Birds as Companion Animals
Why might birds make good pets?
Which of the reasons below are true for why a bird might be a good pet?
A. They are easy to train
B. They are not social, so they don’t need a lot of attention
C. They are not very smart
D. They are relatively easy to care for
E. They are long-lived
- All of the Above
Archaeopteryx – believed to be a primitive bird. It lived about 150 million years ago. It was
covered with feathers, and had teeth, long tail, 3 claw-like digits on each wing.
- Modern birds appeared about 70 million years ago.
- Modern birds are classified into 28 orders containing 170 Families and approximately
9,500 species of birds
- Pigeons have been domesticated for ~10,000 years
- Originally for meat & eggs
- Later for communication, racing, show
- Species like parakeets have only been bred in captivity for 100s not 1,000s of
- Many pet birds and falcons are still obtained from the wild
- Illegal exotic animal trade is comparable to the drug trade
Birds and Humans
Common bird – human relationships:
- Falconry – 3,500 years
- Pigeons – racing, show, exotics
- Show birds – pigeons, chickens, ducks
- Pets – “parrots”, canaries, mynahs, finches, crows
- Compared to dogs and cats, most pet birds are not fully domesticated
- Falconry has been around for 3,500 years, but many birds were/are wild caught or
involved wild breeding Budgies are known more properly as….
B. Mynah birds
*Budgie is short for budgerigar.
Characteristics that Define Birds:
- Two legs & two wings
- Warm-blooded (endotherms)
- Egg laying (oviparous)
- Feathers on most of their body
- Most have scales on their feet
- Hollow bones
- Numerous fused vertebrae (back bones)
- Many are capable of flight
Feathers are made of….