I love watching the exploration that goes on with new parrot owners. It’s such an exciting time. Everyday is an adventure as you learn one amazing parrot fact after another, and you can’t even imagine that there is any creature on this planet that is cooler than your bird.
You start making new friends (because your other ones think you’re crazy). Right about this time, you begin thinking about how great it would be to bring another parrot into your home.
The math seems simple enough: 1 bird = love, therefore 1 bird + 1 bird = twice as much love. I have been there, so I really get it. I have failed to stop myself from getting another bird more times than I will admit to. Learning to put the brakes on did not come easily. Looking back, I wish I had done things differently.
If I had not been so anxious to start my bird family, I would have taken the time to really get to understand the complexities of the one bird I started with. I had some behavior problems with him- he would always scream to come out of his cage. I knew that if I let him out, the screaming would stop…until following day when he wanted to be let out, at which time I would repeat the actions of the day before. Bird screams – I open cage door.
This pattern continued for some time. It really didn’t seem like a problem – as long as I let the bird out, the screaming always stopped and life was good. I had no idea of the monster I was creating.
A few months later, I got a second bird. And as they so often do, the new bird mimicked the behaviors of the first, and now I had two screaming birds . Eventually, I would fumble my way through to the right solution – with twice the volume as before, that happened sooner than later.
With the addition of the second bird, I could notice a shift in my first bird’s loylties to his human family. We had to schedule times into the day to work with each bird seperately to keep them socialized to us at the beginning. It was far more complicated than the math equation that computes that 2 birds doubles the love.
Don’t be in a hurry to expand your avian family. You have your whole life to enjoy the flock of birds you might wind up with one day. Use this time, right now, to continue your learning and master the skills of bird ownership. Step back and really think things through, because your decision to get another bird could very well change the now that you love so much.
Author Patty Jourgensen specializes in avian health, behavior and nutrition and has been working with and caring for rescue birds since 1987.