Species Descriptions

Panama, Blue and Gold, and Severe
A gathering of friends... Panama Amazon, Blue & Gold
Macaw, Severe Macaw

I kept the descriptions rather brief and have given more of an outlook on their pet qualities as I see them. There will always be different opinions about some of the characteristics of the various birds as everyone always interjects their own personal experiences into their equations.

LARGE PARAKEETS

These are joyous lovers of life!

As you will see, I am very smitten with all the parakeets. I love their friendly but independent nature and find their personalities intriguing. They are very playful and so much fun to watch and I love the variety of colors. I have found that they do need more handling than your conures but the rewards are well worth the effort. Also these birds take great pleasure in flying and I personally feel they make better pets if they are allowed to fly to expel some of their life-loving energy.

If you have lived with any of the grass parakeets, you know they are keenly interested in everything you do and say and love to hang out with you.

We handle these babies from an early age, but have found that, as they mature, they resist touching along their backs and bellies. They do usually enjoy having their faces, heads and beaks rubbed. If you want to encourage stroking acceptance, you will have to practice this often. As with all personality profiles, there will be exceptions and there will be a few who will enjoy complete handling.

Indian Ring Neck

What can I say? These endearing but weird little birds are noted as being in the top 10 for talking ability. Incredibly beautiful, their colors are rich and astonishing. They are sweet and lovable and independent ... they will adjust to whatever time you are able to give them but to keep them emotionally "connected"... you must spend personal time with them every day. They usually tolerate stroking and cuddling if you are consistent in your handling and they seem to "hang" on your every word with their appreciation. They won't like your friends and will barely tolerate your children but when they love, their love is pure and loyal. They do better on a good seed mixture and will eat absolutely ANYTHING as far as real food. I consider them the garbage-hounds of the bird world. My personal pet is called "Binky," and he is hardly ever caged when we are home.

Alexandrine Parakeet

The Alexandrine Parakeet is a most interactive and entertaining parakeet to keep as a pet. They are excellent talkers and very clear. They also pick up sounds and whistling skills quickly.

These birds are very playful and enjoy boings and swings, and because of their long tails, need a large cage. They can be very affectionate but need consistent handling to keep them hand-friendly. They have a 40 year life span if fed and housed correctly.

Derbyan Parakeet

These large docile parakeets are stunning in their coloration. They have a balanced look that I find most becoming. I have an intense liking for these unusual birds.

Their attentiveness and interest in every single thing you have to say makes them a hard bird to pass by. They hang on your every word and are good talkers and sound-makers. They have a gentle nature and softness to their eye expression that just pleases me.

These pairs I have are new youngsters and I don't expect any babies until 2008. At that time I intend to spend a lot of time with the babies to see what intense and consistent handling produces. I can't wait, and I truly believe they are going to make wonderful pets.

Right now, if I had to bring up any negatives about these beautiful birds, it would be that they are one of the most voracious chewers I have ever come across. Anybody who gets one of these birds will be encouraged to make their own chew toys! I think you will be a consistent visitor to your local lumber company!

Rock Pebbler, aka Regent Parrot

These exceptionally pleasant, large yellow and olive green parakeets are the most gentle and sweetest birds I have ever come across. I believe Rock Pebblers are a wonderful pet for a gentle and friendly child because they are naturally sociable and not inclined to bite. They do not scream and are not so apt to chew up your woodwork.

They have sweet and very melodious voices and can talk in a tiny little piped voice. They are good at picking up household sounds like the telephone and they can also sing.

Playful without being rowdy and enjoy being with people, both sexes are equally as lovable and both talk.

AFRICAN PARROTS

African Grey Parrot

The African Greys, with their continuing good press leaves little to add. Congo African Grey ParrotI look on them as the mental chameleons of the parrot world, they "blend." These beautiful birds tend to be however they are raised. If cuddled, stroked and handled as babies they can be just as warm and affectionate as a cockatoo ... and on a down side they also produce a lot of feather dust. Everyone knows their remarkable talking and whistling abilities, but what sets them apart from many birds is their tremendous intelligence and sensitivity. These birds seem less like a "pet" and more like a friend. If you have the time and the mental attitude to be able to share your living space with one of these special creatures, the rewards are great.

