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Barb Kerbox

Pet Tales

Barb Kerbox of Eureka Springs is a longtime pet-lover, pet owner and animal caretaker, as well as a contributing writer and photographer.

Opinion

Birds can make fabulous pets, too

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Birds are great, so majestic, interesting, and different from most other types of pets. And then there's their mystifying us with their ability to fly, and my lands there are the ones that TALK!! Say no more, if you have never had one you are missing out.

They are high maint-enance -- in the clean-up department -- since they don't get the "go in the same spot" command!

So there are "goods" and "bads" about them. One of my favorite pets of all time was a white homing pigeon, "Petey" a very sweet and smart bird. I walked around my college dorm courtyard with him on my shoulder. His wings were never clipped.

He would fly, then come back to me. They can be very attached to you like the way a dog loves you, if you raise them from very young bird-hood. They are definitely a social type of creature, between themselves and their kind, and in friendships with us humans.

Most people think of parrots, parakeets, canaries, cockatiels, myna birds when they think birds, indoors.

It just depends on what you like and how much space you have, and whether or not you like noise (like birds squawks/talks). If you have lots of space and you have the great outdoors at your fingertips, options include pigeons, doves, finches.

While visiting relatives in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., I was observing a flock of pet-type parrots that had either escaped or were born of these parent birds, and were living wild in suburbia of tropical Florida.

These flocks are found in California suburbs as well. The parent birds usually come from South America and other tropical climates, and eat fruit, seeds and insects. So they adapt well to the Florida and California climates, with fruit trees abundant.

They are most likely living in flocks for safety. When enemies approach they all begin squawking and screaming alarming all other birds nearby.

So the other thing that is bad about birds is that everything likes to eat them, so you have your hands full protecting them. But don't let that stop you -- try it -- you will love a bird.