Keeping Parrots as "Pets"
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?
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.
by Denise Kelly, Eileen McCarthy, Krista Menzel & Monica Engebretson
The Welfare and suitability of parrots as companion animals: a review
The Journal of Animal Welfare, published by Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW)
by Monica Engebretson, Senior Program Associate, Born Free USA
by Greg Glendell
by Denise Kelly, Joan Rae & Krista Menzel