Meyers Parrot

A typically quiet small parrot with very pretty coloring, the 9" Meyers parrots have a head, neck, and shoulder coloring of a brownish gray. Their torso is a beautiful iridescent shade of turquoise. As they mature a yellow patch forms over their forehead and wing bend. These birds are great for apartments and can become fairly good talkers.

COCKATOOS

Umbrella Cockatoo

These striking large cockatoos are popular and have a lot of warnings connected to their normal personalities. These birds can fit well into a home with several other birds and a bird-savvy human. Umbrella CockatooBut all the negative press about them should be considered. They are highly emotional and sensitive. Their cage requirements are large as they should not be left out unsupervised. Our breeder pair of Umbrellas love to go into vocal over-load at 3 AM on a full moon, so all these normal behaviors need to be expected and accepted. They do not chew and scream because they are frustrated or "bad" ... to try to change these normal behaviors would be like trying to alter the way you breathe. I have known of happy well-adjusted cockatoos but their human family was smart enough to set limits and not create a living pattern or schedule they would not be able to maintain on a regular basis.

Goffins Cockatoo

The smallest of the toos, these precious brats are perpetual motion. Playful and loving, they are less needy than their larger cousins ... but just as smart and just as complicated. These birds need a lot of interaction and a busy, noisy home in order to be happy. They languish and can develop psychological problems if bored. We go out of our way to encourage these sweethearts to be content to play by themselves when no one is home or are doing other things. We do not recommend these to the novice bird owner, or any of the cockatoos. Please do a lot of research before considering a Goffins or any of the toos.

CONURES

Blue Crown Conure

The Blue Crown is the plain-Jane of the conures being mostly forest green with a teal blue head. Some rusty coloration might also be present. The underside of their long tail is a watermelon pink. These medium sized love bugs are hands-down, my very favorite of all the conures. They are exceptionally social and loving, excellent talkers and all the personality of a Macaw at a fraction of the price. As you talk to them, they usually express their pleasure with endearing vocal responses. They also take pleasure in a lot of hands-on affection. Funny, smart, and totally entertaining ... do yourself a favor, and provide a spacious cage with swings and toys and they will keep you entertained. As with most of the larger conures, these life celebrators can be loud so put on some rock 'n roll and have a party!

Sun Conure

Sun ConureThis medium-sized conure is not known for its talking skills but many do learn a few words. What they do excel in is their sweet dispositions and splendid coloration. Few birds can rival the festive fire orange red and vivid greens.

They like a lot of handling and snuggling and will prefer to spend personal time on your shoulder so they can preen your hair. A bird for the entire family, they will usually go to all that are kind and appreciate their lovability. These are a vocally joyous conure as are many so if you are noise sensitive, you might choose another species.

Green Cheek Conure

These captivating and beautiful conures are a perfect pet for the bird-loving child entering their teens! Or that next step up from a cockatiel or parakeet. They are precious, coy, engaging, and sometimes bratty. They do not have an offensive voice so would suit an apartment life. Even though they are small, give them a roomy cage so you can experience their playfulness. These joyous birds will use the whole cage. They love things that glitter and things they can climb on and into. They love sleeping in the birdie huts and also rolling around with small floor toys. The can become moderate talkers but have a comic voice. Although not hyper, they want to be into everything and will prefer to fall asleep on your shoulder or nestled in you hand. I would guess that they have a lifespan of around 20 years.

CAIQUES

Black-headed Caiques

The colorful clowns of the bird world. They have strong personalities and opinions about everything. They are not the shy or reclusive bird and want a close up inspection of all who enter their domain. I honestly can't tell you the difference in Caique personalities between the White Bellied and Black Headed. I have only raised the Black Heads and these birds that are now my breeders, were delightful as babies. They talked early and had piped "Mickey Mouse" voices. They are VERY busy and very interactive, with out-going personalities and "chuckle" when they are pleased ... and they smell like oranges. Be forewarned, I have found them to be aggressive with other birds, behaving like little Pit Bulls, so for their own good, protect them from your bigger birds.

MACAWS

Severe MacawHighly social and intelligent, these birds get very attached and protective of the people they love. They become an active member of their human family and require a lot of social interaction to keep them happy. Although the smaller Macaws are not very hard to accommodate, the larger Macaws require a lot of consideration because of their tremendous size.

