Pick a parrot for great fun
WHEN it comes to deciding on a new pet, our first thought is usually should it be a cat or a dog? But Mark Holland wants to open our eyes to a more unusual but colourful companion animal – the parrot.
Holland says when these intelligent and inquisitive birds are hand-reared, they can be entertaining and rewarding pets. The trick is to start handling them from a young age to remove any natural fear.
“Our little parrots think they are human, just covered in feathers,” the president of the Parrot Society of Australia (NSW) says.
“A parrot is similar to a dog in that it will want to interact with you and be around you. They have an adorable nature and then there is the joy of seeing all the crazy things they do.”
Hand-reared birds are not the kind you admire only through cage wire – they are part of the family, referred to as ‘fids’ (feathered kids).
“This is the type of bird that comes into your house that hops on your lounge” he says.
“You can even take it to the park on your shoulder, depending on how attached to the owner it is.”
Parrots come in all shapes and sizes, and Holland says choosing the right bird to match your lifestyle and personality is important.
For people with small spaces, like apartmentdwellers, who are looking for a bird that requires minimal fuss, he recommends a quieter parrot, like a budgie or peach face.
Holland, whose father kept birds and passed on this passion, says the things you need to consider when choosing your parrot include the space available for their cage, the dietary requirements and the effort needed for maintaining your parrot.
Holland, who has more than 100 parrots at his Penrith home, showed off some of the Parrot Society of Australia’s biggest personalities at the Royal Easter Show’s Pet Pavilion, which connects show-goers and domestic pet breeders.
He suggests anyone wanting advice on choosing the right bird should go to the bird expo at Hawkesbury Showground on Sunday, July 9.
Mark Holland at the Easter Show with an Alexandrine parrot and a galah. Picture: David Swift