Gentle, quiet and affectionate, the cockatiel makes an easy-going feathered pet for those who are starting out with their first parrot, or stepping up from caring for budgies.

Because of its sweet nature, modest size and colourful head and crest, this is a very popular pet around the world. And, unlike its cockatoo cousin, it is not noisy or inclined to sonic-screaming and nasty finger biting. Hardy and adaptable, they can be left alone for long periods, and their intelligence and inquisitiveness makes them easy to train. Cockatiels (particularly males) can learn up to 200 words, and love whistling long, complicated tunes they pick up around the house, including phone ring tones. 

Colour choice
The natural colour of a cockatiel...

Many couples treat their pets like a child substitute, smothering it with love and attention. But what happens when they start preparing for the pitter-patter of tiny feet? 

Can Pet's Tell A Woman Is Pregnant?

You may not think your dog or cat knows you’re expecting, but often they do. Cats are adept at detecting changes in mood, posture, behaviour and body chemistry associated with pregnancy. If they feel neglected, cats may become aggressive or begin urinating in inappropriate places. Being highly sociable animals, dogs can become overprotective of their pregnant owner, barking or growling at other family members. Stick to your normal routine as much as possible, but if you’re worried about your pet’s behaviour, talk to your...

Budgerigars are very popular pets for good reason; they have loads of playful character for their size, can be taught to talk, and they are inexpensive to buy and keep. As a member of the parrot family, budgies are very gregarious and make ideal companions, providing hours of entertainment. 

Native to central Australia, wild budgies fly about in huge, noisy flocks. The cage-bred budgie is far removed from its wild cousin; it’s much bigger in size and cannot survive in the wild. Unlike undomesticated budgies, pet budgies also come in a vast array of colours.budgies

When looking for a pet, try to get a young bird. Young budgies are distinguished by the horizontal bars on their forehead, which disappear after three or four months. Look for...

With its song, colour and personality, a pet bird is something the whole family can enjoy. They’re relaxing after a stressful day at work and offer great companionship.

There is a good choice of pet birds available in New Zealand and Australia. Worldwide, the budgie is still the most favoured pet, as these birds can be taught to talk, are hardy, come in a range of colours and, if properly managed, can easily live for well over 10 years. Canaries are available in a variety of sizes and colours, and all male canaries sing, although none as well as a purebred German Roller! Parrots can be more demanding, as their specific food requirements and attention-seeking noise mean they aren’t ideal if you are away a lot or have intolerant...