Introduction

Parrots are amazing creatures. They talk, mimic sounds, and eat using their feet as hands. Many feel that they just sit in a cage and don’t need much attention. Some feel parrots are easy and cheap to take care of and just eat seeds. – They don’t.
Some buy parrots for these reasons not realizing that parrots are extremely smart and extremely affectionate.
They need constant care & companionship.

In the wild, parrots live in flocks. They look out for each other and are always together. They preen, feed, and play together. All parrots have this instinct in them and that doesn’t change just because they were hatched and raised in captivity.

Like dogs, they pick up on your emotions and know if something is wrong or if you’re happy.

They are a LOT of work and the size of the parrot doesn’t make that much of a difference. Parrots can live to be 80 years old! So when you get a parrot it’s not like a dog, you have to think LONG term!
They are more like human children than any other “domesticated” animal. So don’t go into it lightly. Not all parrots live to be 80 but most do. I have had many people tell me that they bought a parrot and found out a few years later that they are going to live 30, 50, or 80 years and wish someone would have told them before they bought it.

Having a parrot will change your life. You cannot just leave to go on vacation without making arrangements for someone to watch your parrot because they bond with their owners (you become part of their flock) and will feel abandoned if left alone. Even when making arrangements you need to make sure your parrot is comfortable with the person they will be staying with, and that the person you pick knows how to properly care for them. – If not your parrot could become depressed which could result in feather plucking.

They are very sensitive to certain metals, chemicals, and scents so you may have to replace your cooking pots, pans, cookie sheets, etc… Get rid of any nasty chemical scents that people defuse or spray in their homes and get rid of chemical cleaners. All of these things will make your parrot sick and could kill them! I explain more about this here.

I am not trying to change anyone’s mind about getting a parrot. I just want to let you know how much responsibility is in having a parrot.
They need training & grooming
They need your attention & love (they have feelings like humans do)
They can get sick and may need to see a doctor. (not all vets care for birds)
They need nutritious food. (fresh fruits, grains, veggies)
They need toys and a place to themselves
They can be very messy
They try to imitate you and repeat what you say. (some more than others)
They scream, yell and throw tantrums
They have huge personalities and can be stubborn
They care about you, want to please you, and make you happy
They will argue with you and try to get away with things (which is super cute but sometimes can be frustrating depending on the situation)

No one should go into anything without doing the proper research.
Through research, I did before we got our parrots and through my experience in living with them, I’ve created this site as a guide to caring for parrots the way they need to be cared for.
It is my hope that you find this site informative and useful in caring for your precious flock.

Species

Parrots can be expensive and different-sized parrots come with different expenses.
Below are a few of the more common parrots that people keep as pets.
Things to remember when finding which parrot is right for you:
Males are very vocal, even more so than females. They tend to mimic and talk more so than females.
Females tend to be more snuggly.
Everything though depends on the personality of each parrot and how they are trained.

BLACK-CAPPED CONURE
Hilo is a Black Capped Conure or “Rock Conure.” (Pyrrhura Rupicola)
He is considered a small parrot at 9.8 inches in length from the tip of tail to head.
He is quieter than his other conure cousins, but still can be loud if he wants to be.

They are loving little creatures with huge personalities.
We chose to buy a Black Capped Conure because they aren’t loud and because of the awesome design of feathers around their necks.
There are also red factor Black Caps that are called Opaline Black Caps or Voren strain Black Caps. They are rarer than normal Black Caps.
They have a lifespan of 30 years. (with proper care)
Black Capped Conures are native to the south-western Amazon Basin and adjacent east Andean slopes in Peru, Bolivia & Brazil.

LINEOLATED PARAKEET
Hana is a Lineolated Parakeet also called a ‘Linnie’ or Barred Parakeet. (Bollorhynchus Lineola)

She is one of the smallest parrots at 6.5 inches in length.
They are very quiet little creatures and make little beeping noises when mad. They can also learn to talk and have quite an attitude which is adorable but can sometimes be a problem depending on the situation.
Linnies are usually green with little black lines on their wings and tails, but they can also be blue, yellow, and grey and live 10-15 years. (with proper care)
I just love their little stubby tails 🙂
They love to hang upside down in their cages and beg for you to mist them with water.
Lineolated parakeets are native to Mexico, Panama, Peru & Venezuela.

GREEN CHEEK CONURE
Left: Yellow-sided, Pineapple, Regular, Turquoise, Cinnamon
Poppy is a Yellow-sided Green Cheek Conure.
Green Cheek Conures (Pyrrhura Molinae) are very similar to Black Capped Conures. They have a lifespan of 30 years (with proper care) and are about the same size as Black Capped Conures. Like Black Capped Conures, Green Cheeks are quieter than their conure cousins.

There are different color mutations of Green Cheeks such as Cinnamon, Yellowsided, Pineapple & Turquoise. Along with other mutations such as High Red & High Yellow Yellowsided, Turquoise Yellowsided, Pineapple Turquoise, Cinnamon Turquoise, Misty (or Jade mutation), Dilute & Cinnamon dilute & Ghost (or mint). They are all beautiful!

Of course, we can’t forget about the Crimson Bellied Conure, White Ear Conure, Painted Conure, Gauden Conure, Rose Crown Conure, Maroon Bellied Conure, Pearly Conure & Firey Shouldered Conure. These are closely related to the Green Cheek & Black Capped Conures.
They are native to west-central and southern Mato Grosso, Brazil, through northern & eastern Bolivia to northwestern Argentina and northern Paraguay.

