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Pet birds

Are you looking for a pet but do not have a yard? Does the sound of a bird chirping make you feel happy? Would a colorful bright parrot with blue feathers or a sunny yellow canary perk up your morning? If so, a pet bird might be perfect for you.

The ultimate encyclopedia of caged and aviary birds : a practical family reference guide to keeping pet birds, with expert advice on buying, understanding, breeding and exhibiting birds
David Alderton.
London : Southwater, 2005.
This beautiful comprehensive directory and practical reference book is an essential manual for bird-keepers of all levels--from the novice looking to keep a single pet bird indoors to sthe seasoned breeder wishing to extend an existing aviary collection.
     
Illustrated encyclopedia of caged & aviary birds : a comprehensive visual guide to pet birds of the world
David Alderton.
London : Lorenz Books ; Lanham, MD : Distributed by National Book Network, 2003.
More than 250 species from the major bird groups are featured in this glorious full-color book of caged and aviary birds.
     
Birds off the perch : therapy and training for your pet bird
Larry Lachman, Diane Grindol, Frank Kocher.
New York : Simon & Schuster, c2003.
You love your pet bird, even when he misbehaves, but how can you train him with compassion? Birds off the Perch proves that rewarding good behavior is kinder and more effective than traditional discipline through punishment. This revolutionary approach combines the expertise of an animal behaviorist, a companion parrot consultant and a veterinarian who use "family therapy techniques" -- such as learning to respect the bird's boundaries and viewing sibling rivalry in a broad, environmental context -- to help you change the mischievous behavior of domesticated birds, including: Biting or aggression Screaming Sibling/bird rivalry Jealousy toward its human flock members, and Feather plucking With additional chapters on choosing the right species for your family, breeding behavior and the appropriate medical care for your bird, Birds off the Perch is the only guide you'll need to keep your pet birds healthy and happy.
     

Before buying a bird, think about how much time you have to care for and interact with it. Learn about the different species and pick one that is compatible with your own personality. Consider starting with a small to medium size bird as large birds may be louder and demand more attention.

Some birds require specific diets. Finches occasionally like to have occasional treats like carrot tops and fruits. Some canaries need food high in beta-carotene to maintain their color. Toucans need a low-iron diet.  A veterinarian will help you choose the best foods.

Types of Pet Birds

Amazon Parrots - popular
Canary -  most colorful
Doves - symbols of peace
Finches - hassle-free
Parakeet -  very social

More types

Birds whistle when they are trying to get your attention. They may hear other birds outside, or just want to come out of their cage. When you want your pet bird to stop whistling, one method is to cover its cage.

Some bird's defensive mechanisms can become behavior problems. Birds bite and hiss because they are frightened. To get them to stop, loudly say, No to them.

The size of the birdcage depends on the size of the bird. Small birds need room to fly and large birds need room to spread their wings. Keep your pet birds in their cages when you are not home. This will help ensure they do not get into mischief or injured when they are unsupervised.

Birds can be low-maintenance pets. Yet bird owners must understand their responsibilities to keep their pet in top shape.

More about birds

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff