Parrots as pets: To have or have not?

by | General Pet Care |

Considering adopting a parrot?

Careful consideration before adopting, including research and planning, plus plenty of love, patience and a sense of humour, will foster a strong and loving relationship that will help you discover the joy of birds, and make you friends for life!

For all of our bird care tips, check out our helpful fact sheet!

Dr. John L. Steckley is a Canadian scholar with a love for parrots. The following excerpt is from a write up he shared with the Ontario SPCA about owning an Amazon parrot.

Amazons are the parrots most closely associated with pirates.  An Amazon was featured both in Robinson Crusoe and Treasure Island. Many live in the places in Central America (most notably Belize, the former British Honduras where British pirates stayed when they were waiting to attack Spanish treasure ships.  I think that pirates and these parrots would make a good match

amazon parrot, parrots, parrot care
photo credit: vieux rêveur le regard – the look via photopin(license)

What should you know when considering whether to obtain an Amazon?  First, they are big birds with a long life expectancy, similar to that of a human.  Not all parrots do, only the larger species such as Amazons, cockatoos and macaws.  The smaller species can live between 15 and 30 years.  When my wife and I visit parrot sanctuaries, we see a good number of Amazons, along with the other big birds.  They have outlived their owners and no family members or friends wanted to take them one.  I dread the thought of what will happen to her when I die.

Second, they are picky as who they like and dislike, and can be quite moody.  And you don’t want to be disliked by a bird of this size.  Our yellow-headed Amazon, Lime, seems to be of the impression that she is my mate.  She really likes my company, and I can get away with tickling her.  She has often attacked my wife, Angie, who treats her with nothing but kindness.

Third, they are loud.  Our Lime shrieks and swears, and can be heard from the road in front of our place.  To be fair, she is also a beautiful singer, with an operatic singing style.  But she has no quiet voice.

On the positive side, she and I are very closely bonded, and have been since I hand fed her when she was a fledgling.  She calls to me with a loud “hello” when I come home, and she asks “Where are you?” when I am not in my office, not far from the aviary in what used to be our living room.  One of the best parts of my day involves having her on my shoulder in the morning when I am writing, and we are sharing crackers.

Also check out the Ontario SPCA resources below for more information!