Beginner

James79

Regular Member
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Hi all,

I'm very new to all this and a complete beginner. I'm looking at getting an amazon parrot. But was looking for some basic advice and tips. Firstly, I'm considering keeping it outside in an avary that I'm building. Is this recommended? Is this the ideal type of parrot to keep for a beginner?
Male or female? Age? Obviously I have lots of questions but any adive or help would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks in advance
James
 

Lauraj

Regular Member
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Hello and welcome!

I have two parrots, a parrotlet who is around 14 months and an african grey who is 10 months old.
I got my parrotlet first and i thought that she would be a great little bird as she is only tiny and thought it was a great place to start, she is very hard work and in some aspects harder to care for and train than my african grey πŸ˜‚
I know other members with more experience would be able to recommend a good starter bird however i have found that rather than considering the breed of bird think about the time you have and how much time you can commit and put into any parrot in general. Some parrots are harder work than others and more demanding emotionally/physically and some birds enjoy their own company. My grey loves company and wants to be with anybody all the time where as my parrotlet loves her own space and to do her own thing 😊

I keep both my birds indoors and have no aviary experience, however I wish to build one for summer days when both birds can get outside for some sun and fresh air.
Loads of parrot are in rescues needing a good home, i got both my birds as baby birds but the next parrot i own i will certainly look into rehoming!

So far i have had no issues with either of my birds, one is male one is female. However my female is laying eggs and very hormonal at the moment. As both mine are young i haven't had the horrible experience of handling hormonal birds yet haha!

I like you, was a complete beginner and as soon as i moved out wanted my own bird. I have always loved african greys and eventually ended up with my little guy, if you have the time id say do loads of research but go for the bird you have your heart set on.
The members of this forum have been wonderful and very very helpful with me and all my training queries for both my birds.

Good luck in your search and it's great you're looking into parrot owning before taking the plunge 😁
 
:welcome: to the forum from us and our flock. Laura has already done a good job in outlining thoughts and considerations on embarking with being owned by a parrot. I don't have any experience with Amazons, so I will leave that up to others, but it's good that you're looking into everything first rather than impulse buying a bird and then realising what you've gotten yourself into! ;)
 

CaptainHowdy

Regular Member
I have 4 Amazon's and I do not recommend them as pets. Like all parrots when hormonal they can really test the boundaries and they go through the terrible 2's. Then again every year during breeding season once they hit maturity they get hormonal and mardy and really test you. They are also incredibly intelligent and need a lot of mental stimulation. You will find a pattern in the ages a lot of parrots get rehomed at.


Rather than us tell you whether Amazon's would be a good bird why don't you tell us about yourself.

What is it you are looking for in a bird? You say you are looking at an aviary, will the bird be living out year round? If so one on its own isn't going to be ideal, if you are looking at keeping aviary birds they will need a companion of their own species. However they may not be 'tame' like a house bird would be.
What sort of enclosure are you building?
How much time do you have every day to dedicate to them?
How close are your neighbours, you would be surprised just how loud these guys can get!
Do you own or rent, a lot of landlords can be funny about pets and if you rent and a neighbours complains you could have to rehome the bird.

Do you smoke? The smoke is very harmful to the bird even if you don't smoke around them, the residue stays on your clothes and hands and transfers onto the bird which can cause irritation and in severe cases can cause feather plucking.
Do you use anyq sprays, air freshness, candles, incense, Teflon pans etc etc. All these can kill your birds due to the harmful fumes and chemicals in them.

Taking on a bird is often a lifetime commitment. They can live upwards of 40-60 years and can outlive their humans.
Are you prepared to take on a highly intelligent, messy, noisy, destructive, jelous, manipulative toddler for the rest of your life? Cause that's what you get πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Then when you look into finances they aren't cheap to start off with and if you get a destructive one, like mine πŸ˜‚, you are forever replacing toys and they tend to be Β£15+ a pop. To put this in perspective I paid around Β£30 for a couple of new toys for one of my Amazon's. 2 days later they are destroyed. Yeah that's what they are there for, but they don't last! And it sure adds up πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
Then you have insurance and vets bills, vets for parrots tend to be on the expensive side so you can easily spend hundreds on blood work and check ups. Females run the risk of egg related issues aswell.

