Psittacines, or parrots, are exotic tropical birds that vary in size from very large to quite small. Parrot cages are made to suit the many sizes of these tropical birds. Cage features typically take not only the size of the bird into account but also include such things as food and water containers and play areas. They come in a range of styles from very plain, functional cages to ornate, decorative ones.
Large parrots include those that can grow to 3 feet (1 m) long, such as the hyacinth macaw, scarlet macaw and the green-winged macaw. Parrot cages that will suit these birds must be extremely large. As a general rule, an appropriate cage for a bird of this size should be at least 6 feet (2 m) tall, 3 feet (1 m) deep, and about 5 feet (1.66 m) wide. The bars must be very sturdy and able to withstand the biting and pulling of a beak that can crush nuts. These cages usually have fairly wide spacing of the bars, but not so wide that the bird can easily put its head out.
Parrot cages for the smaller types of psittacines, such as the lovebird or the parakeet, do not need to be nearly as strong as the cages for the larger birds. The size is usually suited to the bird, but can vary widely. Typically, small parrot cages are about 18 inches (50 cm) wide and about the same in height. These are often made to be hung from a hook in the ceiling so that the bird is at eye level. Bars are small and light, and though the cage needs to be reasonably sturdy, the bars are not usually very large in diameter.
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Typically, parrot cages should either contain a play area or give the bird access to play space. Some cages have a play area built onto the top of the cage, so when the bird is out of the cage it can sit on top and play. Others may have some toys, such as ladders and ropes, built in as part of the cage. Virtually any type of parrot cage will have a way to keep the food and water attached to the sides of the cage, with access to the dishes from the outside.
An owner usually wants to choose among the many types of parrot cages to find one with a look that fits into the home décor. The cage may be very plan and boxy in appearance, or it may be quite ornate, with plenty of curves and peaks to give it character. Cages also come in many different colors; white, black, and golden or brass are some of the most common.