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February 20, 2013

Five Ways to Help Birds

Parrots and other birds kept as pets are gorgeous, smart, and social. But life's not always so easy for our feathered friends. Fortunately, there are lots of easy ways to help.

 

1. Think twice before buying a bird »

Did you know there are countless homeless parrots (big and small) in animal shelters and rescue groups across the country? Because of their beauty and intelligence, parrots have been overbred, and many wind up in homes with caretakers who didn't know what they were getting into. Through no fault of their own, the birds usually end up suffering in the end. What this means is that you have to really be sure you want a bird. Here's how to know. Then, if you're sure, find a reputable avian rescue group in your area, and adopt »

2. If you have a pet bird, try your best to make her happy »

If you already share your home with a feathered friend, it's important to fly the extra mile to give him or her the best life possible with you. Provide the biggest cage you can afford. Offer regular access to stimulating toys and fresh fruits and vegetables. Provide as much out-of-cage time as you can manage. Learn everything you can about your parrot's specific behavior and needs (your local parrot rescue may offer behavior and feeding workshops). And schedule regular check-ups with an avian veterinarian. All parrots are highly intelligent and social, so treat them as a member of the family, and watch their hearts soar. More on pet bird care »

3. Support groups helping birds »

Most homes and lifestyles are unsuitable for an animal who, in the wild, forms incredibly close social bonds and flies many miles each day. Couple that with noise levels on par with ambulances, major messes, and lifespans of up to 80 years, and it's fairly easy to see why people who obtain parrots often feel overwhelmed and relinquish their birds. The average pet parrot will go through seven homes in the first 10 years of her life. Help her find a permanent, caring home by supporting your local avian rescue group or animal shelter. Whether it's money, supplies, or time, there are meaningful and easy ways to plug in. Find a reputable avian rescue group in your area »

4. Learn about the situation for captive parrots in the U.S., and spread the word »

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5. Help parrots around the world»

Though it's now illegal to import wild-caught parrots into the U.S., birds are still captured for the pet trade around the world. Help protect them with a pledge to not support the wildlife trade.

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