Parrots Make TERRIBLE Christmas Presents!

Parrots bring a lot of joy to our homes. We involve them in every aspect of our lives. We take them to the store with us. We give them their own Facebook pages. They are prominently featured on our Christmas cards. We beam with pride as we share photos and stories recounting their adventures.

We all have friends or family members who are also enamored with our parrots. They pay more attention to our bird than other passersby and show a real interest in our stories. They use phrases like: “if only” or “maybe someday”. What better gift could there be than a parrot of their own to love?

While it makes sense to want to pass the moments of bliss you experience with your bird along to someone you love, one person’s joy can become another’s nightmare! It is a bad plan to give a parrot to someone as a gift.

Parrot ownership is NOT for everyone. Being one yourself, you know how much goes into raising a parrot the right way:

  • The cost of a good quality cage and its accessories, toys, and food. Don’t forget the occasional vet bills and boarding expenses.
  • The daily chores: changing cage liners, scraping poop off of grating, scrubbing perches and toys and cleaning flung food from floors, walls and ceiling.
  • The beaked chair backs, tattered window coverings, unstuffed couch cushions, and modified computer keyboards and TV remotes.
  • The deafening noise coming from announcements regarding the time of day, heated arguments with toys, and the trespassing neighbor’s cat.
  • The time spent in the kitchen preparing a proper diet, providing enrichment and the online research while learning how to take care of the new parrot.
  • The health or behavioral problems that can arise from botching up any of the above.

We all know that THIS is the reality with parrots. We may be more than willing to give of ourselves in these ways, but the average person might have NO CLUE what they are in for. Unless the recipient of your gift is a special kind of person who would not regard the above as “chores” but as labors of love, a parrot may be much less a blessing and more a curse.


Giving a parrot as a gift, for any occasion, could result in it being “re-gifted” to the local rescue!


Patty Jourgensen specializes in avian health, behavior and nutrition and has been working with and caring for rescue birds since 1987.


Virginia Thomas

Our parrot was rescued from our son who worked and didn’t have time to give her the attention she required. We love her dearly and wouldn’t think of parting with her, but the destruction she has caused to our house and belongings is unbelievable. Pencils, pens, baskets, letters, and important documents have been reduced to shreds and /or splinters and every kitchen cabinet and door frame she has been able to reach has been chewed on to the point of needing replacement.. I’m not saying we don’t watch her closely, but sometimes we need to leave her to use the rest room or unload a load of clothes. If I want to use the computer, I have to wait 20 minutes. to an half hour for her to watch her bird videos. Otherwise, she creates the most awful racket, sits on the keyboard, and sometimes even tries to attach me if she can’t watch her videos first. (She is in love with the blue-fronted amazon that sings opera.) Wrapping Christmas presents was pure chaos due to her love of chewing on tape and tearing up tape dispensers., As I said, we love her, give her a lot of quality , offer diversions,have conversions with her, let her talk on the telephone, etc. It’s like a game of wits with her. She isn’t interested in objects that have already been rendered unusable. This is way too long, but you know how bird lovers are when they start talking about their precious parrots

Virginia Thomas

A parrot is not a toy and it’s a bad idea to give one as a present. It’s alot of work raising a parrot and it’s like taking care of a 5 year old kid for the next 60 years. But if you know what your doing, it’s alot of fun.


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