Pet birds?

I was wondering if anyone had much experience with pet birds in Taiwan? Specifically, I was thinking about a peach faced lovebird or maybe even a budgie.

I house- sitted for extended periods for some friends in Canada a long time ago and had the pleasure of looking after their lovebird (a single male). It was very tame to the point where it would take naps in my hand and often sit on my shoulder while I was doing stuff. It had the run of the house (flight of the house) and would only be locked in its cage at night, basically for it’s own health and safety.

In order to have a tame bird like this, apparently it’s best to get them when they are very young, hand feed them, and spend a lot of time with them. They can be very intelligent (on par with dogs, I think) and good companion animals.

What do you think of having birds born and raised in captivity? Is this a moral issue? I have a pretty good place for a tame bird, I might add.

I’m getting tested again in order to discover just what exactly are the environmental factors that are making my allergies flare up are. If I’m ok for pets, I am really considering adopting a little dog as well. I now have my lunch at home every day and probably have enough room to give a pet a good life.

I dunno, some people don’t think twice about getting an animal. Theres a lot to consider, I think.

Re. the dog, come see us - we really have some fantastic friends-for-life you will love to meet.

Re. the bird, I think if you are giving him or her the run of the house, as it were, you would be providing a far better life than most other bird owners would. I’m not sure that you could adopt - maybe the Taipei bird society has some available - dunno. If you buy one, you’re encouraging what I consider to be a cruel trade, but it’s your call, of course. Do you know someone who reads Chinese who can see if there are any online up for adoption? Just a suggestion.

I actually caught a bird with my bare hands in Kaohsiung. It was a baby finch that had escaped a cage somewhere and was having a hard time coping. I took care of it and really enjoyed it (accept that it liked to sing all night) until my husband’s Budhist cousin released it one day when I was out. She felt it was too awful to keep a bird in a cage! Well, it was starving when I caught it, and I’m sure it came to a bad end in all the air pollution. I did try giving it the “run” of the house at first, as I didn’t have a cage when I caught it, but had to buy the cage because it seemed to rain s*it rather frequently.

If you’re okay with the furry ones, I’d go with a dog. There are so many who need humans in Taiwan and you really would not regret it!

I’m not a big fan of single birds raised to bond with humans rather than their own kind, but if you go to Bird Street (Hoping West Road) in Taipei, you can get baby birds of most parrot species that are being hand-fed and would probably make great companions. The “fashionable” bird right now is the Pacific Blue Parrotlet, a kind of pygmy parrot from Central America (simply Tai Ping Yang in Chinese) but take care to get a powder blue one and not a jade green one – the jade green ones have been heavily interbred because the Taiwanese like them so the blue ones will be healthier – for now. Otherwise, female budgies (parakeets) are very easily bonded with humans (but will NEVER be friends with another budgie once they bond with you) or pairs of blue/black masked lovebirds will accept you and breed easily in Taiwan. In my experience, peach-faces in Taiwan are skittish and stupid – bad stock – so are many of the pied varieties of non-masked love birds. The plainer-looking birds (closest to their wild coloring) are cheaper, sturdier and more likely to want to interact with humans.

FYI, budgies are NT100, lovebirds 3-500 and parrotlets can be 800. Parrotlets can live for 20 years, just so you know! I would always suggest to buy a pair of any kind of bird that you choose – they won’t bond with you as closely as a single bird, but you will be able to take a holiday without the bird pulling out all its feathers in stress because it misses you. Most parrots are cleverer than dogs and their separation anxiety can be much, much worse. Get two!

I have peach-faces, parrotlets, budgies, java rice birds, gouldians, shaft-tailed and star finches right now – I had a pair of free-roaming masked lovebirds (I live in the mountains) that were clever enough to come home to roost every night until the magpies got them. I have adopted quite a few birds through the lovely people involved with Animals Taiwan over the years, and honestly think that budgies are the most fun you’re gonna get with a bird that’s bred with the current stock in Taiwan. They also eat eucalyptus, which grows free in the mountains here thanks to the Japanese!

So, IMHO, budgies and masked lovebirds are good (if you let them out every few days) , peach-faces (et al.) are a waste of time, and any kind of finch is also good, with Java rice birds at the top of the list – they can be trained to tell fortunes at the night market, so you can’t knock that!

Hope this helps! I love birds so will adopt anything that you (or anyone) can’t deal with!

Mags x

How about a rooster? A rooster can’t be that expensive.
There’s an old guy in my neighborhood who walks his rooster in the early evening. I’m not kidding. I’m waiting for him to put clothes on it like all the local nutjob dog owners do.

I’m sorry, I realize I’ve been no help at all.

I’m trying to make a joke about giving Magnolia the bird, but it’s just not coming together …

Don’t worry, If I can come to a decision on whether or not I am able to own a pet or not, I’ll definitely be adopting a stray dog as well. As it is, I’m pretty sure I can provide a pretty good life for an animal, but I have some reservations. I work a lot and I’m not sure how long I’ll be in Taiwan at this point. Maybe only 20 or 30 more years,

Thanks for the info, Magnolia :wink: