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Old 02-17-2014, 12:01 AM
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Choosing the right parrot, can you help me?

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Hi folks! My name is Sarah and I'm new to the forums. I decided to post here first because it seems as though you folks might be able to guide me in a better direction. My apologies for the length!

I'm looking for a companion/education parrot. You see, I've already got one parrot.... Well, he's actually a duck, which I've been told isn't a parrot at all, hehe. In fact, while he is the love of my life and is diaper trained and sleeps inside (sometimes on my bed with me [shh, don't tell]), his wee brain can only handle so much input and I have been wanting a more mentally capable bird for a while now. Coco (the duck) is my wonderful companion and a great education bird that I've had for 4 years, and he's my second duck, so I am very experienced with mess, bird diet and the need for mental and physical stimulation. I also studied birds in college and I have a great background in ornithology.

I'm looking for a bird that I can take with me almost everywhere, including work, but if I have to leave at home for a day or the weekend won't be emotionally devastated. I am constantly around my home because I live where I work, but I also travel with my horse on some weekends (not too often) and would like my bird to come with as well.

I do have neighbors, and they are very kind folk, so I don't want to step on toes by incessant screaming, but some loudness would be just fine

My problem is that I can't seem to find a species that I can agree on. I have loads of space, a giant outdoor aviary where my duck lives, and room for an ample sized cage in the house as well, but which bird?

I don't care if it talks. I DO care about intelligence as I want the bird to be able to perform cues for educational purposes (marking, etc) but I also want a bird that won't be aggressive toward other people in general, for example being pet by non-flock members, OR be super intimidating toward children. Of course, I'm not planning on letting children hold or pet any bird of mine (that policy includes the duck which is currently used in my education program), just FYI. I DO want a young bird that I can expose slowly to lots of new stimuli so as to reduce stress when I take it places, which is something I've tried with both of my ducks but they become over-stimulated so easy and stress too much. I want a bird that I can be comfortable taking outside, which I understand involves good training and trust, something I am willing to put an effort into.

I've looked at male eclectus, as well as derbyan, green-cheeked conures and crimson-bellied conures, pionus parrots and blue and gold macaws. I have no idea if I'm on the right track, and I'm not in a rush to buy, maybe within 2 years even, so what can you offer me, advice-wise?

Thanks for reading this and I'm looking forward to being a member here!!

PS
If you type in coco the duck to YouTube, you can find lots of fun videos of my boy
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:28 AM
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Re: Choosing the right parrot, can you help me?

If a little noise doesn't bother you, my vote is for a sun conure. My sun is the sweetest little quirky bird. She is smart and super cuddly and she adjusts to new things so smoothly. She isn't too loud. A few calls here and there but quiet for majority of the day and loves to softly chatter at me. She is also independent when she needs to be. She is absolutely content with hanging on her play stand and loves when "birdie bedtime" comes around. She quietly puts herself to bed in her tent without a fuss.

Oh, one more perk. I drive my kids to school which is a 40 minute drive one way. She loves to go along.
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:40 AM
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Re: Choosing the right parrot, can you help me?

I was thinking sun too but you would have to be sure to constantly socialize them with people other than yourself. And by this I mean let them handle him and such. Conures can easily be one person birds if you don't prevent over bonding from occurring. The real test will be when your young guy reaches maturity

I'm not sure about other birds! I wouldn't do a cockatoo because they can be weird sometimes about people that they don't know. Our sweet Ivory the bare eyed girl we own lunged at a woman that was visiting us. Luckily she didn't grab on but it was the first time she did anything like that to someone.
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Old 02-17-2014, 01:09 AM
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Re: Choosing the right parrot, can you help me?

Welcome to the forum!!!

The most easy going bird that I know of is Cockatiels!

Is there a specific one that your really drawn to???
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Old 02-17-2014, 01:38 AM
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Re: Choosing the right parrot, can you help me?

Hi Sarah! I enjoyed reading your post
Coco is adorable! What kind of duck is he? He has a longer beak and neck than some duck species.. He's really beautiful. I love that he sleeps in a diaper on your bed. That sounds too cute!

