When I was a teenager, we had a blue parakeet named Charlie. He would fly around in the house, land on your hand or shoulder, and sample whatever you might be eating. He never did learn to talk, but he would chatter at you like he thought you should understand what he was talking about!
The idea of owning a bird is a fun notion to a lot of people, as birds are pretty and have an almost magical aura, and while the first bird people think of when they think of “owning a bird” is a parrot, the idea of owning a parrot quickly loses its appeal when one realizes parrots usually live for over fifty years! The most popular pet bird is the parakeet, but before you go out and purchase one yourself, you need to make sure you know some things about them; after all, they might not live for fifty years, but they just might be a bigger commitment than you realized!
For starters, parakeets do live much longer than most people realize, as they will last for up to ten or fifteen years in captivity. For another thing, parakeets are not exactly the easiest birds in the world to care for, as they require a lot of attention!
Parakeets are extremely intelligent birds, but like most intelligent pets, you need to give them a proper amount of attention, or this intelligence will turn to boredom, which will turn to destructiveness; if you have a parakeet, you not only have to make sure you spend at least thirty minutes with them each day (petting them and talking to them), but you should also let them fly around for about an hour each day.
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Parakeets prefer to have companionship, so you should keep them in (at least) pairs, and you should also make sure their cage is wide enough to allow them to fly a bit and high enough for them to have some climbing space.
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If you have the time to invest in a parakeet (a good rule of thumb is to think of them more the way you would think of a dog than the way you would think of a cat – as far as required attention), then they can be a truly rewarding pet; but make sure you have the time and energy to invest in a parakeet before you purchase one, or you may spend ten or fifteen years lamenting your mistake!