Love at first sight is a lovely notion, but when it comes to choosing a pet bird, falling in love at the drop of a hat doesn’t always work out for the best. Owning a bird — or any other pet for that matter — is a big commitment, so it’s important that you choose a bird that’s perfect for your lifestyle.
But choosing the right pet bird is often easier said than done. Birds come in a staggering array of sizes, shapes and colours, have different care requirements as well as a variety of temperaments, so how do you know which species will be the perfect fit for you and your family?
Let’s take a look at what you can do to ensure you choose the right pet bird species.
Factors to consider when choosing a pet bird
- How long will it live? Owning a bird is a huge commitment over several years – some birds even live longer than humans do. Before you choose a particular species of bird, research its expected lifespan and ask yourself whether you will be able to meet all its care needs for the duration of that time.
- How much space does it need? Whether your bird is kept in a cage indoors or an aviary outdoors, you’ll need to ensure that you have enough space for your new pet’s living quarters. Research how much room your favourite bird species needs to move and decide whether you’ve got enough space to spare.
- What sort of regular care does it need? How much mental stimulation does your pet bird need each day? What about food, exercise, grooming and cleaning? If you don’t have the time or the patience to give your pet bird all the love, attention and care he needs, he’s definitely not the right pet for you.
- How much will it cost to own? The cost of food, a bird cage, cage accessories and vet bills can quickly add up. Speak to breeders or other owners about how much different species cost to look after each month.
- How noisy will it be? If you live in an apartment, an especially vocal cockatoo might drive your neighbours absolutely bonkers. Make sure to consider your bird’s noise levels before choosing a pet.
- What about health problems? Research whether the species of bird you are interested in are prone to any genetic health problems. If so, find out what you need to do to ensure that you buy a healthy pet from a reputable and responsible breeder.
- Are you planning on moving? Birds that can legally be kept as pets in one state or territory may not be allowed in another, so make sure you’re aware of all the regulations surrounding your chosen bird species.
Popular bird species
Once you’ve answered the questions above, you’re ready to narrow your choices down to a few key potential pets. Bird species come in an enormous array of colours, shapes and sizes, but let’s take a look at four of the most popular options.
Right across Australia, Budgerigars are famous for their charm, intelligence and gorgeous good looks. Known for their playful nature and their ability to imitate common sounds, Budgies are one of the most popular pet bird species in Australia.
These native parrots are renowned for their affectionate nature and their suitability as companion animals. Available in an extensive variety of colours, most Cockatiels absolutely love human contact and attention.
Intelligent and cheeky, the Cockatoo can make a loving and adorable companion. In Australia, the most popular representative of the species is the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo, known for its unique looks and mischievous personality.
These small to medium-sized members of the parrot species are playful, curious and very, very cute. They can also be quite noisy little critters, but their compact size and impressive intelligence makes Conures a popular choice as family pets.
There really is a staggering variety of bird species that can be kept as pets in Australia, so you’ll need to do plenty of in-depth research to find out which one is right for you. Once you know all there is to know about looking after your chosen bird species, you and your pet will be ready to embark on many happy years together.