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Which bird should I get?

Elizabethh

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Hi! I really want to get a parrot but I don't know what kind would match me. I'm a minor, I live in a very spacious house so the bird has plenty of space to fly around in, and I'm home a lot!
Here is a description of what I would want my bird to be like: Very cuddly and not flighty, playful and funny, not something with ear-piercing screams or constantly screaming, and a bird that I could have a very close bond with. Do you guys have any suggestions on what bird I should get? I know obviously there's never be a perfect bird but I would love to hear your opinions! It would also be great if you could list the cons of the birds you suggest.
 
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SeñorBirb

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Cockatiels fit your description, but they can be loud(all parrots can be loud. Just depends on the personality of the bird). Or like @Destiny said, a dove would also be a great choice. I would recommend going to a bird rescue or a breeder to see what they sound like or are a good fit for you. Keep in mind that not all birds (even the species that are known to be "cuddly.") want to be cuddled/touched/playful.
 

Elizabethh

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Perhaps a dove?
I've heard that doves are, for the most part, a hands-off pet and not usually cuddly. I don't know much about them and was kind of thinking more of a parrot species, but I would love to hear your experience with doves.
 

Mizzely

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Cuddly for a parrot means you are potentially their mate. This leads to a whole host of issues as you of course cannot actually be their mate. They may attack you or people around you, or even scream or pluck feathers out of frustration.
 

Destiny

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For parrot species, I would look into parrotlets and caiques. They are funny and active. Very playful and mischievous. They can form a tight bond with their person and *might* be cuddly.

Just keep in mind that most adult parrots are not very cuddly, in the way you might expect from a mammal, like a dog, cat, or even a rat. Baby birds will allow more handling, but once a bird is sexually mature, touch takes on a deeper meaning. It is not something they generally welcome unless it is with their chosen mate. Which is not to say you can't handle your parrot or experience a close bond. It just means that you probably won't get a parrot that likes to be hugged or cuddled.

Also, parrots are noisy, as I am sure you are aware. Bigger parrots tend to be even louder than small parrots, but there really are no quiet parrots. Only "less loud" ones. There's also a decent amount of individual variation, both in the amount of noise a parrot will produce and the amount that a particular person will be able to tolerate. One person's "quiet" parrot might be migraine-inducing to someone who is sensitive to certain sounds.

Basically, there are no guarantees when it comes to parrots and noise level. If noise is a deal-breaker, I would recommend looking at softbills, rather than hookbills. However, if a lot of noise is something you can handle, then there are a number of great parrot species that could fit your other requirements.

Incessant screaming is a possible problem with any parrot. It is more of a behavior issue that can have environmental factors, rather than being a species-specific issue. Good husbandry and training can make a world of difference.
 

Elizabethh

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Cuddly for a parrot means you are potentially their mate. This leads to a whole host of issues as you of course cannot actually be their mate. They may attack you or people around you, or even scream or pluck feathers out of frustration.
Oh, sorry, cuddly isn't the word I should've used. I meant a bird that wouldn't be afraid of me and would like play with my hair or fall asleep on my lap. lol Basically a bird that is the opposite of flighty and shy. Any suggestions? And yes, I know that doesn't really depend on the breed, but any breeds in particular that are easy to train or naturally not as flighty?
 

Destiny

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What size of bird are you interested in? Or do you have a size preference?
 

Elizabethh

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I would prefer something smaller than like an African Grey but bigger than a Budgie, so probably a medium sized bird. Also, what are Green Cheek Conures like? Temperament, noise, etc.? I've heard many great things about them.
 

sunnysmom

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It's great that you are doing your research and asking questions. I will add since you're a minor, it's important that your whole family is on board with this. Having a bird is really a family commitment- no teflon pans, no burning candles, no air fresheners, etc. Everyone being careful of when the bird is out that they just don't walk out the door, leave the window open, etc. And birds need vet care too. We've sadly had a lot of young people come on here who's parents won't take their bird to the vet when he's sick. It's heartbreaking. On top of the vet bills, birds have a lot of other expenses, a big cage, food, toys, a carrier, etc. Also, birds can live a long time. Have you thought about what happens to your bird if you decide to go to college, move away from home, etc. Just some things to think about.

Conures are great little birds. GCCs can be nippy. So, something to be prepared for but still fun and cute. Also, cockatiels are great. And don't underestimate budgies. With training, they can be a lot of fun and some are good talkers.
 

SeñorBirb

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To add on to @sunnysmom, no scented stuff, and if you haven't told your parent/guardians yet, and they are unsure about whether to let you get a bird, make a slideshow or an essay explaining why you want a bird, how to take care of it, etc. This worked well with my parents, along with helping around the house and being responsible.

