The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and Petfinder.com are sponsoring the third annual Adopt-a-Rescued-Bird Month in January. Shelters and bird placement groups across the country are seeing an increase in the number of birds that are in need of permanent homes. Avian companions make excellent long-lived pets, are very social with household members, and are happy once they adapt to their new home. This January, adopters are encouraged to add someone new to their "nest" and adopt a rescued bird.
To help you make an informed decision when adopting a rescued bird, you need to consider which species would best fit your home and lifestyle. Therefore, we have devised a list of things to consider before you bring home your new avian friend.
- The size and species of bird you wish to adopt
- The size of your home to accommodate the bird
- The appropriate-sized cage needed to fit the bird
- The available time needed to care for the adopted bird
- The available follow-up care from an avian veterinarian
- The time and financial investment you are able to provide
For more in-depth discussion see our articles, Buying a Bird: Important Considerations and Cost of Owning a Bird.
Balanced nutrition is not just for people...
An avian seed-only diet is NOT a satisfactory diet for any pet bird. Different species of birds have very different nutritional needs. A nutritionally adequate diet for pet birds can be achieved with a variety of feeding methods depending on if your species is classified as a:
- Florivore (seeds, fruits, nuts, bark, roots, berries)
- Frugivore (mostly fruit and flowers; some nuts and seeds)
- Granivore (grains and a variety of seeds)
- Nectarivore (nectar, pollen; some insects and seeds)
- Omnivore (seeds, fruits, insects, invertebrates)
Baths are not just for wild birds...
Many species of birds love to take baths. Water baths or fine mist showers provide an excellent method by which birds naturally clean and maintain their feathers. Feathers, which serve to insulate the bird from temperature extremes, require regular cleaning and preening, thus allowing the molting process to occur to replace the old feathers with stronger and healthier new feathers. An upside-down Frisbee filled with water makes a colorful bird bath. Or, separate water dishes to accommodate both bathing and drinking will serve the purpose, as well.
Daily exercise is a good thing...
To ensure your new pet bird is happy and healthy, most birds should not be kept in a cage 100% of the time. They should have time out of their cage to explore and roam about their environment and to get plenty of exercise. Out-of-cage experiences will greatly contribute to their well-being, but take precautions so they are not at risk of injury or eating something that may be toxic.
When confined to their cage, be sure to provide your new avian friend with a wide variety of safe bird toys, and multiple branches for climbing or perching. And, last but not least, talk and interact with your bird on a regular daily basis. Birds that talk the most are those that have been spoken to most often.
With lots of TLC (tender-loving care), the adoption of a rescued bird will prove to be a rewarding addition to your family nest.