Bird adoption, sanctuary, rescue, and care education services for parrots and other captive exotic 'pet' birds. Based in Minneapolis - St. Paul (Twin Cities) area of Minnesota and serving Midwest.

 

 

1360 University Ave W #347  St. Paul, MN 55104  

Phone: (651) 275-0568  Fax: (651) 275-0457  

E-mail: birds@maars.org  

  Captive Bird Rescue, Adoption, Sanctuary & Care Education MAARSianChronicles 

 

Home > News & Events > MAARSianChronicles > Issue 9: October 2004 > Avian Health & Wellness: Instead of Finding a Better Home, Create One!

Cockatiel - Chris and Bernard (Photo Copyright © 2002 Tina McCormick)Avian Health & Wellness

Instead of Finding a Better Home, Create One!

Dear MAARS:

I've had two cockatiels for the past 8 years. Now that we have a new baby, I don't spend enough time with them and I feel that they deserve better. I have to keep them in the guest bedroom most of the time now because they've become louder since the baby was born and they wake her up from her naps. Can MAARS find a better home for my birds?

— New Mom

Dear New Mom:

Many people feel that they are not able to give their birds enough attention. These days everyone leads very busy lives and chances are that any home in which your birds are placed — whether through MAARS, yourself, or any other organization — will be in the same situation at some point in the future. It is unrealistic to expect that our lives and schedules will be static throughout any bird's lifespan.

You already have made a great start by having two birds instead of one. What better companion for your birds than another of his/her kind! Parrots are social, flock animals. MAARS rarely places birds into situations where they would be the only bird. In the wild, a parrot would never be without his or her flock and/or mate. Isolation from "the flock" can cause undue stress, yet human caregivers are often gone ten to twelve hours each day. The company of another bird or birds offers comfort and security and allows birds to be birds. We would not thrive if we were deprived of all human contact — the same is true for birds.

As long as you are able to provide a clean and spacious environment for your birds with fresh and nutritious foods and interactive toys, they are likely to be less dependent on you and less demanding of your time than you may think. The quality of time you are able to spend with them is more important than the quantity.

Most birds, especially those who have avian companions or mates — do well with consistent ambient attention and limited one-on-one time. Ambient attention means that they feel they are part of the household "flock".

From what you said, your cockatiels have probably become louder since your daughter was born because they are calling to you — you are their flock. Arranging your home and activities in a way that allows the birds to be near you will probably reduce their increased vocalizations. You can achieve this by keeping their cage in the main living area of your home and using a smaller sleeping cage when it's time for them to get much-needed privacy and rest. You can put the sleeping cage in the spare bedroom and close the door so that your birds have darkness and quiet that allows them to get enough sleep. Or you can place different play stands or cages in different areas of the house so that the birds can hang out, see you, and "join in" with household activities like getting ready in the morning, mealtimes, watching TV, reading, or cleaning — as long as you are careful to avoid potentially hazardous situations and household products.

You made a commitment to these birds when you brought them into your home; you need to honor that commitment by finding ways to meet their needs and yours. Set aside a little time in the day — perhaps before bedtime — when you can slow your life down and relax with your birds. It will benefit all of you.

— MAARS Intake Staff

 

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