So you've decided to get a bird. Hopefully this is a deliberate decision and not just a whim that hits you at the pet shop. I believe you should think about the decision carefully and make some choices, or you and the bird may regret it later.
What type of bird would best suit you? If this is a first bird, start small. Don't go crazy and buy a macaw only to realize when you get it home that it can easily take off your finger...or eat your wall... or a chair. Of course the cost of something like a macaw should be enough to make you think twice anyway!
Let's look at some of the common choices...
Budgies are not as ear-piercing as some birds, but a budgie will often have a little squawk-fest in the morning and again in the afternoon, as do most birds. I find that keeping budgies in small groups seems to keep the squawking down and results in more of a constant twittering which I find reminds me of the wild birds outside on a spring morning.
Budgies are very playful and active, and are fun to watch even if not tame at all. They should have some toys to play with, which are easily obtainable at most pet shops and department stores.
For a lot of people, a budgie (or parakeet, as most people think of them) is a good first bird for a lot of reasons. They are small so the cage can be relatively small. Budgies are available in fantastic colors! Bright yellows, blues, and greens of every shade, and beautiful violets can be readily found.
The cost is also quite reasonable. You can find a nice budgie for about $15. to $25. , perhaps a bit more for a handfed baby. I would recommend a handfed baby if you could possibly locate one. It may be hard to find one, because many breeders don't want to spend such a large amount of time on something with so little monetary return. Whether handfed or not, try to get one that is 6 to 8 weeks old, just after weaning. Beware of extreme bargain birds, such as what can sometimes be found at depatment stores. You usually get what you pay for. Budgies can be tamed and taught to talk. In fact, budgies are known as one of the best talkers among birds, as far as the number of words or phrases mastered. Quality of speech varies, and some budgies are a bit squeaky and rather hard to decipher, while others speak much more clearly.
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Anita M. Golden
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