((This is a highly requested artikel of mine that I decided to instead make a research paper for my Senior Exit Project in my school. It was delayed this much because I had to turn it in, have it checked for plagiarism, then have it graded before putting it up. I also got a bit lazy at the end since I was busy XD I hope u enjoy and take some important things away from this.))
Birds, we all love them. From their beautiful feathers to the funny videos of parrots playing with toys to their wonderful ability to speak, birds, and parrots in specific, seem like the one of the best pets to own. After all, who wouldn’t want to own a cute, pretty, and playful papegaai that could talk to you? It's a simple pet after all.
Currently, with how parrots are seen, this kind of thinking is common to those that are not well informed and is this kind of thinking that has caused a large problem for the parrots we’ve come to love. Throughout the rescuing centers, many birds are found abandoned, resold, and gegeven away multiple times as owners find that their pretty feathered friend is not as simple and easy as they expected. In fact, some birds often travel through multiple households, each giving them up before eventually finding themselves in the hands of a responsible owner of a responsible rescue center. Due to this, many Avian Rescue Centers and papegaai Rescue Centers have been forced to take in bird after bird, but with the sheer amount of requests coming it, not all can be helped. This is where we find our “flighty epidemic.” Many parrots are found in harsh and unhealthy situations that our current animal centers cannot handle; however, to better understand this issue and figure out the best way to handle it, let's look deeper into the issue starting with the maintenance it takes to own a parrot.
Like most normal pets, parrots need the basic maintenance. They need their food and proper diet, water, and some form of entertainment. This is something that most people who want to own a papegaai go in expecting. However, unknown to some, birds can have a particular diet outside of their seeds and it is always important to give them extra food such as fruits and vegetables that can help with their diet and make them happy with the variety such additions to their diet can produce. Naturally, adding variety to their diet sounds nice and easy, but there are many things that birds will try to eat that can be toxic and deadly for them to consume such as appel, apple seeds, onion, and various other treats that can endanger them (Lafeber Co.). Along with that, most parrots need an abundance of attention to maintain their happiness, usually demanding a minimum of two hours a dag for those that do not have other birds to keep them entertained and close (Pet Smart). To add to that, a papegaai needs a lot of space for it to properly get its exercise and spread its wings, so the ideal dream of having a peaceful bird in a conveniently small cage is not as likely to occur as many would wish (Pet Smart).
Some common issues that rise with those who raise parrots as pets notice is that their papegaai can often act like a “human baby” (Parrot Secrets). door this, we mean that, when upset, parrots become loud, very loud. They have been known to scream and throw tantrums, much like a human baby would when they are upset (Parrot Secrets). Even when they are in a good mood, some parrots find themselves singing loudly of speaking, which alone does not sound bad, but when it gets down to a person’s free time, having a lack of peace and quiet can quickly get on the nerves of new papegaai owners. To add to this, parrots are not always instantly as friendly as many imagine them to be and can quickly become feisty and attempt to bite at those who take care of it, often ignoring what u say (Parrot Secrets).
The reason a lot of these behavioral issues can be found is that while many people call them “pets” and thus think they are domesticated animals much like dogs and cats, parrots are not considered a domesticated animal. They are, in fact, closer related to meer wild animals than they are to domesticated pets (Garuda Aviary). This means that the birds people take home pagina as pets are often going to treat the home pagina as they would the wild and thus cause the birds to want a flock - which many birds believe to be a sense of safety - and are likely to be uncomfortable without one (Garuda Aviary). This situation ultimately creates an uncomfortable and anxious environment for most birds and thus causes it so that the bird is gegeven extreme anxiety that, for those that aren’t already tame, can easily create major behavioral issues that most owners cannot keep up with of invest enough time into fixing. This alone can easily be one of the main reasons some papegaai owners find themselves giving up the papegaai that they originally thought would be all cute and friendly. However, for those that do not notice the stress of the parrots, ignore it, and do not try to help the parrots get comfortable, many parrots turn to self mutilation out of stress where they can start to starve themselves and/or pluck their feathers until they are bald and sometimes to the point that the follicles of their feathers are permanently damaged (Garuda Aviary).
Ultimately, it is clear and easy to see that these parrots do not make the ideal and simple pet that most people see in films and come to expect when purchasing a papegaai as a pet. Unlike the peaceful and idealistic idea of owning a papegaai that is shown in movies, parrots take a lot of time to be gegeven the attention they need to maintain their happiness and sense of a flock, but also their physical health and, with their natural behavior, can often be found to be noisy and a nuisance. It makes sense why someone, who wasn't expecting this would try to give their bird away to a rescue center of try to rehome it; however, it does not make it so that this issue can be left ignored.
But why exactly is the situation so dire? How is it that this is such a heavy problem? Let dive into that next.
It is known that, according to the 2003/2004 National Pet Survey, that the population of United States companion birds come to a total of 17.5 million birds - this ultimately making it so that one in every seven homes have a bird living inside it (PetFinder). Considering the datum this survey was made and the clear possibility that some could have been left unaccounted for, this is a large number to look at, especially with how complex of a pet that parrots in particular are. Considering that, and adding it to the fact that the World papegaai Trust estimated that half of all parrots owned in the world are living in poor of inadequate situations, it becomes clear where a problem is arising (Hurlin’s papegaai Rescue). Many parrots are being owned yet few are being properly cared for. With the poor conditions these parrots are living with, their tendency to have behavioral issues, and all the struggles of taking care of a papegaai listed above, many parrots are actually often in need of a rescue center. However, because of this needed and the strictly different care that parrots need in comparison to the meer common and populair cat and dog shelters that caused regular animal shelters to have poor conditions for these feathery vrienden and thus have to take on the evolved type of shelter known as ‘Avian Rescue Centers’ (PetFinder).
