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FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About the AWC

 

How do I adopt a bird?

Can you help me find a new home for my bird?

I want to start an avian rescue, placement, and/or sanctuary organization. Can you help me?

I realize that my bird is going to outlive me. How do I provide for my bird in my will?

I'm sad/angry/worried about parrot homelessness and want to help. What can I do?

I witnessed bird abuse or neglect at a pet store, breeder, private home, restaurant, hotel, store, or other location. What should I do?

How do I join the AWC?

Does the AWC want to take away my right to own a bird?

Is the AWC against all parrot breeding? What about good breeders?

 

How do I adopt a bird?

The Avian Welfare Coalition does not offer birds for adoption. We recommend that you contact your local bird rescue/placement organization, humane society, or veterinary office to find an adoptable bird. Your local bird club may be another source of "second-hand" birds.

 

Can you help me find a new home for my bird?

No, not directly. The Avian Welfare Coalition does not take in or place birds in new homes. We recommend that you contact your local bird rescue/placement organization, humane society, veterinary office, or bird club for assistance.

Before you place your bird, read Guidelines for Placing Your Bird, then click on the link below to help find a bird adoption organization near you:

Captive Bird Rescue & Placement Organizations

 

Remember that the surrender of a bird for sanctuary or placement is not a "donation." Every bird given up to a rescue organization becomes an immediate liability for money, space, and time. You are not doing an organization a favor by asking them to care for and place your Polly in a new home. Even though you may have paid a lot for your parrot, you cannot claim the value of the bird as a charitable donation on your taxes. However, you can often make a financial or equipment donation to a 501(c)(3) bird rescue group and take the deduction. Talk to your financial advisor about your options.

 

I want to start an avian rescue, placement, and/or sanctuary organization. Can you help me?

Yes. Click here for more information on starting a bird rescue or sanctuary organization. If your questions are not answered on this page, please contact us.

 

I realize that my bird is going to outlive me. How do I provide for my bird in my will?

Click here for more information on Estate Planning & Wills. If your questions are not answered on this page, please contact us.

 

I'm concerned about captive parrot displacement and want to help. What can I do?

Click here to learn ways that you can take action to help captive parrots and other birds.

 

I witnessed bird abuse or neglect at a pet store, breeder, private home, restaurant, hotel, store, or other location. What should I do?

Click here for more information on how you can report bird neglect or abuse.

 

How do I join the AWC?

The Avian Welfare Coalition is a working alliance of representatives from bird adoption, rescue and sanctuary groups, humane societies, animal advocacy organizations, published research biologists, animal behaviorists, shelter and research veterinarians, and attorneys and other animal law specialists dedicated to the ethical treatment and protection of birds living in captivity and in their natural habitats. If you have been actively working in some field of parrot or other animal welfare and think you have something to contribute to the AWC, please contact us with information about you, your work, your organization, your views on captive and wild parrot issues, and the way you feel you can contribute to this group.

 

Does the AWC want to take away my right to own a bird?

No! The Avian Welfare Coalition does not focus on taking away human rights, but on increasing human awareness and responsibility for the welfare of parrots living in captivity and the wild. Through legislation, educational campaigns, letter-writing, articles, advertising, public service announcements, shelter outreach, and other methods, we aim to ensure that all captive parrots receive the best possible care and that both wild and captive parrots are safe from human exploitation and carelessness. We strive to educate the public so that only people who are prepared to make a realistic commitment to a bird will choose to bring one home, and so that these people will choose adoption over encouraging the breeding of more birds for the pet trade.

 

All of the AWC's rescue, adoption, and sanctuary organizations are full to the brim and would prefer that you keep your birds and take good care of them if you are capable of doing so. Captive parrots cannot be released, and there are simply not enough homes available to care for them. If you love your bird and give him/her the best possible care, please keep up the good work!

 

Is the AWC against all parrot breeding? What about good breeders and conservation?

Yes, for all intents and purposes, the AWC is against the breeding of parrots for the pet and entertainment industries. While a successful captive breeding and release program has yet to be developed for any parrot species, we do support scientifically-based, bona fide parrot conservation programs undertaken by teams of experts in population genetics, ecology, animal behavior, habitat conservation and restoration, natural resource management, economics, politics, sociology, and all of the other fields that must be considered if such a program is to succeed. We do not believe that breeding for the pet industry in any way conserves an endangered species because it simply does not consider most of these critical ingredients. The pet industry — either purposefully or unintentionally — selects for "pet quality" physical, physiological, and behavioral traits rather than wild ones, as well as breaking the crucial chain of cultural survival skill training from parents to offspring.

 

We certainly acknowledge that some people who breed parrots for the pet trade do a better job than others. However, the fact remains that more birds are being produced than can find long-term homes. Every bird bred — regardless of source — contributes to overpopulation on the other end. Every baby bird bred takes a home away from a displaced adult awaiting adoption.

 

More often than not, in spite of everyone's best intentions and most careful planning, even well-raised and well-loved parrots lose their homes. Human lives are unpredicatable and a demanding, long-lived animal like a parrot almost always becomes too much of a responsibility during unavoidable times of crisis or dramatic change.

 

In addition, some newer behavioral research and ongoing observations at large-scale bird rescue/placement organizations now suggest that parrots who are hand-fed as babies may actually make worse long-term human companions than parent-reared chicks. The most dedicated hand-feeder may actually be setting his/her babies up for disaster when they hit adolescence and adulthood, don't fear people, and don't know how to be birds. Cockatoos, especially, seem to suffer from this condition, called Captive-Raised Syndrome.