Parakeets – Bird Guides
"Does your parakeet look like the one in the picture? If not, you may be asking "What the heck is a Parakeet?"… Find out here!
Parakeets make great pets – they are small, friendly, playful, and outgoing!
Parakeets are members of the parrot family. Their name actually means “long tail.” They are more on the small to medium size for parrots, with long and tapered tails, unlike other parrots who are stockier with more squared tails.
These birds have a lot of energy, and come in a variety of colors. They are naturally flock birds and therefore like to socialize with other birds as well as with people. Because of this and their love for attention, they make great pets and are a very popular bird. There are several types of parakeets available… Read More
The Featured Pet for this week is: The Grey Cockatiel!
Have you ever known anyone who owned a cockatiel, or seen one in pet stores? Chances are, you have! The Grey Cockatiel in particular is the most common variety of cockatiel available and is very popular as a pet bird. They are delightful birds and are very personable – not only are they sociable and somewhat easy to care for, but they are also well-known for their train-ability. If you are wanting a pet bird, cockatiels can be a great first choice.
Here is a funny story. When I was little, and before I really started to keep pets, I saw an ad in the paper for a cockatiel that came with a cage and all accessories. I got so excited and ran in to see my parents, telling them I just had to have this dog that was advertised! I thought that cockatiels were dogs, not birds! We all had a good laugh and I continued on my search for a pet.
Cockatiels are considered wonderful pet birds for many reasons. They are not generally very noisy, which is a big plus because many people stay away from pet birds due to their stereotype of being noisy. They are also hardy birds, relatively small, easy to breed, and can handle changes in their environments relatively well. They also fare well when they must be left alone for long periods of time with little to no interaction.
The Grey Cockatiel is the most common and is not a variation or mutation of the wild birds. In the wild, the Grey Cockatiels are the rule and their coloring is usually gray with white along the outside edges of the wings. Other variations are bred in captivity – such as the lutinos, pearls, cinnamons, etc. Cockatiels are considered parrots, which is indicated by their beak shape. However, they do have long tails, which is uncharacteristic for parrots and is more similar to the parakeets. They are not large birds either, only reaching 12 inches in length and weighing only 3 to 4 ounces.
Even though cockatiels are hardy birds, they still need an optimum environment to thrive. You will want to make sure they have a large enough cage that they can roam around in, or that they have a regular playpen or area that they are let out to during the day. Keep the playpen and cage areas clean and provide your cockatiel with plenty of fresh water and nutrient-rich food. Their food should consist of such things as nuts, fruits, vegetables, and seeds. Commercially prepared foods made specifically for cockatiels or small parrots generally work well and contain all the necessary vitamins and minerals they need. You may also want to supply them with a cuttle bone to keep their beaks strong and trimmed. Keeping a large dish of water at the bottom of their cage (and cleaning it regularly) encourages them to take baths, which they love! You will also want to trim their wings regularly – so that they don’t accidentally fly away through an open window or door.
One of the best attributes of cockatiels is their intelligence and ability to be trained! Cockatiels that have been handled since they were babies are generally very sociable and love attention and are easy to train. Younger ones (between 12-14 weeks) are the easiest to train. The most basic tricks include stepping up on your fingers and switching from hand to hand. After that is established, other neat tricks include whistling, ringing bells, climbing ladders, and spreading their wings on cue.
If you would like to learn more about keeping Grey Cockatiels as pets check out the Grey Cockatiel page!
Jasmine is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.
Companion birds – including canaries, cockatiels, parakeets, lovebirds, cockatoos and African Grey parrots – are very popular pets. For the right pet owner, these birds can provide daily enjoyment, as well as companionship for many years. If you’ve ever thought about getting a companion bird for your household, how do you know which type is the best for you?
There are a number of different factors to consider.
1. What size pet can your household comfortably handle? Parakeets and canaries are small birds, and can be kept in relatively small homes and apartments. On the other hand, some types of cockatoos can be up to two feet tall and need significantly more space.
