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Domestic Parrots

The Parrot Crisis

About Parrots in Captivity

Green Parrot

Captive parrots are one of the most frequently abandoned of all companion animals. A parrot's wild nature and natural inclination for loud and frequent vocalizations, aggression, flying, mating, and destruction of property are too much for most guardians. Most often it is not so much a parrot's failure as a pet as it is a human's failure as a guardian. A human's decision to bring a parrot into a home environment without understanding or being able to meet the fundamental needs of this flighted, wild animal precipitates the failure of a parrot to thrive as a pet.


Further complicating factors include standard pet industry practices, such as hand-rearing (i.e., parental deprivation), that actually undermine a parrot's ability to mature into a psychologically healthy, well-adjusted adult bird, and increases the likelihood of a bird's failure as a "pet". Even the most well-meaning, loving parrot guardians often find themselves unable to care for their longtime pets in the event of declining health, financial struggle, stress, or other life circumstances. 


All of this, coupled with parrots' long life spans (between 20-80 years) and the estimated 3-5 million baby birds bred in the U.S. each year, has created a true crisis of unwanted parrots with nowhere to go. Sanctuaries across the globe are at capacity, unable to address the daily requests for surrender.

About Parrots in the Wild

Parrots are one of the most threatened animals in the world largely due to the pet trade and habitat loss. 29% of all parrot species are endangered or threatened and another 58% are in decline. In many areas, the poaching rate is 100% - no chicks escape the illegal wildlife trade. 90% of trapped birds die after capture, with survivors being torn from their families and usually doomed to a life of clipped or broken wings, inadequate caging, poor nutrition, and social isolation.


This results in a tremendous loss of life and suffering beyond measure, while also rendering some human communities bereft of opportunity, safety, and health. People who live near wild parrots are often marginalized and live in poverty, resorting to climbing trees to trap parrots at the risk of injury or death for income. While international treaties and laws exist to prevent the trafficking of parrots, smugglers and traffickers find ways to circumvent these laws. It is estimated that for every bird smuggled across a border, another 10 birds lose their lives en route.

Bird Portrait
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