Well I've seen that some people on this forum are considering stepping up to larger birds. That is great, these birds are wonderful, smart, funny, and playful. But, more comes with these birds than just that.
The large parrots, like atoos and macaws, are $1000+ just for the bird. Medium parrots, like amazons, african greys, mini macaws, small atoos, poicephalus, conures etc. would cost $500 for the bird, at least. These birds destroy their toys, so they go through a lot, and larger birds mean larger toys, and that means more expensive toys, so you would be spending quite a lot, maybe $50 a year, if not more, on things the birds are turning into sawdust! A larger bird means larger vet bills, and some vets cost quite a lot just to see the bird. Cages are more expensive, up in the hundreds, usually over $300. Used cages cost slightly less, but just slightly. Food also costs a lot. These birds are very generous. They belive in sharing with the floor, the walls, the ceiling, the curtains, the carpet, the water bowl, etc. Very little food ends up in the bird! So, food would be about $50 a year too.
Birds enjoy wandering around, "antiquing" the furniture with their beaks. And I mean way more than a budgie! A flock of macaws can strip an entire tree, of bark, leaves, branches, fruit etc., in one sitting. They do not "grow out" of this stage like puppies. Nor can you train them not to. It is in their DNA, and they will CHEW. They only way to stop this is by providing them with toys and stimulation constantly, but still expect your furniture to take a beating.
Parrots are so messy it is hard to belive! Messier than dogs and cats. They toss nearly all of their food on the ground. They also enjoy making "soup" in their water bowl, and sometimes they splash around in their bowls and throw water everywhere. Sometimes, if bored, they will cheerfully dump their water bowls and food bowls.
Macaws can be heard miles away in the wild. A Moluccan atoo is the world's loudest bird, nearly as loud as a jumbo jet taking off. Now imagine this in your home. These birds need to produce several minutes of gut-wrenching, glass shattering, screeching a day, multiple times a day. Would you
like that? Would your neighbours
? Would your family, roommate etc. like that? Sometimes people can put up with a loud, low-pitched scream of a macaw, but they cannot put up with the high-pitched screech of a Senegal Parrot. It depends on you. Of course, every bird is different, and some "quiet" species may be loud, and vice versa.
These birds need constant stimulation. And if they don't get it, they will very well let you know!! Excess screaming, biting, feather-plucking, etc. is all a sign of a bored bird. These birds need at least 4 hours of attention a day, but be prepared to shower them with wood toys, puzzle toys, foraging toys, and sound toys, and engage them in foraging, and leave the radio or TV on so they can listen to music. They are as intelligent as a 3-5 year old child, and they need the same amount of stimulation.
Due to the grinding motion of the birds beak, it would be hard, if not impossible, to "chop" someone's finger off. They can very easily break your fingers, or bite thru your nail and if that got infected, your finger would need to be amputated. They can remove your eyes, however, and remove the tip of your finger. they have huge beaks that can crush your bones, so be careful! Slam your hand in a car door, or get some hedge clippers and clip in between your index finger and thumb. That is what a parrot bite feels like! My senegal parrot bite someone thru the nail and to the bone, and these birds are about the size of a hyacinth macaw's beak.
A bored parrot will remove its feathers. It will also mutalate itself. These birds can do this very easily, and in the drop of a hat! Some birds, especially african greys and atoos, are very prone to this, as well as phobic behavior. It can be very hard to reverse this, and most of the time people give up and send them to a rescue or sell them. Training a parrot is way harder than a budgie.
budgies can live 10-15 years, 20+ is possible. So imagine a macaw! They can live 60-80 years, if not more. So can all large parrots. Even poicephalus can live 40+ years. Where will you be in this time? Will you still want the bird? It is like having a five year old that never grows up! Who will take care of the bird if something happens to you?
So there you go. Having a parrot is like having a child. Many people jump into it to quickly, thinking they will get a sweet, cuddly bird who will talk and be pretty and impress people. But remember, this is a wild animal. They are very hard and challenging to keep. If you have decided you still want one after this, good for you, and I hope you find the right bird.
Please read this website, whether or not you are getting a atoo! It is a godsend!!
Thanks for taking the time to read this!!