My opinion on the term "starter bird"

birbsRcool

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Jun 15, 2020
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Parrots
1 cockatiel named pikachu^^
:21::angel-smiThis is my opinion and not trying to sound rude! :angel-smi



So you want a bird. You've done research and a bird is right for you. But you don't know exactly WHAT bird you want to get. You know you want a catalina macaw, but everyone says "oh nooo get a budgie or cockatiel those are great "starter birds."

So you get a budgie. After a few months you get a cockatiel. And then a lovebird, a lorikeet, a cockatoo, an african grey, and then that catalina macaw you wanted. Well, what do you have now? Lots of unwanted birds. What do people do? SELL OR SURRENDER THE SMALLER BIRDS. That's why the're known as "throwaway birds" THEY HAVE LIVES TOO!

Well, if you really want, lets say, a macaw, but you don't think you're ready for one and would start with something smaller that took up less space and is cheaper, and if you think that is a handful then you might be good with a few finches, or a canary you think. Go for it! I would love to have a bourke, IRN, or african grey, but i can't take care of them right now. Just remember smaller birds have big bird personalities.


If you are getting a bird, congrats! Hopefully you are prepared! If you find a good species of bird, make sure to do LOTS, and I mean LOTS, of research on it!:21:
 
Excellent points, the term "starter bird" is as abused as the neglect often shown to unwanted avians.

While most forum members abhor the term, it is reasonable to state some species are more challenging than others. A budgie is quieter, requires a smaller cage, consumes less food than a macaw. The typical life span of a budgie is shorter than a macaw with obvious implications for seniors. From a biological standpoint, both can exact similar veterinary bills during illness, and of course worthy of equal respect as extremely sentient beings.
 
my thoughts.....

Enjoy and feel free to repost this.
 

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I agree 500%-- ALL BIRDS have the intelligence and needs of kids...and none should be treated as little disposable "starters"..makes me sick...
So "starter bird" is like "starter kid"...(not a healthy mindset)

That having been said,certain birds are super difficult compared to other birds---and ALL parrots are all WAY more difficult than a dog or something...grew up training dogs..dogs are smart, but SO different.

A small bird should NEVER be dismissed as a starter bird, but one should not dive into a larger bird without first understanding birds, as the damage/danger/complication risk is so much higher for the person and bird when the bird is larger...So if someone doesn't know birds at all, getting a large bird is beyond stupid, because of the risk, cost and danger...A larger bird can remove a finger...

I just wish people understood that a parakeet can be smarter than an Amazon...or even larger birds (with the proper interaction and background)...problem is, people expect miracles because they watch movies and see talking parrots and they don't see the bad...just the fun parts...

Parrot Confidential is a movie on Amazon I wish more people would watch --- it's not a bad documentary.La'vonia (the boarder) TOTALLY pets the cockatoos/birds in an inappropriate way FYI!!! Sadly, it focuses on larger birds, but the small ones are as smart--they just live for shorter periods and can't necessarily kill you or cause you to go deaf completely lol!
 
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I agree with this! I am firm believer that if you invite an animal into your home it should be with you for its life and that you shouldn't rehome it because its novelty has worn off or because it was an impulse buy or because your having a baby. You just make it work. Especially when you invite something that lives as long as a parrot does. It breaks my heart when I read posts on fb about rehoming a 2 Yr old gcc because the owner is pregnant.

I understand That sometimes circumstances means that you can't care for a bird but you should at least try every thing you can before rehoming, especially when they get so bonded with their humans.

Honestly? I'm glad I didn't get an ekkie, because that means I would never have met albie and. He is so beautiful and sweet and so full of personality and intelligence that I could never ever imagine giving him up.
 
To be honest with you, I think the cliche' of starter bird is a falsehood.

I'll be blunt and honest, most people grow up with cats or dogs which are domesticated animals that can be neglected and still survive a tremendous amount of abuse. They don't require a lot of personal attention, and our society likes having "things" as show pieces and status symbols rather than genuinely caring about the animals that look to us as parents, guardians, and God.

