Considerations for a new bird and new owner

Alpine55

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Oct 15, 2019
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Hello All!

Super new to the forum but I am glad there is a good place to ask questions! I am in the process of researching the possibility of getting a new bird. I have read a couple posts (including the stickies) about requirements and information on possible birds for my lifestyle but I wanted to hear from others who keep them and hopefully it will help me decide what I should do.

My Lifestyle:
- I work early mornings to mid afternoon. I'm usually gone 8-9 hours for work, leave when its still dark outside, return in the mid afternoon.
-Spend my evenings doing chores and work around the house, on nights when chores are not an issue I spend time hanging out and playing video games.
-I have a roommate who works an opposing schedule from me, she is also interested in getting a parrot so we would be working together on this she also works 8 hour days as well, but at different times from me.
- I have a dog, GSD, she is curious but generally well adjusted to small animals and is very easy to distract and work with when treats are brought out, she has lived with a small dogs, kittens, cats, snakes, and rodents. I know that these are super different from birds. I have never seen her exhibit prey drive towards birds.
- I'm very willing to spend my spare time in the evening training and working on building trust and hanging out before I (or the bird) go to bed. I am pretty confident that I can spend 3-4 hours in the late afternoon/evening with my bird should I get one.
- I live in an apartment, have neighbors and would like a bird that is not "screechy" but I know that birds chirp, make noise and "talk" (both literally and figuratively) Pet parrots are explicitly allowed on my lease (just need to put in a deposit)
- We cook every other evening for the most part, from time to time I burn incense and candles but I am prepared to cut that out for health purposes should I get a bird. I smoke but that is done outside on the balcony.
-My home tends to have some level of noise, when I am gone I leave a podcast or some other form of music/sound going for my dog so that she has some white noise going on around her. I've heard that this can be alright for birds as well?

I've been researching and definitely do not feel that I would have the level of confidence needed for a large parrot. I had been researching budgies, conures, lovebirds and parrotlets for temperament and keeper experiences and all of these were interesting to me for various reasons.

I am looking for a bird that is sociable to people, inquisitive and curious. I would gladly get two of whatever bird I choose but I would prefer one as I would like the chance to bond with the bird and get to build a friendship, I also do not want to have to worry about possible caging trouble, fights or other social issues with two birds.

I am hoping that you guys can give some suggestions and insight from your experiences and help me out with making this decision. There is no rush here on my end. I am still in the process of making my decision so that I can begin the process of purchasing supplies and accessories. I want to have a cage fully setup and furnished with adequate perches and toys before I bring a little one home.

Lastly if I decide that I am going to go forward with purchasing a bird I want to make sure that I go through a reputable breeder and I am hoping that forum members can give me some information on that as well.

Thanks so much for reading and for any responses that I get.
 

wrench13

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Cockatiels are a great choice for your situation. And dont let anyone tell you otherwise, they are all parrot.
 
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Alpine55

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Cockatiels are a great choice for your situation. And dont let anyone tell you otherwise, they are all parrot.

Thanks so much for the reply, admittedly I hadn't considered cockatiels, a lot of what I read had indicated that they did better in pairs versus living alone, do you have experience with them in single bird situations? I would like to get a young one and work with it starting early to get some trust and comfort going. Ideally I'd like to get my parrot to a point where they can spend time outside of the cage in my home and possibly work on harness training for outdoor excursions, though I know that's a little more challenging.
 

Laurasea

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My neighbor has a single cockatiel male, that is very happy bird, lots of personality.
 

Jen5200

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Welcome to you!

I would agree that cockatiels could be a pretty good fit. I have a solo female cockatiel - and 5 conures. She prefers to be solo, and doesn’t care to interact at all with the conures. She’s people-oriented and really prefers to think that she is an “only bird”. Prior to my adopting her, she did live with another cockatiel and she wasn’t excited about interacting with him either.

Green cheek conure might be another option. I have 3 - mine are all caged separately and also prefer people to other birds, so would be fine as a solo bird. Green cheeks are not overly loud (based on my three) so might be another species to consider.

I’ve interacted with several parrotlets and would definitely vote for considering them as well.

Do you have a rescue or sanctuary in your area? It’s always an option to check in there as well. It is a great opportunity to interact with a few birds and see how you feel around the various species. I always thought that I would get a medium sized parrot - and it turns out that I click very well with smaller birds instead :).

I leave music on all day for my birds while I’m at work and they seem to enjoy it. My house is not terribly quiet and the birds have all adapted well. Definitely plan to get rid of the incense and candles. Check your cookware and plan to dispose of any teflon. Look at your cleaners - those fumes can be deadly.

Looking forward to hearing how your search continues!
 
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Alpine55

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Much appreciated Jen5200, you gave me another bird to research! I've been looking for a bird rescue and we so have a couple in the area that I'm hoping to visit in the near future. I'm not rushing to pick any one bird. I've been trying to find a reputable breeder who is local so that I can meet a bird and that has not been as easy as I would have hoped.
 

Laurasea

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Just remember baby birds are always sweet, but then they go through a rough patch when they hit puberty. Many people give up on their birds at that point , but they do get past that. Letting a parot choose you is best, the one that comes to you, is interest in you, makes good eye contact with you. Craigslist is full of parrots being re-homed, it's worth checking. Good luck
 

Jen5200

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Mar 27, 2017
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Baby - Sun Conure;
Tango - GCC;
Bindi - Sun Conure;
Stanley - Pineapple GCC;
Screamer “Scree� - Cockatiel;
Tee - Pineapple GCC; Jimmy - Cockatiel
Much appreciated Jen5200, you gave me another bird to research! I've been looking for a bird rescue and we so have a couple in the area that I'm hoping to visit in the near future. I'm not rushing to pick any one bird. I've been trying to find a reputable breeder who is local so that I can meet a bird and that has not been as easy as I would have hoped.

I can honestly say that all of my birds came to me as adults, and I’m grateful for it. Puberty isn’t always fun to deal with. You can bond just as well to an adult bird as a baby - perhaps better in some ways. Laura raises a great point about babies and the changes they go through over time. I volunteer at a rescue and can vouch for the number of birds that are given up when they go from “cute baby” to “hormonal teenager”. Just something to add to your list of things to ponder. Absolutely no judgement here if you opt for a baby from a breeder - that can be a good option as well :) All of my birds have been adults that “clicked” with me and wanted to come home with me - and I can say that it has worked well as a start to a good relationship.
 

ravvlet

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(RIP) Cricket - Cockatiel (2019-2022)
Just chiming in to say cockatiels are great - buckets and buckets of personality, generally very friendly and people oriented. We have a single male tiel who is quite a charmer and whip smart, he picked up on a trick or two within a few short training sessions!

I see loads of them for adoption on Craigslist all the time, so I’d really recommend you consider adopting one. We went through what we thought was a reputable breeder and had a worse experience than what we had adopting our Amazon off Craigslist. Just make sure you also line up a certified avian vet and expect to spend around $300 annually on wellness exams.
 

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