Pet Parrots and You – 7 Answers to Questions About Parrots

Parrots are marvelously intelligent, and beautiful birds that run the gamut in terms of color, life span, size, and temperament. If you are considering a Parrot as a pet, you’ll have no trouble finding exactly the right bird for you and your lifestyle. Here are 7 answers to frequently asked questions about Parrots that will help you make a good decision for you and your bird.


What is the typical life span? There is no typical life span, it simply depends on which one you choose. Macaws, African Greys, and Cockatoos can live anywhere from 40 to 60 years, Quakers between 20 to 30 years,  Parrotlets between 15 and 20 years, and Budgerigars (commonly referred to as Budgies or Parakeets) from 7 to 10 years. Be sure you are aware of the average life span of the Parrot you are considering, and that you are prepared to make a commitment, in some cases, for a lifetime.


What colors are available? All the colors in the rainbow can be found among Parrots. Peach-face Love Birds, brilliant blues in the Hyacinth Macaw,  spectacular reds in the Scarlet Macaw, a myriad of flashy colors in the Amazon, snowy white of the Cockatoo, and the brilliant yellows, oranges, reds in the Sun Conure are just a few of the vivid choices they present. To say they are colorful doesn’t come close to describing the amazing variety of colors available.


What do they eat? They need a well balanced diet of fresh, organic vegetables fruit, sprouted seeds, cuttlebone, and a high quality pellet diet as a base. In fact, having a bird has been known to help the owner eat healthier. Each species is slightly different in their needs and preferences. Your avian vet can be more specific in helping you determine what, and how much is best for your bird.


How much attention do they need? The bigger Parrots such as the Cockatoos, African Greys, and Macaws need a minimum of at least several hours of daily human interaction to stay physically and emotionally healthy. Lovebirds if purchased in pairs can provide attention for each other. Many of the smaller Parrots need less attention but still need the cage placed in an area that makes them feel a part of the household activities, regular time outside the cage, and human interaction.


Are they all able to talk? Some Parrots speak better than others, and some speak not at all. Buying one for their speaking ability is risky for you, unfair to the bird, and not recommend because each bird is an individual that may or may not conform to the norm. In general, the African Grey, Budgerigar, Amazon, Parakeet, and Quaker are all known for their ability to learn to talk. However, the only way to guarantee that your bird will talk is to get one that already does.


How are they with children and other pets? Great care should be taken when mixing Parrots with children and other pets, including other birds. These birds have hooked bills that are capable of crushing nuts, and can inflict horrible injury to children, other pets, and even their caregivers who may be inexperienced at handling them. Each parrot is different, and birds that are hand fed from an early age, and are given regular training and attention are more likely to remain tame, and coexist with all in the family. But again for the sake of all involved, take great care before adding children or other pets to the mix.


How much of a mess do they make? Some Parrots like African Greys, Cockatoos, and Macaws produce much more wing dust, and as a result are dustier than a lot of the other species. But they all need to have their cages cleaned daily, fresh water provided as often as needed, droppings remove daily or as frequent as necessary to prevent ingestion and dried particles of feces from becoming airborne and potentially spreading bacteria and viruses that create disease and infection.