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Rescued Cockatiel: Is a Bird a Good Pet?

by George on August 18, 2010

There is a certain evocative nature to birds. From the virtually earthbound turkey to a soaring eagle, they all can bring to mind a diversity of scenes and panoramas.

The pedestrian pigeon’s itinerant shuffle and relentless peck is part of the iconic metropolitan park experience. The soaring eagle is an equally ubiquitous vision of life in a pristine wilderness. Even the lowly chicken can bring forth images of quiet, uncomplicated, country living. But aside from their ability to place images in our minds, the most prevalent trait of birds is that they can fly – so it kind of made me wonder what makes them desirable as pets?

Certainly, their bright, hopeful chirping and whistling can be endearing, but if the thing was meant to fly, should it be in a cage in your living room?

While I am not suggesting that bird owners are in any way morally inferior to the owners of other species – or that living rooms should be converted into aviaries – I do find bird ownership a bit odd. It might be a simple matter of utility.

See, your dog can fetch slippers and newspapers while cats are tidy little serial killers of virtually every small mammal you would never want to touch. Both can keep your feet warm at night. But a bird? Sure, maybe it can fly, but this is typically not a desirable feature in a home-based pet. In my opinion, pets should not be flight risks. (I crack myself up).

Basically, unless you’re using it to test for methane in a coal mine, a bird probably doesn’t serve any useful purpose. Their clucking and whistling – which might be music to some – must be understood in the context of having a bird 24/7. Having a bird full-time means you get exposed to squawking and screeching that would only be upsetting if you were not already accustomed to the sound of someone poking a very-much-alive bird with a hat pin.

Birds have their virtues, I suppose – I guess what I really don’t understand is why you would own a snake?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

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