Toucans and parrots are both beautiful choices to add to your family. Whether it be the charming toucan or the charismatic parrot, you will surely be delighted by their unique qualities.
However, the question remains: which of these birds is right for you?
Depending on your household, the number of family members, your budget, and your cuddly preferences make a difference.
So, unless you have set your eyes on one of these birds, let’s venture through the nuances and pinpoint the bird that is right for you.
Things to Look for While Choosing Between Toucans and Parrots
Birds have more differences than you might think. Apart from physical differences, there are psychological, emotional, and physiological subtleties. Let’s get into all of that.
Related post-Are Toucans Good Pets?
Personality of Toucans and Parrots
Toucans are popularly known for their goofy and affectionate personalities. They just love to play and entertain their human companion. Their affectionate nature makes them excellent pets for those seeking friendly and amusing friends.
Almost similarly, parrots are outgoing and optimistic in nature. They thrive on social interaction and enjoy engaging with humans as well. You will always find them cheerful and friendly unless they are cranky for any reason.
Overall, both are good options if you want a bird to keep you feeling affectionate. But if you prefer being entertained, toucans are the better option.
However, suppose you desire a bird to be your social companion and bring positive energy to your life. In that case, a parrot is the way to go.
Do They Bite?
Toucans rarely bite, but they might do so when they feel threatened or if they get aggressive. However, the risk of biting can be minimized to zero with proper socialization and handling.
On the other hand, parrots usually bite mildly for various reasons. For example, if they are afraid, aggressive, hungry, thirsty, sleepy, or experiencing hormonal changes. Understanding their body language and responding appropriately to avoid potential bites is essential.
If biting is an issue for you, then it’s better if you lean toward toucans. However, it must be said that parrots are in no way risky birds, they aren’t aggressive. Normally, they won’t resort to biting. However, their bites draw blood and hurt when they decide to play dirty.
Can You Teach Them to Talk and Do Other Things?
If you want to converse with your bird, just take a parrot. Toucans can’t talk. They don’t even sing, either. They’ll just make vocalizations when they want attention or are hungry.
In this sense, toucans add a wild charm to your home. At the same time, parrots’ ability to identically mimic human speech creates a social atmosphere in the house. They can also sing and tell jokes. Their voice tone and pitch make their speech amusing as well.
This discussion also brings up the matter of intelligence. Just because toucans can’t talk, don’t think that they are not witty. Both parrots and toucans are highly trainable.
Toucans can learn different tricks and behaviors just as parrots can. However, the tricks toucans can learn are more amusing than what the parrots can do. But again, parrots can talk while toucans can’t. So, make up your mind about what you want.
Which Bird Plucks More Feathers?
Both toucans and parrots can suffer heavily from feather plucking issues. Toucans, for example, develop this behavioral disorder because of captivity stress.
On the other hand, parrots pluck feathers if they have poor feather conditions or face any psychological distress. That’s the usual case. Very few species of parrots pluck feathers without any reason.
Don’t get a toucan if you plan to keep your birds caged. Staying captive can lead to their baldness. These chaps pluck feathers if bored. Even if you get a parrot, maintain a balanced diet and have regular vet checkups to avoid feather-plucking issues.
Is Having Them Around Children Safe?
With proper nurturing and care, having pets in a house with children isn’t a problem. In fact, both parrots and toucans are docile and friendly to children. Your kids may find them fun to play with.
However, it’s essential to be cautious with both these birds, especially with toucans, because they have larger beaks that can easily threaten a child.
Moreover, a toddler may not fully understand how to interact with birds, which increases the risk of biting, noise, or health complications.
The risk may become graver if you have infants.
So, unless you can ensure 24/7 constant monitoring, it’s better not to have birds in a house with children/infants. However, everything should be fine if your birds have been around for years and are thoroughly trained.
How Loud Are They?
You should rethink your pet preferences if you live in an apartment and want a quiet environment. To be honest, these birds will only sometimes be quiet. In fact, toucans are one of the world’s noisiest birds. Their loud vocalizations (screams and croaks) may lead your neighbors to call the cops on you.
Parrots, too, make noise. Any larger parrots do. Flock calling at dawn and dusk is in their DNA. Particularly speaking, conures scream without any reason. However, if you feed them on time and treat them properly, they will keep it down. But there are some parrots which are quiet and excellent for apartment houses. For example, Pionus and Mayers parrots.