Maybe I just have a very low opinion of human beings because I have to deal with them all the time regarding the most expensive investment they ever make... THEIR HOMES. Watching the lack of care, the lack "value" of working hard for a thing and maintaining it... well, I've just realized that most people are not like myself, a Type-A perfectionist that truly believes that I've taken on the responsibility of a life form who looks to me for food, water, shelter, health, educational enrichment, and to hopefully live a happier more fulfilling life than any other bird on the planet (at least that's my goal).

This takes hundreds of hours of reading, research, talking on forums like this, talking with people in public, and visiting pet shops. Most people (yup I'm calling out WE THE PEOPLE) want instant gratification without the investment of time or a labor of love; but that's what parrots are to me. I'm sure you can already tell that I become very upset towards people who don't take having a pet seriously (bird, cat, dog etc)...yes it's fun, yes it's rewarding, but it's work... you have to love/enjoy the work of it too.

So rather than saying a parrot is a starter bird, I really think the true way to identify or categorize pets is by placing the humans in specific groups... and I think our society has done that... "ADULT"... if you're an adult and know how to take responsibility and accountability for your actions, and can find your local public library...then do some research and buy a bird. My $.02

Maybe I'm strange, but I take my parrots life VERY seriously, I'm responsible for a living, breathing creature, and to that little creature I am EVERYTHING!
 
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To be honest with you, I think the cliche' of starter bird is a falsehood.

I'll be blunt and honest, most people grow up with cats or dogs which area domesticated animals that can be neglected and still survive a tremendous amount of abuse. They don't require a lot of personal attention, and our society likes having "things" as show pieces and status symbols rather than genuinely caring about the animals that look to us as parents, guardians, and God.

Maybe I just have a very low opinion of human beings because I have to deal with them all the time regarding the most expensive investment most people ever make... THEIR HOMES. Watching the lack of care, the lack "value" of working hard for a thing and maintaining it... well, I've just realized that most people are not like myself, a Type-A perfectionist that truly believes that I've taken on the responsibility of a life form who looks to me for food, water, shelter, health, educational enrichment, and to hopefully live a happier more fulfilling life than any other bird on the planet (at least that's my goal).

This takes hundreds of hours of reading, research, talking on forums like this, talking with people in public, and visiting pet shops. Most people (yup I'm calling out WE THE PEOPLE) want instant gratification without the investment of time or a labor of love; but that's what parrots are to me. I'm sure you can already tell that I become very upset towards people who don't take having a pet seriously (bird, cat, dog etc)...yes it's fun, yes it's rewarding, but it's work... you have to love/enjoy the work of it too.

So rather than saying a parrot is a starter bird, I really think the true way to identify or categorize pets is by placing the humans in specific groups... and I think our society has done that... "ADULT"... if you're an adult and know how to take responsibility and accountability for your actions, and can find your local public library...then do some research and buy a bird. My $.02

Maybe I'm strange, but I take my parrots life VERY seriously, I'm responsible for a living, breathing creature, and to that little creature I am EVERYTHING!

I agree with you 100% --I think the issue is that, when it comes to smaller birds, a lot of humans take "living and breathing" as sufficient, despite emotional and environmental neglect--- Sometimes the bird even dies because they don't get it (not because they blatantly abused it, but because they had no idea what they were doing and don't have any clue about these creatures in general). On top of that, I will say that some birds are far more challenging, but that all should be treated with a similar level of commitment etc (as they are all super smart and complicated pets). Sadly, lots of impulse buyers don't get that a parakeet is as smart as a larger bird.
 
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You don’t need any education or special training to own guns.

You don’t need any to own a cat or dog.

Or have a baby.

I don’t think anyone should expect anything different from budgie owners.
 
You don’t need any education or special training to own guns.

You don’t need any to own a cat or dog.

Or have a baby.

I don’t think anyone should expect anything different from budgie owners.

