Posted Aug 27, 2014
Bourke’s are one of the few parrots I’d recommend as a first bird. They’re also a great transition for someone who has mostly kept finches or doves and wants to move into a more interactive species.
They’re adaptable and can be peacefully kept in groups in an aviary or singly as companion birds. In a community aviary, Bourke’s can be mixed with other species of similar disposition.
They’re strangely gentle parrots. I’m sure some Bourke’s are feistier, but Q never once bit me. When thoroughly displeased, he would grasp my finger as if to bite without actually clamping down.
Even when kept in groups, Bourke’s are much quieter than most small parrots. By themselves, they’re an excellent choice for those who love birds but don’t like a lot of noise. Most of their vocalization is pleasant chirps that sound like a mix between cockatiel and parakeet only softer.
Bourke’s aren’t only quiet in their vocalization, but also in their personality. They can be a bit nervous compared to more assertive parrots. When kept alone, they like a constant human presence, but a high traffic area with kids and dogs running by may not suit their personality well.
They are, however, a great bird for a home office companion. My Quaker could sit for a few minutes tops before getting bored. On the other hand, Q would happily sit on my shoulder or beside my desk for hours entertaining himself.
If you’re looking for a rowdy parrot with hilarious antics to entertain you then the Bourke’s isn’t your bird. They tend more towards calm and contemplative than playful and acrobatic.
Q was never terribly interested in toys, but did enjoy shredding paper towels. There were also times when he would run back and forth on the ground like a little road runner before settling back on a perch. That was the extent of his energy bursts.
For a calm companion bird, Bourke’s can’t be beat. They’re incredibly beautiful, sweet birds that are easy to handle and keep.