Friday, June 30, 2006


Birds and their owners

More than just learning about the personality, behavior and health aspects of various pet bird species, my work as a BIRD TALK intern thus far has also exposed me to the personalities and behaviors of bird owners. Keeping and caring for a bird is a complex relationship between the pet and human and being in tune with how that relationship works is an important part of putting together a publication for bird lovers.

As bird owners, the BT editors can relate well to their readers and even so, they work to better cater to their magazine's audience. While the BT team organized and executed a project to further understand the minds of bird owners, I discovered just some of the complicated issues that come with having a companion bird.

What stands out most in my brief exposure to human-bird relationships is that there can be a lot of emotional drain for both the bird and owner. More importantly, and something that I learned is true for most bird owners, is the emotional gain that can come from having a pet bird, which seems to override anything negative that may trail along.

Bird enthusiasts are devoted to their companion birds, regardless of the trials and tribulations they may endure. Understanding this is important for an "outsider," such as me, who may initially think that owning a bird is like owning another, more common pet. Developing a relationship and caring for a pet bird entails much more than just feeding them on a regular basis and occasionally cooing to them as you walk by their cage.

It seems to me that in comparison to owning other types of pets, the heightened intelligence of birds makes for a rougher emotional roller coaster when trying to make a companion pet out of them. However, it also seems the challenge is not one that bird aficionados find as a drawback.


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