PLEASE do your research before getting a bird. Here are some good bird YouTubers to check out:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrozpXn44uk0V9uQWFhxJuA (Has three Budgies, GCC, teil)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc7sgU-zW6hQrgv9i6hsbPw (Has three teils)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3LPNxGSun2TgzWOYjTNP1Q (Has a ton of budgies)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ7hvNpc29CfeZrThrjVpbw (Two conures)
https://www.youtube.com/user/MARLENEMCCOHEN (About eleven larger birds, two finches)

Good luck!
 

Sunni Tiel

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I was surprised how loud my cockatiel was when I got him. The first few weeks he was always alert and begging to be near me, but after he calmed down and realized he was safe, he started singing like crazy, dancing and repeating noises. Sometimes it's just a repetitive beep over and over for a minute straight before he moves on to another noise. He is such a sweet bird, always wanting to be around me and copying songs I whistle. He does get needy though.

If noise isn't a problem, you have money saved and extra for emergencies, nips and bites aren't a concern, then a GCC, cockatiel or budgie might be for you. There are so many different options though, those are just some of the most popular.
 

Elizabethh

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Thanks for all the help you guys! Oh and @SeñorBirb I've been just binge watching Elle and The Birds' YouTube Channel haha. I've learned a lot from her videos! I'll give it some more thought and talk to a breeder near me and my parents and let you know which bird I get!
 

SeñorBirb

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Np! It took me a few months to decide whether I wanted a budgie or a cockatiel, so no rush! If you take good care of it, it will live 20+years!
 

tka

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At your age, I think any bird really should be a family pet. Caring for a parrot means changing your home environment to accommodate it: no teflon pans or kitchen appliances, making sure that doors and windows are closed, no air fresheners and most cleaning products. Their care can be expensive, especially veterinary care - it's heartbreaking seeing children and teenagers post on here because their beloved pet is sick or injured and they can't take the bird to a vet. The bird often dies, and with unnecessary pain and distress. Birds hide their sickness well and by the time we notice, they're dangerously unwell - you cannot wait to get them to a vet, even if it is out of hours. Vet bills can run into hundreds, even thousands of pounds/euros/dollars. You need to have a really honest conversation with your parents about this. If they're not happy to take you to an emergency vet if you need one and not happy to help with vet costs, I think you need to think very hard about whether it's responsible to get a bird.

If you plan to attend college, you must be aware that most halls of residences or dorms do not allow pets. You will also have a lot of commitments that mean that you won't have a lot of free time. Are your parents happy to care for your bird to a high standard for several years (perhaps more)? Speaking for myself: I had a long period of instability while I studied and trained for my career. Lots of short-term contracts, lots of moving between employers, lots of moving house. It wasn't until my early thirties that I was settled enough to get a bird.

Parrots have long lifespans. There are several cockatiels in their twenties on this forum. Is this a commitment that you can take on now? If your parents want a bird and are willing to care for it and spend money on it, then yes! However, if they're reluctant to change their lifestyle or don't want to take over the bird's care, then I really would think again. There will still be birds when you are more settled and financially independent.
 

camelotshadow

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Good Luck. Do your research & think ahead least 2 decades.
Birds are unpredictable & no two even in same species are alike.
They are not quiet, are messy, & few will want to sit on your lap.
They will pick whom they want for favorite & it may not be you.
Nothing you can do about it but love them & clean up the mess which most times is not reciprocated in affection like other domestic pets. They are wild & will not want to please you. You have to love & accept them for good & take whatever interaction they choose to give. High expectations may lead to disappointment & the entire house has to be on board with changing there lifestyle, cooking & cleaning etc so that the bird will stay safe.

If you accept this than you can enjoy a bird for what they are & not for what you want them to be.

Cockatiels & GCC are not that big but can be loud. There voice will be heard through out the house & even outside. Tiels can be very easy going & friendly when handraised but be aware they are dusty so not great if someone has bad allergies.

Birds don;t belong in dorms or student housing even if it could be arranged there are too many disruptions & danger for them. So if college is in your future you need to have the family on board to care for them for up to 4 years.

They can be a joy though but you have to be ready & willing to give them what they need not expecting much in return. They can also be expensive as they need a good size cage & toys etc. Funds for vet care also needs to be considered...Lot to consider...

:hug8:
 

Sparkles99

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I know you said you didn't want budgies. Not sure why. I'm putting in a good word for them. If you've been influenced by YouTube or other social media, you should know that they are popular with good reason, & it's not always down to price. Everyone on social media always seems to be 'upgrading' to larger & larger birds.

A very popular, young YouTuber went from 2 budgies to 1 cockatiel to a GCC. So far, it's holding at that. Bet her parents put their foot down. This is sad behaviour. No one buys a chihuahua, then upgrades to a lab, then a few years later gets a mastiff.

There are many adults on this forum who choose to live with budgies, including me. While I wanted a quieter species as I live in an apartment, some of these adults live out in the boondocks & still choose budgies.

