Parrot Care

Parrot as Pets (Part Three)

Noise

Whilst parrots talking is entertaining they also make all sorts of other noise, and you need to make sure that not only you can put up the noise levels, but also your neighbors. A squawking parrot is a healthy parrot so this is not a trait that you can train away, it is one that you must be happy with if you are going to buy a parrot. In fact one of the reasons I am so keen on the Meyers parrot is that it is a relatively quiet parrot.


To give you an idea of what you can expect, I have chatted to breeders of cockatoos who build special aviaries at the end of large gardens because they felt like their ears were about to bleed during breeding season. Cockatoos have been recorded at just a few decibels below that of a jumbo jet, and you have to be a real parrot lover to put up with the piercing shriek of a conure.

The rule of thumb is that the bigger the parrot the noisier it is likely to be, but below is an outline of the likely noise levels for each of 60 species.

Species Noisiness
Budgie Quiet
Red Lored Amazon Noisy
Double YelQuiet Headed Amazon Fairly noisy
African Grey Moderately noisy
Blue Fronted Amazon Noisy
YelQuiet Naped Amazon Noisy
Blue Crown Conure Fairly noisy
YelQuiet Collared Mini Macaw Noisy
Derbyan Parakeet Noisy
Blue and Gold Macaw Noisy
Catalina Macaw Noisy
Green Winged Macaw Noisy
Harlequin Macaw Noisy
Scarlet Macaw Noisy
Lineolated Parakeet Quiet
Red Bellied Parrot Quiet
Senegal Parrot Quiet
Hahn’s Mini Macaw Moderately noisy
Lilac Crowned Amazon Noisy
White Fronted Amazon Noisy
Plum Headed Parakeet Moderately noisy
Quaker Parrot Moderately noisy
Cape Parrot Moderately noisy
Uncape Parrot Moderately noisy
Noble Mini Macaw Moderately noisy
Eclectus Parrot Noisy
Illeger’s Mini Macaw Moderately noisy
Severe Mini Macaw Fairly noisy
Alexandrine Parakeet Noisy
Military Macaw Moderately noisy
Hyacinth Macaw Noisy
Green Rumped Parrotlet Quiet
Pacific Parrotlet Quiet
Mexican Parrotlet Quiet
Orange Fronted Conure Fairly noisy
Meyer’s Parrot Quiet
White Capped Pionus Moderately noisy
Half Moon Conure Quiet
Green Cheeked Conure Quiet
Green Naped Lorikeet Noisy
Blue Streaked Lorikeet Noisy
Bronze Winged Pionus Moderately noisy
Mustached Parakeet Moderately noisy
Black Capped Lorikeet Noisy
Chattering Lorikeet Noisy
Hawk Headed Parrot Moderately noisy
Cockatiels Moderately noisy
Nanday Conure Noisy
Cockatoo Noisy
Jardine’s Parrot Moderately noisy
Lovebird Moderately noisy
Bourke’s Parakeet Quiet
Caique Moderately noisy
Dusky Headed Pionus Moderately noisy
Dusky Conure Moderately noisy
Gold Cap Conure Moderately noisy
Jenday Conure Noisy
Sun Conure Noisy
Blue Headed Pionus Moderately noisy
Maximilian Pionus Moderately noisy

Cost

Once you investigate various options you will see that parrots vary greatly in price, and this is mainly due to variations in how easy it is to breed each species. This supply and demand factor is quite local, and thus there is a wide range of prices, but below is a very rough indication of what you might expect to pay for weaned parrots. If you buy from an existing owner you will get a much lower price, but may have to deal with behavioral issues resulting from poor training.

  • Amazon Parrots, $300-$1300
  • African Grey, $1000-$1500
  • Budgies, $10-$20
  • Cockatoos, $800-$6,200
  • Cockatiels, $130-$150
  • Conures, $250-$650
  • Lovebirds, $70-$100
  • Macaws, $550-$8,500

In addition to the bird set-up costs vary by species, with larger parrots require larger cages, which are more expensive. Also, some species are more susceptible to illnesses than others, and you need to check that you can afford the specialist vet fees that are an ongoing cost of parrot-keeping.

Cleaning requirements

Not only are parrots noisy and expensive, but they are also really messy! Feathers, faeces, food and water will all end up on the floor of your pet’s cage and it is your job to clean it regularly to avoid health risks. Changing the water on a regular basis is the most important thing to remember.

Photo: A parrot cage draw.

Photo: A parrot cage draw.

Suitability of your location

You need to consider your location before choosing a parrot, for example, if you are very close to your neighbors then buying a noisy cockatoo would not really be fair to them. If you do not have a vet nearby with the Certified Avian Specialist Status, then you might want to think again as to whether a pet parrot is really the right choice.

Weaning

Baby parrots

Photo: Baby parrots.

It is highly advisable to purchase a parrot that has already been weaned as it takes a real expert to manage this period in a bird’s development. Weaning requires multiple daily feedings, daily weighing of the bird, preparation of foods at the right temperature and the conducting of training and socializing – any mistakes made in the early training phase will be very difficult to correct later.

Legal Requirements

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) does not permit trade in wild-caught species, and you should be sure that you are not breaking any laws. It is highly advisable to buy a captive-bred, rather than wild-born bird, not only for legal reasons, but also because a wild-born bird will be harder to keep as a pet, and is really only a good choice for the experience aviculturist.

Feeding

Photo: parrot feeding

Photo: Parrot feeding.

A good diet sits at the heart of good parrot care, and you need to make sure you understand your parrot’s needs before you make your purchase. You need to stick to recommended foods (parrot mix, along with green vegetables and fruit etc.) and avoid foods that can prove fatal (alcohol, avocado, chocolate, coffee, raw potato, salt, and tea).

Conclusion

Now you understand which factors are most important for your situation you can chose a parrot that meets your needs. You will choose from one of the following groupings: Budgies, Cockatiels, Cockatoos, Conures, Macaws, Parakeets, Parrotlets, Parrots, and Lovebirds.

Related articles:

Parrots as Pets (Part One).

Parrots as Pets (Part Two).


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