With millions of parrots produced by the pet trade each year, the population of captive birds continues to grow. This excessive breeding of parrots has become a heartbreaking tragedy. With life spans of up to 80 years, parrots have a built-in homeless factor which means almost every long-lived parrot will outlive its original guardian. None can be released to the wild because they do not have the skills to survive. Parrots are also difficult to care for, but because they are flock animals, they require a lot of time and attention. Add these factors to the length of time a parrot can live, and you have the answer to “Why do parrots need rescuing?”

EAST does not promote the buying or selling of parrots, period—from pet stores, breeders, or from individuals. Every rescue and sanctuary in the country has a waiting list of both unwanted parrots and parrots who are loved but whose people could not keep them. At EAST, we do advocate and promote adoption of previously owned parrots—but experience with parrots is important.

Many of these parrots had a good life with a good family or person who, for many circumstances, had to give their parrot up. Others were abandoned or treated poorly. In either case, they are confused about their lives changing which often leads to stress, which can then lead to behavioral issues. Given love, attention, an enriching environment, a healthy diet and patience from someone who understands that this is a lifetime commitment can be rewarding for both the human and parrot. At EAST, we have helped produce many happy endings for our previously-owned parrots.

If you decide to make a parrot part of your family, please adopt, don’t shop. A good suggestion is to volunteer at a bird sanctuary for a while first to see if the reality is what you had in mind.

Educational Opportunities

Among other ways we outreach to educate the public about responsible parrot guardianship, we provide teaching moments at local schools. We teach children that parrots, even though some are pets, are still wild creatures and should be allowed to live in the wild in order to enjoy life as nature intended. We teach that flight is the most fundamental function of a bird, and its physicial and psychological health is rooted in its gift of flight. Yet, the first thing humans must do when they get a parrot is to confine it, which renders its flight useless, and is the beginning of many behavioral issues. Our goal is that new generations will grow up to help and preserve these beautiful birds in their natural habitats. We encourage them to desire to see the birds fly free, not be confined to cages and human restrictions. As our friends at Foster Parrots state, “No cage is big enough.”

Educational Links

Here at EAST we feel the key to becoming an excellent Parrot Guardian is though education. Please check out the links provided to optimize the care of your feathered friend.


We support and teach the importance of environmental and habitat conservancy for parrots’ quality of life and survival. Our efforts to protect parrots in captivity in the U.S. are enhanced by the opportunity to help protect the freedom of those that remain in the wild.

With nearly one third of parrot species threatened in the wild and millions of birds needing proper care in captivity, there has never been a better time for you to take action to save parrots. Research has shown that as a group, the parrot family—Psittacidae—has a higher percentage of endangered species than any other bird family on earth. At least 90 species of parrots have been identified as at risk of global extinction.

Please check out the links below to learn more about saving parrots in the wild.


This program is for your bird’s future, ensuring a place for him or her upon your death. It requires you to plan for the financial support of your bird here at the sanctuary, through your Will, for the remainder of its life.

Guidelines and Policies

Because of the long life span of parrots, many of us will not outlive our beloved feathered companions. Exotic Avian Sanctuary of Tennessee, Inc. is contacted by many people working on Estate Plans who wish to leave their parrot to EAST when they die, and need guidelines to provide financial support for their bird(s) in their Will.

If you wish to keep your bird as long as you can and wish for him or her to come here only in the event of your death, we can work with you on Estate Planning. You are welcome to discuss this option in person with us, along with a visit to the Sanctuary in which you would be entrusting your bird. We can provide information to assure that your wishes are carried out upon your death.

Caring for parrots can be expensive and the longevity of parrots compounds this cost. Consider what you spend for food, cages, toys, enrichment and veterinary care. The costs for quality care continue after your death but, through Estate Planning, you can plan to meet the needs of your parrot over its remaining life expectancy.

Optimally, the best party to take care of your parrot is the one who would be willing and able to do it for free. You would never want the person taking care of your parrot to be motivated primarily by financial incentives. However, consider whether you want to leave the party who will take care of your parrot without the funds necessary to maintain him or her with the same quality of life that you currently provide.

