August 27, 2010

Pockets Full of Pleasure

by Robbie Harris

Brotogeris is the Latin name for a group of small parrots admired for their tameness and affection toward their owners, as well as their intelligence and pet qualities. More than a half century ago, "bee bee" parrots filled the hearts of many pet bird lovers. These loving pets were actually the orange-chinned parakeets, also known as Tovi parakeets. The pet shops always had an abundance of these birds. Young and adults were quickly snatched up by bird lovers for their ability to be easily tamed into wonderful, intelligent family pets. Tame Brotogeris act like large parrots in compact form, and they crave attention from their owners.

As the years went on, many other Brotogeris were attached with the common name bee bee parrot--such as the canary-winged and white-winged parakeets. Even cobalt-winged parakeets were once released from a quarantine station labeled and priced as bee bee parrots.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the grey-cheeked parakeet came into the picture as the pet bird to have. Thousands were imported, with almost all of them being tame and sweet. Within days of a shipment of grey cheeks arriving in the United States, the word got out, and the demand was bigger than expected. They were all sold before they were even released from the 30-day quarantine stations. From then on, the demand was big and constant; orders for these birds were coming in from all over the country.

Even now, the demand is great and popularity is still growing. Grey-cheeked parakeets quickly earned the nickname "pocket parrot" as they became household pets because they love to climb inside their owners' shirt pockets and stay there, just poking out their heads. I even heard of someone who walked into a pet store and a grey cheek jumped onto her shoulder and quickly found her shirt pocket and climbed in. The name pocket parrot was soon attached to other birds as well. I have heard people call most Brotogeris pocket parrots, and even parrotlets have been called pocket parrots. But, just as a bit of trivia, remember that the true pocket parrot is the grey-cheeked parakeet.

One can only have high hopes that these wonderful birds will not disappear in the U.S. with many people so enthusiastic about Brotogeris. However, less and less are available following the importation restrictions of CITES. In order to maintain this species in captivity, we breeders must put our efforts into these birds, or they will no longer be available in the states.

Back in the late 1980s, I published a Brotogeris newsletter called Grey Cheek and Company. I continued it for some years, but it became too much work and quite costly for a single person to run. It created lots of phone calls and letters containing questions that need to be answered. My book Grey-cheeked Parakeets and Other Brotogeris (published by T.H.F.) appears to now be out of print due to not enough demand.

In the 1980s and into the '90s, the spread of grey cheeks was like an epidemic. Once a person had one, many of his or her friends and family were soon struck with the uncontrollable desire to own one (or two, or three). Many people took it upon themselves to get two for household pets. With a good diet and a roomy cage containing a nest box, grey cheek lovers hoped that the two would soon have more little grey cheeks. Many have had such luck.

Appearance and Distribution

The following birds, listed by their common names, are part of the genus classified as Brotogeris: grey-cheeked, canary-winged, white-winged, orange-chinned, cobalt-winged, golden-winged, tui, and plain parakeets. The members of Brotogeris are distributed from southern Mexico down through central South America.

They range in length from 7 to 9 inches, somewhat similar to lovebirds in size, but more slender. Brotogeris have full-feathered wedge-shaped tails varying in length (some have short tails, and other species have longer ones). The wings are long and pointed, which enable them to be swift fliers.

All these birds are mainly green in color with many having other colors on the forehead, chin, primaries and under the wing coverts. The beak is a similar shape to an Amazon parrot (but much smaller, of course) with the upper mandible deeply notched in a hook-like fashion. Their small, naked eye ring makes them resemble the conure family. Both sexes are alike, and the young babies closely resemble the adult birds.

Many Brotogeris species are overly abundant in their native lands. Thousands had been brought into the U.S. quarantine stations in the past, but this importing practice is over. The first and most frequently imported Brotogeris was the orange-chinned parakeet (more commonly referred to as the bee bee parrot). They were well known as extremely good pets. Later, other Brotogeris were imported in large numbers into the U.S., such as the grey-cheeked parakeet and canary-winged parakeet.

Sometimes stragglers of the less common Brotogeris were in these large batches. Many years ago, I received a phone call from a pet store owner to come down to the shop to see the unusual bee bees that had just come out of quarantine. They were not bee bees--they were cobalt-winged parakeets.

