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Friday, August 28, 2009
What Happens To My Parrots?

By Linda Costello
Explore the diaries of daily life with large birds.

Radar, a blue-fronted Amazon
Here are some of the birds that  have lived with Linda over the years. Radar, a blue-fronted Amazon, is 22 years old and belonged to a relative who passed away. He has been a  happy member of Linda's flock for 10 years.

Grazia, the African grey
At 25, Grazia, the African grey, succumbed to the damage done to her from living with a heavy smoker for 19 years.

Spike, a lesser sulphur-crested cockatoo
Spike, a 26-year-old lesser sulphur-crested cockatoo, was another rehomed bird in Linda's flock.

There are always parrots that need to be rehomed for many reasons. I have taken in birds myself, some because the owners were ill or deceased, and others because the owners just didn't want them anymore or they were afraid of being bitten by them.

I've been lucky in that I have always been able to stay at home to care for my birds. But what happens when the day comes that I no longer can stay home with the flock? I see a lot of people my age encountering serious health problems. Thus far, I have been lucky health wise, but I know that I should start looking ahead as to what will become of my parrots when I am no longer able to care for them.

There are many rescues that take in parrots but do not adopt them out — sanctuaries where the bird stays to live its life out. But I find it sad that the birds are tame and would make good pets, but they never get the chance to find a new loving home.

I often wonder about what happens to the parrots when the persons who set up and run these sanctuaries burn out or die. What then happens to the birds they have taken in?

It would be nice to find more rescues that actually look to rehome parrots.
I have explained the difference to my family and friends. They agree with me that selling my parrots is not the way to go either. Our birds are family members; we can't put a price on their heads then sell them to anyone who can come up with the money!

I realize that living with and taking on the responsibility for 14 parrots is not something everyone is capable of doing. Although I have a few that would stay with family members, if it became necessary, I would want my parrots to go to a rescue that adopts to people who are willing to come to seminars to learn or refresh themselves on the care, diet and big commitment they are taking on when they adopt birds.

Just the other day, I received a phone call from a friend wanting to know if I can help a woman who is in ill health find homes for some of her flock. Although her heart is breaking over parting with her loved pets, she no longer has the strength to care for them all herself. Soon they will all have to be placed in other homes. Of course I will do all I can to help this older woman out. My heart goes out to her.

I suddenly realized through a phone conversation with her that we are exactly the same age!
That conversation really put things in perspective for me. I realize more than ever that I have to get the ball in motion and lay some plans for the sake of my birds.

After reading this I hope you will share the plans you have made for the future welfare of your parrots in the comments section at the end of this blog.

After reading this, I hope you will share the plans you have made for the future welfare of your parrots in the comments section at the end of this blog. Here is also a video of parrots rehomed with my flock.

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What Happens To My Parrots?

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Reader Comments
Makes one think!!
Joan, Upper Montclair, NJ
Posted: 9/4/2009 7:00:03 AM
Your statements are a call to arms for all pet owners, but especially those who are lucky enough to have feathered friends. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
Shelly, Irving, TX
Posted: 8/29/2009 9:58:16 PM
Recently there have been 2 things that have happened that have made me think on this subject. The first was an unplanned trip to the hospital for 5 days. Fortunately I had done some planning. There is a picture that hangs in my bird room with instructions on what to do in case of emergency. There are phone numbers for my Vet and the bird store. Fortunately family and friends pitched in to help out. I plan to leave some money to each bird for their future care.

Next there was a big news story here in Orlando about a couple that died and had lots of exotic pets. This included 20 exotic birds. No plans had been made for their future care. The SPCA wound up with all of them and was in over their head until a friend and bird person stepped in to save them days later. All 20 are in quarantine and promise to be a mess to sort out between family & friends. I've held several of the birds and they are now getting the help that they need.

So make plans for your birds. Show them as much love in their future as you do now. Locate foster parents and leave instructions on their care. I like being known as a role model when it comes to care for my birds and I could do better. Remember that your birds can't phone for help and may not know how to ask for help either.
Charles, Orlando, FL
Posted: 8/29/2009 6:56:20 PM
We have provided for our grumpy 'Zon as we would for a child. A guardian has been chosen and named in our wills, as well as a small trust fund to pay for her needs. She will probably outlive both of us.

A parrot is a lifelong - and beyond - commitment!
Mai, Seattle, WA
Posted: 8/29/2009 2:47:06 PM
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