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Many bird species can learn words and construct sentences. They make a colorful addition to the home and can provide stress relief and relaxation to the owners. Here at North Central Animal Hospital, we offer veterinary care to all types of exotic pets, including birds. Dr Hillary Frank is the only veterinarian in Arizona that is a certified bird specialist.
Popular Avian Pets
Popular avian pets for kids and older adults include parakeets, finches and cockatiels. These bird species are easy to care for, and they do not have to be handled on a daily basis. Parakeets live an average of 7 years and can be taught a number of tricks, including how to talk. Though, they have very quiet voices.
Finches need a balanced diet, water and other finches. They are social birds with each other, but do not need or want human interaction. These birds are entertaining to watch and their melodies are soothing to the ears.
Cockatiels can live up to 20 years. They often enjoy interacting with humans and are very playful. They do not talk, but some owners have noticed that they will mimic household sounds, including bells and telephones. Some will even learn to whistle songs. The theme from Andy Griffith show is often a favorite.
For those that want a talking bird, several types of parrots readily learn human speech, and some can even learn to form sentences. The best talking parrots include Amazon Parrots, Quaker Parakeets, and African Grey Parrots.
Amazon Parrots can build very extensive vocabularies, and they are easily taught tricks. Quaker Parakeets have great personalities, and they learn words and phrases readily. They also bond to their owners and are very loyal. African Grey Parrots are incredibly intelligent. They are able to talk and imitate individual voices with exceptional clarity, and they will talk back to their owners.
Caring for Your Exotic Pet Bird
Avian pets, as well as most exotic pets, must be kept in cages or aviaries. Therefore, the most important part of caring for your new bird is locating and purchasing the right size cage. Baby birds should be put into slightly smaller cages so that they do not injure themselves, but as they grow, they will need a larger cage so that they do not feel cramped and are able to move around, including at least some flight.
Bird cages should be cleaned out daily, with a thorough scrubbing weekly, much like cat litter boxes. This is because the bird eats and defecates in the cage, resulting in feces and food along the floor and sometimes on perching bars and toys. Mold can also grow in moist bedding, especially in the corners, or in materials like corn cob & walnut shells. Plain newspapers or paper towels are readily available and easy to keep clean.
Fresh food and water will need to be given to your bird on a daily basis, and the dishes and bottles must be cleaned on a regular basis. Most birds do best on a formulated pelleted diet as at least 80% of the daily intake.
Some birds require lots of interaction while others do not. Before you purchase a bird, make sure to educate yourself on the bird species and their interaction needs. Parrots especially need lots of interaction from their human owners. If you are unable to provide interaction for your bird, consider purchasing more than one bird so that they can entertain each other.
To schedule a checkup for your bird or ask questions about specific health or behavior issues, call our avian veterinarian at 602-395-9773.