Beautiful Birds in the Home From Social Media
by Robert Hudson
Iago is a 6 year old Green Wing Macaw living in England, and he has stunning colors.
The red-and-green macaw, also known as the green-winged macaw, is a large, mostly-red macaw of the genus Ara. This is the largest of the genus Ara, widespread in the forests and woodlands of northern and central South America.
Lifespan 70 years
Macaws have a reputation for biting even their owners, and you can imagine the damage it may cause. This specie of Macaw is considered the friendliest and least likely to bite.
Milo is a 10 year old Quaker parrot who lives in Calgary, Alberta.
The monk parakeet, also known as the Quaker parrot, is a species of true parrot in the family Psittacidae. It is a small, bright-green parrot with a greyish breast and greenish-yellow abdomen. Its average lifespan is 20–30 years. Wikipedia
Quaker parrots are native to Argentina and the surrounding area in South America. Although it thrives in the subtropics, Quakers have adapted well to areas throughout Europe and North America where they have escaped or been released.
How old is Max?
Max is 27 years young. He lives with Tycho, a 26 year young African Grey, and frequent visitor Tikal the Amazon (46 years young).
What is the biggest challenge in having a large parrot like the Cockatoo?
Where to begin? You are living with a toddler for life. A constant need for attention, a need for new stimulation and enrichment. Paired with the challenges of large parrots. The mess. The noise. The requirement to provide a varied balanced diet (Whole food – veggies and fruit to compliment pellets and seed).
What is the greatest reward for having a bird like Max?
Max is a rescue. Every day is a gift – being trusted by a large parrot, being accepted as flock, and being selected to be the primary person and caregiver is a huge reward. There is a lot of joy in watching Max continue to learn and explore, to discover new things, and to grow in confidence in himself. Even after 17 years (Max joined our flock as a rescue at 10 years old), he is always learning, exploring and continuing to expand his horizons. Very rewarding, but large parrot ownership isn’t for everyone.
What first attracted you to cockatoos?
Initially, when I adopted Tycho the African Grey, we were looking for a Cockatoo. We wanted a bird that was social, intelligent, and welcoming of an extended flock (not just a one person bird). At the time that Max joined our flock, we did have a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, but despite all the promises, he was very much a one person bird who only wanted my ex-husband. Unfortunately that parrot is no longer with us, but the rest of the flock is. Thena, the lesser sulphur crested, was adopted as a parrot who would be accepting of the entire household – but she had different ideas, despite Nicole being her primary caregiver. Max initially came to the house – and the last thing his owners said was that he loved men and hated women. Despite this, Nicole agreed to foster him, and eventually adopted him as part of her flock. Max has chosen to trust and adopt Nicole as his primary flock member. When we are out and he is tired he shows preference for men, but always has a special trust and relationship with the one person who saw potential in him, and who had the patience and tenacity to work with him.
Max chose me, rather than the other way around. The intention wasn’t to add a Moluccan Cockatoo to the flock. However, Max had different ideas and he made his choice to live with us. He is a huge blessing, and a huge character.
It looks like you take him outside on outings- is he difficult to control in those settings, does he scare easily to loud noises and other things while outside?
Max is sometimes a bit shy about outings. It is only in the past few years that he has felt safe enough to be outdoors. He always goes out on a harness (He thinks it keeps his pet hooman safe, but it is critical to protect your flock members with appropriate restraints). Initially he was only comfortable on the patio close to the house, but has become more adventurous over time, willing to explore the neighborhood, and go on adventures to local parks, events, and pet stores. He is still nervous around wide open spaces like open fields – and keeps a careful eye on his pet hooman. The full body harness (Aviator by Parrot University) ensures that he is kept safe and secure, even if spooked. He watches what is happening quite carefully – insists that we go indoors immediately if the sky threatens to drop (rain from the sky is clearly dangerous), but is very open to new experiences. He is more relaxed when other friends are around (i.e. Q or Hitchcock, other Moluccans that we frequently would meet up with pre-covid), and when other people are around. That distracts him and he is very curious. Adventures are part of his life – he is watchful and cautious in new situations, but welcomes the opportunity for enrichment. When he was younger (early 20s), he wasn’t ready to go outside on adventures – too scary. But he continues to develop a comfort level and trust in his environment. and knows that his pet hooman will keep him safe. A relationship based on trust, and providing him with choices around his own activities has gone a long way to build that trust.
Was Max hard to train and bond with?
When I first met Max he was screaming non-stop (24 hours a day, 366 days a year), and was impossible to handle. He was angry with the world. It took years to build a relationship based on consistency, regular rules and trust – both me trusting Max and him trusting me. Today he is a very different bird – he is predictable, and can be handled even in stressful situations. I have had to evacuate him to the basement during a tornado warning, where alarms were sounding, and there was an urgency to remove him from the cage and take him into the scary basement. He was fine. Such a change.
COMMON NAMES: Grey parrot, African grey parrot, Congo grey parrot, Congo African grey parrot
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Psittacus erithacus
ADULT SIZE: Measuring about 13 inches, weighing just under 1 pound
LIFE EXPECTANCY: On average, 40 to 60 years in captivity
This parrot’s whole body is grey except for it’s red tail feathers. It is known for its’ amazing talking ability and appears to exhibit an understanding of the meaning of the words in their context. Jenny lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and goes on many outdoor excursions, with a safety harness and leash.
Einstein is one of the most well known parrots on social media. He has been a star on you tube for years for his incredible speaking ability and vocabulary.
“After researching all the different parrot species we found each species to have different traits that made them unique. Cockatoos were cuddly, Macaws had beautiful colors, but it was the intelligence of the African grey that won us over after learning about Alex and the research Dr. Pepperberg had done on their intelligence,” Marcia told me.
“It’s important to note that not all African grey parrots talk. I know several who say only a few words and sounds. A person should never get a parrot because they want one to talk. They should be loved whether they talk or not. If a person wants one that talks, they should adopt one that is older a proven talker. The person should also be aware that it does take time and patience to bond with an adoptive parrot. They do not accept change well, and are very cautious with new people and surroundings. African greys are very complicated to say the least.”
How long does it take him to learn a new word?
“It all depends. Sometimes a couple of days, sometimes weeks or months, sometimes never. It all depends if he finds the word interesting and wants to repeat it.”
Topaz the Golden Conure
Conures are a large group of small to medium size parrots from central and south America. They range from mostly green to bright vibrant colors. Their beaks are usually grey or black. Topaz’s Facebook page has been inactive for two years and their youtube page has more recent posts.
Parakeets are the most common pet bird and often are people’s first pet bird. They are relatively easy to care for, easy to tame/bond with, and inexpensive compared to other birds. Pickles is one in a flock of 11 budgies and a ‘tiel picked to live in a house, play together, and have fun. This is an active and fun Facebook page
Mithu The Rose Ringed Parakeet
The rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri), also known as the ring-necked parakeet, is a medium-sized parrot native to Africa and India. Their Facebook page has been inactive since last year, but there are plenty of pics and videos of this beautiful creature.
Kasai is a female peach-faced lovebird and she is very curious in her owner’s surroundings and extremely talkative. Lovebird is the common name for the genus Agapornis, a small group of parrots in the Old World parrot family Psittaculidae. Of the nine species in the genus, eight are native to the African continent, with the grey-headed lovebird being native to Madagascar. Wikipedia They have been bred for various colors. They are small in stature but their beak is three times the size of a parakeet or cockatiel’s and their bite really hurts! Look for a hand raised bird that is used to people. They are stockier than a parakeet with much shorter tail feathers. They live up to 20 years according to one internet source and Wikipedia says 10 to 15 years