PET BIRD SPECIES
Parrots As Pets
African Love Bird
Indian Ring Neck
Larger Tropical Lorikeets
Black Capped Lory
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo
Major Mitchell's Cockatoo
Red Tailed Black Cockatoo
Gang Gang Cockatoo
Small Australian Lorikeets
The budgerigar originates from the arid centre of Australia and has become one of the most popular pet birds kept throughout the world. These small, hardy birds make excellent pets for anyone over the age of 6. They can be fantastic talkers and have a tremendous mimicking ability. When choosing a pet budgerigar it is best to select:
It is best to select a young weaned budgie as your pet because they tame more quickly to human kindness. You can tell a young budgie by the black horizontal bars which extend from the forehead to the beak. These bars are absent in the older budgerigar. Male budgies make the best pets but it is sometimes difficult to guarantee the sex of the very young budgie, especially if it is a lutino, albino or pied variety. Experienced bird shop staff should be able to pick a male for you. Select the most inquisitive budgie as these are the most intelligent and will respond best to training. Female budgerigars are prone to egg-laying problems, hernias and fat tumours. In order to avoid these problems it is recommended to select a male budgerigar.
A young weaned male budgie.
The most intelligent budgie in the cage. These are the most lively and inquisitive ones.
The bird with the best feathers. The young budgie must have a full tail and wings.
The cockatiel originates from the arid centre of Australia and is found in abundance throughout this region. These intelligent birds are highly popular as pets because they are easy to train and have a good talking ability. Cockatiels make especially good pets for young children who are interested in birds. They have a very relaxed and friendly nature when hand reared and can learn to talk in no time at all. It is always best to select a male hand reared bird.
Female cockatiels are less suitable as pets because they are especially prone to excessive egg-laying activity and then egg binding. Please see the cockatiel section for further information.
Quaker (Monk) Parrot
The Quaker Parrot, also known as the Monk Parrot, originates from South America. In the wild, these birds exist in large colonies with complex social structures. They have an unusual ability to use twigs and pliable branches to build large, communal nests in which all members of the colony may breed. As a result of this rich social structure, the Quaker Parrot is a highly social, friendly and energetic bird and makes a wonderful pet. They are playful, cheeky and inquisitive and make excellent talkers. The voice of the Quaker Parrot has a distinct croaky/clicking sound and raspy chattering is frequently heard from these birds.
Socialisation and interaction form an important part of the Quaker Parrots daily routine. This positive training approach should be used to overcome the domineering behaviour that some Quaker parrots may exhibit. They should not be confined to the cage as this may lead to behavioural problems. Physically, the Quaker Parrot is a hardy bird and is able to tolerate cold temperatures well.
Eclectus are a remarkable bird and ideally suited as a pet. When taught properly, they are capable of cognitive behaviour from a very young age. The ability of the Eclectus to communicate with humans is a result of their extremely inquisitive nature, a feature strongly linked to their life in the rainforest canopy. This habitat is a rich environment requiring a heightened visual and audible intellect to master.
The Eclectus has developed a complex breeding culture in this crowded vegetative habitat, resulting in communal breeding where uncles and aunties help rear young in a creche-like situation. This sharing and caring feature of the Eclectus makes them naturally the perfect pet. When treated in a similarly caring and intelligent way they will quickly learn to communicate cognitively.
Eclectus also prefer a calm environment and have a strong ability to notice changes within their normal surroundings. These highly intelligent birds are very animated and love to participate in daily activities and in doing so, will quickly become acquainted with a daily routine.
Eclectus can be kept with other parrot species although it is extremely important that any new bird is introduced in the correct fashion. This involves providing one on one attention with the original bird and as much as possible, maintaining its normal daily routine. Regular and consistent training form an integral part of the Eclectus development and with the correct love and attention, this highly intelligent bird makes an excellent pet. Please see the Eclectus section for further information.
The lavishly coloured King Parrot originates from the East coast of Australia. The male has a fiery appearance, with scarlet colourations extending from the back of the neck, over the head and down to the underside of the tail. The wings and back are a dark bottle green with a light green patch across the shoulders. Hand reared male King Parrots make good pets and are colourful and entertaining birds that exhibit bright and cheerful behaviour.
