Special Needs

Tips on how to care for Special Needs Birds.


Most Special Needs Birds only need a small amount of extra care to enjoy a great life, compared to your average Able-bodied Birds.

You can make a positive impact and form an amazing bond with a Bird that might otherwise be overlooked or even discarded.


Poor nutrition, stress, hormones (sexual frustration), illness, or boredom will motivate some birds to resort to feather-plucking.

This doesn’t make them bad companions, it just means they need a special someone to look past appearances and take steps to help remedy any potential causes.

*Pic. Victoria | Parrot Playhouse

What to do...

ALL birds should be checked by an Avian Vet for disease, bacterial, and  parasitic infections, as well as any nutritional deficiencies.

• Test for PBFD (Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease)
• Avoid exposure to harsh elements
• Give lots of fun toys to destroy
• Spend more time with them
• Try different collars and vests

Even with the best of care, some birds may never recover their feathers.Avoid passing judgement on an owner based on the appearance of their bird.

*Pic. Avian Fashions


When Parrots begin to mature, many become aggressive and territorial. We need to remember that although some may be tame, Parrots are not domesticated animals, and are prone to bite, scream, and destroy things. This is natural.

Sassy-pants Parrots might do better in an aviary environment and require less human interaction, which would be good for someone who doesn’t have a lot of time to interact with them.

“Just because you feed a parrot doesn’t mean they’re going to like you.”

*Pic. Hilda the Sassy Lovebird | Birdhism

What to do...

Bring your patience and a willingness to learn behavioral modification techniques.

• Clicker training
• Positive reinforcement
• Trust-building exercises
• Learn their body-language
• Discourage nesting behavior

Some birds (e.g. male cockatoos, parrotlets) don’t do well being housed together with other birds.

Never abuse or neglect a bird as a means to discipline them.

*Pic. Parrot Wizard


Just because Cody can’t get around as easily as most birds doesn’t mean he can’t have a good life.

Birds are tough! With a little bit of assistance and modification to their homes, they can overcome many physical disabilities, and form a very strong bond with their person.

*Pic. Cody | Birdhism

What to do...

Make their home safe and cozy.

• Toys & Perches set low 
• Sturdy ceramic bowls
• Platform Perches
• Wrap Self-adhesive Bandages around perches for gentler grip
• Place paper towels over fleece to prevent nails from attaching to the fabric

*Donut is for supervised use only.

Senior Psittacines

Many Parrots outlive their owners. It’s important to look into a Long-term Care Plan and Pet Trusts so that they can enjoy their Golden years.

Due to conditions such as Arthritis, Fatty Liver Disease, and vision problems, Senior birds may require more frequent vet checks when it comes to comfort care.

You need a really big heart and financial stability to take in and older bird.

*Pic. Francis | Birdhism

What to do...

A focus on nutrition.

• Time in the sunshine (Vitamin D)
• Convert to Pelletized Diet
• Calcium Supplements*
(*Check labeling for nutritional supplement guidelines to avoid vitamin toxicity)
• Check out Holistic Alternatives like Alcohol-Free Milk Thistle for liver help

Special cage set-up may be required.

A free bird deserves as much love and care as an expensive one.

A tiny bird deserves as much love and care as a large one. 

A young bird deserves as much love and care as a senior.

ALL birds deserve equal love and care. Let’s work together to provide that.

“You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”

― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry