Parrots were a mystery to me

Learning about parrotsI knew nothing about parrots when my sun conure Goldie first came into my life. Parrots were a complete mystery to me. The pet store where I bought her didn’t tell me anything either-they just gave me one piece of paper-a care sheet. It seemed in retrospect that they were happy to get rid of her.

The care sheet really didn’t help me much either. I thought that I could manage anyway. How hard could it be to take care of a little bird? Right? That was until she started screaming, until she bit me the first time and drew blood. What was going on? How could I get her to behave? What did she want?

I realized I didn’t really know anything. I was feeding her wrong-a seed mix, I jumped every time she screamed, and I plain just didn’t understand her. So I set about trying to learn more about this little bundle of feathers. So how did I learn what I know about sun conures?

Conure books

First off I read some books about conures. These books helped me pick up a few tips, but much of the information was somewhat generic and didn’t help me with many day to day concerns. I learned about different species of conures, basic diet information, and health basics, but it didn’t help with the screaming problems.

Avian vet check up

The vet checked her out and said she was basically healthy but that her diet needed improving. She was to be given a more varied diet and only 20% seed in her diet at the most. So I set about giving her more fruits, vegetables, and pellets. Overtime this change helped her. She probably felt better, which ultimately helped improve her behavior.

Played it by ear

I made a lot of mistakes, got frustrated, and tried again. Patience helps the most when you don’t know what you are doing. Lots of love, interaction, playtime, cuddle time, and silly talk strengthen the bond that me and my sun conure have. She is very forgiving of any of my mistakes as a result.

Read Bird Talk Magazine

I admit that reading the magazine over time helped me learn some things that I didn’t know. I picked up information that I didn’t learn in books. I read about other parrot owners and realized that I wasn’t alone in my feelings sometimes.

Read bird forums

There are many bird forums out there that offer support and where you can ask questions from the general to the specific. Answers come from regular parrot owners that have day to day practical advice and experience.

Bird Clubs

Seeing and meeting breeders and parrot owners at bird clubs has given me a deeper understanding of parrots and parrot ownership in general. Attending bird club meetings offers information speakers and a chance to learn about different species of parrots. I have learned about the negative and positive side of breeding parrots as well. Belonging to a bird club has strengthened my desire to support bird rescues and advocate responsible parrot breeding.

Most of all, I find that after 8 years of having Goldie in my life that I am still learning things about her. I notice little things about her more. I see her getting frustrated when she wants something and doesn’t know how to ask and I give it to her. I catch negative behavior before it starts to escalate. I relish the quiet time we have together cuddling, and the laughs over silly playtime. After all having a companion parrot like Goldie is a journey over hopefully 30 plus years of life, where everyday is different. I treasure Goldie because she is so smart, loving, and full of personality, and I never stop learning and loving her.

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