If you're thinking of keeping an exotic bird as a pet, there are some things you need to know. Sometimes, it's easy to get attracted to the beauty of these animals and forget the particular care they need. Here are some tips and things to consider if you're looking to keep exotic birds as pets.
Finding a Vet
Avian vets - that is, vets who specialize in birds - can be hard to come by. And when you do come by them, they can be very expensive. If you want to keep an exotic bird for a pet, you'll need to find out where the closest avian vet is. It may be quite a drive, which means you have less time in case of an emergency. Contact your local vets and find out who works with birds in your area.
Is It Legal?
Unfortunately, there is an illegal exotic bird trade going on in the so-called back alleys of the country. If you want to buy a bird from a breeder or pet store, make sure they have only birds that are bred in captivity, not captured from the wild. A pet store should have all of its sources and credentials readily available, so you know you're getting a well-bred bird.
Also, a breeder or pet store should only have birds that are legal to keep in captivity - wild birds such as your local area's songbirds are not usually allowed to be kept in captivity.
Did you know there are exotic bird rescue groups? You can do a quick internet search to locate one in your area or nearby. These groups help find homes for unwanted exotic birds, which is, unfortunately, a growing problem. This is a great way to find a bird that's already trained and used to people, or one that needs a bit of rehabilitation. You can also sometimes find exotic bird chicks through rescue groups.
Know What's Involved (It's a Lot)
An exotic bird is not just another pretty face. You may be attracted to what you've seen online, or with people you know - you've seen these wonderful bird-human relationships where the bird rides around on the person's shoulder while they go out and run errands, or the parrot talks and does tricks, and so forth. What these videos and glimpses don't show is all the time and patience it took to get there!
Exotic birds need lots of space. They need a clean, well-ventilated environment and time outside of their cage - and lots of time with you! And their cage needs to be big. You'll need to buy healthy food and supplement with fresh fruits and vegetables, and that can get expensive.
Exotic birds can make wonderful, loving pets as long as you have what it takes to invest in them.