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National Bird Day

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Parrot Breeding and Keeping

Parrot Breeding and Keeping: The Impact of Capture and Captivity.  
Order Your Copy of This Important Policy Paper Now!   

Keeping Parrots as "Pets"

Our Position

Whether captured in the wild or born in captivity, parrots are not domesticated animals like cats and dogs. They are still wild animals. Their natural curiosity, sensitivity, intellect, playfulness, and ability to form bonds with humans can tempt people to keep them in captivity.


Unfortunately, the traits that make parrots so intriguing are the same ones that make them extremely difficult to live with as companion animals. Many parrots find themselves displaced as their natural behaviors and needs clash with human expectations. Before you buy or adopt a parrot, consider the following facts:



Parrots bite and chew — you and your home!


Parrots are messy and active!

Parrots scream, but many do not talk!


Most parrots won't learn cute tricks!

Parrots are social and need daily attention!

Some parrots never bond with humans!

Parrots need to be served a varied diet!

Parrots are sensitive to household products!

Parrot cages, toys, and vet visits are expensive!


Large parrots can live up to 80 years — will you?


Photo by
Foster Parrots Ltd


Educating yourself about parrots before bringing one into your life is crucial to solving the displaced parrot problem! Only people who thoroughly understand that parrots are wild animals and who can commit to meeting their demanding needs should consider providing a home for one. Only then will all parrots kept in captivity be properly cared for and appreciated for the wild animals they are, the pet market's demand for "impulse purchased" baby parrots will decrease, and the displaced bird epidemic will become a thing of the past.


Recommended Reading

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Lucky: Based on a True Story
by Monica Engebretson


The facts about keeping PARROTS AS PETS
The facts about keeping PARROTS AS PETS

Breaking Bad Habits in Parrots
By Greg Glendell

Recommended Articles

A selection of important articles and studies for bird caregivers.
Compiled by Foster Parrots, Ltd.  


Loneliness & The Pet Parrot
by Karen Windsor, Foster Parrots, Ltd.


Photo Copyright  Dee Thompson

Moluccan Cockatoo - Photo by Dee Thompson

Avian Welfare Issues: An Overview

by Denise Kelly, Eileen McCarthy, Krista Menzel & Monica Engebretson


Americans Support a Parrot’s Right to Flight- National poll highlights attitudes about birds in captivity.


The Welfare and suitability of parrots as companion animals: a review
By Monica Engebretson, Senior Program Associate, Born Free USA

The Journal of Animal Welfare, published by Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW)


10 Things You Need to Know Before Adopting a Bird

by Monica Engebretson, Senior Program Associate, Born Free USA


The Top 10 Reasons Birds Are Surrendered to MAARS

by Midwest Avian Adoption & Rescue Services (MAARS)


Treating Parrots As Birds, Not Mammals

by Greg Glendell


The True Nature of Parrots

by Denise Kelly, Joan Rae & Krista Menzel