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.