Pick a par­rot for great fun

Rouse Hill Times - - NEWS -

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.

Visit par­rot­so­ci­etynsw.com

Mark Hol­land at the Easter Show with an Alexan­drine par­rot and a galah. Pic­ture: David Swift

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