Bird Care

Birds can make amazing pets and there are many types of birds, each with their own personality, temperament and care needs. Learn all you can about the type of bird you are getting. Equipped with knowledge and understanding, you will have a better idea of what to expect and what is required for keeping your bird happy and healthy.

When choosing the right bird for you, here’s a few things to keep in mind:


Buying a bird is a serious commitment and some birds live a lot longer than you may expect. Examples of commonly kept birds with long lifespans include:

Cockatoos (such as Sulphur-crested Cockatoos and Galahs): up to 80 years

Conures and cockatiels: up to 30 years

Budgies: up to 15 years

The lifespan of different birds can vary significantly – it is a good idea to research the species first, to ensure you are prepared for the entire period of commitment.


All birds make noise, so this is something to keep in mind when deciding if a bird is the right pet for you. Many popular pet species, such as parrots, are loud because they are highly social and are often part of big noisy groups. For these species, being loud is important for communication - you need to be loud to be heard! Other species, like budgies, will still chatter but may not be quite as loud and therefore could be a more suitable option.

Male or female?

Depending on what you're seeking in your feathered companion will depend on whether gender is a major consideration. In birds, it is typical for males to be better talkers. However, it important to remember that not all species can talk as well as others. In some species, different genders may also be different in their temperaments, so it is a good idea to research this before choosing your bird.

Adding to the flock

Things to consider before adding an additional bird to your home:

  • If you have another bird/s, or are getting two birds at the same time, it is important to factor in how gender selection may affect behaviour and potential for breeding within the group.

  • Not all birds will get along, even if they are the same species, and some will only get along until they are competing for their favourite persons affection! It's best to supervise and monitor your birds when they are interacting together.

Caring for your bird


Enclosures must allow suitable space to allow freedom of movement and adequate opportunity for flight. The minimum size of a cage suitable to house one bird will depend on the species and is best researched before getting a bird or purchasing its cage.

Enclosures should be positioned in a well-lit area. For some birds, fluorescent lights may be unsettling (birds see light differently to us), so try and avoid positioning them under fluorescent lighting. Appropriate perches of varying size must be provided as well as well-secured food and water troughs. Food and water should not be positioned beneath perches and any accidental contamination of the food and water by bird droppings must be removed immediately.

At night the cage should be covered with a cloth or towel to permit the bird to rest and to protect it from draughts. Should the cage be placed outside the house at any time, it must be in a position that is safe from predators – cats and wild birds – that could scare or directly injure the bird. It is also important to ensure your cage is snake and predator proof. Birds should not be left in the sun without shade and should be protected from overheating on hot days.

If you plan to keep waterfowl, such as ducks or geese, a pond should also be provided in their enclosure as bathing is an important part of maintaining their feather health.


Birds tend to feel safe in elevated places, so it is important to provide a variety of perches at different heights to allow them to move around the cage, comfortably rest, and easily sit by food or water dishes. Natural wood (untreated) is the best perching, with bumps, dips and textured bark included as this help reduce issues with pressure sores. Pressure sores arise on birds’ feet when they repeatedly perch on a smooth or even surface, as their foot pads consistently touch at the same points, which in time can lead to sores. It is for this reason that dowl perching (although often provided when buying a cage) is not recommended. For birds which like to chew (e.g. many parrot species), a perch with bark will also double as great chewing enrichment as well as helping to maintain their beak. Perches are also available to purchase which specifically help with beak and claw maintenance, and are usually made of products like pumice or calcium. 

Enrichment and exercise:

It’s good to remember that enrichment for pets is more than just providing toys. While toys are great fun, many pets, including birds, also require a lot of attention and companionship. A healthy balance between keeping them busy with fun toys and enjoying time together is the best way to keep your bird content.

When buying or making toys, we recommend that you research which types are appropriate to the species of bird you have or are planning to get as, just like choosing a toy for a child, you must be mindful of different hazards and suitability of toys for different birds. Also, keep in mind that after a while the same toys can get boring. It's a good idea to have a few toys, which can be rotated over time to keep things interesting! You needn't spend a fortune on toys however - many birds love simple things like shredding a cardboard box! Just be sure to remove any glue or tape which the bird might ingest. Be careful not to over furnish your birds enclosure as this crowds the cage and may result in injury.

If you let your bird out for exercise, always supervise this time if other pets are in the house, even if they get along.


A tray on the floor of the cage will help collect excreta and should be removed each day and thoroughly cleaned. The cage itself should be easy to clean, and water bowls, food bowls and perches should be easily removable for cleaning purposes. If using a cleaning product, always check that it is safe and suitable.


Training a bird is, in many ways, very different to training a cat or dog. There are many useful resources online that can help you with bird training. Different types of birds will have different temperaments and some will be more receptive to training than others. Having a well-trained bird will not only facilitate health checks and treatment when needed but will also create a happy and healthy bond between you and your pet, which will be very rewarding for you both!

Just like with any other pet, we strongly recommend that children be supervised when handling birds.


The caged bird's basic diet should consist of seed and pellets which are suited to the size and nutritional needs of your birds' species. This diet should also be supplemented with fresh fruit and vegetables - but be mindful that there are certain foods which are not safe for birds (such as mushrooms and avocado). A cuttlebone (the internal shell of a cuttlefish) can be added to a pet bird’s cage to provide trace minerals such as calcium, act as a source of entertainment and help to clean your bird’s beak. Fresh water is essential and must be replenished frequently, particularly in hot weather or if it becomes fouled.