As much as having a baby bird, one that I have raised from it’s youth to fit into my household and lifestyle would be a terrific addition to my flock, I can’t, in good conscience, do it. Parrots are now the third most popular pet in the world. They are a viable source of revenue in the pet industry and are being bred with puppy mill sensibilities. It is my opinion that not one more bird should be bred in captivity until the rescues are emptied and the human race learns to properly provide for their care, armed with knowledge and compassion.
The rescues are over-flowing, funding has been cut short, private donation has dwindled. What follows is over-burden on the facilities dedicated to the betterment of parrots, occasionally leading to substandard conditions for those that have been “rescued”. Ironic. Also, I have nothing good to say about most breeders , though there are a few exceptions.
Popular thought is that all rehomed or rescued birds are problematic. This is not necessarily the case. In today’s economy, many parrots have been relinquished to rescues for reasons of finance, and not because of insurmountable behavioral issues. This is actually a good time to think about rehoming a bird.
Having said that, you should know that some rehomed birds, whatever their background, might have issues in the area of trust. Some will come into your home with the attitude of: “Oh boy! New friends!!.”, and some might sulk around wondering why their family left them behind. Training, trust building practices and gentle guidance are usually enough to bring these birds around to being a cherished family member.
I hope that anyone looking into getting a parrot would consider opening their hearts to one without a permanent home. Even though some may be a bit more work at the beginning, and may require extra patience, the returns are huge. When you donate to a charity it leaves you with a sense of satisfaction and pride. When you take in a bird in need of a home, you will see the results of your charitable contribution every single day, for years to come.
I would like to give a big shout out to Trever Carter in Illinois, who is turning 14 this month. In a time when most kids his age are only interested in video games and iphones, he has worked diligently on training, bond building and improving the diet of his newly rehomed severe macaw, Mac. He has come a LONG way in accomplishing his goals in a short period of time. His dedication to educating himself about parrots and their needs is inspiring and I am very proud of him.
>NOTE: If you are looking to rehome a parrot, you need to seriously consider picking up a copy of BirdTricks Total Parrot Transformation Series. It covers their most advanced techniques for dealing with serious behavior issues, and can be found here and will be a vital resource.
Patty Jourgensen specializes in avian health, behavior and nutrition and has been working with and caring for rescue birds since 1987.