Adopt a Bird!

Just like dogs and cats, surrendered birds are in need of loving homes. As of 2018, there is an estimated 20.3 million pet birds in the USA and subsequently bird rescues and sanctuaries are turning up all over the country. 

When adopting a bird, it's not always as easy as going to the ASPCA. Some of these organizations will take in and adopt out birds, but not all. This is likely due to limited funding and general bird care knowledge. You can give them a call to inquire and even leave your contact info just in case one turns up in their network.

Thorough research is required before bringing these very long lived, very demanding, sometimes naughty, and emotionally sensitive feathered (sometimes semi-feathered) friends into our lives.

NOTE: You may have heard that a hand-fed baby birds will bond with you easier than adults. This is not always the case. 

The majority of young parrots act sweet, needy, cute, and affectionate. When they begin to mature, they may continue to be your buddy with occasional fits of sass, or they can become territorial, aggressive, and literally want to take a piece out of you. That’s why many adult birds end up re-homed multiple times over or surrendered into rescues/sanctuaries.

Parrots are social, wild animals. In their natural environment, you can see them traveling in flocks or pairs. Baby parrots are needy for their parents. When they are taken from them, they turn to humans to fill the need. When they mature, they’re often done with mom & dad, and now want a flockmate. This is where humans fill the need or cause them offense. They may or may not chill out years later.

From my experience, I learned that bird are a pandora's box of emotions. Some will hate you for months and then love you (like my Miss Cockatiel). Some will always love you (Mikey the Conure). Some will love you, then hate you, and then love you again (Elly the Conure). Some will always hate you and prefer the company of other birds (Hilda the Sassy Lovebird). 

After considering all this, if you still would like to add a bird into your family and would like to adopt, you could try to seek needy birds out via the following:

1. Google "Bird Rescue" and your location
3. Craigslist
4. Contact your local Avian/Exotic Vet

Typical rescue protocol will require you to fill out an adoption application, submit to home visit/safety check, and many rescues request a fee so they can continue to do what they do. 
Rescues work very hard to do their best by each bird that comes into their care. If you had to relinquish a beloved pet, you'd like to see where there going, that's why a home visit is usually required. It's a means to prevent hoarders, breeders, and brokers (bird-flippers) from taking advantage of "cheap" birds. Rescues want to prevent any potential poor treatment. 

If your new bird doesn't have any medical history, make sure to get them a wellness exam with an Avian/Exotic Vet. This is even a good idea whether or not you purchased a bird from a store or breeder. 

By the time birds show signs of illness, they may have been sick for a long time, and will need to see a vet ASAP. As a survival trait, birds hide their illnesses to prevent themselves from appearing as easy prey in the wild. 
Yearly wellness exams to prevent underlying issues from becoming big problems.

I hope this has given you a little insight into the world of bird adoption and rescue.
If you'd like to learn more about the needs of companion birds, I highly recommend watching the PBS Nature Documentary Parrot Confidential or reading Of People and Parrots by Mira Tweti.


2 comments

  • Thanks for all you do, Birdhism! Through your page, I’ve been learning so much about rescue birds and I’ve loved hearing stories of many of your rescues: Cody, Scootaloo, Lolita, Francis & Hilda, Jester and lovebirbies, and many more. I plan to adopt a third budgie boy soon and will definitely work with a rescue – and always adopt/rescue when bringing any new flock members in the future <3

    Elizabeth
  • All 5 of my babies are rescued. I have 3 Amazons, a Quaker and a female Indian Ring-neck parakeet. All have some issues but I love them dearly.

    Joyce

Leave a comment