In recent years, there has been the abandonment of thousands of pet parrots who are unwanted. It has reached a crisis stage, and is exacerbated by the possible lifespan of the parrots, which can live up to 90 years. Furthermore, attempts to domesticate wild birds often end in abandonment, so we’ve looked into why, and what you should understand before you consider owning a parrot.
Firstly, it must be understood that parrots are extremely intelligent, and they provide a different kind of companion to a cat or a dog. They have the emotional capacity of a 5-year-old, they have a genuine sense of humour and can actually connect with you. There is also a huge amount of interspecies communication between parrots, making them an interesting and amusing companion.
However, it can’t be ignored that a parrot is a wild animal, and therefore has evolved with wild instincts. These include biting, flying, mating, chewing and sometimes aggression, all developed for survival in the wild. Often, people do not expect this and therefore can’t tolerate it in their home. Consequently, the number of birds people ask to ‘surrender’ every day is astonishing, with one parrot shelter in New England receiving 2 requests a day, between 400 and 700 requests annually.
Therefore it is important to understand that parrots are not simple pets to look after, and you must be prepared to take responsibility for them for the long run. It is not a decision to jump into, and all the positives and negatives of owning a parrot must be considered beforehand.