After carefully examining the birds, I purchased four that I hoped to be two pairs. I chose them correctly (using the pelvic bone method). Soon, one pair nested, rewarding me with the U.S. First Breeding Award for this species. Years later, I acquired a few tui parakeets that came into quarantine; that, too, gave me another U.S. First Breeding Award.


Brotogeris are quite bold, even though they are compact parrots. One may challenge a parrot two to three times its own size. Many learn to talk quite clearly and can be taught tricks. Some grey cheeks will make a cooing sound when very content, usually when they are resting quietly on their owner's shoulders. Some have also been successfully "potty trained" by being instructed to go back to their cage with a keyword, or by the owner saying a keyword letting the bird know it is all right to do its thing.

I know of a baby female grey cheek that I sold for a pet that learned to speak more than 30 words. Not only would she speak, but she learned to associate words with meanings very much like many African grey parrots learn to do.

The grey-cheeked parakeet, as well as most any Brotogeris, can make an excellent family or single-person pet. Most birds bond so closely with their owners that they are considered family members.

Sometimes problems arise when a bird first receives a lot of attention, and later is neglected when the newness wears off. Remember, they love attention, so try not to forget that they need time with their owners. Because they are very intelligent and playful, these birds can become bored when just left in their cages. They can start the nasty habit of feather plucking.

Keep them occupied with safe toys and bird treats, such as chew sticks or a cracked open walnut. Rotate toys and playthings so they do not get bored. Chewable toys can help keep their beaks in proper shape. Some birds do tend to develop overgrown beaks, and an experienced avian vet or bird groomer can easily trim the beak if needed. Also, supply a water bowl large enough that they can bathe at will.

Sometimes their chattering voices can become an annoyance. But, a single bird kept as a pet is usually not too noisy. The main thing here is to not teach your bird to be a screamer. Many people, without realizing it, teach their bird that screaming gets them attention. Never reward your bird in any way if it is screaming. Do not take it out because it is noisy or offer a treat just to quiet it down. Take them out of their cage for play time only when they are quiet.

Brotogeris Species

The following are descriptions of the various Brotogeris. Some birds can be smaller or larger, depending on their sex or the individual bird itself. Mature males do, at times, seem to be a bit heavier.

Orange-chinned Parakeet

The 7-inch orange chin (B. jugularis) is also commonly known as the tovi parakeet and the bee bee parrot. This bird is the true bee bee parrot. It is a small bird of 58 grams, m4erainly green in color, lighter on the throat, breast, undersides, and abdomen. The flights and tail feathers have a hint of blue. There is a blue tinge on the crown, lower back, rump, thighs, under the tail and flights. There is a bronze patch on the wing shoulder area. A distinct small orange patch can be clearly seen just under the lower mandible, giving this bird its other common name. The under-wing coverts are yellow. The iris is dark brown, the beak is horn-colored and the legs are a flesh-gray color. Both sexes look alike. There is one subspecies with a paler orange chin spot. Immature birds are similar to adults.

The orange chin inhabits parts of Mexico, Columbia and Venezuela. We have been fortunate to have some small shipments of orange chins imported to the U.S. some time ago. Years ago, they were being imported by the thousands, and most of these wild-caught birds were sold for pets. They could be easily tamed and made excellent house and family pets.

Golden-winged Parakeet

This stout 6 1/2-inch bird (B. chrysopterus chrysopterus) is a deep green, with a deeper shade on the back and wings. The crown has a bluish tinge with a brownish frontal band. The primary wing coverts are bright orange. A dull spot of orange-brown is on the chin. The iris is brown, and the beak is horn-colored. The feet are a pale yellowish-brown.

There are four subspecies, which all vary in color and/or size. An average weight is 65 grams. The four subspecies are B. c. chrysosema, B. c. solimoensis, B. c. tenuifrons, and B. c. tuipara.

White-winged Parakeet

This 9 1/2-inch white-winged parakeet (B. versicolorus versicolorus) is sometimes also referred to as the canary-winged parakeet or yellow-winged parakeet. This bird weighs about 65 grams and is mainly an olive green, with a tinge of blue surrounding the eyes, forehead, and upper parts of the cheeks. The outer primaries start off as blue-green with the remaining primaries white. The secondary coverts are yellow. Usually when the wings are held against the body, the white patch is not visible; only yellow can be seen. The legs are pinkish-gray, and the beak is horn-colored. The sexes are alike in appearance. Immature birds are similar to adults in color.