Do you love with any children or your parents etc? Who will be handling the bird and taking over the general care? I don't tend to recommend parrots as child's pets, I don't allow any children to interact with my guys outside of their cages. And I'm very selective of who I allow children to interact with at all as I know my birds and some of mine hate children.

A lot of questions but if you can give us an insight into your daily life we can better advise on what species may suit your lifestyle and what species to avoid. You don't want a cockatoo if you live in a flat! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
 

James79

Regular Member
Registered
I have 4 Amazon's and I do not recommend them as pets. Like all parrots when hormonal they can really test the boundaries and they go through the terrible 2's. Then again every year during breeding season once they hit maturity they get hormonal and mardy and really test you. They are also incredibly intelligent and need a lot of mental stimulation. You will find a pattern in the ages a lot of parrots get rehomed at.


Rather than us tell you whether Amazon's would be a good bird why don't you tell us about yourself.

What is it you are looking for in a bird? You say you are looking at an aviary, will the bird be living out year round? If so one on its own isn't going to be ideal, if you are looking at keeping aviary birds they will need a companion of their own species. However they may not be 'tame' like a house bird would be.
What sort of enclosure are you building?
How much time do you have every day to dedicate to them?
How close are your neighbours, you would be surprised just how loud these guys can get!
Do you own or rent, a lot of landlords can be funny about pets and if you rent and a neighbours complains you could have to rehome the bird.

Do you smoke? The smoke is very harmful to the bird even if you don't smoke around them, the residue stays on your clothes and hands and transfers onto the bird which can cause irritation and in severe cases can cause feather plucking.
Do you use anyq sprays, air freshness, candles, incense, Teflon pans etc etc. All these can kill your birds due to the harmful fumes and chemicals in them.

Taking on a bird is often a lifetime commitment. They can live upwards of 40-60 years and can outlive their humans.
Are you prepared to take on a highly intelligent, messy, noisy, destructive, jelous, manipulative toddler for the rest of your life? Cause that's what you get πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Then when you look into finances they aren't cheap to start off with and if you get a destructive one, like mine πŸ˜‚, you are forever replacing toys and they tend to be Β£15+ a pop. To put this in perspective I paid around Β£30 for a couple of new toys for one of my Amazon's. 2 days later they are destroyed. Yeah that's what they are there for, but they don't last! And it sure adds up πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
Then you have insurance and vets bills, vets for parrots tend to be on the expensive side so you can easily spend hundreds on blood work and check ups. Females run the risk of egg related issues aswell.

Do you love with any children or your parents etc? Who will be handling the bird and taking over the general care? I don't tend to recommend parrots as child's pets, I don't allow any children to interact with my guys outside of their cages. And I'm very selective of who I allow children to interact with at all as I know my birds and some of mine hate children.

A lot of questions but if you can give us an insight into your daily life we can better advise on what species may suit your lifestyle and what species to avoid. You don't want a cockatoo if you live in a flat! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
Thank you so much for your advice. It really helps. I'm a builder who works Monday to Friday and my wife is a part time nurse. So my free time would be evenings and weekends. My idea was to build an aviary for the summer months and a cage for inside the house when it turns cold. I was interested in amazon parrots as I have read they are fairly small and fairly easy to train and keep, males more than females ( I don't know if this is true?). I totally understand of the commitments involved but parrots have always been a love of mine and I find them fascinating. We have a semi detached house with a spacious south west facing garden, which gets rather hot on a sunny day, we also get on extremely well with our neighbours and I have two children 9 and 6 years old. Hopefully this will give you a good idea of my background.

