THE majority of parrots purchased as pets are first generation offspring bred in captivity or imported wild-caught specimens and are often bought on impulse. As these birds are non-domesticated animals, owners need to have some understanding of the natural history of the particular species of parrot they are buying as well as its social patterns. This is vital if they are to create a suitable environment which will enable the parrot to be successfully integrated into its human family. The aim of environmental enrichment is to allow a pet parrot to fulfil its potential in all areas of growth and development without becoming dominant within a household. Too often, 'problem' parrots are passed from one owner to another, with few realising that the problem is with them and not the parrot! This article discusses the basic social and environmental requirements of a pet parrot and outlines how these might be met.
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