The true white-winged parakeet has bare facial areas (no feathering) around the beak and eyes, giving it an appearance of old age. Most of these birds available now have been hybridized with their close cousin (a subspecies) the canary wing; so, most birds available now have a well feathered facial area. Most also seem to be a bit more green as well because of the canary wing influence.

I find the white-winged parakeet's personality very similar to the grey cheek when it comes to hand-fed pets. Lately, I have seen many of these birds available in pet stores for moderate prices. They seem to be more available in large numbers in California and Florida. If one is interested in setting up any of these birds for breeding, now would be the time to get them before they disappear, and their prices soar.

Canary-winged Parakeets

This 9-inch, 60-gram bird (B. v. chiriri) is a subspecies of the white-winged parakeet, mentioned above. The reason I separated these two in description is because of distinguished differences in size, coloring and personality. Both are commonly called canary wings most of the time (and sometimes yellow wings). They are also wrongly referred to as bee bee parrots.

This species is slightly shorter than the white wing. It is brighter green, more like an apple green. The face of this bird is totally feathered--no bare facial areas as with the white wing. There is a slight blue tinge to the flights. A bright lemon-yellow patch highlights the greater wing coverts, giving this bird its common name. There is no white coloring on this species wing. These is one more slight larger subspecies that is less common in aviculture.

Grey-cheeked Parakeets

This 8-inch, 54-gram bird (B. pyrrhopterus) is also known as the orange-flanked parakeet, as well as the pocket parrot. Grey cheeks inhabit a small range in western Ecuador and northwestern Peru. It can be quickly distinguished from other Brotogeris by the bright orange-colored patch on the under-wing coverts. When the wings are being held against the body, only a small amount of orange can be seen peeking over the tops of its shoulders.

The main color is a bright green (paler on the underparts). The chin, forehead and sides of the face are pale gray, giving this bird its common name. The crown, primary coverts and primaries are bluish. The eyes are dark brown, feet and legs are pinkish, and the beak is horn-colored.

Both males and females are identical in color and size. Immature birds are very similar to the adults in appearance, with the very young having black coloring on the beak. This black sometimes remains for months until it fades to the adult horn color.

Tui Parakeet

The tui (B. sanctithomae sanctithomae) is a very attractive 7-inch birds that weighs about 58 grams. It is a bright green with a lighter yellowish-green on the chest, abdomen, under wings, lower back, and underside of the tail. The flights are bluish with a brighter blue on the primary coverts. There is a tinge of blue on the cheeks, nape and underside of the flights. A very bright yellow patch is on the forehead, making this species look like a tiny version of the yellow-crowned Amazon. The beak is a chestnut color. The iris is a glowing golden color, which is set off by the jet-black pupil.

Sexes are alike in color and size. Immature birds resemble adults except that their irises are dark in color. The subspecies (B. s. takatsukasae) has a yellow streak behind the eye.

Cobalt-winged Parakeets

This 7 1/2-inch bird (B. cyanoptera cyanoptera) is olive-green in color, with a darker shade on the back and wings. The forehead is a dull yellow just above the beak. The crown and nape have a blue tinge. The chin is marked with an orange spot. The primaries and primary coverts are bright cobalt blue, giving the birds its name. The upper mandible in horn-colored, darkening toward the tip. The eyes are dark brown, and the feet and legs are brownish-pink. Sexes look alike and weigh about 65 grams. Immature birds resemble the adults. There are two subspecies with some color variations.

I know many people who have these birds as pets, and they say they are excellent family birds and learn to talk. I love these birds. I have pairs set up that I hand-fed years ago, and I can still reach into the cage and pick them up without them attempting to bite me. They stay tame and sweet. They also make very good breeder pairs, usually producing clutches each year, whereas other species of Brotogeris may skip a year or two.

Plain Parakeet

This 9-inch bird (B. tirica) is mainly green, with a yellow tinge on the crown, cheeks and the underparts. There is blue on the flights and underside of the tail (with just a tinge on the hind neck and the mantle).

These birds are common in their native land, but there are only a few in the U.S. None were legally imported because of the strict exportation laws of Brazil, their country of origin. I have recently been told that the few plain parakeets in the U.S., government seized because they were illegally imported, have all died, except for possibly one bird. No pairs, to my knowledge, are available in the U.S.

