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In issue 309 -
When an Older Parrot Has Never Learned Skilful Flight – Complete Psittacine by Eb Cravens
In issue 309 -
Scarlet Macaws – were they really bred by indigenous people in the 12th century? Rosemary Low asks the question
In issue 309 -
Understanding the link between nutrition, hormonal behaviours and the avian endocrine system, Part 1 – The Holistic Parrot by Leslie Moran
In issue 309 -
The Yellow-eared Parrot – continues to expand its range in Colombia. By David Waugh, Correspondent, Loro Parque Fundación
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 The October 2023 edition of Parrots magazine (issue 309) will be available to download from 13th September via a link which will be emailed to subscribers. Single copies will be available from our online shop. You can save money by subscribing – find out more here.

Parrots as companion pets

Spreads for web 3

By Elaine Henley

The keeping of parrots as companion pets is rapidly growing in popularity, and they are often perceived as easier to care for than dogs, and more sociable than cats. It is generally accepted that birds, including parrots, finches, and canaries, are the sixth most popular companion animal after both indoor and outdoor fish, dogs, cats and rabbits (PFMA, 2017). Unlike cats and dogs, birds are not considered domesticated animals even when bred in captivity, as many are only one or two generations removed from the wild and, thus, they retain all of their wild bird instincts and behaviours (Davis, 1998, Graham, 1998).

When birds are kept as companion animals, constraints are often placed on them in terms of social interaction, flight, foraging, access to appropriate species-specific diets and maintenance behaviour such as nest building, bathing, and preening. These constraints may also be a variable for the occurrence of abnormal behaviours such as feather damaging behaviours (FDBs), reproductive behaviours directed towards caregivers, caregiver directed aggression, extreme vocalisation, and stereotypic behaviours, (Van Zeeland et al, 2009).

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