What Do People Find Rewarding About Companionship with Birds?

By Brad Bell

Pets are important. They provide joy, laughter, and companionship.  Some people may see them as members of their families.  Just like dogs and cats, birds as pets help make our lives meaningful and rewarding. In Anderson’s (2003) study, 106 parrot owners responded to an essay question involving what they thought was most rewarding concerning avian companionship.  The most frequent response was love/unconditional love (39% of the 106 participants). The second most frequent response was perceiving birds as family members (38% of the 106 participants).  Twenty-nine percent listed companionship for this question.  Providing joy was listed by 23%.   Moreover, it is interesting that making them (owner) laugh was indicated by 26%. It appears that the parrot owners are quite attached to their parrots.   This is also reflected in the amount of time they spend with their parrots.   About forty-six percent of them spend more than three hours interacting
with their birds each day. (1)


1.  See Anderson’s article for other findings.


Anderson, P. K. (2003).  A bird in the house:  An anthropological
 perspective on companion parrots.  Society & Animals, 11, 393-418.