I need help finding a few species that fit my needs. I want a parrot that is VERY cuddly and loving! I am also looking for a parrot that doesn't constantly scream. A few daily loud calls are fine and loud chirping a lot is fine too. Coloring and size isn't that important although I would prefer a bird that doesn't get bigger than a African Grey. It would also be cool if my bird could learn a few words. Personality wise I want a loving, sweet, and playful bird.
Energy level doesn't matter much either. Cost needs to be under $400.00 for the bird and it's supplies. If you have any emails of experts I could use that would be great, websites are good too. If you have any cage or supply recommendations those are definitely welcome as well! You may also email me at [email protected]
I disagree that you can't get a bird and their necessary supplies for $400. It depends largely on the bird you want-obviously larger birds are well over $400 just for them alone but since you want a quiet bird, that pretty much limits you to smaller species in general. And they tend to be much less expensive.
The key to getting a bird and their initial supplies within your budget is to be a smart shopper. First buy a cage, and get one off of craigslist. If you monitor it for a few weeks, you should be able to find a good, large cage for under $100 (or even around $50-$75) and as long as it 1/2 inch bar spacing, you can use it for any small bird you decide on. Sometimes cages will even be sold with a travel carrier and or play-stand.
Over the next few weeks/months you can pick up some perches *natural wood, a rope perch, and a cement perch are good to start, and a few toys to start with. You should be able to get those for less than $50. You will also need a place for the bird to be when they are out with you. A very affordable "play-stand" of sorts is a basket. It is also extremely portable, birds love them, and they are only a couple dollars. You can attach a ladder, tie on some plastic buttons, bottle caps, q-tips as foot toys, cat balls, etc. And it would all probably less than $10.
Then once you get your bird, the only thing you will need is a bag of quality seed, millet, and pellets which together should be less than $20.
As time goes on, you will need to purchase more toys for the bird so that you can rotate them in and out so that the bird doesn't get bored, but purchasing one a month is fine and that would cost more than $10 a month. The initial food purchase should last you a few months with only one bird.
Now for the bird itself, considering what you are looking for, cuddly, playful, quiet, loving, can talk, and sweet, I would recommend the following species in order of best able to meet you specifications.
1. Lineolated parakeet $175-200 (they will be more expensive than cockatiels, lovebirds, or budgies, but otherwise meet all of your criteria).
2. Cockatiel $50-$80 if handtame (females will be sweeter most likely and quieter, but won't talk as much as males).
3. Parrotlet $100-$150 (More expensive than cockatials (usually), lovebirds or budgies, also lack the sweet factor, but meet all of your other specifications. Only males generally talk).
4. Budgie $20 untame-$50 if handtame (Males talk usually, they meet your specifications except aren't as cuddly as the other species. They bond really well to humans tho when kept singly).
5. Lovebirds $50-$80 if handtame (These are cheaper than linnies and parrotlets, but are louder, won't talk most likely, and also lack the sweet factor. They are cuddly, playful, and fun tho. They also will probably be the loudest of these species with male cockatiels coming in second).
These are the general prices in my area, it might be different where you are. Also there are many tame birds on craigslist that need a new home and often come with their cage, toys, and food. The prices above typically reflect buying a handfed baby, but I would advocate taking in one that needs a new home if you can. My sister got her parrotlet, all his toys, carrier, and food for $125 on craigslist and he was already tame and social-so it saved her having to do that if she would have gotten him as a baby. Whether handfed or not, all baby birds have to be socialized. She also got her english budgie on craigslist with his cage and toys for free because someone lost their job and needed him to go to a new home. I have seen cockatiels with their cage/toys for around $100 and linnies with their cage/toys for about $200-$300 (although they aren't as easy to come by).
Anyway, hope this helps.