Parrots have long been known to be great companions to humans. They naturally form a bond when they are treated well and love to communicate. They are also extremely intelligent, often even surprising their owners at times, who have lived with them for years. However, there is so much that even the biggest parrot lovers may not know about their favorite companions.
The first is the belief that it is perfectly natural for them to scream to get attention. In fact, parrots do not scream at all in the wild. They receive a response back when they attempt to communicate with their companions and are able to join them where ever they might be via flight. However, if they live in a cage, they do not have that ability and will become upset when they are not given attention. They also are able to pick up on human behavior, so if you scream to get other’s in the home’s attention, they are going to mimic this. To prevent your parrot from screaming you must set the example and avoid positively reinforcing the behavior by responding. It is best to teach them a more tolerable and effective means of informing you that they need some of your time.
A second misconception people have is that parrots are prone to be biters. This actually is not true. When a parrot is in the wild they simply use body language and visual cues that other birds understand. If a parrot sees that they are not wanted they simply find somewhere else to be. Just like humans, there are times when parrots would simply prefer to be left alone. Unfortunately, some people are not in tuned to these cues and attempt to pet or hold them anyway. This results in the bird learning it must bite in order to be respected. Take the time to learn these cues to prevent instilling a negative behavior.
Something everyone should know about parrots, whether they have one or are considering adding them to their family, is that they are not domesticated animals. Unlike cats and dogs, who have been breed for centuries to meet our preferences, parrots are exactly what they would be in the wild. While they are extremely social creatures and can be great friends, there is a significant difference between the two situations that should be kept in mind.
Two final things you should consider before having a parrot join your home is that they have very complicated nutritional and physiological needs. It will take a great deal of time and research to ensure that your parrot will have the diet it needs to live a long and healthy life. It also may be difficult to get the right care for them for check ups and health issues, as well as expensive. Be sure you know what you are getting into before you make this choice.
Parrots are very different from other birds and pets. The more you know the better your experience will be owning one. Take the time to understand as much as you can so you have a positive experience befriending them.