Birds, from the little cockatiel to the majestic macaw, can make lively and adventurous additions to your home. The many different species of birds can live anywhere from 20 to 100 years, so be sure to do your research and make sure you have the correct space, environment and time to devote to these intelligent animals before welcoming them into your family.

Feeding pet birds a good, balanced diet is the single most important thing you can do to make sure they stay healthy. An all-seed diet is not appropriate and can lead to severe nutritional deficiencies and metabolic illnesses. A pelleted diet from Harrison’s, Lafeaber or Zupreem should make up 90 percent of your bird’s diet, along with occasional treats of fresh fruit and leafy green vegetables. Fresh water should be offered at all times and it should be changed daily.

Bird behavior is astoundingly complex. Many birds develop behavioral disorders such as feather picking if they are not provided with enough entertainment. You should socialize with your bird daily and regularly rotate perches and toys. Misting birds, or giving them a large, heavy bowl to bathe in, should be done 4-5 times a week.