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Why Are There So Many Birds in Rescues? - National Humane Education Society

January is recognized as Adopt a Rescued Bird Month. In honor of the many homeless birds living in rescues and sanctuaries across the United States, let’s highlight some important facts about America’s fourth most popular companion animal.

There are over 20 million birds living as pets in the United States. The most commonly kept birds are psittacines, which include macaws, parrots, cockatoos, cockatiels, and budgies. Many people are attracted to having these birds as pets due to their vibrant colors, interesting personalities, and talkative nature. Scientists have even studied their intelligence levels and have equated them with that of a five-year-old human being! 

Despite their intellect and social natures, birds can be extremely challenging companion animals. Because they are such social creatures, constant socialization and stimulation is imperative to keep them mentally and emotionally healthy. Parrots also require a healthy, varied diet of nuts, fruits, seeds, and insects. Any change or fluctuation in their routine could cause them to become stressed and frustrated, which can lead them to pull out their own feathers or other forms of self-harm. 

So many birds are given up to rescues and sanctuaries every year because their families could not handle the complicated behavioral problems that arise with parrots when they are not in their natural habitat. Parrots can also live up to eighty years, and some families do not understand the lifetime commitment they are signing up for when they bring a parrot into their home.

If you are considering a psittacine as a pet, please remember they are lifelong companions who require the same love and care as any member of your family; they are not merely window decorations or ornaments.

Finally, please adopt your bird from the many overwhelmed bird rescues throughout the United States trying to rehome these amazing and misunderstood animals, rather than buy one from a pet store that depends on inhumane “bird mills” (much like puppy mills) that support the bird breeding industry. 

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3 responses to “Why Are There So Many Birds in Rescues?”

  1. Julie Pellmam says:

    Very sad! Please think carefully before you adopt a parrot, another species of bird, or any animal. Treat them like family or don’t adopt!

  2. I had a great little CocKatiel who lived with me 26 1/2 years. I loved him so much and he did me. Would fly to my shoulder and sit there sometimes put his head under my earlobe, other times trying to eat whatever I was eating. He knew when his favorite food was around, I think he could smell it cooking or when I opened the can, especially white albacore tuna. Loved Italian food, spaghetti was tops, fruit, nuts, English muffins. When he didn’t see me he walked around lookking in all the rooms till he found me , and would ask “Whatia doin? Loved music, even danced around with me.

  3. Birds definitely can make great pets, but even more of a commitment than a cat or dog.

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