What is the best medium - large size parrot in your opinion - Talk Parrots Forums

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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-17-2014, 03:20 AM Thread Starter
 
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What is the best medium - large size parrot in your opinion

Hi everyone, now this is just a general question before we get started
I live in Australia NSW and I plan on purchasing a medium to large size parrot after I have finished with future ambitions over the next few years with a job. Now I will be having a pair of budgies in November and caring for them to the best of my ability and knowledge. But when I am finished with this job I will have a lot of free time on my hands and working part-time/casual and attending University. So I will have 3-4 days a week free and 6 hours give or take each day. So after the interest was sparked I did lots of research and came to the conclusion with the help of members of various forums (including this one) that budgies were more practical for a first time owner who for a year will be absent from their lives due to work. So that is the back story to this question and my future circumstances considered.

So in your opinion, based on experience etc., what would be your pick for a parrot that is in that medium (cockatiel, conure, alexandrine) to large (Corella, Eclectus, Macaw) would you suggest be a good companion pet for all my years to come? I am open to your opinions and criticism . I don't exactly want a "needy" bird that demands 24/7 attention and cries about it if it doesn't. I am okay with a bird that will make a little bit of noise now and again and will be happy with some days not having as much as others. It is really hard to describe what I am after without conflicting myself haha. But if I had to describe the bird I am after; likes attention and doesn't scream when it doesn't get hours of one on one time. Can be petted but doesn't have to be as such, it doesn't have to talk just being able to interact with me and learn a few tricks would be nice. And lastly will do okay being with other birds or people.

Okay now we have that out of the way. Noise level can be medium, so long as it isn't like a cockatoo's screeching call haha. I know that each bird is individual and the bigger the bird, the more attention its needs as a general rule (with exceptions). I know that some have special diets and needs etc. and the list goes on. I have done my research on parrots and I just want other peoples opinions who have more experience. I am leaning towards a male eclectus parrot. I just need to know if you need a licence to own them in Australia. However with the eclectus being said as preferred, I would be quite happy with a conure (white eyed, GCC, pineapple etc.). I have the space for them. I don't want a macaw just yet... they might be a bit of a huge and irrational step from budgies haha. So just an edit, anything as large as a conure or cockatiel and above.

thanks in advance, remember just looking for an opinion because I might not be able to get another bird for some years to come.

Last edited by Hawk24; 10-17-2014 at 03:31 AM.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-17-2014, 05:00 PM


 
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Hi Nick and welcome.

I have kept or currently have 4 of the 5 species you mentioned and have hand raised them also. And I know people that have Macaws and Eccys both of whom can be very needy. I have at the moment 5 short billed Corella's and one Long Billed Corella and they can be a tad noisy, especially when the wild Corella's are around and they call to them. At one time I had a lot of Cockatiels and Alexandrines and in my opinion they would be the better choices for you. Both are very easy going birds and will get on with other birds. For instance I had pet type budgies flying in the same aviary as my Alexs and the budgies bullied the Alexs. Another one you haven't mentioned is the Princess Parrot, also another very easy going bird and you don't need a licence for any of them.

I don't know where in NSW you are but if you can get to Blacktown the Council there is holding a Pet Festival on Sunday 2nd November on the playing field attached to the Showground on Richmond Road. It is a free event and starts at 10am to 2pm and our Parrot Club will be holding a Show/Display there. I will have an Alex, Corella, Galah, Cockatoo and a Princess there but other members should have Cockatiels and other species there. We will be situated up near the stage. There will be other breeders there that you can talk to and ask there opinions on parrots. It will give you a good idea of what is available and prices of birds. You could also attend a meeting of our club that meets on the 2nd Wednesday in the month at the Community Centre on Day Street Lansvale, meeting starts at 7.30pm, December is our Christmas Party and is usually a booked event for catering and we don't hold a meeting in January.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-18-2014, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
 
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Hi thanks for the info, unfortunately that is the day before my last HSC exam...so I don't think it would be wise. Thank you for the offer and maybe next year when I get the time I may attend. If the eclectus is a needy bird, how needy? And yes I do like the cockatiels and conures and princess's. But I heard princess's are a more independent bird that will like to do there own thing instead of learning a few tricks etc. see what I mean by conflicting myself haha.