If you want a wild atmosphere in the house, get the exotic toucan. In case of parrots, you may have alternate options for relatively quiet birds.
What Do They Eat and How Much Is the Maintenance Cost?
Both of these birds are omnivores. Toucans primarily eat fruits, berries, lizards, rodents, small birds, and insects. Just provide them with low-iron pellets and fresh fruit, and they’ll be satisfied.
The same goes for parrots as well. But parrots don’t eat rodents or lizards like toucans do. Their meals include nuts, flowers, fruits, buds, seeds, and insects.
Both have more or less the same dietary habits. But if you feel uncomfortable with toucan’s food habits, you can opt for a parrot, as they mainly eat veggies.
In addition to these dietary habits, both toucans and parrots will have other maintenance needs, including visits to the vets, treats, toys, cages, and whatnot.
How Well Can They Adapt?
Toucans can adapt to a new environment relatively easily. They are incredibly social birds with a family-friendly mindset. Parrots, too, are adaptable birds, and their particular social adaptations increase their chances of survival.
However, compared to toucans, comparatively intelligent parrots have a complex emotional dynamic. This may cause them trouble if the new surroundings make them feel threatened in any way.
If you think you won’t be able to manage the time to offer the constant attention your parrot needs, then you should get a toucan.
It doesn’t end here. You need to consider many things if you have other birds around or want your birds to interact with others. Both toucans and parrots can display aggression toward other birds, especially if they are from different species.
As toucans are wilder than parrots, they may show a territorial behavior.
All in all, if you have a bird that’s not a toucan, get a parrot. Toucans can only stand birds of other species if you have the bird trained.
Bonding With You and Others
As mentioned, both toucans and parrots are highly social and form strong friendships with their caregivers.
However, in the social game, toucans are one step ahead of parrots when the number of people is involved. Toucans can form special bonds with more than one person. But parrots are likely to become friendly with one person at a time and may show hostility toward others.
As we are on the topic of bonding, it’s essential to understand their acceptance of intimacy. For example, toucans are not known for their cuddly behavior. These wild animals lack the same need for physical affection as dogs or cats.
While they do sometimes enjoy being patted or scratched, they don’t prefer being always cuddled. On the contrary, parrots are clingy, cuddly birds. They enjoy physical affection such as head scratches and belly rubs.
So, as a family pet, toucans are ideal. But if you live alone, you can opt for a parrot.
Health Concerns and Special Care
Both parrots and toucans demand special care for their well-being and happiness. For example, parrots are likely concerned about dust or iron deposition. Don’t go for such birds unless you can facilitate a parrot’s specific environmental needs within your residence.
On the other hand, toucans are always at risk of suffering from hemochromatosis or iron storage diseases. Toucans need a specific kind of diet to deal with such issues.
Make sure you can handle these health concerns before choosing your pet. Along with your pet’s health, your own health is also a matter of concern here.
For example, some parrots (cockatoos and African greys) produce powders that can cause respiratory problems for people with asthma or other respiratory conditions. On the other hand, toucans carry certain transmittable diseases as well.
So, before bringing a bird into your house, check your bird’s and your health condition and ensure there’s no incompatibility involved.
Different Shades and Shapes
Most people know toucans for their large, vibrant bills. These bills, along with the birds themselves, vary in color and size. For instance, the Toco toucans are the largest toucan birds. They can grow up to two feet long.
Parrots, too, are adored for their colorful feathers and diverse sizes. They come in sizes ranging from tiny cuteness 3 inches to over 3 feet long. If you want a stunning visual appeal, both toucans and parrots are ready to satisfy your desire.
So, Which Bird Are You Choosing?
There’s little to debate about. Both toucans and parrots are excellent pet options. However, choosing a pet bird is no silly issue, and the final decision requires careful consideration of your lifestyle, preferences, and ability to provide proper care.
Get a toucan if you want an affectionate and playful bird that’ll keep your house lively. However, a colourful parrot will always cheer you up if you just want a simple, social bird to play and interact with. Nonetheless, both birds are entertaining.
Toucans can perform tricks, while parrots can mimic voices with amazing accuracy. Either way, you are sure to be amazed.
But whichever option you choose, it’s important to remember the needs and demands of each of these birds. Always check diet, health, and emotional issues before finalizing your decision. With careful planning, you can go right.
Other pet bird comparison you may like-