The following combinations of Brotogeris have been produced in both captivity, as well as in the wild:
  • canary-winged parakeets with white-winged parakeets
  • grey-cheeked parakeets with orange-chinned parakeets
  • orange-chinned parakeets with cobalt-winged parakeets
  • grey-cheeked parakeets with canary-winged parakeets
  • grey-cheeked parakeets with white-winged parakeets
I am sure there are more combinations of the above, but those are the ones I have seen. It is best to put together only the same species when it comes to breeding Brotogeris.


Most any cage that is suitable for a cockatiel will do just fine for a pet Brotogeris. The cage bars should be close together. Too much space between the bars can lead to a pet getting its head stuck between them. Dowels that are 1/2- to 3/4-inch in diameter should be used for a grey cheek (too large or two small could cause foot problems). Natural branch perches are always welcomed for climbing and chewing by most grey cheeks or Brotogeris. If selecting your own branches off trees, be sure they are pesticide-free and nontoxic.

Brotogeris love to play on an open playpen with treats and safe toys at their disposal. All kinds of various safe toys can now be purchased in pet stores. Rotate different toys every few days, so your pet will not get bored with the same old toy. When out of their cages, these birds should be supervised; Brotogeris can be very mischievous and wander off, possibly doing damage to furnishings or even to themselves. Think of a pet Brotogeris as a child, and you should do just fine.

My readers would write in telling me all kinds of things about their Brotogeris. One lady wrote and told me her grey cheek, named Chicken Little, loved to play with wooden popsicle sticks. This bird is famous because some years back he did some professional modeling. Actress Isabella Rossellini did a shoot with Chicken Little for the publication Interview. But, since then, Chicken Little has retired and just prefers to live a pampered life (thanks to his owner).

Dietary Needs

A bird must receive a well-balanced diet to be healthy and strong. I offer all my birds a large variety of food in their diet. All my Brotogeris are offered the following dry seeds: parakeet mix, safflower seed, and medium-sized sunflower seed. If more convenient, a good cockatiel mix is suitable for Brotogeris.

I have found, when it comes to this family of birds consuming dry seed, that each bird is an individual as far as actually consuming the various seeds offered. For example, one grey cheek will eat only parakeet mix, another may prefer mostly sunflower seed and even another eats all types of dry seed. A diet of formulated pellets can also be offered.

Offer fruits and vegetables (washed thoroughly) for a well-balanced diet. When it comes to soft foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, all of my Brotogeris love them. I have found that almost all Brotogeris love apples. My birds received daily a bowl of various soft foods, consisting of sprouted seeds, apple, oranges, peaches, bananas, grapes, peas and corn (these can be fresh or frozen), grated carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, beets, spinach and other seasonal fruits and vegetables. A tip here: carrots, yams, and sweet potatoes are consumed with more relish by Brotogeris when they are quickly steamed or cooked, then cooled. It brings out the sweetness of these vegetables, and the birds seems to enjoy eating them better when lightly cooked.

I sprinkle a good avian vitamin and powdered calcium on fruits and veggies, especially for my breeding birds. Brotogeris also relish soaked (in water or fruit juice) primate biscuits. Just be sure the biscuits are fresh. They can become rancid and cause health problems for birds.

Birds, like people, need variation in their lives. Some Brotogeris even enjoy eating live meal worms as a special treat (a good source of protein), which can be purchased at local pet shops. Others like treats such as various bits of breakfast cereals or crackers. Most pet Brotogeris become part of the family and eat at the dining room table. This is fine as long as the "junk food" is kept to a minimum.

Here's a little story about one of my breeding pairs of grey cheeks that will show how unusual some of the personalities of these little characters can be! Each day, I would fill their flat glass bowl with the soft food mixture that I prepare daily for all my birds. This pair, like all the other pairs, would immediately devour their treats with delight. This pair went to nest, laying six fertile eggs and taking good care of their clutch. Upon inspection one morning, I found that three chicks had just hatched. The pair's bowl was filled as usual. The pair came over to the bowl and looked inside, and together instantly they flipped over the soft food tray, contents and all went flying out. I refilled it, and again it was turned over. This continued for days. I kept offering them the soft food mixture many times a day.

One day I scooped out some of the mixture of soft foods into their bowl, and a different outcome occurred. The pair ran over to the bowl chattering with excitement. They immediately started to pick out only the peas. That day, in that particular scoop of my soft food mixture, there were extra peas. This time they did not flip over their bowl. The next time I went out to feed them, I added extra peas on top of the soft foods. Again, the pair was excited, and the bowl remained right side up, I now knew that this particular pair wanted extra peas when they have chicks.


