Just like dog lovers and cat lovers, if you're a fan of hook bills, you'll eventually want more than one. With parrots, though, adding another one to the family brings up the question of whether or not you can house your new feathered friend with the one you already have.
Housing birds together in the same cage is like putting a couple of kids in a playroom. There's times they will get along famously and there's sure to be times when disagreements break out. You can stack the odds in favor amicable cage sharing if you choose species that are known for getting along together. "Parrots for Dummies" lists cockatiels, budgies, hanging parrots and conures as types of hookbills that are likely to live peaceably. Avian Web also lists canaries and finches as small non-parrot birds that get along with the smaller parrot species like parakeets, turqoisines, rosy burkes and grasskeets.
Sometimes personalities conflict -- and that can apply to two or more parrots. If you plan on getting an additional bird but don't have the space or money to provide a separate cage for your newest family member, be sure to steer clear of cockatoos, caiques, lovebirds, macaws and lories.
Concerns with Shared Housing
If you have a male and female of the same species, the obvious first concern would be that you would end up with baby parrots. But unless they are of the same genus (if, for example, they are both macaws) it is rare that they would mate and nearly impossible that any resulting eggs would be fertile and hatch. The biggest concern in housing two different parrots in the same cage is that they can become aggressive and fight, leading to injuries and possibly death.
Keeping More Than One Parrot
The optimal scenario for keeping more than one parrot is to provide them each with their own cage and, if possible, place them in separate rooms. Werner Lantermann, author of "The New Parrot Handbook," recommends subdividing a room to provide each parrot with his own individual space. Partitions should be placed between the cages so the birds inside cannot pick fights between the bars. If you set out to have more than one parrot of different species, getting them very young and at the same time so that you can raise them together can be effective. In "Parrots for Dummies," Nikki Moustaki says this isn't a guarantee they'll be BFF, but there is a better chance of harmony in your home than if you purchased two adult parrots and tried to force them to live together and like it.
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.