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Before The Bird

Important things to know about owning a pet bird

By Kristen Arns

Tips for prospective bird ownersParrots are quickly becoming one of the most popular household pets, and with good reason. They are beautiful, highly intelligent, playful and loving. However, they are also quickly becoming a frequent presence in shelters and sanctuaries. Parrots are an enormous responsibility, and many people don’t seriously consider this before purchasing one. Parrots possess many features that make them unique, but the traits that often endear them to us are also the ones that can lead to their abandonment.

A parrot is a lifetime companion, capable of living 50 years and, with proper care, many live much longer, perhaps 70 or 80 years. (Generally speaking, larger parrots live longer than small parrots.) Many parrots have the intelligence of a 3- to 5-year-old child. They can also be emotional, and some become very attached to their owners. They must receive adequate time out of the cage and ample options for entertainment; namely toys, play stands and human interaction.

**For the full article, pick up the 2009 issue of Birds USA or click here to buy the issue.**

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