Biking along the boulevard
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- Ontario, Canada
Hello. My name is Danelle, and as we're currently researching birds, I found this thread and am glad I did.
Our fourteen-year-old daughter is a "bird person" and, as her beloved bantam hen recently passed, she is now wanting to move up to something more advanced. We've been talking to avian specialists and pet store folks, and are being steered toward either a pionus or a crimson-bellied conure.
We have a fairly busy house, as we have four high-energy German Shorthaired Pointers that like to "monitor the street" and bark. They are velcro dogs, and bring me much love and joy. All were fine with the bantam hen being i the house, and one even lets the chickens ride around on his back.
Anyhow, I've been told that pionuses (we're considering a white-capped one) rarely bite, are quiet, are good "starter birds," are not as demanding of attention as some of the other parrots, and are family as opposed to one-person birds. Yet, the comments in this thread seem to dispute what I'm being told; the last thing I want is a bird that bites whenever it's annoyed or jealous, and hard enough to draw blood, at that.
We've also been told to consider a green-cheeked conure (and are looking at a crimson bellied conure), but I've been told they are loud and noisy and constantly chirp ... we want something quiet, as our dogs are, indeed, "bird dogs," and chirpy-birds will "flip a switch" in their heads and make them berserk.
Tonight, we visited a pet store that had hand-raised birds, and visited with a newly-weaned white capped pionus (or is it white crowned? it was a male, and the front half of its forehead was white and the rest of it was greenish) as well as two blue-headed pionuses. We also took out and played with a crimson bellied conure, also a very young bird. The white capped pionus was quite quiet, very curious, happy to sit on my finger and then move sideways up my arm to get onto my shoulder. He bit me once, but not terribly hard. He was very curious and interactive, but I did notice that when my daughter held him, he kept trying to get back over to me ... as this is to be her bird, it worried me that he was showing a preference for me. He seemed to have more "character" than the conure, but he also pooped a LOT.
The two blue-headed pionuses were both flighty and skittish, and one of them bit me hard enough to draw blood.
The green cheeked/crimson bellied conure, also a young bird, was extremely quiet. He/she sat on my finger and also my daughter's finger, but didn't seem quite as confident or curious as the white capped pionus. A very, very sweet bird that never uttered a sound and never pooped.
We were inclined to get the crimson bellied conure, but an avian person told me that even though this young bird was quiet in the store and in the visiting room, it would likely become very chirpy and noisy once we got it home, it matured, and grew comfortable here in its surroundings; he also said it would not be as confident around the dogs as a pionus would be.
I was inclined to go for the pionus ... until I found the comments in this forum, many of which talked about these birds being "one person" birds and also biting hard enough to do some real damage. I don't want a biting bird. And yet, I don't want one that will set off our dogs, either, by lots of "bird noises."
I would love to hear thoughts, and apologize if this is the wrong thread for my post. I'm new here!
I think you'll find it very difficult to find a bird that is quiet... birds are generally loud by nature. And small conures are usually very nippy by nature. I would hate to see a bird get rehomed doing something that is natural to them. Also, mixing predator and prey animals is a really bad idea and a disaster waiting to happen, regardless of how well you think you know your dog. Once again, it's the natural thing. There is also no such thing as a starter bird. I hear that female pionus are generally sweeter than males, but that's a general statement and no guarantee to be your case.
Perhaps another bantam? Or if you're really set on a parrot, then visit a rescue and adopt an adult who is already and quiet, non-nippy, non-one person bird. Or perhaps consider a lineolated parakeet (linnie). I hear they're generally very quiet, shy and reserved. It would take a lot of work on your part to keep the bird tame though, due to their more shy nature.