Smartest legal pet birds?

Category : Pets
Smartest legal pet birds?by Roxy-Publishingon.Smartest legal pet birds?Question by Preston: Smartest legal pet birds? I would like a bird, more as a friend than as a pet, the way I see it. As much as I would adore having an American crow or common raven, they are illegal as pets. With that in mind, I seek a bird that is intelligent, but […]

Question by Preston: Smartest legal pet birds?
I would like a bird, more as a friend than as a pet, the way I see it. As much as I would adore having an American crow or common raven, they are illegal as pets. With that in mind, I seek a bird that is intelligent, but legal. Intelligence, as defined by my preferences, would be the capacity to learn and reason, not the ability to mimic words. I couldn’t really care less about how much it talks.

In short: legally domesticated, smart birds capable of learning and reasoning (not talking) are what I am looking for. A good list of choices would be amazing. My thanks in advance.
Perhaps I came off as hostile to “talking” birds… Apologies. I meant that speech as a pure measure of intelligence is what I don’t care for. I’m a loner by nature, so I can devote as much time to it as I possibly need to. I live in Grain Valley, Missouri (Kansas City area), if that information could possibly help for recommendations.

Best answer:

Answer by Meredith
How about a hill mynah? I believe they’re legal everywhere but you may need a permit to own them in certain places. They’re not too expensive and are extremely intelligent. I know you said you don’t care about talking but mynahs understand the meaning behind words and have very clear voices compared to other birds.

You can actually still get certain kinds of crows besides the American kind which are legal. Look into magpies. I don’t know where you live and laws vary by location.

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2 Responses

  1. OwlwomanFebruary 5, 2014 at 3:22 am

    Congo African Greys are the best, IMHO.

    Are you near Arizona? There is a breeder in Phoenix that hand raises Greys. You must get a hand raised bird to be your friend.

    Email me off the list and I’ll give you his number.

  2. DuckyfuzFebruary 5, 2014 at 4:15 am

    The SMARTEST pet bird is the African grey parrot. Period. There is basically no competition, because African greys are so extremely intelligent, and loyal as companions too. Before I explain about the African grey, you MUST know these points that I list below. PLEASE read it if you don’t know about owning a large parrot like an African grey. If you have bird experience and owned birds before, you can skip it if you want, but I highly suggest still reading it.

    – They can be very loud, so if noise is a problem for you, I don’t recommend getting an AG. Some can be quieter and some are louder, though. They do have individual personalities.
    – They have very strong beaks, able to rip out chunks of flesh if they’re seriously angry. This means they’re also messy and destructive, and will bite or gnaw on anything they can find to entertain themselves. They also waste over half of the food they get by throwing it around and playing with it. They shed a lot of dander too, which you should watch out for if you’re allergic to that stuff.
    – They NEED 5-6 hours of attention, interaction, and conversation per day to keep them entertained and content. You need to keep teaching them new stuff, playing with them and talking to them, or else they WILL scream and pluck.
    – African greys can easily live over 50 years, many going above 80 years. They can outlive YOU, and you need to be able to find a good, loving home after you can’t care for it anymore. But as long as you’re still alive, that bird is a companion and commitment, and you pledge to care for it, not abandoning it ever, no matter how hard it might get. This means doing all that stuff for over 50 years. Can you handle that?
    – They’re also not cheap. You need to have the money as well. For the bird itself, it’s usually around $ 800-$ 1200. For a good-sized cage (always get the largest cage you can afford) it’ll cost AT LEAST over $ 100, but I find ones that are around $ 200 to be a better size. It has to be big enough so the bird can play in it and exercise. The toys get destroyed very quickly, and the monthly cost for supplies can be around $ 100. There are also vet bills to consider.
    – When you let them outside the cage (also, they need many hours outside the cage per day) you need to supervise them CONSTANTLY. They are destructive and can be troublemakers.

    Those are only some of the things. Please do your research before getting a big parrot. African greys are not the easiest to care for, that’s for sure. Know what you’re getting into. Not just the good things, but mainly the bads as well.

    Alright, so, African grey parrots. In terms of intelligence, AGs (African greys) are tested to have the IQ of an average 4-6 year old human child. They learn VERY quickly and catch on very quickly too, so teaching them new things is quite easy and fast. They can name and distinguish different objects, shapes, colors, etc. when they see them. They can hold conversations with people (actually talk back and forth with real humans and know what they’re saying). They can learn many complex tricks. Like you’ve seen crows do, they can solve puzzles too. Also, I know you said you don’t care how much it talks, but many people don’t know this: parrots don’t just mimic. I know you think they just imitate sounds, and that’s mostly true, yes, but not ALL true. Some parrots, especially AGs and other bigger parrots, actually UNDERSTAND what they’re saying. They don’t understand the actual word, but they know when to say it, when it’s appropriate to say it, what to reply with when a person asks them a question, etc., so in a way, they do know what they’re saying, not 100% mimicking. They don’t just repeat what you say. You ask them something, they can reply correctly. You say something, they can say something similar or something supporting what you said. One famous AG’s last words to its caretaker before it died was “take care, I love you” without the caretaker saying anything first. That just proves they really know what situations to say it in. And of course, they do form very deep bonds with their owners.

    As pets, or as companions, AGs are amazing as well. They’re one of the most loyal parrots I know. However, they’re what you call “one-person birds”, which means they only bond to one person (sometimes two, but mostly the one that spends most time with it). They can become protective of that person and jealous toward other people that spend too much time with that specific person. So if you also want a family bird, look somewhere else. But if it’s just you, AGs make excellent best buds. If you get a hand tame one (ALWAYS get a hand raised, TAME bird) they’ll accept cuddles and some scratches too. However, they’re not super snuggly. They’d much rather be learning something new to keep them from being bored. They get bored really easily too, so almost constant entertainment is a must.

    Other smart birds are birds like amazon parrots, macaws, and cockatoos. Mostly the bigger birds. But they’re still known to have the IQ of a 2-3 yr old, while the African grey still holds smartest at the IQ of a 4-6 yr old. I’d definitely recommend AGs if you want an intelligent, problem-solving and fast-learning bird with a loyal nature.

    Good luck, and if you have any more questions, feel free to contact me at!

    -African grey parrot-