It is hard to determine the sex of most Brotogeris by sight. In some cases, the males appear to have a slightly larger head and beak when closely compared to females, but this is not totally reliable when it comes to pairing birds up for breeding.

If you must know the sex of your bird, the most accurate way to determine it is by having your bird surgically sexed or DNA-sexed by a reliable vet. Keep in mind that surgical sexing is an operation. It can be a little more risky with the smaller types of birds, so please find an experienced vet to perform this procedure if surgical sexing is your choice in correctly determining the sex of your bird. Keep in mind that without knowing the correct sex for breeding, breeders could be wasting valuable time assuming they have a pair. Birds set up for breeding that are not of the opposite sex can become frustrated birds and begin to feather pick themselves.

(Note from site owner: The chest feather DNA test accurately determines the sex of the bird and is none-evasive. All you need to do is pluck 5 chest feathers from your bird and mail them to the lab you choose. (2010)

When setting up pairs of Brotogeris for breeding, each pair should have its own individual cage or aviary. Breeding pairs can become quite ill-tempered when getting ready to go to nest. A pair preparing to nest may kill any other birds (Brotogeris or other species) that are in the same enclosure with them at that time. I've had the tamest pairs of grey cheeks become terribly vicious toward me when they are thinking about going to nest. They lash out to attack me while I am trying to feed them or clean their cage.

If a pair of pets suddenly become a bit nippy, this is usually a sign that the pair is thinking about going to nest. It is natural for breeding pairs to become extremely vicious towards people during the breeding season. At this time, they become very territorial and protective of their home. A single pet bird can act very much the same way during breeding time; this aggressive behavior usually passes with just a bit of time and patience.

Grey cheeks or other Brotogeris do not have to be tame for breeding. Wild or tame birds will breed if ready to do so. It is alright to have other Brotogeris or other types of birds around in the same building or room. The main thing to remember is to put only one pair of birds in a breeding setup. However, I have heard of people who had some success with colony breeding canary-winged parakeets. I was successfully breeding two pairs of cobalt-winged parakeets in one enclosure, but after a year the birds starting fighting, and I feared that one might kill the other. The pairs were given their own cages. I feel that is the safest way to breed these birds--one pair per enclosure.

My pairs of Brotogeris use standard wooden parakeet nest boxes with a layer of pine shavings on the bottom. These birds are not known to build their own nests, but I have had pairs fill up their nest box with apple and orange peels, and other scraps found on the bottom of their cages, almost as if they were attempting to build a nest similar to a lovebird's. I have offered them branches with leaves, but they go untouched.

Most of my breeding pairs have a single clutch of eggs a year. There are some pairs that will double and even triple clutch in a year. Nesting is generally from February through July. Pairs may be housed outdoors, weather permitting.

There is no set number of eggs per clutch. It can be as few as one or up to seven. The incubation period for Brotogeris eggs is 25 to 26 days. I've had many fertile eggs not hatch for more than a month from the time the first egg was laid. Brotogeris seem to start incubating only when they are almost finished laying all the eggs in the clutch. The hen may stay in the box with her newly laid eggs, but many times she is only brooding the eggs, not sitting tightly until at least three or more eggs have been laid. Because of this waiting period of brooding eggs--not actually incubating them--incubation seems to be longer for this species. Start counting 24 days from the time the last egg is laid. I have heard of too many people breaking open eggs way too early to find live babies inside the eggs. So, be patient!

Usually, the hen does most of the incubation with the male standing guard just outside the box. Both parents tend to the chicks when they start to hatch. The chicks grow quite rapidly. At 12 days old, their eyes are open, and within two more days, dark quills can be seen developing under the skin. At about 4 weeks old, feathers start to "pop" through the quills, first in the tail and wings, soon followed by the rest of the body.

Chicks fledge at about 6 weeks old, with both parents continually feeding the chicks on the outside of the box until they are eating on their own. By the time they are 9 to 11 weeks old, they are weaned, eating mostly soft foods at first.

If you desire, domestically reared chicks can be closed banded. I use the same size leg band used for cockatiels. A closed band (no open seams in the band) can prove that the chick has been domestically reared and can also be used for identification (and age, if dated).

Once the chicks are eating on their own, they should be removed. Otherwise, they could disturb the adult pair, should the pair decide to return to nest. Chicks can be left with the parents until they fledge or can be removed for hand-feeding when young and still unfeathered.

