Is it a good idea to give someone a bird as a present?

Today is my birthday.   It is also the very first time I ever wrote a blog.  As I was contemplating what to write, it clearly came to me.  Is it a good idea to give someone a bird as a present?  With the holidays fast approaching,  I thought this would be very timely. Unfortunately, this is not an easy question with a clear cut answer.

We get this a lot at our store and I am almost always at a loss for words. Someone wants to get that special present for that very important person in their lives. It is truly a very loving, noble thing to do and with lots of thought and planning, a great idea.  Keeping in mind that parrots are very long lived, I would strongly recommend knowing what the person is looking for, or better yet, bringing them with you.

Many decisions go into getting the parrot that is right for you.  As I start to question people as to the qualities that are most important to them , I get talking followed by loving.   Also of importance is the vocalizing (loudness) of a species, its looks, its type of personality,  and it’s ability to get along with a number of people.   While cage size does not come up much when someone is looking for a gift,  I consider that of major importance.  Birds need certain size cages based on the type of bird and its energy level.  Several of the cages needed for the more popular birds are rather large.  Now the available places to put a cage might be drawn into question  and  how much of their living space are they realistically willing to give up for a new pet can become an issue. Add in bird toys (a necessity), perches and food, and suddenly the purchase dollar commitment has substantially changed.  Another reality of parrot ownership is that most of the investment is done up front.

Parrots are not something you can order from a shelf or return easily.  Bird breeding season is quite short and availability has been severely limited the past few years.  Getting an older bird off of the internet might sound like a good idea on the wallet, but it generally holds true “you get what you pay for”.  Most people generally look to get rid of their bird due to bad behaviors such as screaming and feather plucking to name a few.  In a lot of cases, the “bargain” bird is a biter and cannot be held.  Instead of getting something of pleasure,  you have just purchased a job.  Careful consideration to getting a lifetime companion is key.  Getting the right bird is extremely important.  Doing that for someone else could be a daunting task.

Asking a lot of questions in advance could help save time all around.  Bringing the person with you is ideal.  If a customer calls us in advance and gives us a heads up, we will be more than happy to keep their secret.  Birds as well as prospective owners have been known to fall in love.   That would make the decision extremely easy.  In any case, doing so at the very least ensures the likability of parrot and owner.

Hopefully this blog has given you fuel for thought.  Most birds are flock oriented and find comfort and safety in being with people they love in familiar surroundings.  It is heartbreaking to see or hear of a bird going from one home to the next.  They are amazing animals deserving of our love and respect.  Starting off with the right bird from the very beginning helps ensure a happy ending all around.
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