Birds can make wonderful pets but when first starting out in bird ownership it’s always best not to go for those which are too loud, or too difficult to manage. While you might be tempted to buy the biggest parrot you can find, that’s not the best bird for beginners.
You should always buy your birds from a specialist bird store or breeder rather than a generic pet shop, so you know they have been well looked after and are healthy before you buy, so you get the best possible start for your first pet bird.
There are a number of different birds which make the best pets for beginners – for example – some which don’t like being handled so can just be left to their own devices if you are not confident handling birds. Or others which love being handled so make great friendly pets – it all depends on what you are looking for.
We caught up with the team behind Littlepeckers.co.uk and they gave us some examples of pet birds which are great for beginners:
The canaries are one of the most popular birds thanks to their bright colours and amazing singing voices but beware that if you want one that sings it needs to be a male bird. They don’t like much interaction so are perfect for beginners who aren’t sure about handling birds. Their colour and song make them ideal for children who don’t want to handle them but want to watch.
Finches are small birds which like to live socially so you will need to buy a couple to live together, with a large cage so they have room to fly around. They are fun to watch and very lively with lots of twittering. They make great pets for children who don’t want to handle them.
Budgerigars make wonderful pets as they come in all kinds of colours and can be tamed with regular gentle handling. They can also learn to talk with patience, making them great companions for quieter, shy children.
Cockatiels come in many different colours and are very affectionate birds which like to be petted. They are great at whistling and may learn the odd word. These are perfect for beginners and children who understand how to handle them carefully.
The Pionus parrot
These are not as brightly coloured as other breeds but they are small enough to be easily handled and have a quieter and calmer personality then many other parrot breeds. They are not loud and are not great a learning to talk but certainly make a great beginners introduction to caring for parrots.
The Amazon parrot
These are bigger and more expensive birds but they are beautiful to look at and can be amazing talkers making them really amazing pets. Some of the species within Amazons are better for beginners than others because they are less demanding and easier to handle, including the red-lored and the lilac-crowns. They are very clever birds requiring toys, exercise and handling.
Lovebirds are active and playful and can become very attached to their human owners – they can be hand raised and will become very sociable. They need socialisation and shouldn’t be left alone in a cage all the time. They are not too loud, can learn some words and are affectionate birds making them great for beginners.
When choosing your first pet bird as a beginner make sure to do some research on the breeds you are considering, before you go out and commit to buying a bird. You need to know the kind of environment it will need, the size of the cage and what to feed it.
You also need to take into account your lifestyle and how long the bird will be left alone in its cage during the day. If you are not confident in your handling skills then consider a couple of sociable birds which live together for socialisation and don’t need handling.
If you are buying the bird for your children then consider how careful and gentle they will be with a bird, or whether it’s best to get a breed which they can just look at and interact with through the cage instead.
There are many things to think about before buying your first bird – you need to look at the size of cage you need and where you are going to keep it in your house – you don’t want the bird to get hot by being next to a radiator, or in a place where the cage will get knocked regularly. If you have other pets which might be curious you need to make sure they can’t get access to the cage, or knock it over. Birds can make great pets for beginners and bring great joy and song into your home.