Since you said you have a background in Ornithology, and you seem like you know what keeping a parrot might entail and don't sound like a total beginner, that opens up more possibilities. Though any bird can and should be socialized, I'd say what would be best is something that is more naturally outgoing and not easily stressed by change and is resilient in different environments. I know, how about one of the Amazon parrots? Maybe a typically less feisty female in a typically less feisty species? Though any mature bird can get hormonal and bite, when trained right they might be a good choice...how about a Lilac Crowned, Red Lored, Green Cheeked, Orange winged?
Or... Smaller parrots that are more "quiet"... The Poicephalus parrots: Senegal, Meyer's, Red Bellied, etc. I LOVE my Red Bellied. Poicephalus parrots are typically outgoing, roll-with-the-punches type of birds that are awesome when socialized right. Good luck!
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:43 AM
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Re: Choosing the right parrot, can you help me?

I like the idea of a Meyer's parrot. By the way, I do education, as well. We have birds, reptiles, and mammals in our program, and are looking to add a wallaby.
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Old 02-17-2014, 11:40 AM
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Re: Choosing the right parrot, can you help me?

Thanks for the suggestions so far!

I am grateful for all of the leads, and you all posted some birds I wouldn't have thought about.

I've always steered clear of the idea of sun conures because I've read multiple places that they have the ability of being super loud and it is difficult to manage that behavior, is that true? I also always though that they were wonderfully gorgeous birds and I would cuddle with one of those faces for a long time!

Growing up my grandmother had a cockatiel that I inherited... I can't do a cockatiel because it reminds me too much of my little Rico. I would also like a bird with more substance and something stockier, if you understand my meaning

And.... Amazons. Hmm, what to say about them. I worked at an animal rescue place for years that had at least 4 different representatives of the amazon tribe, and I never felt they were even-keeled enough to fit my tastes, and none of them would let me handle them without eye flashing or tail fanning. I understand training has a lot to do with it but I'm just not certain if they're the parrot for me. Size-wise though, I really like them.

I feel like a b&g would be a great addition but perhaps too intimidating to children. Do they have the propensity to form a singular and aggressive bond with only one person? How good are they at being left behind?

I was also very seriously considering the male eclectus parrot, but I've never gotten to interact with one and all the info I know about them I've gleaned from the handy internet. Would that be a moody or bad choice?

Yeah, a cockatoo is absolutely out of the picture for me.. I've grown up around them and I don't have the lifestyle to care for one, I know that right off, however cute they may be

I'm so excited to look up the other species that I dont know about! I've go a lot of research to do! I'll keep asking questions about what I find!
Thanks folks
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Old 02-17-2014, 11:42 AM
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Re: Choosing the right parrot, can you help me?

Also, outdoor ed with birds is the best! What do you teach with yours, Nird?
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Old 02-17-2014, 01:05 PM
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Re: Choosing the right parrot, can you help me?

IMO I don't think a B&G Macaw would be the best fit. I adopted one and apparently they took him to day camps. I get the feeling that when he reached maturity he changed and they got rid of him. I have 10 year old twins and he is always luging at them. Macaws can be very intimidating to children and adults (non bird people). I was gone one day so he was in his cage for most of the day and he was mad at me for a couple days they really are like children. They also require a lot of time.

Have you thought of a Mimi Macaw? I know Hahn's Macaws aren't good with small children and tend to be as loud as a Sun Conure. No mater what species you get there will be + and - with them.

Good luck and keep us posted. Welcome to the forum.
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Old 02-17-2014, 03:40 PM
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Re: Choosing the right parrot, can you help me?

Quote: Originally Posted by Jeserah View Post
Also, outdoor ed with birds is the best! What do you teach with yours, Nird?
We do a lot of outreach so most of our programs are hands on. We have several subject matters from animal intelligence to nutrition to defens mechanisms and around the world. Sorry for the typos, on phone.
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