You don't NEED it legally, but lives can be saved with it! If we are going to keep animals (or humans) a good parent need to take that seriously and know enough to keep their pet/child alive and mentally healthy (sadly, that doesn't always happen). A bird isn't a mammal and so many people don't understand how much different they are from cats, or dogs..and they are often lumped in with "lower" commitment pets, such as hamsters and mice (not saying those guys don't ever get neglected or need more stimulation than they get (because they do), but a bird is on a totally different level and certainly is more complicated)....Even a VERY well-intentioned owner can harm their bird without the proper information, and some people don't research if they think they already have all of the information they need (you don't know what you don't know..)....doesn't help that the people at chain pet-stores lack that information themselves..

If you adopt or foster a kid, you do have to get "special" training and screening (same with getting a dog or cat from the Humane Society-- they require screenings and yard visits), and in many states, to own a gun, you must also take classes...I couldn't go out and get a gun without classes and a card.

Also- if you have your own kid and you neglect it (and people find out), the kid can be removed from your home. To get an animal removed it takes A LOT more effort and a very public display of bones, smells, hoarding etc. At least a dog goes outside where neighbors could possibly see the neglect- a neglected bird is basically a secret (and many don't even recognize neglect when they see it due to lack of knowledge about birds).

Even a small parrot is a huge commitment but uninformed people tend to think of them as cheap and disposable "childrens' pets" (rather than a new family member) because they don't cost much UPFRONT and because they don't know how to train them or care for them..Plus, most pet-stores do a terrible job of educating (selling tiny cages, housing a bunch of birds together so that they are not used to people and then marketing seed etc while keeping prices of small birds low)...so then, people who have no idea what they are doing get them and they die due to household hazards/disease/lack of veterinary care OR live their lives as un-tame, cage-bound messes (which is then mis-attributed to a lack of intelligence on the bird's part)...Despite the fact that information could have prevented the end result, the uninformed owner attributes their "untame" bird to the fact that it was a small, "cheap", pet-store bird, as opposed to correctly attributing these developments to their poor level of commitment and understanding/husbandry.

If I had a dollar for every time someone with a budgie OR even a cockatiel or love-bird said, "MAN, I wish I had a parrot"...."I have a really freaking annoying bird, but it's just _____(insert small parrot species here)"...When you have a parrot and don't even know it..that is a problem, and it is common.
 
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You don’t need any education or special training to own guns.

You don’t need any to own a cat or dog.

Or have a baby.

I don’t think anyone should expect anything different from budgie owners.

You don't NEED it legally, but lives can be saved with it! If we are going to keep animals (or humans) a good parent need to take that seriously and know enough to keep their pet/child alive and mentally healthy (sadly, that doesn't always happen). A bird isn't a mammal and so many people don't understand how much different they are from cats, or dogs..and they are often lumped in with "lower" commitment pets, such as hamsters and mice (not saying those guys don't ever get neglected or need more stimulation than they get (because they do), but a bird is on a totally different level and certainly is more complicated)....Even a VERY well-intentioned owner can harm their bird without the proper information, and some people don't research if they think they already have all of the information they need (you don't know what you don't know..)....doesn't help that the people at chain pet-stores lack that information themselves..

If you adopt or foster a kid, you do have to get "special" training and screening (same with getting a dog or cat from the Humane Society-- they require screenings and yard visits), and in many states, to own a gun, you must also take classes...I couldn't go out and get a gun without classes and a card.

Also- if you have your own kid and you neglect it (and people find out), the kid can be removed from your home. To get an animal removed it takes A LOT more effort and a very public display of bones, smells, hoarding etc. At least a dog goes outside where neighbors could possibly see the neglect- a neglected bird is basically a secret (and many don't even recognize neglect when they see it due to lack of knowledge about birds).

