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How to Adopt a Bird like a Parrot

Posted by Jennifer on January 8th, 2014

You may have noticed that we don’t have many blog articles here about adopting parrots or other birds. That’s because although I have had decades of experience caring, fostering, and adopting out dogs, cats, rabbits, and other pets in my work with animal shelters and rescues, when it came time to counsel someone about adopting a bird – I would always ask that one of the more bird-experienced staff handle that adoption consultation. Many first-time bird adopters are just like me: they think birds and parrots are beautiful, fascinating creatures, but know almost nothing about what would be involved with adopting and caring for a bird, especially a parrot. Fortunately, there are great bird and parrot experts who can help guide us bird novices through deciding if we are ready to adopt a parrot, cockatoo, canary, or any other bird. Read on for some basic steps to get you ready to adopt a bird!

1. Educate yourself. You can get books about the bird your interested in adopting from your local library, or read articles on bird rescue website. Every type of bird is different, so make sure you read up on the particular needs. Many birds are very social and need lots of attention. Birds do produce dander so are not hypoallergenic. They can be messy and their area will need daily cleaning. See the bottom of this page for links to more great online articles from bird experts too!

2. What kind of bird? If you’re not sure what type of bird you want to adopt yet, go spend time with possibilities, and talk to their foster homes about their personalities and needs. Birds need varied diets, exercise outside their cage, socialization, sufficient daily direct sunlight or full-spectrum lighting, When you think you’ve decided, you might want to start by fostering a bird for a local rescue. That way you can give bird care-taking a try, without making a lifetime commitment. Parrots  can live 50 years or more!

3. Budget for your bird. Just like other pets, bird costs vary – mostly depending on size. Smaller birds eat less so monthly costs are slightly less, while the initial setup costs can be a lot more for bigger birds for a proper cage, carrier, and flight cage or aviary. Birds need vet care from vets that specialize in birds, which can be expensive. See this PDF of How Much Birds Cost from the Companion Parrot Connection.

4. Check with your landlord or HOA to make sure birds are allowed where you live. Parrots, cockatoos, cockatiels and many other types of birds like to talk! They also can be destructive if not properly exercised and entertained – chewing wood is a natural behavior for many birds, and while that can be directed at an appropriate bird wood chew toy, it can also be a window sill or door frame if you’re not careful.

5. Find a bird to adopt! You adopt a parrot by using the Parrot Search on our website, or you can adopt a bird like an African Gray, Canary, Cockatoo, or even a Chicken using our Adopt a Bird search to find all kinds of birds for adoption near you.

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