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Picking a Bird

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Caged birds bring color, song or vocalization, and amusement into their lives. Many birds form strong attachments to people and make excellent companions. Birds are often ideal pets for people with allergies to dogs and cats.

The cost, care, and time commitment required to keep birds vary as much as individual characteristics such as color, size, personality, and life span. Costs increase with traits and rarity. First-time bird owners should avoid the more expensive species. Some notes:

  • Finches are relatively easy to care for and may live only five to eight years
  • Canaries and parakeets live between five and 15 years and are easy to care for
  • Large parrots may live more than 30 years
  • Parrots are highly social, trainable creatures
  • Large parrot species can bite
  • Parrot species can be expensive, from $150 for a conure (small parrot) to more than $6,000 for a macaw
  • A male canary may cost twice that of a female because only males sing
Look into the bird you are interested in owning. Some birds may require special seeds, fruits, or vegetables, while others need large cages. All birds require social contact.

Birds are sensitive to sudden temperature changes and many household fumes, can develop life threatening diseases, and need a balanced diet, water, light, suitable caging, and proper sanitation. A bird won't sing or talk if it is lonely, malnourished, stressed, or confined in too small an area.

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