2. How much of an issue is noise? Some companion birds are more talkative than others. African Greys, for example, are a very popular parrot species and can develop vocabularies of hundreds of words or more – and they like to talk. Cockatiels, on the other hand, tend to be whistlers. If you live in an apartment building you may wish to consider a quieter type of bird.
3. How much “cuddling” do you want to do with your bird? Although much of this depends on each individual bird, there are some general differences between bird types. For example, cockatoos generally tend to be more “hands on” than African Greys.
4. Is this your first bird? If this is going to be your first time keeping a companion bird as a pet, consider a smaller and lower-maintenance breed such as a parakeet.
5. How much time are you going to be able to spend with your new bird on a regular basis? The more intelligent types of companion birds require more stimulation and direct interaction with you, so be honest about your lifestyle. If you’re rarely home, or travel often, then perhaps this isn’t the best type of pet for you.
6. What is your budget for your pet? Parakeets are inexpensive and can be found in many pet stores, while cockatoos are harder to find and may cost a thousand dollars or more. In addition, when you buy a companion bird you’ll be responsible not only for the cost of the bird, but also the cost of a cage, toys, and food for years to come – don’t forget to take these other costs into account.
7. How long are you willing to have the pet? Canaries generally live for up to ten years, while African Greys can sometimes live for 70 years.
8. How concerned are you with keeping control over your surroundings? Put another way, are you a “neat freak?” Companion birds can sometimes make a mess of their cage, and can sometimes be destructive when they are out of their cage, particularly the larger birds.
Consider all of these factors, and you might find the type of companion bird that will be a satisfying pet for years to come. To see more on how to choose the right bird for you, see the Choosing a Pet Bird page!
Indian Ringneck Parakeet
Psittacula krameri manillensis
"These parakeets are widely spread out, ranging throughout Asia and Africa!
This parakeet is often called the Noble Parakeet!
Indian Ringneck Parakeets have been around for thousands of years and have been admired for that long. Being one of the larger parakeets, people love them for their beauty, their ability to talk and intelligence, ease of breeding, and how easy they are to train. Many different color variations are available and many breeders love to try for these! Read More
Because parakeets are friendly, relatively easy to keep, and inexpensive, they are a popular choice for new and experienced bird owners alike. While they are easy to keep, there are a number of important points to remember when caring for your pet parakeet.
Parakeets are very intelligent and social birds. They need to have direct interaction with you just about every day. At a minimum, this means that you should hold your bird and gently pet it and talk to it lovingly. Try to play with your bird for at least half an hour a day.
Make sure your bird has lots of toys to play with. This is a great way to keep your bird stimulated, and to keep it happy.
Watch for the signs of “bad behavior” (including biting or a general reluctance or resistance in interacting with you). For parakeets, this is often a sign that they are not receiving enough attention or activity. Start to play with your bird a little more, and get a new toy for it.
Make sure your parakeet has a large enough cage. As with most birds, the bigger the cage, the better. In addition, make sure the cage has an adequate number of perches and room for toys.
Parakeets enjoy a varied diet, and it is essential for their continued good health. Traditional birdseed or bird food pellets can be the backbone of your parakeet’s diet, but include small pieces of fruit as a treat from time to time. Just make sure to remove the fruit from the bird’s cage if it isn’t eaten within a few hours. You can also give them occasional “birdie treats” that are sold at most pet food stores.
Be gentle. Remember that your parakeet is a small animal, and that being grabbed can be scary to it or could injure it. For this reason, some parakeet owners have had great success with cages that have a top or side that opens completely, so that they don’t have to remove their bird through a small cage door.
Teach your bird to perch on your finger. This takes time and patience, but it can become a great way to interact with your bird.
Make sure to keep your cage in an area of your home that doesn’t get too cold. Parakeets don’t do well and can get sick unless the temperature is above 70 degrees. Also, keep them away from fans, windows, air conditioners, or anywhere else there might be a draft.
