January is National Adopt a Rescued Bird month and we think it’s the perfect time to put some attention on our avian friends. Determined by archaeologists to have once walked the earth with dinosaurs, birds started out as bipedal animals that evolved to develop flight by flapping their wings to produce thrust. Prehistoric birds were large, but today’s birds are small enough to be kept as pets. And, tons of people love them.
Many people are well-versed at caring for birds, but typical owners opt for ones that are low-maintenance. And, it’s even better if they are super friendly. If you are thinking about adopting a rescued bird, some types that you may want to look for are:
Cockatiels and Budgies:
Cockatiels (a member of the Cockatoo family) and Budgies (also known as Parakeets) are small-sized parrots that are incredibly social and intelligent. Both breeds can be trained to learn commands and some budgies even learn to speak. Cockatoos and Budgies prefer to be in active/social areas, such as a family living space. They should be taken out to play for an extended period each day. Feeding these birds is easy, they are happy eating the occasional “people” food, such as apples, bananas, melon and leafy greens. That said, pellets should be their primary food source.
A slightly bigger bird, Doves are also social creatures who thrive in pairs (think: Two Turtle Doves) and enjoy playing with their owners. There are several types of doves, including the popular Diamond and Ring-Neck varieties. Doves prefer “nesting,” so it’s best to provide them with a nest box for bedtime. They can be trained to sit on an owner’s hand will make gentle cooing sounds, similar to a cat.
The smallest breed of parrot, these birds are incredibly social creatures who do best in groups of other birds. They require cages that are large enough for them to stretch, climb and play. These birds require a significant amount of time playing and socializing, to ensure that they remain tame. This also ensures that they are extremely loving and affectionate. They also enjoy playing games of hide-and-seek within their cages, which should include a small fleece hut for both play and privacy. Parrotlets enjoy having access to a few toys – such a puzzles and squeakers.
No matter what bird you choose, it’s important to remember some basic care instructions that are applicable to all breeds. For instance, birds are sensitive to cold and smoke, so keep them away from doors/windows and kitchens. Though most birds are content in their cages, it is important to provide one that is large enough for them to move about, with two tiers of perches for climbing.
Daily feedings and spot-cleaning of the cages should be part of an owner’s routine, with monthly complete cleanings being implemented as well. A small dish of warm water should be provided a few times per week to ensure that the birds can clean themselves.
And, routine check-ups at a certified veterinary office are important, too. If you recently adopted a bird, or are thinking about adding one to your family, contact Central Veterinary Associates for a new pet check-up at (516) 825-3066 or visit us online at www.centralvets.com.