If the princess parrots like being around people and can learn tricks etc. much like conures or cockatiels then thats great. I am looking for a medium large parrot that doesn't require the 24/7 affection/attention but won't mind being with me for numerous hours of the day kind of thing and can bond with me to learn tricks. Thats why I mentioned eclectus because I know they demand attention but from what I have read, not to the extend of a cockatoo and are not as frequently loud. But that being said i could just go for the three medium birds you mentioned

I guess this is a question to have face to face with a breeder like you mentioned. Thanks for the help I will see what I can do and maybe attened one of those meetings this december.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-18-2014, 10:06 AM


 
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Haven't totally read everything thoroughly (I tried, ha) but Eclectus are needy in that they need a very, very specialized diet high in fresh fruit and some veggies. They can't just eat a main diet of pellets like other Parrots. They also are a more shy bird I believe which means that they usually don't thrive in the main part of the house and so they usually have to be kept in a separate, quiet room. So keep that in mind that you might need a whole separate area if you get an Eclectus (not really practical if you live in an apartment or other small space).

I personally would suggest a Cockatiel, or maybe an African Grey if you can get them. Both fantastic birds and are quite able to be independent but cuddly and sociable as well.



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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-18-2014, 04:15 PM


 
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Also Eclectus need to be handled pretty much daily or they can turn nippy.

Unfortunately Kayla Greys are very very expensive over here.

Nick when I had all my princess parrots in a standard aviary I literally had to scrape them off my back to get out of the aviary. And most of them had not been hand raised. Even aviary bred princess can get so familiar with their owners that they will come down to you. The males can learn to talk. I know of one that was quite a good talker. Saying that not all birds learn to talk. They will only talk if they want to. I have 3 Sulphurs George talks up a storm. My female Charlie can talk but doesn't very often and Jeckle who is now 5 has only just started talking even though he has been around at least 4 other birds that talk lots. Where they are I also have Oliver the Long Billed Corella and Kaspar the Short Billed and they also talk up a storm.

To get any bird to do any sort of trick you need to work with them pretty heavily from a young age and work on a trick at a time to reinforce the behaviour. And there is no guarantee they will want to do the trick. If you get a hand raised bird and then leave it until you have time to play with it the bird will probably return to being a bit wild like an aviary bred bird. You have to give them the time when young and then you can leave them for a bit and then come back to them. You have to realize that these parrots are very smart with the intelligence level of a small child, and how easy is it to get a child to do what you want them to do, when you want them to do it, even with bribery.

By the way Cockatoos are only very needy when they are on their own and don't have other toos to talk to. At one stage I had 14 Sulphurs here and one neighbour didn't even know I had them. And females are much quieter than the males.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-18-2014, 08:06 PM


 
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That's unfortunate Is it because they aren't allowed to be imported anymore and so it's just a handful of breeders? (for Greys)



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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-19-2014, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone. It looks like I will research more into princess parrots. My concern is not being able to be there for the bird everyday. My concern is that I don't want a bird that wouldn't be happy with just a few hours of interaction with me everyday. It will be out of its cage everyday and I have plenty of room for a bigger bird. African Greys aren't a bigger bird I am interested in. I am more so interested in eclectus's, macaws (but won't get one just yet), little corella's, cockatiels, conures, princess's, maybe a ring neck or alexandrine.

Thanks for all your help but I think that it would be best for me to go to a breeder to determine exactly which bird would best suit me. I know that when I decide to get this bird I will have the time, patience and room for it. So I guess this will be a progression thing, budgies first (getting them in November ) then a medium sized bird (cockatiel, conure or princess and then a larger bird (eclectus, little corella or macaw). Thanks again for your help
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-19-2014, 03:42 PM


 
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That's one reason Kayla. Also Macaws are very expensive still.

Remember Nick that a breeder may try to push you to the particular type of bird that they breed. Many breeders are breed specific or restricted amount of species. Space for aviaries is often a factor. Going to a club, show or display will give you a range of breeders to talk to. Our club also does a display at Riverstone Festival which is the 3rd Saturday in May and we hold the only all parrot show in Sydney which in 2015 is the next day and held at the Villawood Senior Citizens Centre.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-19-2014, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
 
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That's one reason Kayla. Also Macaws are very expensive still.

Remember Nick that a breeder may try to push you to the particular type of bird that they breed. Many breeders are breed specific or restricted amount of species. Space for aviaries is often a factor. Going to a club, show or display will give you a range of breeders to talk to. Our club also does a display at Riverstone Festival which is the 3rd Saturday in May and we hold the only all parrot show in Sydney which in 2015 is the next day and held at the Villawood Senior Citizens Centre.
I will put that on the calendar! I know but so far I have decided that the next edition to my bird family in the future will either be a cockatiel or a princess. So is this show an open one where anyone can attend? And instead of asking all these questions could you please pm me more details

Thanks everyone
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-19-2014, 04:42 PM


 
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Yes the show is open to anyone who wants to attend.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 03:22 AM



 
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I highly recommend the Alexandrine parakeet. They're pretty big (especially the Nepalese subspecies!) and have wonderful personalities. They're nothing like an IRN. They are much more relaxed and laid back. They can be quite loud but they're not big screamers and certainly don't sound half as bad as other birds their size! They're gentle giants, not too needy (though time with you is a must, especially kisses, they like giving you big wet kisses!), are good eaters, can entertain themselves etc. They can be very destructive and I don't recommend ever giving them rope perches 'cause they'll last 2 minutes Just something to keep in mind regarding enrichment, they get through it like no tomorrow!

