Birds are the third most popular pet in the United States. Even though they are small and caged, birds still require a great deal of care and attention. They are complex creatures, and if you take good care of your own bird, you will have the opportunity to see what unique pets they are.
In general, the smaller domesticated bird species (canaries, finches, cockatiels, parakeets, lovebirds) are less likely to suffer from behavior problems than their wilder, more exotic counterparts. These species have been adapted to life as companion animals through long genetic selection. If you take proper care of them, most will never exhibit any behavior problems.
For those birds who do have behavior problems, the more common ones include frequent egg-laying by the female, or self-mutilating behaviors, such as feather-plucking. Such problems can be signs of boredom, dietary issues, incompatibility with cage mates, or stress.
An Only Bird is a Lonely Bird
Yes, there are exceptions to the rule that an only bird is a lonely bird. But not many. For the most part, the birds that we commonly keep as pets are social birds so those which are left alone for long periods of time may suffer from loneliness or lack a sense of community and security.
In the wild, birds are not bored or neurotic. They don’t pluck their feathers. They don’t scream all day. Unfortunately, caged birds do these very things all too often. In most of these cases, the pet bird is trying to express through these various abnormal behaviors it is: “I’m lonely!” or “I’m scared!” As a general rule, birds are much happier when paired with at least a partner of the opposite sex as a companion.
Keep in mind that these issues are less frequent or non-existent in domesticated species, but can be seen more frequently in larger species.
Read full list of Bird Care Essentials: Tips for Birds
IMG SRC: By Benjamint444 – Own work, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9708373