In your opinion, what species of parrot makes the best pet?
This is an age-old question and any veterinarian asked will basically have the same answer. Choosing the ‘best’ pet species, bird or otherwise, is always an individual decision that starts with examining your lifestyle in order to find the pet that best meshes with what you can and are willing to
provide. How much time will you have for your pet? Who will be involved in the care of the pet? Where do you live and how much room do you have for your pet? How much will the pet cost per month (food, caging, veterinary care) and does that fit with your budget? And in the case of parrot ownership, how old are you and how loud a pet can you have – and are you
willing to have – in the space that you live?
Once these questions are answered, the more ‘parrot specific’ questions should be asked. Are you looking for a newly fledged bird or are you willing to adopt a parrot that needs to be re-homed? Are you attracted to brilliant plumage or do you prefer a bird with a great ability to talk? How large a
bird do you want? What sort of bird personality are you looking for? If you are considering a larger, longer – lived parrot, do you have a plan for the care of your bird should it outlive you?
Over the years, I have met a bird from every species that I would adore to have and met its counterpart, that even as an avian veterinarian, I would find challenging to own. The ‘best’ bird species is the one that is going to mesh with the lifestyle of its owner, at the time of purchase, into the
future and for the life of that bird. Talking to an avian veterinarian before committing can help narrow the field of choice and help ensure that the best fit is found.
We are always biased by our own experiences. Personally? Give me an Orange Winged Amazon any day. I love the adaptability, the independence and the smell of their little green Amazon bodies.
Dr. Kerry Korber
Calgary Avian & Exotic Pet Clinic