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I've lived with Peachfront Conures Aratinga aurea for 30 years. I've bred 'em, trained 'em, even visited Bolivia to observe them in the wild. For more about me, click right here.

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12:44 p.m. 2012-10-14

what's this "don't buy parrots" hysteria?

I don't want to give kooks and weirdos more attention than they deserve, so I won't provide any links, but certain kooks and weirdos seem to be gaining entirely too much attention. I'm talking about the crowd that thinks you shouldn't buy parrots or choose them for a pet. The one that really set me off the other day ran a tweet that said something like, "A parrot lives 60-80 years. Can you guarantee you will be able to care for them that long?"

Well, you know what? Your SPOUSE lives 60-80 years. And nothing is guaranteed. We aren't guaranteed tomorrow. If you have to have a guarantee before you can commit to a relationship, it goes far beyond not being able to own a parrot -- or any other pet. You can't marry, you can't have a child, you can't start a business, you can't promise to fulfill a contract. There is basically NOTHING in this life you can do if you must have a GUARANTEE that you won't get sick, won't get injured, and won't die.

Let alone the bull hockey claim that "a parrot lives 60-80 years." Very few of the 350-plus species of parrots will live to be 60 years old, even with the best possible care. It just isn't in the range of genetic possibilities for most species. There are a few ancient cockatoos and Amazons in that range. Maybe once or twice a macaw. That's it.

My peachfronted conures are in their twenties. So far, I haven't found any others even close to that age. A cat lives into its twenties. Would they advise someone not to have a cat?

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