I have no explanation for it, but lately, I am addicted to watching animal rescue videos. I end each day by watching a few and always want to take the cat or dog into my home. Since I only rent, there’s a strict limit on the dogs and cats I can have here. Birds, so far, they haven’t said no.
In watching these rescues, I have only seen one about a parrot needing rescue and one about rehoming a macaw. But I know there are lots of rescued parrots out there. I wish we could have their stories like we do for the dogs and cats. Of course, the dogs and cats are domestic animals and can’t be turned out to fend for themselves. Some really bright folks out there think they can. Hence all the rescues. Parrots often can fend for themselves and join a “feral” flock in the area.
Most birds come to sanctuaries when their owners pass away or get too old or feeble to care for them. The birds occasionally are mistreated, neglected, or in need of medical care. These birds usually involve hoarders and intervention by Animal Control services. Some birds are lucky to be given over to a parrot rescue organization like Chloe Sanctuary and Free Flight.
I am not a registered parrot and other birds rescue, but I have rescued birds many times. The first time was a cockatiel my niece had when she was a preteen. As she grew older and didn’t take care of the bird, my sister asked me to take her. I had a single cockatiel at the time and hoped the two would bond. Nope. They hated each other.
A friend of my husband’s from his place of employment got into birds much more heavily than I did at that time. As she got closer to retirement, she decided the chopping and cooking and cleaning was more than she wanted to continue with. For a small rehoming fee, she gave us a bunch of cages, four cockatiels, and I don’t remember how many finches. Gouldians, societies, and zebras. That started me on the path to breeding cockatiels and finches. I never had luck with the Lady Gouldians but zebras were hard to stop.
People who knew me told their friends about me when friends wanted to rehome a bird. We have driven many miles to pick up various small parrots. One woman met us at a gas station about 2 hours north of us. She had an infant in the car and asked us to watch her baby while she went into the gas, station for cigarettes. On the one hand, I was flattered she trusted us. On the other hand, OMG! What mother does that? No wonder she was rehoming Hermes.
Sweet Hermes was her husband’s bird long before he met and married her. She didn’t like having him flying around so he was confined to his cage more and more. Of course, Hermes let his displeasure be known by screaming. So he was covered more often than not. When the couple had a baby, the bird kept waking the baby up.
Hermes liked being with us, but even with having a whole day to be out of his cage, he started biting when night came and we tried to put him to bed. I hate netting birds every day but at first, that was our only option. Luckily he began to relax and get the idea. Soon after, he picked out a mate in the flock and settled down to courting and mating.
One night, we had pizza delivered and the guy who showed up was impressed by all the birds in our living room. He asked if we wanted a parakeet. He’d bought one from a pet store for his kids, but the bird was skittish and wouldn’t play with them. No questions asked we took the bird the next day.
The most memorable rescue happened about 8 years ago. A member of my bird club didn’t answer her phone for a couple days. A woman in poor health, she lived alone and we grew worried. She lived about an hour north of my home, so with another friend from the club, we drove up to check on her. The signs were not good when we got there, and after a lot of pounding on the doors and windows, we did hear our friend calling for help. She had passed out in her kitchen and we don’t know how long she was there. We called 911, the sheriff who came forced entry, and our friend was taken away by ambulance.
She did not survive long after that. So we had to find homes for all 104 birds in her house. There wasn’t a room or a bit of floor space that didn’t hold birds in cages and bird food. We did what we could to feed and water the parrots until we learned their owner would not be coming back. Then we began to place these precious babies in good homes.
I didn’t want cockatoos or macaws myself, and fortunately, those went quickly. I took all the lovebirds, a cockatiel that I had raised, finches, and a tortoise. That’s where Mike and I saw Bo Dangles for the first time, and we said we wanted her. No one else was interested in special needs African Grays. As we thought we were all packed up and ready to go home, we were asked if we would take a blind gray. How could we say no?
Thinking of my flock, I have three other cockatiels who were rehomed to me, a noisy Double-Yellow Amazon, a pair of orange front conures, a pair of green cheek conures, and one sun conure. My first “large” parrot was a sun conure that we drove about 3 miles to meet and rescue. He lived a long life with us and passed away last year. I can’t imagine my home or my life without all these amazing birds that make life interesting.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back next Sunday.