By Diane Burroughs
Thousands of parrots are living in a parrot rescue awaiting a forever home right now. A couple of reasons come to mind about why so many parrots end up in a parrot rescue before age five.
IMPULSE: Baby parrots are incredibly captivating and adorable! Inquisitive, playful, tolerant and fun. Baby parrots crave socialization and are amazingly amenable to bird training, whether it’s done right or not. It’s so alluring to buy a beautiful baby parrot and most bird stores know that. But, buying a parrot on impulse without due homework is ill advised for both you and the parrot. Mostly the parrot. We’d suggest that you put as much thought into buying a parrot as you would into buying a house or moving to a new state. You need to know how deeply parrots bond to their caretakers. If you are inexperienced in bird care, learn what parrots want and need in order to become fun pets. Learn about how much a parrot costs and how long they live.
MESS: A second reason people turn to a parrot rescue is that after getting the bird home, they realize that parrots are really messy, destructive and loud! We expect some of these behaviors from our kids, but when your feathered kid has a huge destructive beak that issues painful bites and destroys furniture, leaves feather dust all over the house and tosses splattered food all over the walls caring for it becomes stressful.
TRAINING PROBLEMS: Intolerable behaviors like biting, screaming, and chewing develop very quickly. These very intelligent pets can actually train you to respond to their innate behaviors! Birds, just like young children crave attention, and will quickly learn what behaviors get a response. Attention can be in the form of loving scratches or yelping and yelling. The bird doesn’t care! After all, birds communicate with loud squawks that are amazingly like yelling. Exotic undomesticated pets, parrots can’t train themselves to live in a domestic home. They need you to train them with techniques that exotic animals respond to. We humans assume that we can use parenting techniques that one would use with a child to train our exotic bird. But, exotic pets respond best to proven bird training techniques like those described by Good Bird, Inc. or Clicker Training for Birds. These techniques are easy to learn. Many a parrot has been rehomed due to negligence about bird training. The good news for parrots is that they quickly learn new expectations and behaviors with research based bird training techniques.
TIME COMMITMENT: Parrots require daily socialization. After all, they are flock animals. Not only do parrots need quality time each day, cleaning up after them takes time. And, since parrots live for decades, it may seem like there is not end in sight. Kids leave home after they reach adulthood. But, parrots stay.
Respectable parrot rescues are located all over the United States. A respectable parrot rescue screens for and treats for medical problems such as malnutrition. They meet many of a parrots innate needs and address anxiety related behaviors as much as possible. And, just as important, trained volunteers teach the parrot how to trust humans again. While an adult parrot may not be as cute as a cuddly baby bird, parrot adoption of adult birds can be even more rewarding due to the care and support that the bird has received. Not only that, a respectable parrot rescue may have a thorough application and training process that they require before allowing you to take your new pet home. While the entire adoption process may seem daunting, it is done in your best interest as well as the birds.