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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 03:51 AM Thread Starter
 
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I highly recommend the Alexandrine parakeet. They're pretty big (especially the Nepalese subspecies!) and have wonderful personalities. They're nothing like an IRN. They are much more relaxed and laid back. They can be quite loud but they're not big screamers and certainly don't sound half as bad as other birds their size! They're gentle giants, not too needy (though time with you is a must, especially kisses, they like giving you big wet kisses!), are good eaters, can entertain themselves etc. They can be very destructive and I don't recommend ever giving them rope perches 'cause they'll last 2 minutes Just something to keep in mind regarding enrichment, they get through it like no tomorrow!
Thanks! Yeah I have done a little research on them but its finding a breeder near me or getting them tame to a degree. But I like a challenge so I will certainly look into them. I heard that the colour mutations are a hybrid between IRN and the Alex. So would you recommend just buying one that is normal green with the red sides on the wings?
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 03:36 PM


 
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Nick there are quite a few breeders around that hand raise Alex's. There is one that is with the other non showing Parrot Club who does a really good job with them and has good quality birds. I unfortunately don't have a breeding pair at the moment. Ian usually has birds with us at the Riverstone Festival and brings his tame Alex along. While the colour mutations are really beautiful, they are still very expensive and not a lot around and most go into breeding programs. Personally I just love the big green boof headed birds and they are extremely popular at the Festival. While birds of vivid colour are appreciated the most popular at the festival are still the quite plain looking birds like the cockatoos. But Alex's are not just plain green, when you look at them flying you get to see all different shades of green underneath, they really are quite a spectacular bird. They are one of my favourite birds.

Daisy is right about the kisses. Whenever I go into the aviary my Yowie gives me the biggest tongue kisses you have every seen. And they do like to chew. Keeping a perch in the aviary is often quite a challenge.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 06:17 PM



 
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The wings are almost a metallic yellow underneath, as is the tail! And those maroon patches! And bright orange/red beak! I'm getting all excited I just think they're beautiful and definitely an over-looked species (heaven alone knows why!)

There are mutations that are 100% Alexandrine from what I have read. That is the lutinos, blues, clear headed and pied... I think They're pretty darn rare as it is and the price is through the roof. Nothing wrong with the nominate colour!

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-23-2014, 03:29 PM


 
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So right about them being an overlooked species Daisy. And it baffles me. People seem to prefer the Indian Ringneck over the Alex and even though they are cousins there is just no comparison when it comes to temperament. Yeah there is a big size difference but the Alex is such a gentle giant. Some people are daunted by the size of the beak but they are more likely to get nipped by a ringneck than an alex.

Unfortunately the mutations over here have had to be bred from scratch. There were no birds that carried any mutations imported into Australia. They have been here over 50 years and only standard birds were ever brought in. Then imports stopped before mutations came around. But there are people breeding mutation alex's of size. As far as I know there are no clear headed or pied her only Lutinos and blues. I saw my first dark factor blues a couple of years ago in the flesh and the size is just not there yet. When I got my first Alex back in around 1998 they were just really starting to work with lutinos.
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-24-2014, 03:57 AM



 
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In the UK you can find a lutino and on a very rare occasion a blue. I haven't seen a clear head or pied though either. The lutino are quite a startling looking bird don't you think?

Not once did either of my Alexs bite me but I've had plenty of IRN

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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-24-2014, 05:09 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks guys and girls I will definitely look into them. Thanks for helping me decide. I still want a macaw and eclectus but I do agree that with the temperm
Ent of an Alex, they would make a great addition in the future hopefully I can find a lutino or just a normal.
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-24-2014, 04:20 PM


 
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They certainly are Daisy especially the males.

Good luck Nick especially in your exams.
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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-24-2014, 08:59 PM


 
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While birds of vivid colour are appreciated the most popular at the festival are still the quite plain looking birds like the cockatoos. .
Since when are cockatoos plain looking?? I think they are strikingly gorgeous!!
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-24-2014, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
 
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They certainly are Daisy especially the males.

Good luck Nick especially in your exams.
I just have two left and then my room will have 4 beautiful budgies hehe
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