Even a small parrot is a huge commitment but uninformed people tend to think of them as cheap and disposable "childrens' pets" (rather than a new family member) because they don't cost much UPFRONT and because they don't know how to train them or care for them..Plus, most pet-stores do a terrible job of educating (selling tiny cages, housing a bunch of birds together so that they are not used to people and then marketing seed etc while keeping prices of small birds low)...so then, people who have no idea what they are doing get them and they die due to household hazards/disease/lack of veterinary care OR live their lives as un-tame, cage-bound messes (which is then mis-attributed to a lack of intelligence on the bird's part)...Despite the fact that information could have prevented the end result, the uninformed owner attributes their "untame" bird to the fact that it was a small, "cheap", pet-store bird, as opposed to correctly attributing these developments to their poor level of commitment and understanding/husbandry.

If I had a dollar for every time someone with a budgie OR even a cockatiel or love-bird said, "MAN, I wish I had a parrot"...."I have a really freaking annoying bird, but it's just _____(insert small parrot species here)"...When you have a parrot and don't even know it..that is a problem, and it is common.

If you think there’s any training or serious follow-up to fostering a child, you had better start reading more on this.

It’s a $15 budgie, same as an exotic goldfish.

It might bother you a lot, but the world doesn’t really care.
 
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To be honest with you, I think the cliche' of starter bird is a falsehood.

I'll be blunt and honest, most people grow up with cats or dogs which are domesticated animals that can be neglected and still survive a tremendous amount of abuse. They don't require a lot of personal attention, and our society likes having "things" as show pieces and status symbols rather than genuinely caring about the animals that look to us as parents, guardians, and God.

Maybe I just have a very low opinion of human beings because I have to deal with them all the time regarding the most expensive investment they ever make... THEIR HOMES. Watching the lack of care, the lack "value" of working hard for a thing and maintaining it... well, I've just realized that most people are not like myself, a Type-A perfectionist that truly believes that I've taken on the responsibility of a life form who looks to me for food, water, shelter, health, educational enrichment, and to hopefully live a happier more fulfilling life than any other bird on the planet (at least that's my goal).

This takes hundreds of hours of reading, research, talking on forums like this, talking with people in public, and visiting pet shops. Most people (yup I'm calling out WE THE PEOPLE) want instant gratification without the investment of time or a labor of love; but that's what parrots are to me. I'm sure you can already tell that I become very upset towards people who don't take having a pet seriously (bird, cat, dog etc)...yes it's fun, yes it's rewarding, but it's work... you have to love/enjoy the work of it too.

So rather than saying a parrot is a starter bird, I really think the true way to identify or categorize pets is by placing the humans in specific groups... and I think our society has done that... "ADULT"... if you're an adult and know how to take responsibility and accountability for your actions, and can find your local public library...then do some research and buy a bird. My $.02

Maybe I'm strange, but I take my parrots life VERY seriously, I'm responsible for a living, breathing creature, and to that little creature I am EVERYTHING!

So true! You aren't strange... that's how you SHOULD take care of a bird!

And research, lots of research. I've done years of research on budgies, but then finally realized they weren't for me... considering my parent's budgie experience.
 
You don’t need any education or special training to own guns.

You don’t need any to own a cat or dog.

Or have a baby.

I don’t think anyone should expect anything different from budgie owners.

You don't NEED it legally, but lives can be saved with it! If we are going to keep animals (or humans) a good parent need to take that seriously and know enough to keep their pet/child alive and mentally healthy (sadly, that doesn't always happen). A bird isn't a mammal and so many people don't understand how much different they are from cats, or dogs..and they are often lumped in with "lower" commitment pets, such as hamsters and mice (not saying those guys don't ever get neglected or need more stimulation than they get (because they do), but a bird is on a totally different level and certainly is more complicated)....Even a VERY well-intentioned owner can harm their bird without the proper information, and some people don't research if they think they already have all of the information they need (you don't know what you don't know..)....doesn't help that the people at chain pet-stores lack that information themselves..

