We all know how cute baby birds are. They look up at you with those big eyes and your heart melts. If young enough they beg for food in the cutest way by bobbing their little head up and down while making a cute little baby sound. What you need to know is this. That pretty and cute baby will grow up, just like our children, and develop their own personalities, not yet visible to the unsuspecting human. Hopefully you are not trying to feed an un-weaned baby bird without the proper education and support systems. It may look like an easy task and yes, most intelligent people can learn to hand feed. The hard part is yet to come however. Knowing when baby is or isn’t digesting its food, keeping baby warm, knowing how to properly wean baby without causing hunger or psychological issues is a whole different ball game. Baby birds are very susceptible to illness. Food fed while too cold causes baby’s crop to stop working. Feeding food that is too hot can burn holes through its thin walled crop causing serious injury and need for possible surgery to repair a hole that allows food to leak out leaving baby with no nutrition.
Even with a weaned baby bird, you may be the one to feed, love, offer treats, and clean the cage for the baby, but when it finishes developing its personality, you may suddenly find yourself NOT the chosen one! Just as with human children, baby birds develop different views on life and their chosen one as they grow. Hopefully your family is onboard with having this bird when it decides one of them is the chosen one instead of you. Hopefully you have educated yourself with reliable information on bird behavior to keep baby well socialized. Notice there are lots of “hopefully’s” when purchasing a baby bird or even an adult bird.
When you choose to adopt an adult bird, basically, what you see is what you get. Most re-homing/ rescue organizations require that you spend time bonding with the bird before adoption. They already know much about the bird’s behavior’s, likes and dislikes. They educate you while you interact with the bird you want to adopt, answer your questions, and provide you with valuable information relating to your bird. They also offer ongoing support if any problems arise.
There is a huge myth that adult birds that are available for adoption are “broken” or were given up due to their “bad behavior” or other perceived faults. The truth is, most birds that are given up to shelters or rescue groups are there through no fault of their own! The top reasons given for relinquishing a bird are; the human’s health, change in financial situation or housing situation, loss of job and other changes in the human’s life, not due to anything the bird has done. Yes, you will see plucked birds in shelters sometimes but the majority, are not, plucking does not mean the bird was abused or neglected in its previous home or that something is wrong with it. Plucking in 98% of cases is a behavioral issue that may or may not stop. The other 2% are medical reasons.
As the age of bird owners increases, the number of households with birds increases so does the number of birds looking for new homes. Some areas have already begun to euthanize and many more will follow over the next decade. Parrot rescues are full and yet there are more unwanted birds needing placed. Grants and financial assistance for parrot rescues are very few and far between, leaving them to find individual donors and fundraisers to support the care of their birds. Please adopt, don’t shop!