There are a lot of big hearted people out there who are just naturally inclined to try to save those in need. I feel similarly. I find it difficult to look away from need even when I know that involvement will make life more complicated for me. I try to do what I can. It’s who I am, and I’m proud of it.
Someone from Austin, the city I lived in before I moved here to Florida, contacted me and asked me if I would speak with a neighbor of his who was having problems with a newly acquired “rescue” bird. I asked the nature of the problems and was told about the biting issues with her new quaker, but more concerning was that the new owner was uncertain if the bird was eating. Birds don’t last long without food, so I agreed to be in touch with her right away.
After a few minutes of discussion, I felt satisfied that her bird was, in fact, eating and we moved on to the other problems.The first behavior related question I asked was regarding the circumstances of the “rescue” because it would likely play a big part in understanding the overall behavior of this bird. As we talked, I learned that the bird had not been “rescued”, but “rehomed”.
There is a considerable difference in the terms rehomed and rescued where is relates to behavioral matters.
The quaker mentioned above came from the household of a friend who simply no longer had the time or interest in seeing to the needs of her bird. This meant that the quaker needed a new home where the environment was enriching and stimulating and it would be a cherished member of the family, not a burden to be tolerated.
In the case of a rescue bird, the word itself speaks clearly. This bird might be in dire and immediate need. It might be in a situtation where it is not being fed, is living in unsafe or unsanitary conditions, or is currently in danger from its environment and perhaps suffering from illness as a result of its hard life.
It’s easy to imagine that the problems that might remain with a rescued bird following placement into a new home could be considerable, and more difficult to assess and manage. The circumstances of your birds arrival into your home must be taken into account when trying to assess a behavioral problem. It is important to establish whether a bird has been rehomed or rescued.
While time might be more essence in the case of a rescue, it is important to add that the bird in need of rehoming should not be considered of less importance. BOTH birds need new homes and the rehomer is doing as big a service to the well-being of their bird as is the rescuer. You should be feel proud of your contribution in helping a bird in need in either case.
Author Patty Jourgensen specializes in avian health, behavior and nutrition and has been working with and caring for rescue birds since 1987.