Macaws naturally enjoy their ability to get attention by using their voices, that is how they communicate to their flock and you need to understand that if your macaw cannot see you or hear you nearby, unless they are happily diverted, there will be a "reaching out" with their voice to keep you located. These birds may be less vocal with another bird in their presence that they can consider a buddy.

Green-Wing Macaw

These giants of the Macaw world are just a step below the magnificent Blue Hyacinth Macaw in size.

We were very reluctant to offer these babies as pets as their large size would present housing problems. Green-wings are majestic, gorgeous birds that many people want to own for the wrong reasons.

The accommodations for this size of bird are enormous.

Also I feel the need to impress on prospective buyers the long life of these birds ... a 75 to 80 year lifespan is a commitment of enormous proportions. Housing these birds will require an oversized cage not typically found in most retail situations.

A cage large enough to offer climbing and play room would most likely cost two thirds the price of the bird and these birds are expensive. Of course you can have a large play gym with large natural limbs but remember these will have to be replaced a lot more often than you would have to do with any smaller birds.

One of your best contacts will be with your local lumber company and possibly you might befriend a local cabinet maker for some of their discarded bird-safe wood. Your imagination and perseverance will be challenged to provide acceptable entertainment as these birds engage in a lot of destructive chewing.

All these things taken into account, and you still want to invite one into your life, be prepared to be amazed and gratified by one of the dearest and most lovable of any of the larger birds. These guys are incredibly sweet and can be the gentlest in their loving ... but don't make them jealous!

They are playful, funny, charming and engaging; you don't just want to stroke, kiss and hold them, you want to get down on the ground and gently wrestle with them too.

A bird that seems as comfortable playing on their backs as hopping and silly dancing on the ground.. they are the "forever child" and most likely will be in your family when time passes and the grand children visit.

Hahns Macaw

These are the smallest of the Macaws, mostly green with a darker head, and a flash of red under their wings that shows on their outer shoulder as they mature. Cuddly and charming, there could not possibly be a more personable Macaw for a pet. These are totally the sweetest little birds. Fitting perfectly in your hand or snuggled under your chin, the Hahn's are super talkers, talented whistlers and can carry a tune with the best of them. As most Macaws, they tend to be jealous so you have to temper your affections with another, be it bird or spouse, to keep peace in your home. They can get headstrong in their "teenage" years and need firm guidance but, as with children, they get better as they get older.

Severe Macaw

These are a larger mini Macaw. They tend to love fiercely and become totally attached to one special person in their lives that they trust. Like all Macaws, they can be jealous and headstrong but their devotion is complete to their special love. These are happy, fun-loving, and playful birds and can get vocal in their celebration of life ... and can be excellent talkers ... so if you are noise sensitive, you might choose another type of bird.

Yellow Collar Macaw

These popular little Macaws have won their way into many hearts over the last few years. All the personality, charm, and talk ability of the larger Macaws, these 16 inch sweethearts are a perfect size. Mostly forest green with a yellow band on the back of their neck, and royal blue outer flights. They are endearing and affectionate and fun loving ... enjoy laying on their backs and playing with foot toys as well as swinging from everything from their cage rope to your night gown. These little guys are precious. Like all Macaws they are subject to intense attachments to their special person and can become very jealous of anyone or anything that they feel takes you away from them. They need a firm but loving hand and constant guidance as to what is acceptable behavior. They can be incredibly loyal and loving with those they trust.

PIONUS

Blue-headed PionusMellow and sweet, the Pionus are the "classical music" type of pet bird. Pionus make wonderful pets for those people who want an independent bird who loves human companionship but won't chew your house up, burst your eardrums or bite your finger off. They are usually good talkers and have a quiet wisdom that all Pionus owners appreciate. They can make very good companion birds for gentle children, apartment dwellers and often get along well with other species of birds. People who have the Pionus consider them "thinkers", they always seem to be studying the situation. Their colors are generally more diffused as babies and will become a lot more striking and colorful with more violets and blues and bronzes by their third molt. These colors come alive in natural sunlight. To find out more join the Pionus Yahoo group.

