When we talk about exotic birds, the first image that pops into your mind is probably a parrot with bright colors, large beaks, and long tails. While parrots do come in a vast array of colors, there are plenty of other types of pet birds that are considered exotic pets. Each type comes with different personalities, songs, and appearances.
Parrots might not be as common as a cat or dog, but they are wonderful companions. Birds develop close bonds with their owners and are intelligent enough to learn commands and sometimes speak words. Are you hoping to have an exotic pet bird but unsure where to start? Here is a list of some of the best exotic birds to keep as pets.
Top 7 Most Exotic Pet Birds:
1. Hyacinth Macaw
If you’re up for it, there isn’t a bird much more exotic than a Hyacinth Macaw. This bird spans 3 feet long from head to tail with dark blue feathers and striking yellow markings around its eyes and beak. Because of their immensely large size, they can be a little pricey and have to be kept in a large aviary. However, these are very gentle birds, and they form some of the strongest bonds with their caretakers.
2. Victoria Crowned Pigeon
The Victoria Crowned Pigeon is a beautiful and unusual-looking bird. They are very large, about 29 inches long and 5 pounds, but they are fairly tame and gentle. These birds enjoy living somewhere with a lot of space to move around. They spend a large chunk of time running around an enclosed yard or house.
The feathers on this bird resemble a peacock’s feathers. These birds use them to show off to females by fanning the feathers around their heads to give them a crown. They are rare birds but are a definite conversation starter.
3. Golden Conure
You may have heard of these smaller birds as the Queen of Bavaria. These are striking birds with bright yellow and green feathers. Although beautiful and popular as pets, too many have been captured, and they are much harder to get your hands on today. Buying one in captivity is possible if you’re willing to pay the price.
Golden conures are social birds and need a lot of interaction with their owners. They are smart enough to perform tricks and mimic some movements and vocalizations. Conures also have goofy personalities that keep you entertained day after day.
4. Australian King Parrot
These birds are a little more uncommon. Australian King parrots come from Australia and are striking with their crimson red heads and forest green bodies. Although they do form bonds with their owners, they are a little less affectionate than other species. They are ideal for someone who has more experience with birds and plenty of space for them to play and exercise.
Cockatoos are another exotic bird that you’ve probably already seen. They have distinct feathers that stick out from the top of their heads that are a variety of different colors. The most exotic of the cockatoos are the Black Palm cockatoo, but there are many different morphs that are easier and less expensive to buy. Although they are intelligent, they won’t replicate human speech but do enjoy making different noises.
6. Green Aracari
The Green Aracari bird is one of the smallest toucan family members. These birds are one of the more expensive ones to keep because they require a constant supply of fresh, ripe fruit, and they make a mess every time they eat. Toucans also have a tendency to chew on anything they prefer, so they’re better off with experienced owners who can keep a close eye on them during the day.
7. Archangel Pigeon
There are many breeds of pigeons, like Fantails, Tumblers, and Homers, but all of them are smart and gentle birds. These pigeons have been selectively bred since the 13th century. This specific breed doesn’t survive in the wild, meaning they thrive as pets. If you’re looking for a unique pet bird with history, this is the species for you.
Where to Buy Pet Birds
The cost of a pet bird depends mainly on the type of bird and location. Birds are available to purchase at pet stores, bird shows, direct breeders, online merchants, and even avian magazines. There are sometimes birds available at bird sanctuaries or rescues, with rescues often being the cheapest place to buy one.
If you don’t have experience owning a bird, then take someone with you to look over the bird and ensure they are healthy. The place you buy it from should have a health history on file. When in doubt, ask for a veterinarian to perform a health exam.
Buying birds off the internet without seeing them is sometimes risky. The ideal way is to purchase a pet from a reputable breeder and follow the entire process from the time they hatch until they are weaned. Most reputable breeders allow you to make visits during this process.
It’s not possible to accurately predict the outcome of welcoming an exotic bird into your life. Prepare yourself for an adventure regardless of the kind you choose, and be patient as they adapt to their new surroundings. Birds aren’t the mindless animals that a lot of people make them out to be. They pick up on emotions and are sensitive to those around them. Too much stress or change can cause them to act out and harm themselves or their handlers.
We want to make sure you have the best experience possible with your pet bird. Find an experienced owner who can give you advice and educate yourself as much as possible before bringing them home. The more you’re able to make them feel comfortable and safe, the easiest the transition will be for both of you.
Featured Image Credit: pen_ash, Pixabay
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.