Thanks again
 

dianaT

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
:welcome: from me too. All good advice given.
I agree re Amazons, also not to keep one bird on its own in an aviary. Also if your garden gets fairly hot you will need to provide plenty of shaded area.
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
one big deception regarding parrots is they love the hot weather, its only mad dogs and English men that stay out in the mid day sun is a true saying so birds must have a place of shade. Also birds that have acclimatized or are used to a aviary providing a place of warmth and cover is provided can be fine out side all year. I will suggest getting the birds from an aviary situation, many parrot society members breed aviary birds.

Amazons can attack if they fill threatened or they take a dislike and there bites can be nasty, I am just wondering what are you looking for in keeping birds?
 

CaptainHowdy

Regular Member
Thank you so much for your advice. It really helps. I'm a builder who works Monday to Friday and my wife is a part time nurse. So my free time would be evenings and weekends. My idea was to build an aviary for the summer months and a cage for inside the house when it turns cold. I was interested in amazon parrots as I have read they are fairly small and fairly easy to train and keep, males more than females ( I don't know if this is true?). I totally understand of the commitments involved but parrots have always been a love of mine and I find them fascinating. We have a semi detached house with a spacious south west facing garden, which gets rather hot on a sunny day, we also get on extremely well with our neighbours and I have two children 9 and 6 years old. Hopefully this will give you a good idea of my background.

Thanks again
All 4 of my Amazon's are male. One is still quite new here so I won't count him in this but my other 3 are only handable by me. One of mine is still a baby really and can be handled by my other half if I am there to watch him and step in if needed but he much prefers me and shows very clear preference to me. I have one that I won't ever allow my other half into the aviary with as he is really not keen on men and will go for them. There are times when even I will not enter his aviary as I can see he's on one.
Training wise is difficult to answer. I find Amazon's tend to be much easier to read than other parrots as they do have very clear body language letting you know when they are annoyed. But it can be easy to mistake excitement for aggression and vice versa. You have to be firm with them, they really are like children and are very smart. The moment you show them you aren't confident they will play on it, when I only had my first Amazon he tested me once by going to step up as asked, but when his beak was on my arm he paused. Instead of following with his feet he looked me in the eye and ground his beak into my arm having a good munch. I let him go for a bit before dropping my arm and turning round to ignore him for 30 seconds. After that I turned round and asked him to step up again. Which he did no problems. But the moment you make a fuss about being bitten they will do it all the more because they get what they want from it. It's difficult but you need to just grin and bear it. It's not a case of if you get bitten it's when.

If the main interaction for the bird is going to be weekends then I wouldn't a recommend a parrot as a pet. They need daily interaction. You also would find they don't stay 'tame' if you don't interact with them daily. They really are like children and need hours of interaction every day. If you get 2 Amazon's in an aviary then you may find they bond to each other and want nothing to do with you.

You also would not be able to have them out for the summer months but inside during winter. Unless you mean out during the day and back inside the house at night?

Noise wise Amazon's are noisy! They also like to have a shout a couple of times a day, this is perfectly natural behaviour for the birds but it can be deafening! And they join in with noise. So if your children are playing and they happen to get loud the Amazon's will join in!

You could have the birds live out year round if you provide suitable accommodation and indoor shelter for the night and bad weather. If you are going to go down the route of keeping them more as aviary birds then there are always lots in rescues who would be suitable for this. Get 2 to keeps together, ideally already bonded to each other as it can be difficult to get the birds to bond and it's not something that can be done overnight. That way the birds have each other for company and you will still be able to interact with them in some capacity but they won't need as much interaction as a lone bird or a 'pet' bird.

I would not recommend Amazon's for children to interact with.
 

charliebirdie

Regular Member
Please think long and hard about an amazon they are not for the faint hearted and tend to only bond with one person and even then can take a dislike to that one you really have to know what you'r doing to be an amazon owner i personally wound not recommend an amazon for a first bird this is just my experience
 

James79

Regular Member
Registered
Please think long and hard about an amazon they are not for the faint hearted and tend to only bond with one person and even then can take a dislike to that one you really have to know what you'r doing to be an amazon owner i personally wound not recommend an amazon for a first bird this is just my experience
Thank you for your advice. What would you recommend instead? I've done quite a bit of research about African greys, do you think these may be more suitable?

