After years of decline, the number of people keeping birds as pets is on the rise once more.
The bird ‘flu pandemic and the ban on imported birds gave the pet bird pet market a heavy blow, many manufacturers stopped making bird products and others went out of business. It is thought that lot of more elderly pet bird owners, feeling themselves more vulnerable to the ‘flu gave up their hobby and seemingly never went back. But there are signs, after eight or nine years in the doldrums, the pet business trade magazine pbwnews, has writtenthat bird keeping is on the up once more and is enjoying a new fan base in younger people.
Food suppliers have witnessed a rise in food orders from existing bird owners, but also from new hobbyists (evident because they tend to order everything that you would need to start out keeping birds). Also, pet shops, who have not sold pet bird food before, are beginning to stock it owing to increased demand.
Parrots remain a popular pet, but garden aviaries are also attracting interest. The smaller species generally are increasing in popularity and many amateurs are breeding birds, for example finches. Suppliers are finding that they are selling out of bird nesting boxes – which are being bought by both owners and retailers, where a couple of years ago they would not have sold any.
Bird importers have also noticed this increase in popularity with budgies, canaries and finches being the most popular birds, but there are more exotic species being pre-ordered too. On a recent trip to Holland one importer brought back over a thousand birds, most of which were pre-ordered.
Pet shop owners like birds, they observe that the sound of the birds chattering in the shop is attractive to customers especially children.
Birds are often happy to engage, in their own particular ways, with humans. As well as often being beautifully coloured and aesthetically appealing, and lovely to listen to, birds can be happy to interact with humans and all this makes them a welcome member of the household. While the garden aviary can be likened to a tropical fish tank as you watch the multi-coloured inhabitants living in a semi-natural state – except in this case you can listen to them interacting too.