I've tried them with both my Conure and Parrotlet, and neither one will use them.
The Cockatiels I had, probably 20 years ago, used them all the time. My female even managed to take a bath with hers, by continually pumping the little red ball with various parts of her body until she was as wet as she wanted to be!!
What I do now is to put the water dish on one side of the cage and the food dish on the other side (large cages). This really cuts down on "food dunking". And careful placement of the perches usually eliminates "poopy water".
If you can get your bird to use the water bottle, it's really nice. I always kept a water dish in the cage anyway, in case the bottle malfunctioned when I was away.
Tippa, all of my birds use those too except for my tiels in the big cage. They work great and they never get dirty. The bowls can be a real pain to keep clean but I find too that keeping them away from food bowls works well and high up. My birds still manage to poop in them though
I have heard good and bad about water bottles... if you're VERY careful with them and sanitize them regularly, they work fine but my vet absolutely hates them. I had a customer who was meticulous with her bottle but her moluccan caught a really bad bacterial infection from the bottle (the bacteria grows on the rubber seals and it's almost impossible to be rid of) and almost died... $4,000 in vet bills and 2 years later he's finally recovering. They just make me too nervous, personally :/
The water bottles I've tried are those (usually) green ones with the metal tube and red "button" on the end of the tube for the bird to push on to get water. THEY ARE A BEAR TO CLEAN -- almost impossible -- forgot to mention that!
It's round stainless steel bowls for me and my babies. They last forever and are a snap to get sparkling clean!
Like I said, I've heard good things too. I know people, and some vets, who swear by them. There's always a rare, worst case horror story. But my vet told me they're really hard to keep truly clean and people tend not to change them every day. Even tho they're bottled, you should change the water daily so it's not just sitting there stagnant. Then you need a bottle brush and all the work to clean... just seems easier to do a stainless bowl and check it thru the day lol
I have seriously wanted to get one for Shira - and now Roni - since they make soup. Now I am not going to. I have all I can do to clean out their water bowls three times a day, and my vet says that as long as I do that, it will keep bacteria from growing there. She says if you do it twice a day, you will usually be ok. I think I could change those water bowls three times a day in less time than it would take me to sanatize a water bottle now that you mention all of this.
And can someone explain to me why Roni, who never dirtied her water bowl until she was well over two years old, has picked up this nasty habit? Her cage is not next to Shira's, so she didn't learn by example.
I have 4 stainless steel bowls that I use in Mango's cage. They are rotated in and out, water, seed/pellets, birdy bread/veggies, and one clean ready to go. I got them at Petco, they have a frame attached to the cage, and the bowls come out to clean and fill. They work for me, and I know they are always clean. My only problem is I got the small 5 oz size, when I had Oliver, so now I think I need some larger bowls for Mango. Oh well, the smaller ones will be perfect for treat bowls.
After seeing Tippa's post about her waterers, I saw some similar things at the bird store today. They were on sale for 50 cents, so I got a couple. Even if they don't work, it is only a buck to try it. The openings are small, so I don't know if Roni can get her beak inside or not, and I suppose they can still dunk their food if they want to. However, there are no plastic flanges or well, whatever they are, to hold bacteria. If they don't work, I'll just give them to some friend with some other sort of pet.
Thanks for the post of the picture, Tippa, because I wouldn't even have recognized what they were otherwise.
I actually use both bowls and water bottles. I have some serious Dunkers here and it makes me feel better knowing they always have fresh, clean water available. But I always provide bowls too because I worry that one or two might not drink out of a bottle.