If you adopt or foster a kid, you do have to get "special" training and screening (same with getting a dog or cat from the Humane Society-- they require screenings and yard visits), and in many states, to own a gun, you must also take classes...I couldn't go out and get a gun without classes and a card.

Also- if you have your own kid and you neglect it (and people find out), the kid can be removed from your home. To get an animal removed it takes A LOT more effort and a very public display of bones, smells, hoarding etc. At least a dog goes outside where neighbors could possibly see the neglect- a neglected bird is basically a secret (and many don't even recognize neglect when they see it due to lack of knowledge about birds).

Even a small parrot is a huge commitment but uninformed people tend to think of them as cheap and disposable "childrens' pets" (rather than a new family member) because they don't cost much UPFRONT and because they don't know how to train them or care for them..Plus, most pet-stores do a terrible job of educating (selling tiny cages, housing a bunch of birds together so that they are not used to people and then marketing seed etc while keeping prices of small birds low)...so then, people who have no idea what they are doing get them and they die due to household hazards/disease/lack of veterinary care OR live their lives as un-tame, cage-bound messes (which is then mis-attributed to a lack of intelligence on the bird's part)...Despite the fact that information could have prevented the end result, the uninformed owner attributes their "untame" bird to the fact that it was a small, "cheap", pet-store bird, as opposed to correctly attributing these developments to their poor level of commitment and understanding/husbandry.

If I had a dollar for every time someone with a budgie OR even a cockatiel or love-bird said, "MAN, I wish I had a parrot"...."I have a really freaking annoying bird, but it's just _____(insert small parrot species here)"...When you have a parrot and don't even know it..that is a problem, and it is common.

If you think there’s any training or serious follow-up to fostering a child, you had better start reading more on this.

It’s a $15 budgie, same as an exotic goldfish.

It might bother you a lot, but the world doesn’t really care.

I KNOW the foster system is SERIOUSLY messed up..I am very involved with all of that due to my job, BUT technically they don't just let any random person get a kid without at least making a record -even though their process if FULL of holes..I have a lot to say about that system (but I won't lol)... I KNOW that kids get placed with very sketchy families all of the time (not that they all are)....but I fight the holes in that system as a part of my job, and I don't think we should accept apathetic mistreatment for animals or people. That having been said, you can't just walk in, grab a kid and leave on the same day for under 100 bucks (food, crib, and playpen, no paperwork/background data). Tiny birds get screwed over royally...don't get me wrong, so do kids and kids are people (and they are not the same), but birds are very intelligent, living beings....and I don't think that is okay! I am not downplaying the plight of children, because obviously that is a VERY serious issue. I brought it up because of what you said about how you don't have to take classes to have a kid (but human babies are a product of something else people like to do---so they can happen accidentally, whereas, a pet SHOULD BE a deliberate choice--not saying kids should be an afterthought, but honestly, most people know more about raising human babies than birds, just because of life experiences and health classes....).

It does bother me a lot that the world doesn't care. That is why I think that we need to encourage education...because if people really knew, a lot more of them would care...Sure, there are still a lot of jerks out there who wouldn't but education can make all the difference for those who would care if they understood.

A $15 budgie may be priced like an exotic goldfish, but they are NOT the same, and there lies our problem. A budgie is VERY VERY smart---on par with large parrots...so of course they suffer when we deprive them of their habitats/ 30 miles of flying per day and stick a brain inside of a snazzy wire shoe-box...

It's not that I think a goldfish is a creature to neglect (because I HATE that and I hate that you can win them at carnivals etc....so messed up..)
My point is, it is still WAY easier to care for a goldfish than a bird...even though caring for a fish properly also costs more than a carnival prize would imply!!! Nevertheless, you don't get bitten, you don't have to let them out of their fish tank...you don't have to "socialize" them...they breathe their own air as long as the water and aerator are proper...and they aren't nearly as intelligent....they don't generally live as long (although some do..) BUT ALSO, their instincts are not the same, so a tank (while unfair) is way LESS stressful to them (if sized properly) than a small cage is to a parrot.
 
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