Bird are very different to us from an evolutionary perspective. Unlike cats or dogs, both of which are mammals, the bird evolutionary tree separated off hundreds of millions of years ago, yet we’ve been living beside these creatures ever since. For this reason, birds can be a little hard to understand. Unlike dogs, they’ve got no ability to control their facial expressions – beaks tend to rule that out. And they have a bunch of complex behaviors around nesting and eggs which are totally alien to most owners. A bird can wander off and sit on eggs for days, seemingly on a whim, without warning the owner first.
The other thing to know about birds is that many of them are remarkably intelligent. Birds from the parrot and the crow family are particularly adept and have intelligence in some areas which rivals that of monkeys and people, despite the fact that their brains are tiny. And while this can make looking after birds interesting, it can also create problems as we shall see.
Here are some tips for helping your new pet bird thrive at home.
Be Clear On Boundaries
As discussed, pet birds are often extremely intelligent creatures. As a result, they can often take liberties or be aggressive. Small birds will sometimes bite when you try to feed them, so it’s important to establish boundaries and make sure that they are taught not to lash out every time you put your finger in the cage to feed them. This is as basic as teaching a dog to “stay” or “sit.”
Feed Them A Healthy Diet
With things like coupons feeding a bird, a healthy diet needn’t be too expensive. But finding what food will actually benefit your bird can be a bit of a challenge. Many people feed their birds food that they hope will appease them and make them like them more. However, providing food as a comfort can lead to problems later on, especially when it comes to weight management. If you do feel that you need to comfort your bird, it’s best not to do it through diet. Focus on creating a good nutritional foundation for your bird early on. Make sure that they stick to their bird seed and are fed a natural diet. The last thing they should be eating is human food, most of which is toxic.
Make Their Lives Interesting
How would you feel if you were stuck in a tiny cage for the whole of your life with practically nothing to do? It would be torture, wouldn’t it? Birds with small brains tend to do okay in confinement, but the more intelligent species really struggle. As a result, it’s a good idea to try to make things as enjoyable as possible for them. This includes doing things like adding perches and switching one toy for another on a regular basis.
Some owners even put perches in the shower and allow their birds to join them for their morning scrub. You can also play music that your bird might enjoy.