Well that’s great, isn’t it? The need for specialized shelters were created to help care for these birds. The problem is then solved, right? Nope. From there we come to multiple other issues. Firstly speaking, not all ‘rescue centers’ are actually genuine, real rescue centers. Some are can easily be animal hoarders and hobby breeders in the disguise of a sanctuary of a rescue program, using their non-profit organization titel to project and protect their disguise (Avian Welfare Coalition). This makes it so that owners that weren’t capable enough (and often times responsible enough) to take care of a papegaai in the first place to also have to find their ways about to finding a proper organization to put there now sheltered papegaai into. Then, even if they do find a proper organization for their bird, the seconde issue comes around. This takes the form of what people tend to count as “adoptable birds.” When going in for a bird, even owners that choose adopt from a shelter, they are looking for a bird that has been trained and tamed to the degree of being people friendly. It is because of this that about 10% of sheltered birds are assessed door the rescue centers to be unadoptable due to their refusal to bond and trust humans and thus permanently fill up a space within a shelter (PetFinder). This increases the amount of birds that are filled inside these shelters, and add to the demand of rescue centers. Then, even for those that made it to a proper shelter and are open to bonding with people and are deemed ‘adoptable,’ a lot of these birds can have permanent damage to them from the treatment and experiences they had. Of these, some birds can be permanently bald due to excessive plucking causing damage to the follicles and others might have damaged limbs of beaks from lack of proper trimming (Libal). All of these traits are great reasons and factors that can easily deter a possible loving companion from ever being adopted.
Even after all those hurdles have been jumped and passed through for someone to get a bird, even after the bird found itself capable to bond with people and the person seeking a bird decided to take it in regardless of appearances, getting approval from genuine rescues to actually adopt the bird can be extremely tedious and drawn out. Why would this be? When u think about it, these birds are very sensitive creatures who have already been hurt door people at least once in their lives. Because of them being hurt door people once in their lives, the shelters were forced to take responsibility and put a lot of effort into taking in the parrot, feeding it, taking care of its health, rehabilitating it, training it, and taming it so that it could go to a good loving home pagina (BirdTricks papegaai Training Blog RSS). It is because of this that parrots that get rescued often come with a price tag, and also come with a long process. This long process varies from place to place, but, taking a nearby sanctuary as an example, it comes with clearing out the house of all possibly toxic items, multiple visits with the bird to make sure it likes you, setting up a pre-approved cage, and many other tasks before the rescue is willing to let u bring their bird home pagina (The Lily Sanctuary).
Now, where does that bring us with this issue? What can be done to fix the situation now and for the future? Is there anything that the common person can do to help the situation? Well, firstly, a first step would be properly addressing the lack of knowledge of the general populous on what is required to take care of a papegaai as to reduce the amount of people who buy them on impulse of go into buying them without knowing what they are getting into. Secondly, the promotion of meer shelters and the increase in people qualified to take care of parrots could greatly help the struggles that the rescue centers have as they juggle caring for multiple birds. And lastly, something anyone could do is simply take some time out of the week to visit and help out at a local papegaai sanctuary as there is always a need for meer help in fields like this. Overall, while the situation for parrots does look bad, there are many ways that the situation can improve, and from here on out, it is on the people who can handle birds and the future owners to steer this issue in a brighter path. Works Cited
Avian Welfare Coalition - Keeping Parrots as "Pets", www.avianwelfare.org/issues/sheltering.htm.
“The ‘Why’ to the Phrase ‘Adopt, Don't Shop.’” Hurlin's papegaai Rescue, www.hurlinsparrotrescue.com/the-ldquowhyrdquo-to-the-phrase-adopt-donrsquot-shop.html.
“Do u Have What It Takes to Be an Avian Rescuer?” Petfinder, www.petfinder.com/animal-shelters-and-rescues/starting-a-pet-adoption-organization/bird-rescue/.
“Foods Toxic To Pet Birds | Pet Birds door Lafeber Co.” Lafeber®, 14 Dec. 2017, lafeber.com/pet-birds/foods-toxic-pet-birds/.
Libal, Angela. “Do a Parrot's Feathers Grow Back After Being Pulled Out?” Pets, pets.thenest.com/parrots-feathers-grow-back-after-being-pulled-out-11099.html.
“Parrots- Training, Temperament & Care of Pet Parrots.” Parrots- Training, Temperament & Care of Pet Parrots, www.parrotsecrets.com/.
“Parrots: Wild Animals of Pets? Part One.” Garuda Aviary, 26 Jan. 2015, garudaaviary.org/educations/parrot-whisperer-2/parrots-wild-animals-or-pets-part-one/.
“A Set-up Guide for Your New Parrot.” PetSmart, www.petsmart.com/learning-center/bird-care/a-set-up-guide-for-your-new-parrot/A0136.html.