In Praise Of The Small Hookbills

It’s fascinating to fantasize of having a lovely Cockatoo like the one that sat on Baretta’s shoulder in his TV show. Although not as unusual or spectacular for your friends, choosing a pet bird from the Small Hook Bills category is much more practical. As pets, these tiny parrots offer certain benefits. Not only is the initial cost substantially cheaper, but there is no need for enormous cages or vast quantities of pricey fruits and vegetables. There will be no shrieks from these lesser birds to cope with. Most importantly, they react to affection and care with the same zeal as bigger animals.

Love Birds are a kind of tiny hookbill that make entertaining and colorful pets. Some can be taught to speak, but only with unending time and care. Although a couple is typically dedicated and passionate to each other, their personalities may not always match their names.

Although not as widely accessible as Love Birds, Senegals are beautiful small pets when hand fed as newborns. Their brilliant plumage, a blend of yellow and orange contrasted with dark brown and olive green, makes them both visually and psychologically appealing.

The Parrotlet is another appealing pet option. These birds are often undemanding and peaceful. They are timid in unfamiliar situations and may be fairly aggressive and snappy until they feel confident. They are very good at mimicking noises like laughing, coughing, and sneezing. They form tight bonds with one owner and do not like the attention of outsiders.

The Meyers Parrot, another hook bill, is not visually appealing but compensates with extraordinarily loving and sensitive personalities. Their coloration is mostly dark gray brown with hints of yellow and blue green, yet they have more clearer speech and a larger vocabulary than other smaller birds. They, too, form close bonds with their owners but are often cautious and hesitant around strangers.

My specialty is in the Quaker Parrots. Many slipped through my hands before I realized what small diamonds they are. They are a medium-sized bird, measuring around eleven to twelve inches in length. Normals are green in various tints, with gray cheeks and necks and vivid blue flying feathers. Their wide, velvety brown eyes are immediately enticing. There are exceedingly uncommon yellow mutations and a lovely powdered Wedgwood blue that I am currently breeding in my aviaries.

The Quakers, regardless of race, have the same pleasant personality. They are calm when kept alone as pets, restricting themselves to conversing, singing, and whistling. They become quite loud when maintained in huge numbers, either in colony breeding or in individual neighbouring cages. Although they are resilient and prolific, they are not a suitable option for potential breeders who live in close quarters.

The Quakers are remarkable in that they are the only parrots known to construct nests. When colony bred in the wild, each couple of birds develops its own independent chamber inside the main nest construction, akin to an apartment building. Each chamber is divided into two sections: an interior living/dining space and a front porch. In the rear dining room, eggs are deposited and incubated. As the chicks mature, they go into the living room and then out onto the front porch. The parent birds are continually re-building and mending the nest, working tirelessly even when burdened with the feeding of a clutch of newborn chicks.

The cage needs for the Quaker are low. The minimum dimensions should be 18 inches by 24 inches by 18 inches tall. This size cage is suitable if it is simply used as a refuge, that is, as a sleeping area and a feeding station. When in doubt, bigger is better.

The nutrition provided to both pets and breeding birds is critical, as it is for all animals. The cornerstone of our Quaker diets is high-quality pelleted food. They will need calcium and vitamin supplements if given a seed mix. We routinely serve fruits and vegetables as rewards. We make every effort to restrict our dogs’ treats to these nutritious meals and fight the urge to give in to their requests for cookies and other sweets.

I don’t only breed Quakers; I adore them. One of our earliest hand-fed infants is still a beloved pet, and he keeps us entertained all the time. Despite the fact that we have very little time to devote to teaching, his speaking abilities and vocabulary approach those of our African Gray. He enjoys playing, hiding in my pocket, lying upside down in my palm, and is always cheerful and pleasant. I admit that I get tired of hearing him whistle Dixie, but he is quickly distracted from his performance by a new toy. He enjoys even the cardboard core of a roll of toilet paper.

All of these Hook Bills are tough little birds. They have a life expectancy of thirty to forty years if they get proper care and attention. When baby birds are brought into your house, they become members of the family. It is perfectly reasonable to anticipate that the same small bird that your children adore will please your grandkids.

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