Maximillian Pionus

The Maxis are beautiful with a camouflage covering of many shades of olive green and a violet bib.. a striking watermelon pink is visible on the underside of their short, Amazon-like tail. I have found the Maxis to be the best talkers and the most out-going with strangers. They are about 12 inches. The White Cap has the same olive body coloration, only a bit darker than the Maxi. They also have a lot of violet and royal blue on their chest, outer flight feathers, and head. They are the smallest of the Pionus at 9 1/2 inches.

White Cap Pionus

The White Cap is my favorite. I think they are the most beautiful of all the Pionus. The white cap that eventually covers all of their forehead just adds that special touch to the many colors.

Blue-headed Pionus

The Blue Head is thought by many to be the most striking and beautiful of the Pionus. Its 11 inch body is all shades of olive green but its head and neck are an incredible Royal blue. For more information we encourage prospective buyers to join a chat group and meet the many happy supporters of this unique bird.

AMAZON PARROTS

For years I had rejected the Amazons as birds we would include in our breeding program. It seemed they had a lot of negatives associated with their coming into sexual maturity. Their hormonal levels did indeed influence their moods.

Panama AmazonFlashbacks of articles on "stick-training," "biting recounts," "mood swings" and " emotional"overload" ... haunted my reasoning. The idea of having a bird I had to evaluate before asking it to step-up seemed a bird I needed to avoid.

Now years later, my life is hectic during breeding season and I find Amazons have become a lot more appealing. These characters seem to be very satisfied to vocally interact and contented to play on the gym or in their cage. Interaction is more on an emotional and mental level and less a hands-on.

It is very nice to have a bird that doesn't need to be stroked and petted and snuggled. Amazons are more independent. They love a good time and are a bird who has taken the word "playful" to new heights. Their dramatic mood swings seem to be a thing of wonder!

These lively birds like music and verse and can join in with accomplishment! They are able to add their own rendition and style to a song. They are dramatic and opinionated with a life-beat "spark" that sets them apart from all other birds. I applaud their energy, enthusiasm, and zest for life, and I respect their moods and emotions.

If you are looking for entertainment with a theatrical flair, it doesn't get much better than a Zon. You want something to stroke and cuddle?

Get a Conure or a cat. I'm not saying you won't be able to handle your Amazon, but it will be on their terms, depending on the mood of the hour.

Now I welcome the Amazons.

Think about your own life and maybe you will realize that your free time is not compatible with a more needy bird. It could be that an Amazon would fit nicely.

PS. I have heard from numerous people that their Amazons are seldom moody or act aggressive. I think there are some that fall into that category better than others. Some of these more mellow parrots are the Red Lored, the Lilac, the Orange Wing, and the one I raise and promote - the Panama.

Because there are so many different types, I have chosen to restrict my involvement to the Yellow Headed variety. Yellow Nape, Double Yellow Head, Yellow Front, and Panama.

Panama Amazons

These are my personal favorite of the Amazons. They are usually smaller than the other yellow headed varieties - 12 or 13 inches and having the same talking ability as the Yellow nape and Double Yellow Head.

Like most of the Amazons, they are happy and fun-loving, playful to the extreme, yet the Panamas have the reputation of being mellower. Their coloration is mostly green with a patch of yellow between, but not including, the eyes. Unlike the larger Yellow Crown, their cere is light and their upper beak can be horn or bi-colored on and mostly bone colored on the lower. Some Panamas have white toenails, all or few. The Yellow Crowned Amazon has dark nares and their beak is much darker or bi-colored with pink nodes on either side of the upper beak. Because the two species look similar, there has been accidental crossing and so you will find some species that do not fit the usual description type. Both of these Amazons - Yellow Crowned and Panama make exceptional pets and can have impressive vocabularies. If you are a "party animal" and like a lot of drama in your life, one of these two Amazons is the right bird for you!

Yellow Napes and Double Yellow Heads - the Passionate Amazons

Boldness, curiosity, wonder, and passion are words that come to mind in trying to describe these extroverted Amazons. For those birds with intensely zealous personalities these Zons reign supreme. Their enthusiasm and energy cannot be mistaken and their mood swings need to be accommodated. Companion humans need to pay attention to these emotions.