Whether you already have a pet bird or you are considering bringing one home some time soon, there are things to consider as a responsible bird owner. Birds provide homes with a connection to nature and companionship, and talking birds can even be friends. All are beautiful, and some exquisite and rarer varieties are extremely divine in appearance.

First, you need to take your home environment into account: Is it well aerated and do you have natural sunlight coming in through windows and doors? Bearing in mind your bird will be happiest in a surrounding closest to their natural habitat, so light and fresh air are high on the list of importance.

Next, you should find the right sized cage for the bird you choose, and of course, the cage size will depend on your home. If you only have a small corner allocated for your feathery friend, then a small cage on a stand will be optimal, however, if your home is very large, you could go as far as an aviary sized indoor atrium.

When you have determined the best cage for your home, itís time to investigate your options as far as which birds will be best suited to the overall environment you have planned. There are also some tips for ensuring you buy a healthy bird:

1. Does the bird have smooth, bright feathers?

2. Are the birdís breast muscles full?

3. Are the birdís eyes alert and clear to look in?

4. Does the bird exhibit a playful personality?

If the answer to all of the above is yes, you can feel confident to buy the bird. It is a good idea to take new pet birds to the vet for an initial once over health check. Bear in mind not all vets accept birds at their clinics, so finding one who does prior to buying the bird is recommended.

Birds hide illness very well, and as a bird owner, you have to constantly be aware of what is normal behaviour for them. If they show any changes in appetite, loss of feathers, wounds or lethargy you should take them to a vet immediately. The best way to keep your bird from becoming sick is to keep him in the cage rather than allowing them to fly all around the home. Make sure his water and food trays are always clean and free of faeces, and most important, keep his water supplies up all the time. Have a good idea what amount your bird will usually eat so you can tell if he goes off his food.

Birds are low maintenance pets. You should keep their environment clean, bearing in mind they wouldnít naturally stay in one place for so long. Newspaper or some non-glossy paper is perfect to line the cage, and this should be changed every day. About once a fortnight, you can wipe their entire cage out with warm soapy water and a cloth.

If your bird has been sick, there are specialized disinfectant washes your vet can sell for occasional cage cleaning. It really only takes five minutes a day to keep your birdís surroundings clean so they can live a long and happy disease-free life and, in turn, keep you happy by being the perfect pet.