SUN, JENDAY & NANDAY CONURES
Sun (Aratinga solstitalis), Jenday (Aratinga jandaya) and Nanday (Aratinga nenday) Conures are all Medium sized conures 12 inches in length for the Sun & Jenday and 13 to 15 inches for the Nanday.

Sun and Jenday Conures are often mistaken for each other because they look very similar, both being orange & green. Notice the differences between them in the pictures. The Jenday’s wings are all green while the Sun’s wings are yellow with green on the bottom. There are also red factor Sun Conures.

The Nanday Conure is also known as the Black-hooded Parakeet. They are green with a black hood on their head.
They all can be very loud so they are not the best parrot for apartments.

They are all related and native to Brazil.

MACAW
Blue and Gold & Scarlet Macaws

Macaws are probably the most popular parrot because when most people hear “parrot” they think of Macaws.

There are many different Macaws. Blue & yellow or Blue & Gold, Blue-throated, Military, Great green, Scarlet, Green-winged, Red-fronted, Hyacinth, Chestnut-fronted or Severe. Just to name a few.

If you are a first-time parrot owner I would not recommend you buy a Macaw. They are a lot of parrot to handle.
The Blue & Yellow Macaw – also known as the Blue & Gold Macaw is 30-34 inches in length.
Blue-Throated Macaw – I think these are beautiful! They are 33 inches in length.
Military Macaw – can live 50-60 years. (with proper care) They are 33-43 inches in length.
Hyacinth Macaw – The largest parrot by length in the world! 3.3 ft in length! Good thing they are known as gentle giants. I love their blue coloring with a pop of yellow. It’s beautiful!
Macaws are native to South America.

AFRICAN GREY
There are two types of African Greys, Congo (Psittacus erithacus) & Timneh (Psittacus timneh)
The Congo African Grey is larger than the Timneh at 13 inches.
The Timneh African Grey can be anywhere from 8 inches to 11 inches.
Just because the Timneh is smaller doesn’t mean it’s not as intelligent or that it doesn’t have the same speaking ability as the Congo. They both have excellent speaking abilities and often mimic phones, microwaves, dripping water, alarm clocks, etc… For an example click here.

You can tell the age of African Greys by their eye color. Young Greys have white eyes, while older Greys have grey eyes.
African Greys are known to become stressed and develop self-destructive behavior, so like with any parrot they need to be kept entertained constantly. They do not do well in homes that have small children, hyper children, or pets.

They produce powder down feathers which (unlike normal down feathers) will turn into a fine powder when the
parrot preens. This can cause respiratory issues for other parrots kept close by and also for people who have respiratory problems such as asthma. Other parrots with powder down feathers include Cockatoos & Cockatiels.
The Congo and Timnehs are cousins that do not live near each other. They are native to Africa but live in separate areas.

LOVEBIRD
Lovebirds (Agapornis) are small parrots 5.1 inches in length and live 10-15 years. (with proper care)
They can be aggressive with other birds.
There are many different species and color mutations.
As with all parrots, these little guys are very active and like to chew on things.
They are native to Madagascar.

COCKATOO & COCKATIEL
Like African Greys, they produce powder down feathers which (unlike normal down feathers) will turn into a fine powder when the parrot preens. This can cause respiratory issues for other parrots kept close by and also for people who have respiratory
problems such as asthma.
Cockatoos are beautiful, but I wouldn’t recommend them for a first-time parrot owner. Like the Macaw they are a lot of bird to handle. Cockatoos can be very loud and can live to be 80 or longer (with proper care) There are 44 different kinds of Cockatoos to choose from. Most popular being Sulphur Crested.

Cockatiels are quieter and are more common as pets. They are medium in size and live 16-25 years. (with proper care)
They sing pretty little songs and have such sweet little faces.
They are native to Australia.
Because of the powder down feathers, you may need to bathe your parrots frequently to keep the dust down.
Do not use sprays that are made to clean your birds. Those are formulated for parrots with oil glands not ones with dust feathers.

PARROTLET
Parrotlets are the smallest parrots! 3-5 inches in length.
They have a stocky build with a little stubby tail.
Part of the Forpus Genera the most common parrotlets are Pacific, Spectacled, and Green Rump.

They are quiet little things and have a lifespan of 15-25 years (with proper care)
The Pacific Parrotlets are big parrots with little bodies, they have big personalities and can be aggressive.
They are native to South America.

BUDGERIGAR
You can figure out the gender of a budgie just by looking at it. The cere (nose) of a budgie will be blue if it is a male and brown if a female. The picture above is a good example.
Budgerigars “budgies” ( Melopsittacusor undulatus) commonly called “parakeets” are small parrots and the most common pet.
The most popular and common are American Budgies. English Budgies are bigger than American budgies and are rarer to find in shops.
Budgies are 7 inches in length.

You can figure out the age of a Budgie by looking at it. When a Budgie is young less than 6 months it will have black lines on its head leading all the way down to its cere (top of the nose) This black line will grow farther and farther away as the budgie ages.
Budgies cannot use their feet to hold food or toys, so be sure to buy toys that have bells and toys that will be stimulating.

They are native to Australia
There are hundreds of Species of parrots. (The ones listed above plus: Quakers, Amazons, Senegal, Caiques, Rosellas, Lories, Lorikeets, Grass Parakeets, Hanging Parrots, Etc..)

I only named a few of the common ones above, but I encourage you to do more research about a specific kind of parrot when selecting the parrot that is right for you.

Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian. The material on this site is not intended to be, and should not be relied on as, a substitute for professional advice. Read my full disclaimer.

Sprouting Organics is an offshoot of Willowbottom Homestead