King Parrots are generally a hardy species, although they can become susceptible to stress when moved or exposed to new surroundings. Special care to provide the correct housing and nutrition must be taken to ensure this beautiful bird does not become susceptible to illness. In particular, King Parrots are highly susceptible to Bacillus infection that is toxic and invariably fatal irrespective of veterinary attebtion.
The King Parrot is a very attractive and acrobatic aviary bird. They require a four to five metre long by one to two metres wide aviary to keep them comfortable and happy. Breeding King Parrots can be a challenge that brings rich rewards. The best breeding results are achieved when the birds have an adequate sized aviary and are provided with all of the vitamins and minerals necessary for perfect health.
In the wild, the King Parrot nests deep within tree hollows and therefore require a nest box at least 120cm deep. It is advantageous to provide numerous eucalypt branches for perches to simulate the dense forest environment enjoyed by the King Parrot.
The Superb Parrot is a hardy bird originating from the Eucalypt forests adjacent to the Murray and Murrumbidgee River systems of New South Wales, Australia. Unfortunately, it is thought that Superb Parrot numbers in the wild are declining. The cock bird is brilliantly coloured and makes an excellent pet when hand reared from aviary bred parents. The vividly coloured male bird has a pleasing, docile and inoffensive nature. With a limited but cheerful mimicking ability, the Superb Parrot is able to produce delightful whistling noises and to a small degree, imitate the human voice.
The best breeding results are achieved when Superb Parrots are housed as a single pair in an aviary approximately four to six metres long and one to two metres wide. A much larger aviary is required if these birds are to be bred using the colony system. Superb Parrots have been known to have a breeding life of up to twenty years when kept in peak condition. The breeding season begins in September and lasts until December.
The Regents Parrot originates from Eastern Australia is not commonly kept as a companion bird in Australia. Hand reared male birds make the best pets and have a friendly and pleasing nature. The striking golden colour of the male Regents Parrot makes for a very handsome pet and brings much joy to the owner. The Regents Parrot is easily tamed and very sociable. Like the Superb Parrot, the Regents possesses the ability to produce delightful whistling noises and to a small degree, imitate the human voice.
The Regents Parrot is an excellent aviary bird and will live comfortably with other non-aggressive species. Aviaries should be a minimum of three to four metres long and one to two metres wide. When provided with adequate conditions and a suitable diet, there is no reason why most Regents Parrots will not breed.
There are a number of lorikeets varieties that appeal as pet birds. These varieties can be divided into two main groups - the Small Australian Lorikeets, and the larger tropical lorikeets. The lorikeet is a playful and energetic bird and in its natural environment eats nectar and fruits rather than seeds. It requires a specialised diet of a nectar mix, fruit and vegetables. They are very untidy eaters and spoil the cage and its surrounds with their large, wet droppings. Their messy eating habits require a diligent owner to clean the cage every day to prevent bacterial and yeast (thrush) infections. The smaller varieties of lorikeets (the varied and musk) are better pets because of their soft bite, but well-trained rainbow or red-collared lorikeets are good talkers and a lot of fun. There are a large variety of beautiful tropical lorikeets available to choose from as pets. These stunning birds are highly priced and have a demanding nature, making them suitable only for those with experience in the care and training of companion birds.
Small Australian Lorikeets
The Small Australian Lorikeets are playful and have a delightful personality. These endearing birds do not share the talking abilities of the larger tropical lorikeets but remain remarkable pets for those seeking a colourful and charming small pet bird. The quiet nature of the Small Australian Lorikeets varieties, make them particularly suitable for people who live in units or places where noise must be kept to a minimum. Male hand reared lorikeets, particularly the Varied Lorikeet (Psitteiteles versicolor), make the best pets.
Small Australian lorikeets are successfully bred in both large communal aviaries and in suspended single pair cages. These birds can also be housed in a planted aviary in a mixed finch/dove collection.
Larger Tropical Lorikeets
Please visit the Non-Australian Parrots page for information about the larger tropical lorikeet species.
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