The best age for removing the chicks for hand-rearing is at about 2 weeks old. Baby Brotogeris (unweaned) will bob their little heads up and down and make very loud "squeaking" noises. Once weaned, the loud squeaking stops. Hand-reared youngsters make excellent pets. I remove all my chicks for hand-rearing.

Medical Considerations

Some years back, there was some controversy as to problems occurring with some grey cheeks. At times, avian tuberculosis was found or suspected to be a problem with a few individual grey cheeks. Not all findings were lab tested; many were just assumed to be that problem. In all my years of owning and raising grey cheeks and other types of Brotogeris, I have never encountered avian T.B. in any of my birds. So, this finding is most likely presumed by some and is in no way any type of epidemic.

Here is my theory on this matter--again, this is only my opinion. In the 1980s, when thousands of grey cheeks were being imported, there were babies that were being hand-reared by natives as they sat in Peru awaiting transport. Now, keep in mind that these people were not hand-feeding the chicks with sterile eye droppers or syringes; they were feeding them by a method known as "blow-feeding."

Blow feeding is when food is chewed up by a person and "blown" into the hungry chick's mouth. Now, if there were people with medical problems, some of that close contact could pass disease to a young bird. Keep in mind, all chicks now available on the market are domestically hand-reared here in the States. I know of no person that would "blow feed" any type of parrot chick.

Another problem I am starting to hear about are problems arising from a poor diet. Some people insist on allowing their pets, because of them appearing to be so "humanized," to eat people food. The problem with this is not so much because it is people food, but because of the choice of foods allowed to be consumed, such as food high in fat and processed sugars. Brotogeris, like people, can suffer health consequences from eating such poor food choices.

Recently, a grey cheek owner had a feather problem with his very dear pet. They decided to run some tests and found that the pet had a cholesterol count of 600--normal is 160 to 180. The bird was put on a diet of better foods, and shortly after the cholesterol dropped to 325. High-fat diets of "people foods" can cause liver damage that sometimes cannot be corrected. This type of feeding can and will shorten a bird's life.

Common Brotogeris Accidents

For years, I've spoken to people about their pet grey cheeks and other types of Brotogeris. People have called and written about all types of accidents that occurred with their birds. I have heard of birds getting injured or killed by dogs or cats.

Other fatal accidents have been caused by pets in their cage left by window where the sun would shine in and give the bird a heat stroke; pets being accidentally stepped on; birds getting slammed by a door being closed; wandering pets chewing through an electrical cord; drowning in a toilet where the seat had been left up; a full-flighted pet landing on a hot stove, in a hot pot or in a kitchen sink full of hot water. I even have had people tell me how their pet ended up flying into an open freezer, and the door was shut not knowing the bird had flown in.

I must say the most common accident I hear of are people that sleep with their pets and roll over on them. Brotogeris like to crawl into a pocket or some tucked away small space. They may crawl underneath their owners to feel warm and secure. This is why this accident is just waiting to happen.

I once talked to a lady on the phone from midnight until 4 a.m. as she cried about the loss of her pet she loved so much. She told me she was a psychologist and was calling from the East Coast, (I'm on the West Coast). She could not sleep because she had just woken up to this terrible tragedy; she had fallen asleep on the couch and had rolled over on her pet. The bird was dead. She had my phone number and did not know who she could call, so she called me.

I had never spoken to her, and after that phone conversation, I never heard from her again. She did thank me for my time and comforting words. I hope I helped. This type of tragedy does happen so much; I hear about if often with all kinds of pet birds. Sleeping with your bird is not a good idea. I know how easy this is and can happen, for I was forever taking my daughter's bird out of her bed as she slept, but she has since broken this habit after hearing of all the accidents.

Most accidents can be prevented. Give some thought to ways your bird could be in possible danger and then correct the problems to help prevent accidents from happening; allow your bird a long, happy life. Brotogeris can be long-lived in captivity and have been known to reach their 30s. I received a letter from a man who told me his cobalt-winged parakeet had been in their family for 37 years. I own many types of Brotogeris around 20 years of age that are successfully producing young, are in good health and are looking great.

Article originally appeared in the June 1998 issue of Bird Talk. This is copyrighted material, reprinted with the author's permission. This article may not be reprinted without written consent from the author and Bird Talk magazine. 

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