Another podcast discussing the gray area between always and nevers, we discuss some of the variables to consider when thinking about adding a new parrot to your flock.
There is a lot to think about when it comes to adding another bird, including its impact on your existing bird or flock. Learning history, age, sex, and training experience are all factors worth considering.
Some species of parrot having stronger reactions and interactions with other birds and members of the opposite sex than others. For instance, palm cockatoos are one species that don’t have strong interactions with other birds. One of our palms, Arthur, has such a strong aggressive response to other birds, we have to be very careful, even if he sees our Southern Ground Hornbill from several feet away and protected by layers and layers of aviary!
Other birds are highly social, like galahs, cockatiels, and budgies. Mythology persists that having a pair will destroy our close relationships with a single companion, but in fact, if we maintain a good strong connection with them, we can have both a bird that maintains its friendship with us and has its life enhanced by conspecifics.
I have worked with many single parrots, from Lola the macaw to Bongo the African Grey, who are great examples of birds whose lives and activities would likely be compromised if they had another bird added in for the sake of adding a companion. And yet, I have also seen the opposite hold true, where older birds were much enriched just having another bird in the house they couldn’t necessarily interact with, but at least contact call and enjoy ambient company.
Listen on for more details of this fascinating topic!
Members of the Avian Behavior Lab can take courses on Multiple Birds and Hormonal Parrots to look at how we can introduce new birds and minimize the effects of breeding behavior in our companions.