NOTE: Images of the other birds mentioned here can be seen at the end of the blog.
One of the things that is not often discussed on this blog is my personal affinity for birds. I have my parents to thank for this. Back in the mid-1980s, they bought my sister a Lutino Cockatiel that she named Princess. It was not a financially burdensome purchase for my parents and was a cheap and very loyal pet to own (We also owned hamsters and after my sister and I grew up, moved out, and starting our own families, my parents finally committed to dachshunds, the pet that we REALLY WANTED when we were younger). Princess tragically flew away in 1986 after owning him for three years. We got another Grey Cockatiel named Pepper in 1986 that tragically died a year after we bought him. During my high school and college years, we owned two more Grey Cockatiels that ‘bonded’ with each other and a pesky Lovebird by the name of Mango that we sold to breeders after we moved out and went to college.
As a person who got older, matured, and started a family, I moved away from owning birds after having my daughter in 1998. But it was a hobby that was always interesting to me. After my son asked to own a bird for his 8th Birthday (Which was a request that came out of “Nowhere”), we bought him a Grey Cockatiel with a Cinnamon Pearl mix named Chili. Like the previous four cockatiels that we owned, Chili has been a fantastic bird. Cockatiels are loyal, curious, much more intelligent than you would believe, and affectionate. But owning this little guy got me interested in purchasing a larger more challenging bird of my own.
The most important aspect of owning a bird is doing your research. Of all the birds to own, parrots are my personal favorite. They are incredibly intelligent birds that remains the only living species on this planet that directly evolved out of small meat-eating dinosaurs. But when you live in a townhouse, noise is one of the most important factors to account for when it comes to bird ownership. African and South American birds, while making amazing pets, can often be quite loud, incredibly active, and noisy. So even though I adore African Grey Parrots and Macaws, these birds were out. Same with the stunningly beautiful Amazonians. Australian parrots have a reputation for not only being great pets (The Cockatiel is native to Australia) but also very mellow and quiet. This list here gives a great breakdown of the behavior and basic scientific stats on Australian Parrots. I wanted a bird that could also live 20 to 25 years. I quickly narrowed my list down to a few birds: The gorgeous Princess Parakeet, the Superb Parrot (Known as a Barraband in Australian), and the Bourke’s Parakeet.
Bourke’s Parakeets are incredibly popular but difficult to find. My local bird store often carries Princess Parakeets and Superb Parrots. But Princess Parakeets can be loud birds if not trained and can have aggressive personalities. So these birds were out. But while studying the Barrabands, I came across a relative of this bird, the Regent Parrot or Rock Pebbler. After researching them, I quickly decided this would be my future pet.
Regent Parrots are stunning birds that fit in nicely with the thriving Australian parrot population. Unlike the cockatiel, these birds require much more effort by the pet owner. The bird needs to move around inside the house for a couple hours a day. He needs social interaction and the ability to move and fly freely. It is an athletic bird that also can mimic sounds very well. It is also hearty and can handle certain weather and environmental conditions that can kill its smaller parrot brethren. They also have a diverse diet. With owning parrots now for over a dozen years, I felt this would be the first medium-sized parrot to tackle as my next challenge.
The Rock Pebbler is a lovely bird. Since bringing him home, he has been enjoyable to watch as he navigates around our townhouse curious about every little detail. He likes to fly from his cage to someone’ s shoulder or perch on top of a computer monitor or couch. He likes to chew on my ear, nose, or hair as a sign of affection. I can already tell that this is going to be a new and wonderful experience.
I will likely post an occasional picture of Basil (His Name) on my blog. If you have any questions about owning one of these wonderful parrots, feel free to reach out. Even though I am not an ornithologist, I understand these parrots very well and can help give advice on which of these spectacular animals you should own. Until next week when I will likely return with Part 4 of my CRT series.
EXPERT OF SOME