Jan is Adopt a Bird Month

lullaby419In 2002, the ASPCA declared January Adopt a Rescued Bird Month. Your local animal shelter probably offers pet birds for adoption whenever they are available.

Occasionally, a stray chicken – yep, chicken – is picked up by the dedicated officers who respond to calls for animals in trouble. Once transported to the shelter, all birds get equal rights. They can be held for a few business days to give their rightful owner a chance to claim them and explain why they… (wait for it…) crossed the road.
More commonly, pet birds are relinquished to shelters and private rescue groups when their keepers no longer wish to care for them. Why would someone give up his feathery little friend? Best to know all the possible reasons before diving in; many birds live 60 years or more.

Upside

Talking

Downside

Yelling, swearing, screeching,
smoke alarm, car alarm, repetition.
Sleeping, watching TV, entertaining.

Upside

Cage

Downside

Floor of the cage.
Floor around the cage.
Big cage where furniture might go.

Oh, and they can bite your finger off. And make sure you can find a bird vet before you need one.

Birds are beautiful, intelligent creatures who just need companionship…..constant entertainment, constant environmental control, constantly provided variety of foods and special lighting. Just ask my parrot. She’ll tell you in plain English that she needs crackers and showers and to get out!! If that doesn’t work, she’ll call the dogs and yell at them.  It’s pretty hard to ignore…as are the soggy broccoli blooms on the heated floor.

If you’re already bird-savvy you can ask to be placed on the waiting list at your shelter or a reputable bird rescue (visit in person!!) Local shelters frequently receive parakeets and doves. It’s not unheard of for shelters to place Macaws (huge!!), Amazons (loud!!) African Grays (some birds will be returned to their keepers due to unique vocabularies like phone numbers and addresses), several types of Conures (big bird in a tiny body), cockatoos (anyone for a permanent 2 year old?) and of course the occasional pond inhabitant (duck, duck, goose). Call your local shelter to ask about their waiting list.