Let your parakeet fly around your house on occasion for exercise and stimulation. Just make sure your windows and doors are closed, and there aren’t any ceiling fans running.
The best rule of thumb is to be patient and even-tempered with your parakeet, and spend time interacting with it. Parakeets can be a great pet when they are cared for properly.
Just because you live in an apartment doesn’t mean that you are limited in the pets you can own. If you want a cat or dog, it will help to know how to choose one who will love your third floor walk up or that first floor garden unit.
Check your rental agreement
The first place to go is to the rental office. If you are moving to another apartment, checking on their pet policy might want to be your first order of business. For your current apartment, reread your lease. Now that you want a pet, it will be imperative to know if it is even possible where you live.
Some agreements have stipulations even when you are allowed pets so read the fine print. There could be weight limit or size limit. Owning fish may be limited to smaller tanks and not the larger ones you see in doctor’s offices or restaurants.
Don’t forget the cost as well. To own a pet can add another one hundred dollars or more to your monthly rent. Increased cost is most likely due to the possibility of pet stains on rugs and damage to the apartment dwelling itself.
Top Apartment Pets
1. Fish – These are some of the most unobtrusive pets. They amuse themselves by swimming all day and only need to eat at intervals. The size of your fish or the aquarium might be in question but generally fish are allowed as long as the tanks are well maintained.
2. Reptiles and amphibians – Snakes are not the only reptiles. Many apartments will allow them as long as they are non-poisonous and kept in a tank. But, there are also small lizards like newts and salamanders. Don’t forget your friendly neighborhood turtle.
3. Birds – They can sing but don’t let them squawk. Try to stay away from macaws, parakeets in large numbers, cockatoos and other vocal birds. Apartment walls are not thick enough to stop a loud bird from keeping the neighbors up all night.
4. Small furry animals – This would include hamsters, guinea pigs, mice and rabbits. The major hurdle here is the smell. These pets need constant cleaning of their cages. If there is an issue with cleanliness, your landlord may ask them to go.
5. Cats – This furry creature is usually not a problem in most apartments. They keep to themselves and don’t make a lot of noise.
6. Dogs – Large dogs are not a good match for apartments because of the limited space during the day. Even small dogs need to be walked but they often fare better during the day when left alone.
Just because you live in an apartment doesn’t mean that you can’t have a companion of the animal variety. Check with your landlord and then choose a pet to suit your needs.
The Featured Pet for this week is The Maximilian’s Pionus Parrot!
Although not necessarily the most well-known bird among amateur pet owners, the Maximilian’s Pionus is actually a great little parrot for bird lovers or for someone looking for a relatively quiet, yet interactive and loving bird.
I have had a Maximilian named Daidie for 14 years and she is quite a character. I got her as a baby and hand-fed her through a syringe. She bonded to me and has gone with me everywhere and been with me through everything since.
There are several different types of pionus parrots, and they all have their pros and cons. I particularly like my Maximilian because she is generally quiet, has learned to speak many words, and is a great companion most of the time. Her famous words and phrases include: I love you, whatcha doin?, peekaboo, and hello. Whenever I walk into the room she will get extremely excited, start saying “Whatcha doin?”, run over to her bell and start ringing it, and finally end her excitement by continually turning around in circles until I open her cage to let her out! She is so animated and truly loves me!
The Maximilian does not have the most varied colors in the world, but it does have a distinct and subtly beautiful appearance. They generally have a green head and body, with purple-ish feathers growing around their neck and bright red feathers on the underside of their tails.
They have very good personalities as well. They are often capable of bonding to more than one person when they are young, and that makes them a good “family” pet bird because many people will be able to hold them. They don’t tend to scream or screech all that much either, unless they are really in distress, which makes them a much more ideal bird for close quarters or apartment life than, say, a macaw or cockatoo would be. They have great memories and can learn many tricks, words, and phrases that you want to teach them.
