Parrots are highly intelligent and curious and need stimulation to keep them from becoming bored and having problems surface.
They need at minimum 2- 3 hours a DAY of human interaction – once a week is simply NOT enough time – they are very needy.
When you are at work or away and the bird is alone, you need to ensure they are provided with an abundance of toys and activities to keep them occupied – leaving a radio and/or TV on is also recommended.
Birds are messy – there is NO way around this – be prepared to be cleaning the cage daily – not only in it, but around it and whatever walls are close by – this includes any and all play areas set up for the bird – projectile tossing of food/seeds/toys and juicy fruits is unavoidable.
They require a very complex diet of fresh fruit/vegetables/pellets/seeds which you will need to prepare daily – ideally twice daily – and depending on the species of parrot – the diet could be very specific to them. Depending where you live, this could be a bit more expensive than you want – an average bill per week could easily be 20 – 40 dollars.
You must also factor into this toys – LOTS of toys – these can be homemade toys or store bought – but always remember to check for “safety” first and make sure you supply them with breed specific toys – a small toy suited for a cockatiel could be a very deadly toy for an African Grey. These toys provide them with the ability to chew – a natural instinct for all birds – it provides stimulation and keeps them from becoming bored – this a NEED for a bird, not a WANT.
They need sleep just like any other animal – and require at best 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep – someplace quiet and without a lot of noise – preferably in a separate room in a separate sleep cage – a lot of behavioral issues have surfaced in birds that do not get the right amount of sleep – when possible this should be accommodated.