I talk to a lot of people who relate a bird’s intuitiveness to a dog or cat. On a very basic level, this is true. However it’s like comparing a Volkswagen to a Ferrari.
Dogs and cats show love and emotions. Dogs need a master, cats need a servant. They pick up on what’s happening in the family and changes to their environment. They feel pain and sadness.
Birds do the same. However, they understand, interpret, learn and communicate through sounds and speech. As non-domesticated animals, they also communicate in wild ways by biting, screaming at decibel levels that can damage human ears, they forage and destroy things and themselves in attempts to resolve stress. They respond to respect, confidence and authority, but not domination or aggression. They read people and make judgements. They learn how to protect themselves by either fighting back with ferocity or placating dangerous situations with humans while suffering inside, similar to an abused child.
In the 2000’s exotic birds are still only 1-2 generations from the wild. Some are still poached illegally. Their lives parallel humans in length and experience, which is why they are incomparable to domesticated species of animals and why the problem with abused and abandoned parrots is vast.
One last note: You can’t feed birds out of a store bought bag feed like you can with dogs & cats. The high sugar and fat in seed, treats and standard pellet diets compromises their emotional, relational and intellectual capacity, as it does in humans. In the wild, birds eat seed to provide all-day flight, foraging & socialization energy. Macaws can fly 500 miles per day. Giving them food for that kind of energy, then caging them is abuse that leads to aggression and self-mutilization from frustration. A proper captive diet includes a well-balanced daily variety of fruits, vegetables & grains with limited seeds, nuts & protein.
My recommendations for diet: Food & Recipes