Normally, if you are planning to add a new bird to your family, you have a specific species in mind, because, after all, a parakeet is quite different from a macaw. You might look for someone with a good reputation who breeds this species. This is one of the most popular ways to obtain a bird. However, there is another great way to find a feathered friend or friends- through a shelter or a parrot rescue.
Many people find themselves unable to care for a parrot once they buy one. Perhaps they are too messy, or too loud, or not social enough. Other times, the owner may have financial or health problems, and as much as they love their bird, they truly can no longer care for him or her. These parrots usually do not end up in a parrot rescue; instead, they are usually turned in to a local animal shelter. Generally, shelters are not good environments for parrots – they are very loud, the employees are generally not able to give the birds a lot of attention, and they are very rarely able to provide toys or treats. That is where a parrot rescue comes in. They take the animal from the shelter, and put them either in their own facility, or in a foster home. Either way, they are generally able to provide the level of care that the bird needs. Many potential parrot owners prefer to adopt from parrot rescues rather than animal shelters, because the rescues generally are able to spend time with their birds and are able to provide a better description of their behaviors and personalities.
If you decide to adopt from a shelter rather than a rescue, be careful. Although your bird may have been turned in for no fault of its own, and it could be a perfectly nice pet, he also could have been surrendered for various behavior problems. Ask an employee if they know what the reason for surrender was, or if they have noticed any behavior problems during the birds’ time at the shelter. Ask them if you can spend a little time with the bird; sometimes, a shelter will have a ‘visitation room,’ where you can spend some time alone with your potential new best friend. Remember, sometimes birds will act up in the shelter – they may be frightened and screech loudly, or they could be so scared that they shy away from human contact. The shelter environment is loud and frightening, especially to a small bird like a parakeet, cockatiel or parrotlet. However, even the biggest macaw may act unusually in this loud and scary place.
You may find that you don’t want to adopt from a shelter after all. You might want to adopt from a breeder, where they have truly known the bird its whole life, and can tell you practically everything about it. But remember- if you adopt a bird from a scary situation, you are their hero. Even though you might not realize it, your friend will feel grateful. If you are considering a new avian friend, please consider dropping by a shelter or parrot rescue before you buy from a breeder.
Article contributed by Eliza Kuklinski
Operated by a team of dedicated volunteers, the Southern Nevada Parrot Education, Rescue & Rehoming Society (SNPERRS) focuses on the rescue and rehoming of parrots, many of which are donated by owners who are no longer in the position to care for them. The ongoing economic crisis in the United States has led to an unprecedented number of home foreclosures, leaving many household pets homeless as families move into rented lodgings or are taken in by other family members or friends. This has led to an influx of birds looking for new homes, making the services of the SNPERRS invaluable.
SNPERRS staff members understand that making the decision to rehome a beloved pet bird is very difficult for both owner and pet, and birds are admitted to the rehoming program only upon the written consent of the owner. While there is no set fee for donating a bird, owners should be aware that each bird admitted to the program undergoes a thorough checkup by an avian veterinarian as part of the procedure, so monetary donations are most welcome. Adoption fees are also kept low and are used to offset veterinarian fees in an effort to ensure a self-sustaining non-profit program. Some owners may choose to donate their parrot because the bird has behavioral issues. In these cases the SNPERRS offers to assist in modifying the bird’s behavior with the goal of keeping it in the home.
Once a bird has been signed over to the society it will initially be placed in a foster home where it will have the opportunity to acclimatize to its new environment and socialize with its foster family. Potential adopters must allow a home visit by the society’s rehoming committee to ensure the bird’s environment is suitable and that the family adopting the bird is familiar with its needs. New owners are asked to send reports of how the bird has settled into its new home and any interesting experiences or interactions they have had with their new feathered family member.
In a recently published interview, executive director of SNPERRS Madeleine Franco noted that since 2007 the society has rehomed more than 100 birds and assisted as many with correcting behavioral problems, helping them to remain with their original owners. She pointed out that giving up a pet can be a traumatic process for both owner and bird as parrots are unique creatures with their own personalities. It is also difficult for a bird to adapt when its owner dies. Whatever the reason for a bird needing a new home, foster families play a crucial role in nurturing and resocializing birds, knowing as they do that their home is a temporary arrangement while a new home is sought. Foster families are clearly very special people stepping in to make the rehoming procedure a more positive experience for parrots in need.
Green-rumped parrotlets are the second most popular species of parrotlets. Green-rumps (Forpus passerinus) are a bright, beautiful emerald green. They are shy birds, a contrast to the Pacific parrotlets. However, if they are cared for properly and have time spent with them daily, they will eventually come out of their shell. Green-rumps are not known for talking but may pick up a few words and are capable of learning tricks. Green-rumps are available in several color mutations, such as Green-Gray and Turquoise.
Green-rumped parrotlets are not known for being aggressive or biting, and very rarely bite or nip. Green-rumps need at least three toys in their cage and a playgym, as they are very active birds and love to climb. Green-rumps need at least thirty minutes a day with you, as they will become lonely and develop anxiety and possibly pluck their feathers without one-on-one playtime daily.
Green-rumps also need at least 3 veggies and two fruits daily to keep them in top condition. They also need about four teaspoons of a ¾ seeds, ¼ pellet mix. Feed color mutations this except the pellets. Don’t feed pellets to color mutations. Parrotlets should also have a cuttlebone, mineral block, or both in the cage at all times.
Green-rumps aren’t for everyone, but are lovely birds and are loving, sweet, and friendly. If you’’re interested in a Green-rump parrotlet, check out a local parrot rescue society or contact a breeder. Green-rumps are a serious commitment as they live for 20 years or more, so think things over before you get a new bird. Parrotlets can’t just be given up, as they bond with their owner very strongly, so think things through before making serious decisions.
Article contributed by: Eliza Kuklinski.
Established in 1971 by zoologist Ralph Heath, the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary is the largest hospital and rehabilitation reserve for wild birds in the United States, and is considered to be one of the world’s top avian rehabilitation centers. Located on the Gulf Coast of Florida, and run as a nonprofit organization, the sanctuary takes in and treats up to 10,000 birds each year, relying on the generosity and compassion of the public to continue providing this essential service.
Up to ninety percent of the birds brought to the sanctuary have been incapacitated in some way as a direct, or indirect, result of human activities. Of the birds that survive the critical first 24-hours following their rescue, up to eighty percent are successfully reintroduced to the wild. However, some are unable to return to the wild, and these remain at the sanctuary where visitors can view them and find out more about how and why they landed up at the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary. There are a wide range of bird species that are permanent residents at the sanctuary and if they breed successfully, their offspring are released into the wild.
Birds brought to the sanctuary will immediately undergo a thorough examination, diagnosis and medical treatment, with a feeding chart and medical record kept for each bird. Birds are then placed in an indoor recovery room and closely observed until deemed fit enough to move to the outdoor rehabilitation aviary with others of their species. Thereafter, the rescued birds will either be released into the wild, or remain as permanent residents at the sanctuary or another suitable rehabilitation center or zoo.
In addition to viewing the birds housed at the sanctuary, visitors can find out what they can do to promote conservation, and what to do if they find an injured or baby bird. With man continually encroaching on the territory of wild birds, this type of information is invaluable, and with more than 100,000 visitors each year, the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary continues to make a significant contribution to educating the public on bird conservation.
It’s never easy trying to face the many difficulties that occur when a natural disaster strikes, but a bit of careful planning can really help to ease a lot of the problems that may arise. This is especially the case when you have pet birds that need to be evacuated, since you will have to care for their needs despite the looming crisis.