A Life Long Commitment

A Life Long Commitment

A Life Long Commitment

By Jennifer Budrock

I made this graph in hopes that people will better understand the commitment that comes with sharing your life with a parrot. It’s very possible they will outlive you. Question is, what are your plans if they do?

A sanctuary may be in order for birds who don't typically get along well with people. Many of these facilities are popping up all over the country, look online to see if there is one in your area.
Not all sanctuaries are run the same. I suggest that you avoid sending your bird to a facility that you haven't seen for yourself or feel comfortable with. 

For those birds that enjoy the company of people, rehoming is a better option than sanctuary life. If you intend to will your bird(s) to a friend or family member, make sure they are familiar with the care and behaviors of your bird, and make sure they're willing to take them in. A rescue can help you with rehoming, as well.

Birds are very social, emotional, and intelligent. It is not uncommon for a parrot to be so bonded with their human, that upon their passing, behavioral problems occur such as self-mutilation/plucking. Foraging and other fun activities may take their mind off the loss and the developing habit.

Baby macaws, cockatoos, amazons, and even cockatiels often find themselves passed into multiple homes through the course of their long lives, this can also be traumatic, but not always. If you have someone in mind to take your bird, I recommend including them in their life so the transition isn't as scary.

Pet Trusts

"Our law firm has drafted many pet trusts. I highly recommend, especially for birds, to look into building a pet trust! It makes things much easier for the person who is privileged enough to care for your loved feather children after you are gone as funds are readily available specifically for the care of your bird/birds. It also gives you, the parront, peace of mind knowing they will be properly cared for."
- Brittney Daniel, Probate and Estate Planning Law Firm

Please think of the needs of birds before you bring one into your home for they have many.

DOWNLOAD CHART - Fits 11"x17" page. Ok to share. Not for resale.



  • My elderly mother rescued a Quaker parrot 20 years ago. It died recently and her heart was broken. Do you know of any elderly rescue birds I could get for her. The idea would be for them to comfort each other in last year’s. My mom is in pretty good health. I was hesitant for the reasons in your blog. I don’t want a young bird. I am located in Orlando Florida. She has delicate skin so we can’t have a bad biter. She is so devistated by the loss perhaps some elderly bird can find comfort with her

    Nancy snider on

  • Thank you for the great info Dr. Backos, as you very well know my Umbrella Cockatoo’s feet are paralized, now going for 14 years, and she is already in her thirties, ( partly for the great care and treatment you have given her trough the years) she is a lot younger than me and chances are she will outlive me, this worries me a lot, there are not too many sources out there that could take care of Echo when I am gone, specially being loved so much and the quality of life that I give her, ( at times at the price of my own) Meanwhile she brings a lot of love and joy to my life.

    Maria Kuczerewicz on

  • Tank’s story and courage touched so many. Hope his story encourages current bird parents to become more knowledgeable about their birds’ needs and early warning signs of illness and to make sure they leave them in capable hands when they have to be away from them. Also hope his story inspires those who want to help other birds avoid Tank’s fate to donate to parrot rescues, volunteer at a well run Parrot Rescue (a great way to learn about properly caring for parrots) and perhaps bond with a rescue bird who needs a good home.

    Karen Gehrs on


    Danny price on

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