11 Important Questions to Ask Yourself Before Becoming a “Bird Parent”
- Consider the bird’s lifespan. Adopting a parrot is like adopting a 2 or 3-year-old toddler who will never grow up. Many parrots have long lifespans. Even small parrots can live 30 to 45 years. Larger parrots can live 70 to 90 years. How old are you? If you’re young, what are your future, lifetime plans and will a “permanent toddler” be in the picture? If you’re older, will your bird outlive you? If so, what provisions will you be able to make for your bird when you’re gone?
- Parrots (like toddlers) require enormous amounts of attention and they are social creatures. What is your schedule? What are your other commitments? Do you have time to provide the emotional and physical stimuli he needs for an enriched and happy life?
- Captive birds require clean environments. As well as providing emotional and physical enrichment, will you have time to thoroughly clean your bird’s cage and environment daily?
- Birds require a varied, well balanced diet of specially formulated pellets, fresh fruits and vegetables, and a variety of healthy seeds. Will you have time to buy “bird groceries”? Fresh foods spoil quickly so uneaten food should be taken away as soon as your bird is finished with his meal. Birds need fresh water that may need replacing multiple times during the day. Will you be available to do those things?
- Birds, like all companion animals, need regular veterinary care. Veterinary care is often expensive. Whether your bird is a budgie, or a large macaw, the fee for examinations, treatment, medications, surgery, etc. are the same. What is your financial situation? Can you afford general maintenance veterinary care, and can you afford to pay for a medical emergency if something should happen? Not all veterinarians will treat birds. Do you have an avian veterinarian near you? If not, are you willing to drive long distance for your bird’s care?
- Parrots are notoriously noisy and even the smallest of parrots can have amazingly loud and boisterous and/or shrill screams. If a bird is not terribly loud, he may make repetitive and nerve wracking sounds. What is your “noise” tolerance and how patient are you? What is your neighbor’s noise tolerance?
- Parrots not only love to chew things up and tear things apart, it’s their natural behavior. In the wild, they break open nuts and fruit, they build nests, and break off tree branches. Chewing also provides emotional and physical stimuli, and it is also a form of recreation and play. Captive parrots need toys and plenty of them. Bird toys will need to be replaced regularly. If you’re unable to make appropriate and safe toys for your bird, you will need to purchase them. Bird toys are expensive. What is your bird toy budget?
- *The safe and secure housing for your bird will be expensive. Cages and appropriate housing can cost into the thousands of dollars. Beware of used cages and bargain cages. And yes, your bird will need a cage or an aviary. *(See “myths” below for more information about caging and cages.) Cages are expensive. What is your cage or housing budget for your bird?
- Are you prone to allergies? Have you considered other family members’ allergies and sensitivities? Some parrots are prone to cause allergies in people and create dust in the air which can aggravate some people who have respiratory problems. (Example: African Grey, Cockatoo, and Cockatiel.)
Even if you’re not prone to allergies, the settling dust lands on furniture, clothing, and the surrounding environment, necessitating additional dusting and cleaning. You may need to purchase an air purifier to control air impurities and you may need to dust more often. What is your air quality budget? How much time can you invest in additional cleaning?
- Do you rent or own? Does your landlord allow birds? If you have to move, will you take your bird? Will there be enough room to properly house your bird and his environment?
- Think about your life and what you plan to do in the future. Are you married? Do you think you will divorce? Do you plan to marry? Do you plan to get pregnant? Are you going away to college? Are you going to change jobs? Do you plan to have a new boyfriend/girlfriend? (While these are common life events, surprisingly they are just a few of the many reasons people give up their parrots.)
If you still want to adopt please read below to begin the process.
Don’t think when we state we don’t ask for money we just give parrots away. We still have procedures we go by, only thing we don’t ask for is money.
All parrot rescues have sponsor, where they will receive money for sales, food/cage donations etc. But still we see parrot rescues wanting money for parrots. They now have become an abused pet store. They want their cake and eat it too. On top of that they don’t believe that it is their responsible to test the parrots for disease. So think of the parrots that are already there. This is just a disease pit, and most diseases are airborne, which means when your their you will be exposed to this and will be a carry when you leave.
When adopting form Freedom Flights your getting a parrot that has been disease tested. In most cases parrots surrendered to us their homes come with them, and will go with them. Don’t expect to come here see a parrot and go home with it. Parrots come first here and we will keep the parrot for as long as it takes to find a home. We also require you you to come a few times before you bring your new family member home.
First we require you to fill out an adoption application. On this we ask you what your looking for etc. Than once we have gone over it we will e-mail you and put you on a waiting list. We do ask you if in the mean time you find a parrot to let us know. For the people who surrendered their parrots to us you must understand that in some cases these parrots have been with them for years and this can be very painful. So we like to get up dates for them, within time it gets better for them.
The last set of paper work is signed the day you take your parrot home. When you apply for a parrot please remember that these are abused parrots in one way or another. We may ask you to do further research. Some parrots may not be suitable for apartments. Parrots come first here and we will work with you. Also if you really want a parrot like a macaw but have no experience working with a macaw this does not mean we would not adopt to you.