Get the lowdown on what you need to know about buying and insuring the pet that loves to answer back - the parrot!
There are three different policy options available from ExoticDirect for parrot owners
If you're looking for a pet that's a real talking point then a parrot could be the bird for you.
Choosing the right sort of bird for your family isn't difficult, but it does require some thought on how it will best fit into your household.
It's by no means an easy undertaking so, if you lead a busy life, the parrot is probably not the best pet for you.
Many providers only offer pet insurance cover for more traditional animals such as cats and dogs, but Gocompare.com's preferred provider for other animals, ExoticDirect, offer a range of cover options for many different types of pets, including birds, reptiles, small mammals and large/exotic mammals.
When you click the 'Get Quotes' button to enter Gocompare.com's pet insurance comparison service, you'll immediately see an option asking whether you're looking to cover a pet other than a cat or dog.
If you're looking to insure a parrot, follow that link through to the ExoticDirect site, click on the appropriate image, answer a few quick questions, input your basic personal details and you'll be presented with your quote.
There are three different policy options available from ExoticDirect for parrot owners, the cheapest of which covers death, theft, fire and weather perils, but excludes veterinary fees.
The two higher-priced options also include cover for death, theft, fire and weather cover, as well as veterinary fees which are capped at defined limits per policy period.
The type of parrot determines the average lifespan of the bird - they can be very long-lived.
Large parrots such as Macaws can be quite challenging - they live an average of 50 years and, as with other parrots, are highly intelligent. African Grey parrots can have an average life span of 45 years.
Whatever you choose remember parrots are a long-term commitment that need lots of mental and physical stimulation. Without this they can become bored, which can lead to conditions such as feather plucking.
One of the more popular speaking birds is the African Grey.
They are also said to be highly intelligent, with studies suggesting that they can have the intelligence of a small child.
There are also other varieties that can converse, such as parakeets.
Find a knowledgeable parrot breeder that you trust when buying your bird, as they will be able to provide you with details of the bird's parentage, history and temperament and should be able to offer you care advice.
Alternatively, you can buy from a reputable pet shop. Do some research into the shop to ensure that the parrots sold are sourced responsibly, and try to find out as much as you can about the bird.
When purchasing your pet - whether from a breeder or a pet shop - you should always check whether the bird is on a list produced by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).†
If the bird is listed, the breeder or pet shop have a legal duty to hold a valid Article 10 certificate, which confirms the lawful acquisition of the bird - find out more from the Gov.UK page on how to apply for a CITES permit to import and export endangered species and for commercial use.†
The Article 10 certificate should be passed to you upon sale. The bird should also be wearing a closed ring, or should be microchipped.
Before purchasing your new pet, ensure that if you live in a rented property you're able to keep birds. As parrots are also very vocal, you should also consider whether it will affect your neighbours.
Parrots require lots of stimulation - if they don’t receive this they can become bored which can lead to conditions such as feather plucking
Tamara Labelle, ExoticDirect
It's essential to purchase a cage that's large enough to house your parrot comfortably and you must keep it somewhere where it can have the most interaction with people.
According to the Parrot Society: "Your parrot's cage should be at least twice the width of your parrot's fully extended wings and at least one-and-a-half times the height of your parrot, from head to the tip of tail."
The majority of parrots are comfortable living at room temperature, but some require air humidifiers. These should be cleaned regularly.
Parrots are particularly sensitive to fumes in the atmosphere and it's not a good idea to keep your bird near the kitchen or anywhere where they might encounter toxic fumes.
Teflon fumes can be serious or fatal for parrots and are released when Teflon-coated cookware (or other Teflon-coated items) are overheated or burnt.
Other seemingly innocent items such as room sprays, deodorants and burning candles can also be toxic for birds, as well as cigarette smoke. Conduct research in order to ensure your home is a safe place for your bird.
Parrots can be great family pets. A busy family home where there's plenty of interaction is better for a parrot than a household where it's left on its own all day.
They require plenty of stimulation in order to prevent them becoming bored, so do some research into which type of parrot is suitable for your family environment.
"Parrots need lots of stimulation and may not be suitable pets if you're not at home a lot," said Tamara Labelle of ExoticDirect.
"If they don't get the attention they need they can become bored, which can lead to conditions such as feather plucking."
Parrots have a tendency to become jealous of new people or pets and can lash out at them by nipping or screeching.
It's advised that you introduce anything or anyone new very slowly and with lots of positive encouragement to support your bird.