We require you to set up a financial donation and placement arrangements with an attorney and furnish a copy to EAST of the associated legal documents in order to reserve a spot at the Sanctuary for your bird(s). The reason for this policy is the fact that there are situations in which family and/or friends have been made responsible to carry out the final wishes of parrot owners, only to have their money taken and their bird sent off to people or places of which the owner did not approve. Without a copy of your wishes that have been set up legally, there is nothing we can do. Safeguard your final wishes and set things up legally to prevent this as it happens more than you might think!

If you decide EAST is right for you and your bird, you must plan to financially support your bird here at the Sanctuary for the remainder of his or her life. Typically, a lump sum would come to the Sanctuary in the event of your death. The total donation amount is reached using a formula based on reasonable life expectancy of the species of your bird x cost per year to properly care for your bird for its lifetime: aviary space, quality food, veterinary care, and enrichment. (See Fee Structure) This is the total donation amount that needs to be planned in your Will. Lump sums may be negotiated with us within reason. If your bird should need to come here while you are still alive, you will need to arrange to begin funding either annually or monthly, based on the same life expectancy of your bird, but you must also provide for your bird in your Will in the event that you die while your bird is in our care. See Lifetime Care.

We strongly recommend that donors seek professional financial, tax and legal advice in preparation of a Bequest or a Codicil to their Will or Trust. It is important that those documents comply with the law of the state in which the donor resides as well as the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code governing the deduction of charitable gifts and bequests.

Fee Structure

Bequest options include:

Specific Bequest. States a specific dollar amount, percentage of your estate, or property to Exotic Avian Sanctuary of Tennessee, Inc.

Residuary Bequest. Made when you intend to leave the residue portion of your assets after other terms of the will have been satisfied.

Contingency Bequest. Allows you to leave a portion of your estate to Exotic Avian Sanctuary of Tennessee, Inc. if your named beneficiary does not survive you.

Restricted Bequest. Allows you to designate how your gift to Exotic Avian Sanctuary of Tennessee, Inc. will be used, such as to name an endowment or to support a specific purpose, such as construction of an aviary or the care of your companion parrots.

Other Gifts

You may also help support the birds by naming Exotic Avian Sanctuary of Tennessee, Inc. as the beneficiary of your:

In many cases, these beneficiary designations may be made online or with a quick telephone call.

To begin the Estate Planning process, email, or call (615) 598-5723. We can set up a visit to answer your questions and discuss at length.

Fee Structure

The Fee Structure below helps to determine how much financially you should plan for the care of your bird over its lifetime. The amount is determined by multiplying the number of years in your bird’s expected remaining lifespan by the annual fee for each species. For instance, if you request EAST to take your African Gray upon your disability or death, and your bird is 30 years old, and the life expectancy of a captive African Gray is 50 years, you would multiply $1,000 x 20 years, for a total of $20,000 for your bird in your Will. If you wish to place your bird in Lifetime Care, the same formula applies, and begins upon your bird’s residence at EAST.

Thank you for your consideration to entrust us with your companion parrot when the time comes.


EAST is a facility for parrots only. We cannot take in wild birds. Please call one of the wildlife rescues below if you have found an injured wild bird or other injured wild animal.

Middle Tennessee Wildlife Rehabilitation Facilities

Middle Tennessee Wildlife Rescue
phone/text: (931) 539-0055

Waldens Puddle
phone: (615) 299-9938

If you find a wild animal who is orphaned or injured, call our Wildlife Admissions Line immediately at (615) 299-9938 and LEAVE A MESSAGE. If you have found an injured baby bird:

Ziggy’s Tree
phone: (931) 393-4835 (Wild Birds) (615) 631-2205 (Mammals)

Lillie Birds Wildlife

Avian Vets in Middle Tennessee (Nashville area)

160 New Shackle Island Rd., Hendersonville, TN 37075
Phone: (615) 824-8411

990 Davidson Drive, Nashville, TN 37205
Phone: (615) 356-1152

154 Belle Forest Circle, Nashville, TN 37221
Phone: (615) 662-1700

Lakeside Animal Hospital | Dr. Ollis
3954 Dodson Chapel Rd., Hermitage, TN 37076
Phone: (615) 761-9448