etc without him trying to bite. As I would already said get the bird that speaks to your heart. Green cheek conures have a place in my heart but I will tell you a part of me always wanted a macaw. When I found out about mini macaws and read up on them I decided that they were the bird for me. Captain Jack entered into my life and I can say I have no regrets getting him and if I got a second bird I would consider another mini macaw species. I will end by saying I work and see my family, go out sometimes (such as watch a movie or errands). However, everyday I made the habit to spend one on one time with Captain Jack. If you do not feel you will be home usually or have busy social life then this will be depressing to a parrot who is a social creature.

Last edited by Abigal7; 10-13-2013 at 02:22 AM.
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Old 10-13-2013, 12:26 AM
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Re: Questions from a teenage girl interested in parrots

Just want to add this:
If you want a pet, but a parrot doesn't fit your lifestyle, doves (like ringneck doves, NOT pigeons like homers, Indian fantails, rollers, tumblers, etc.) tend to be extremely quiet, are more independent and are good for people who want a bird but don't have the 24/7 time for them.
Otherwise, listen to matthiass, he has some great points.
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Old 10-13-2013, 12:49 AM
matthias7490
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Re: Questions from a teenage girl interested in parrots

Quote: Originally Posted by tab_xo View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by matthias7490 View Post
I'm sorry to say, but you cannot be the only "bird person" in the house. Birds are not that type of pet. If EVERYONE in the house is not ready for a bird, you cannot have a bird.
EVERY SINGLE SCENARIO IS DIFFERENT!!!!


You can not judge someone and someones lifestyle if you do not know them...

Anyone in the world would think i was an 18 year old girl that goes out partying drinking with friends..

I dont do that.. I spend every second of my time training my horses, playing with my bird, caring for my possum..

Each person is an individual, just like every single bird is different!

So i guess you cant jump to conclusions and tell a young girl she can not get the bird she wants...

Dont crush her dreams, it CAN work out perfectly...
I wasn't.

You are right. Everyone is different. However - I spoke about people like you - and me. We have owned birds, OUR birds. I am speaking about all birds, the possibility that HER bird might not be YOUR bird. She needs to understand what the reality of being a parrot family is.

And yes - even if you're the "only parrot person," you must have made plans. What if you get sick? Do your parents help? Friends? Or will the little guy starve? Even if they don't play with him, they're part of the family, because even with passive acceptance - the occasional smile - they're part of the flock. If other people touch him or he is okay with them, they're part of it, too.

Don't make the mistake that parrot owners make of offering advice based on how wonderful your parrot family is and tell her that is how things are. It's not crushing dreams, it's learning to love creatures for how they are.

Would you love your baby if tomorrow he wasn't "well behaved?" What if he started gnashing at his leash? What if you move and that scares him into a big personality change? Wouldn't go on outings? Started biting you and picked someone new? You've owned your parrot for a year or two. Parrots pick new people every few years sometimes and stay that way for years. Will you still love your baby as he bites you and prefers someone else? THAT is the life of a parrot parent - our lives.

And I'm proud of it.

You have to know these things going in - this is NOT crushing dreams. I am stopping one more parrot from going to a rescue, just like my two babies went there before they came to me.

Or maybe, she will read all this, and knowing it - be a better parrot owner than most. At 16, she'll live longer than most parrot owners...

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Top 10 reasons parrots are surrendered: (read #2&#3)
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Old 10-13-2013, 01:06 AM
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Re: Questions from a teenage girl interested in parrots

matthias7490,

I don't agree with you 100% but I understand where your coming from and I don't disagree completely either. But each person have their own voice in the forum. I see within the last two threads you responded to have been very forward but somewhat in a harsh manner. You suddenly just popped up out of no where without any introduction of yourself to begin with and start dictating. Please take a moment and re-read what you've typed and see why your getting negative responses. We can be forward but we don't have to be harsh, it's a friendly environment in this forum and there are children around on the forum. So please do restrain yourself a bit! Thanks!
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Old 10-13-2013, 01:50 AM
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Re: Questions from a teenage girl interested in parrots

Quote: Originally Posted by matthias7490 View Post

I wasn't.

You are right. Everyone is different. However - I spoke about people like you - and me. We have owned birds, OUR birds. I am speaking about all birds, the possibility that HER bird might not be YOUR bird. She needs to understand what the reality of being a parrot family is.

And yes - even if you're the "only parrot person," you must have made plans. What if you get sick? Do your parents help? Friends? Or will the little guy starve? Even if they don't play with him, they're part of the family, because even with passive acceptance - the occasional smile - they're part of the flock. If other people touch him or he is okay with them, they're part of it, too.

Don't make the mistake that parrot owners make of offering advice based on how wonderful your parrot family is and tell her that is how things are. It's not crushing dreams, it's learning to love creatures for how they are.

Would you love your baby if tomorrow he wasn't "well behaved?" What if he started gnashing at his leash? What if you move and that scares him into a big personality change? Wouldn't go on outings? Started biting you and picked someone new? You've owned your parrot for a year or two. Parrots pick new people every few years sometimes and stay that way for years. Will you still love your baby as he bites you and prefers someone else? THAT is the life of a parrot parent - our lives.

And I'm proud of it.

You have to know these things going in - this is NOT crushing dreams. I am stopping one more parrot from going to a rescue, just like my two babies went there before they came to me.

Or maybe, she will read all this, and knowing it - be a better parrot owner than most. At 16, she'll live longer than most parrot owners...

