The Parrot crisis - don’t breed, don’t buy... adopt a rescued bird!

In 2007 after the EU Commission banned the importation of wild birds into Europe, domestic breeding boomed. Now, there is a huge overpopulation problem. Thousands of baby birds are being hatched each year. The problem begins here; with increased availability and a reduced entry barrier, more birds are being sold into homes that are unprepared for the commitment. A large number of unwanted parrots - which can live up to 90 years old - are abandoned or resold within 2 years of being purchased and all of the Avian rescues and sanctuaries are full. Read more about the 2007 EU ban Click here...

The main reason for this overpopulation is the impulse purchase, without any prior education. Parrots are beautiful, characterful animals, prone to becoming celebrities that talk and enchant viewers. However, what we don’t see on video is the hard work that goes into training and socialising a bird that is in no way genetically domesticated.

If you have a lot of time and resources and remain determined to have a bird companion, please adopt a homeless one from a shelter or rescue group, but only after fully researching their dietary, behavioural, and other needs. You are in for a great deal of work!

Not all birds will have all the behavioural problems mentioned on this page, they are all different. Some will be better or worst than others.

Some may not have any at the beginning, but if not cared for properly, they will develop some of these problems some time later. And will only get worse if their situation is not changed, and their bad behaviour is not corrected.


MARLENE MC'COHEN Parrot Educator

Published on 30 May 2017

Hello parrot lovers,

I feel like this video may not FEEL like it applies to those of you who have parrots already...but I believe that it ESPECIALLY applies to us parrot owners and the reason why is because...

We are the ones that parrots have, to stand up for their rights!

We are the ones taking care of parrots that no one can deal with.

We are the ones who understand these little souls and how fragile their emotions are!

So we are the only ones that can make everyone else who isn't aware...aware now!

We are the ones who can share this video passionately and hope it gets in to the hands of some poor little abandoned parrot's owner and they get the message and learn how to Engage and not cage their parrot!

Please help me get this message out! We need people to know what they are doing to birds when they forget about or cage them!



With no current regulations on the breeding of parrots the problem continues to get worse, breeders will continue the cruel practice of removing chicks from the parent bird's at 2 weeks of age, or even earlier, and hand rear them to produce what they like to call silly tame birds. (The tamer the bird is the higher the price they can get from selling the bird.) Some breeders are more interested in higher profits, than the future happiness of their birds.

These birds are then imprinted on humans, and only want their human owners company and interaction. And ignoring other birds, or being aggressive towards them, because they don't have the necessary social skills they would of learnt from being with their parents. (How to be a bird).

The hand-rearing of Parrots has already been banned in the Netherlands

Read here...  More supporting links Read here...

In extreme cases some birds will only crave human company and and interaction, and demand it, sometimes it can be all the time. Every time you go out of the room, they will squawk or scream for you, this is just one example.

This is one of the main reasons why birds are being rehomed, because it causes alot of the behavioural problems found in many pet birds. Often the birds owner just can't cope with a bird that is constantly demanding their time, attention and interaction.

This can often lead to the bird being mistreated or neglected, leading to a damaged bird that no one wants and difficult to rehome. And then being past around, sold and resold into new home after new home, for the rest of its very long life. More examples of this are listed further down the page.

Please also read: Why I stopped breeding Parrots

By Debbie Thrift

The problems with tame pet birds. Tame parrots require constant companionship and stimulation from their owner, both mentally and physically, just to approximate their natural environment. Without the opportunity to express the full range of natural behavior, the things they can do become exaggerated; birds will preen until they’re naked, for example.

People are mislead into believing that parrots are easily kept pets; cage, seeds, sorted. This could not be further from the truth. A parrot is nothing like a domesticated cat or dog. They haven’t been modified by thousands of years of selective breeding, and their behavior can much more closely reflect the challenges their species faced in the wild.

On an emotional level, they can quickly become anxious, depressed and/or obsessive, all of which can cause long term harm to a bird. A lot of the behaviors that land a bird in a rescue, screaming, biting, person-guarding, etc, are from a lack of social and environmental stimulation.

In addition to all of these issues, their basic husbandry needs are a lot greater than many new owners consider. Their diet is not just seed, they need a combination of specialised pellets, fresh fruits and vegetables and cooked foods. Seeds and nuts are the fast-food of the parrot world; easy, high density calories that are as irresistible to them as we find chocolate and pizza. And just like we would struggle to stay healthy on just pizza, parrots get fatty liver disease when fed only seed mixes.

Then, if that wasn’t enough, lots of mundane, every-day items in homes are toxic to parrots, from avocados and cleaning supplies to Teflon and house plants, even perfumes and candles. Parrots are delicate, particularly their respiratory system, and because they are prey animals, they hide it; they can grow sick and even die without showing any symptoms. Even if a bird ‘seems okay’ with your new air freshener, you should always check the ever-growing lists of known toxic substances.

They need toys and things to chew and actively destroy daily. They are loud and messy when they’re healthy, and only get worse with neglect. They have a natural instinct to destroy anything made of wood. Most of all, they are creatures that were meant to fly and by taking away the freedom of their large natural ranges, we’ve given ourselves the life-long task of providing enough stimulation to match that complexity. When we don’t provide enough, birds will even go so far as to self mutilate

out of boredom and stress.

In many ways, parrots are completely unsuitable as pets, not for our sake, but for theirs. They don’t do well in cages, and our houses are in many ways lethal to them. However, they are here and the population is growing.

Their welfare needs can be met, if we have the perseverance and understanding to put in a lot of hard work, but with increasing breeding rates, particularly amongst amateurs and hobbyists, and poor education, birds that live for eighty years or more are treated as commodities and bred at rates that exceed the hobbies ability to provide good homes.

We need to help spread proper education and make the public aware of the overpopulation crisis, and to put pressure on breeders to be responsible with their numbers.

These are highly intelligent beings that are very sensitive emotionally. Life in a cage is a sentence for the crime of being beautiful.

New Life Parrot Rescue estimates that two thousand new birds are sold into the pet trade each week, that’s a hundred thousand a year. There are already so many birds that are waiting for good homes and statistics show that at least 50% of chicks will join that number sooner rather than later.

There are already too many birds in sanctuaries, and not enough homes to place them in. It is not humane or responsible to breed Parrots, Parakeets, Cockatiels, Budgies and Lovebirds at all at this point in time.

Adopt, don’t shop.

Stop Unregulated Domestic Breeding of Parrots Sign the petition

by: Sasha Natalie