Thanks again
 

James79

Regular Member
Registered
Hi, all of the above would be great. But seriously, a bird with the ability to talk, not to big. Colour isn't a real issue. Just a loving bird that would make a great addition to our family, so yes, friendliness would be important, but totally understand that all types need training to a degree.
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
Avairy greys or for the home, are you thinking in time to breed the birds? if you want one as a member of your home then it should be brought up in the home. Have a look at the eclectus parrot
 

CaptainHowdy

Regular Member
Hi, all of the above would be great. But seriously, a bird with the ability to talk, not to big. Colour isn't a real issue. Just a loving bird that would make a great addition to our family, so yes, friendliness would be important, but totally understand that all types need training to a degree.
There is never a guarantee that a bird will talk and to be honest I would never advise picking a bird based on talking ability. Even if you take on an older bird that you have seen and heard talking it may decide to never talk again when you get it home. I have known this happen.

If you want a bird that is going to be friendly with all the family then your best bet would be a budgie or cockatiel. They do have the ability to talk and a budgie actually holds the record for most words learnt, (Unless it's been beaten since I last checked), they tend to be much better talkers than what people typical think of when you say talking parrot.
They are easy going and are not typically one person birds. They make great pets for children and don't tend to be big on the biting if they are brought up well. Obviously if you manhandle the bird you may get bitten!

They aren't as time demanding as the larger parrots, they still need daily interaction and plenty to do! But they don't tend to hold grudges as much as the larger guys, though I did get ignored and told off by my budgie once when I dared to go on holiday years ago πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

You could also look at green checked conures, they are known to be nippy but also make good pets for the younger humans.
 

James79

Regular Member
Registered
Oh OK, thank you. I wasn't planning to breed . But was thinking avariy and outside for the summer and inside during the colder months. Or is this not recommended?
 

James79

Regular Member
Registered
There is never a guarantee that a bird will talk and to be honest I would never advise picking a bird based on talking ability. Even if you take on an older bird that you have seen and heard talking it may decide to never talk again when you get it home. I have known this happen.

If you want a bird that is going to be friendly with all the family then your best bet would be a budgie or cockatiel. They do have the ability to talk and a budgie actually holds the record for most words learnt, (Unless it's been beaten since I last checked), they tend to be much better talkers than what people typical think of when you say talking parrot.
They are easy going and are not typically one person birds. They make great pets for children and don't tend to be big on the biting if they are brought up well. Obviously if you manhandle the bird you may get bitten!

They aren't as time demanding as the larger parrots, they still need daily interaction and plenty to do! But they don't tend to hold grudges as much as the larger guys, though I did get ignored and told off by my budgie once when I dared to go on holiday years ago πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

You could also look at green checked conures, they are known to be nippy but also make good pets for the younger humans.
That's great advice. Much appreciated. Thank you
 

CaptainHowdy

Regular Member
Oh OK, thank you. I wasn't planning to breed . But was thinking avariy and outside for the summer and inside during the colder months. Or is this not recommended?
I wouldn't recommend this unless you are on about a day aviary for the good weather. So the birds stay indoors in the house if the weather is bad and indoors overnight. If the birds have an aviary with proper shelter year round they get acclimatised to living outdoors, but if you keep bringing them into the house or bring them in over winter you will have to re-acclimatise them each year.

I also would not recommend breeding birds until you have a few years experience keeping them under your belt. Breeding brings out a whole new level of information and things you need to know. And what can go wrong!
 

charliebirdie

Regular Member
Trust me get a cat instead aviary birds attract mice and rats and that can become a big problem the birds can get killed by them.
 

James79

Regular Member
Registered
Thank you all for your kind responses and advice, it's a great start. OK, so I've established that amazon's are fairly difficult. I have been reading up on, african greys, but seem to get a lot of conflicting advice. Is this just down to individual experience and matter of opinion? I've read that greys are relatively easy going and not to loud, although like all parrots still need a lot of attention.
 
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