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Midwest Avian Adoption & Rescue Services, Inc. (MAARS) - Bird adoption, sanctuary, rescue, and care education services for parrots and other captive exotic 'pet' birds. News and Events - BORN TO BE WILD: Second Annual MAARS Benefit Silent Auction and


If you want to have a look at this thread:
It has been 1 year for me and Fargo!

You will see that Fargo hated me to begin with.. He wanted NOTHING to do with me, he didnt like any type of contact with ANYONE..

The breeders told me NOT to choose him, because he might be a breeder, not a pet...
I cant tell you how many times they said:

Tab, look at this girl, how friendly she is!!! Fargo doesn't like people!!!

They actually gave him the nickname Feral :S haha


So straight from the word go, my baby was not well behaved!! Well he was well behaved, just not friendly!

I did not have this amazing bird that did somersaults when i bought him.. No, i couldnt touch him, the breeders couldnt touch him, he hated being cuddled!!!


ANY bird can be like Fargo, he was just an ordinary bird, but with all the LOVE and training i did with him, has made him one of the most loveable birds ever!! You will see on the forum ALOT of people like Fargo, and they can see that training and love CAN transform a bird...




And it doesnt matter if Fargo didnt like me any more, i would still give him the best life in the world, although i HIGHLY doubt Fargo wont love me..He is 2 years old and has never nipped or had a single day where he didnt like me..


Not sure if you are familiar with horses?

I own a thoroughbred, now you probably know how mistreated they are as racehorses?

My poor boy reared, and ALOT of horse owners say if a horse rears, it goes to get killed, because rearing horses are dangerous..

I LOVE my horses, more than anything in this world.. and he is my BEST friend...

You know why he was rearing? Because THERE WAS SOMETHING WRONG!!!

Racing has unfortunately made him very unsound, he can hardly walk after his shoes were taken off, because when he was raced, his bones corroded away.. Unfortunately he will never be able to be ridden..

Whats the point of having a horse you cant ride? Because i love him for who he is..

My other horse, the previous owner sold him because she didnt like riding him, because he was too strong and he kept running away...

Yep.. The first day he ran away... Since then? Nope, he is a completely different horse, because he needed to have THE RIGHT TRAINER!!!!




If Fargo bites???? SO WHAT?!?!?

Why does everyone make a huge deal about birds biting....

Once you get kicked by a horse, or fall off a horse and get your knees popped out of place, or sit on a bucking bolting horse.. You will NOT be scared by this tiny little beak.. YES i have been bitten by Fargo the day his leg band got caught and i stuck my hand in the bars to save his leg... He of course was biting at his leg screaming, and ripped into my hand, not aggression, just panic with his leg band....

And that did not hurt :S i had 6 bite marks in my hand, and it didnt hurt at all That is not pain... Owning horses is pain..



You are telling this young girl to not get a bird because she is the only bird lover..THAT IS THE THING I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH...

You are correct with all the hormone changes and problems, she needs to read up and learn EVERYTHING that can happen... Sure, tell her that is one of the reasons not to get a bird... Or if she moves away and cant take the bird... You need to have a basic idea what will go on in your life before you purchase a bird..

BUT, when you are 30 years old, you might get a new job and move...


So what.. All bird owners shouldnt get a bird until they are 50 and are fully settled with their life????

Your life changes every single day.. I had no idea i was going to own a Hanoverian Warmblood Thats a dream come true!


The problem i have is saying not getting a bird if you are the only bird lover... THAT is untrue.. I dont care if you are a family of 50 and you are the only bird lover... Who cares...



and i agree with Mikey, we are a very friendly family community and its not really normal for someone to come in blasting their opinions when we know nothing about them or their experiences



Oh, and i wouldnt trust anyone with Fargo, if ANYTHING happens to me, my family knows to get the breeders i purchased him from to come and get him and care for him.. Because they are the only people i know who would care for him as well as i do!
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 10-13-2013, 02:00 AM
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Re: Questions from a teenage girl interested in parrots

Quote: Originally Posted by tab_xo View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by matthias7490 View Post
I'm sorry to say, but you cannot be the only "bird person" in the house. Birds are not that type of pet. If EVERYONE in the house is not ready for a bird, you cannot have a bird.

First off, i completely agree that a person should not get a 'starter' bird, because its supposedly easier, because thats not the bird you want.. and you should choose the bird you will love for life...

EVERY SINGLE SCENARIO IS DIFFERENT!!!!

Dont crush her dreams, it CAN work out perfectly...
But Tab, isn't attacking the weaker flock member the way it works?
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Old 10-13-2013, 02:06 AM
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Re: Questions from a teenage girl interested in parrots

While I see Matthias view I and can agree somewhat with them I can not agree with it all either. I made the best effort to be honest and encouraging for she made the steps to research and ask questions. Yes, not all birds will act the same as mine. But I can only tell her of my experience and of my research. I do not consider myself a expert but I can tell you my view is if you want a tame parrot that will bond with you then you have to be willing to spend time with that bird everyday and put in the work. I believe what you put into a parrot is what you get. Even my mom who is not a bird person is concluding some birds are the way they are because people do not spend that much time with them. No doubt Tab spends time with Fargo everyday and unlike a lot of people her age she has decided to make the time for her animals. My personal advise to Cressy is she should get the parrot she really wants when she knows the bird will fit into her lifestyle and lives somewhere where she does not have to worry about the bird being too loud for other people.

Last edited by Abigal7; 10-13-2013 at 02:23 AM.
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