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January Is National Adopt a Rescued Bird Month!

Posted December 18, 2014 in Bird Health & Care

Dr. Laurie Hess gives you the information you need to welcome a new bird into your home. For more great pet tips, be sure to visit Dr. Laurie's Facebook page!

You probably didn’t know this, but January is National Adopt a Rescued Bird month, a great time to bring a new feathered friend into your home. There are thousands of abandoned, homeless birds in need of adoption, and with the aid of the Internet, you can actually see and learn about them without ever leaving your house. 

With so many birds available, how do you know which one would be right for you? As a bird veterinarian, I of course love all species of birds. However, when it comes to choosing a bird to rescue, I do have a few favorites. Here is my pick of the top 5 most desirable birds, from smallest to largest, you might want to consider adopting if you are thinking about getting an avian companion:

1. Cockatiel – a great starter bird for any family. They are very gentle birds that are great with children and that can be tamed easily to sit on your hand. They also can be taught to whistle and sing. As small birds, they don’t take up lots of space and don’t make as much mess as a larger parrot, plus they can live twenty or more years when cared for properly. While they need attention daily, they are not as socially demanding as some of the larger parrots. They are also not as loud as bigger birds, so they make great birds for smaller apartments even if neighbors are close by. They do well as individuals or in pairs and are prolific egg-layers. They come in a variety of colors (yellow, white, gray) and a variety of patterns (pied, pearled, cinnamon, Lutino) and are terrific for families with children.

2. Caique – not a well-known species but definitely one of my favorites. Caiques are small to medium-sized, stocky-looking parrots that have the reputation of being very energetic and clownish. They love to be held, roll around, dance, and act silly. Mostly green, white, and orange, they come in a few different subspecies that are named based on the colors on their heads and stomach (i.e. black-headed or white-bellied). They are not excessively loud and often make close bonds with their owners. While they can make good family

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Laurie has more than 15 years of experience in the veterinary industry and is a board-certified bird specialist and exotic animal veterinarian as well as a founding member of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team.