Budgies are loud. I'm not contradicting myself. All those people telling you about their 'quiet' budgies, cockatiels or GCCs, really are saying that because, compared to a cockatoo, they're quiet. That doesn't make them actually quiet, as measured in decibels. I was shocked at how loud my first two are & honestly felt a bit betrayed by AA. :roflmao:

We have a minor member right now whose conure (not GCC, but still) is causing his mother distress. My Pistachio & Marzipan came from a house where the mother was sick of the mess & noise. Their owner was in his early 20s; he still had to live at home; it's a tough economy. These people say they're quiet, because compared to their other birds, they are. But you can hear my budgies in the hallway.

I really think you should consider doves, as mentioned by several people, if you would consider non-parrots. They can be hands on. The first bird I ever touched was a dove. Beautiful, quiet (at least then) & as gentle as they come. :xflove:

If I were you, I'd examine my reasons for getting a bird, then my reasons for wanting a particular species or size. You don't have to tell us; this is for you. Be honest with yourself.

I also completely agree with tka. Who's going to take care of this bird when you're off at college? Many parents wouldn't mind a pair of budgies. They might balk at a hormonal conure.
 

Gigibirds

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Very cuddly and not flighty, playful and funny, not something with ear-piercing screams or constantly screaming, and a bird that I could have a very close bond with. Do you guys have any suggestions on what bird I should get?
Honestly, that fits my description of a parrotlet perfectly! They, for the most part, are pretty quiet, and even their loudest screams have never been too bad at all. They are absolutely tiny, so they are perfect for even an apartment! My parrotlet spends all day either at my desk on her playstand or in my hair. She only goes in her cage when I leave the house, she needs to eat, or when it is her bedtime. She also never flies (and no she is not clipped) unless she wants to go to her cage and I didn't take her there in time. She's also potty-trained (only poops in cage/on playstand or if I tell her she can poop somewhere). She is also soooo playful and funny! She likes to turn around in circles on her perch or hang upside-down to get my attention. Her cage used to be on the dining-room table and everyone would comment how she's basically an acrobat! She can also do some tricks like 'kiss kiss', 'step up/down', 'come here', 'stay there', etc. and I have bonded with her more strongly then I have EVER bonded with an animal! (and let me tell you, I've had a TON of pets - dogs and other birds included).
But there is a catch: Before you tame them, p'lets have a heck of a bite. Yes, they are tiny, but they can (if they are super mad) draw blood! Not a lot, and there's no danger of them chomping your finger off or anything, but boy oh boy does it hurt! But after you tame them and bond with them, they are the sweetest, most loyal birds/pets you can ever have! I love mine to pieces! But, they do have quite an attitude! My nicknames for my p'let include 'spoiled little princess' and 'sassy pants'! :roflmao:

So I would 100% recommend a parrotlet. They are my favourite birds ever! But at the beginning they are huge biters, and they will always have an attitude! (but once you have bonded their attitude is just funny - not annoying)

Good luck with your bird-search! My parents let me get my first parrotlet when I was a minor because they are so tiny, quiet* and not-messy* and they fit our apartment perfectly! I would also recommend just getting 1 so you can be bff's with it, instead of having 2 birds that prefer each other to you.

*(in comparison to other birds)
 

Gen120

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I have owned conures, parrotlet and cockatiels. All the advice given so far has been great. I will say I got my first bird when I was 12 after months and months of research. First bird was a cockatiel and they still are one of my favorite species that I have still. My sister also owned budgies as well so I have experience with all the species you mentioned. You have to be prepared for vet bills and proper diet etc. You have to be prepared for future boyfriends and or husbands way down the line obviously to accept your birds.

For example I got an Amazon parrot when I was 15, and I'm 30 now and I still have him. Hes been through a hell of a lot with me, multiple surgeries, relationships etc. I made a promise to him when I rescued him and I kept it. So you have to be prepared for that as well. I have more advice to share but will reply tomorrow again as its late here now.
 

The_Mayor

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I can't answer the question of what sort of bird to get - I'm very fond of my guys, but they don't sound like what you're looking for - but I do have a suggestion.

Before you decide on any bird, read this forum for a month, just click on the "what's new" button and read all the threads that seem interesting. The threads about people celebrating their 1 year or 5 year or 25 year "Gotcha" dates. The ones about the funny, silly things their birds have been doing that enrich their lives. The ones from people frustrated because their bird won't interact with them the way all the birds they see on social media do. The people who are shaken and bleeding from attacks by birds that they've known and cared for for years. The people who are devastated because they made one little mistake - left a door open a moment too long, used a pan they didn't even know was teflon, bought a toy that the bird loved - and now they have a bird that's injured or dead.

I'm not saying this as a long way to say don't get a bird. Mine are flying laps in the cage behind me (I don't have my camera on, but they make a funny little noise when they're flying) and they've enriched my life immensely. But of all the animals we take into our homes, I'd say birds are among the hardest to integrate into our lives.
 
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