As far as feeding, they should be fed a good and varied diet. Buying prepackaged small parrot food is a good start, but sometimes these have too many sunflower seeds, which should be somewhat limited in their diet. You will want to make sure their food has both large and small seeds because they need both. In addition, giving them daily fresh foods that include fruits a vegetables will help make sure they are getting the vitamins and minerals they need and live a healthier and longer life. To keep their beaks trim (because they continuously grow!), you may want to add mineral blocks or chew toys for them. And of course, make sure your pionus has plenty of fresh water every day!
Housing for your pionus should be relatively large – with possibly a play area outside of their cage that they can spend time in (provided it is safe and there are not cats or other hazards around). You should give them plenty of opportunity to exercise by letting them outside of their cage because like with all animals, being sedentary can cause problems. Giving them large toys that they can play with and chew on is important for their beaks and to keep them from getting bored. Many Maximilian’s also love to take baths – so you may want to include a large, deep water dish for them to bathe daily in!
The Maximilian’s Pionus can fly, so it is generally recommended to trim their feathers so they do not accidentally fly out the window or door of your house. I trim my bird’s feather’s probably every 2-3 months.
So, if you are looking for a sweet, relatively small and quiet bird, who will amaze you with their intelligence and love, you may just want to consider a Maximilian’s Pionus! To learn more, visit the Maximilian’s Pionus page!
Jasmine is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.
"This beautiful canary is bred specifically to bring out the spangled effect present in its feathers!"
The lizard canary is a beautiful developed breed of canary that has not been changed at all!
The lizard canary is one of the oldest original canary breeds, but it has had a rough history. In the early 1900’s there was an extinction scare, with only a couple dozen breeding pairs left by the 1940’s. This was due to the two world wars and disease epidemics spreading. They were able to spring back with the help of the Lizard Canary Association of Great Britain, which started a “come-back” breeding program. This allowed the Lizard Canary to thrive once again and now is one of the most widely available types of canaries… Read More
Greater Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
"If you give me lots of love, I guarantee I will love you back!"
Greater Sulphur-crested Cockatoos are great talkers, love to learn tricks, and require
tons of attention, but they make awesome and loving companions!
The Greater Sulphur-crested Cockatoo comes originally from Australia and was first brought to other areas by Captain Cook – the famous explorer – in 1790. They are very well-known birds and can live very long lives if taken care of properly. One bird has been documented to have lived to 120 years old! Read More
How can anyone not love these furry little critters?!? Entries from the Fresh Step contest will change anyone’s mind.
I entered the Fresh Step contest about a month ago, and have been checking back routinely to see the competition that my little Bridget is up against. Long and short of it: her chances might be getting sort of slim.
For those of you who don’t know or haven’t been reading Fresh Step has been running a contest where anyone can upload their video of their cat doing something silly, cute, crazy, awesome, beautiful, funny, whatever to the Fresh Step YouTube page and have a chance at their cat being featured in a national Fresh Step advertisement. If you want to enter simply click here – http://www.youtube.com/freshstep – and follow the instructions at the top right hand part of the page.
I’m not sure how anyone could see some of these entries and not adore cats.
- Watch this one for instance:
Really?!? I have a new meaning in my life and some people still complain that cats are no fun?
- Or this:
Honestly, there is a reason cats have been such a perennial favorite pet. They are smart, clean, fun to watch, fun to pet, and just so awesome to have around. Some people say they don’t do anything or they don’t obey, but clearly the first part is not true and the second part is just part of their nature. They may not obey, but as all us cat lovers know, they are still loyal and loving.
- Check out this final entry from the contest:
Those three are my favorites. Though I love Bridget I maintain that she has some tough competition from some of you guys, but the game is still afoot!
If you liked those videos be sure to check out the rest at the Fresh Step contest page here – http://www.youtube.com/freshstep.
Note: In full-disclosure, this post is part of a sponsorship campaign with Clorox’s Fresh Step Cat Litter’s YouTube contest in coordination with Lijit Networks, Inc. I received compensation for these posts, but the opinions expressed here are my own. I also run third-party advertisements through Lijit, compensated on a CPM-basis.