I have an opportunity to purchase a beautiful 6 year old female Umbrella
***atoo from a friend for $500.00. My friend is just baby-sitting the bird
for the original owner, who loaned it to her when she moved with the
understanding she (my friend), would try and find a good home for it. My
friend says the bird (Spooky) prefers to be around men, which I don't doubt
as she raises her crest and starts hopping around as soon as I walk in the
door (in an e***d, as opposed to defensive posture). Spooky jumps right
on my arm, rides around on my shoulder, and in general seems to like me a
lot. I never really thought that much about birds until I was introduced to
Spooky, but now I'm very interested.
I'd like to go ahead and get her, but there are a couple of things which
might be a problem and I feel like I owe it to the bird and myself to make
sure we're compatible (sounds like I'm getting married...sheesh).
First, I'm single and live alone. I am gone 8-10 hours a day and there is
nobody else in the apartment. I can position the cage in front of a window
and open the blinds to give the bird something to watch while I'm gone. I
expect to be at home talking/handling the bird 2-3 hours a day. Also, the
birds cage will be in my bedroom so it will be in my presence another 7-8
hours a day while I'm sleeping. Is this enough attention to keep the bird
Second, about twice a year I go on trips that last 5-8 days. My
understanding is the bird would go completely insane given this much time
without attention. Is this true? Are there in-home pet care or boarding
services that could take care of the bird while I'm gone to keep this from
Third, I'm a light smoker. Always with the windows open and never in my
bedroom. I read the thread about this and I don't think it will be a
problem as long as the bird isn't exposed to a smoky room and I wash my
hands before handling her.
Finally, I also like reptiles. I have a Ball Python and a Red Tail Boa
housed in a cage separate from the room I would be keeping the bird in.
There is no way I would ever consider getting them in the same room or
handling one without washing my hands to get the scent off (I do not want a
6 foot Constrictor to mistake me for a snack). But, would the bird sense
the presence of the snakes, even in another room and freak out?
Given these conditions, am I the right sort of person to get this bird? I
really like Spooky and would love to keep her but I don't want to do it
unless I'd make a good owner. Thanks for your thoughts on this...