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Taking In A Rescued Bird
January 1, 2024

Happy New Year! Our first animal welfare awareness event of 2024 has already started: we’re celebrating Adopt A Rescued Bird Month! These beautiful and unique creatures can make incredibly cute and charming companions. As advocates for animal welfare, we always commend those who adopt rescued animals. We believe that all animals deserve love, kindness, and good care. However, it’s important to do lots of research and carefully consider your decision before adopting any pet. This is especially crucial when it comes to birds, as they have specific care requirements that first-time owners may need to adjust to. A Mt. Pocono, PA veterinarian provides helpful insight in this informative article on adopting rescued birds.

What Are The Benefits Of Adopting A Rescued Bird?

Polly deserves a loving forever home! Birds can make beloved pets, and are great animal companions. For one thing, they’re really fun and cute. They don’t take up much space in our homes, but can certainly take over large chunks of our hearts. They’re also all unique. Some  are very cheery and playful, and may sing, dance, and play with you. Others are quiet and serene. They also form very strong bonds with their humans. Of course, giving a scared, sweet pet a second chance just feels wonderful.

What Should I Look For When Choosing A Rescue Bird?

Polly may be small in stature, but she has a big personality! While bird ownership is not for everyone, our feathered buddies have earned a devoted following. However, there are a lot of differences between birds in terms of things like their volume, cage requirements, size, personality, and life expectancy. Do plenty of research, and narrow down the type of bird that will do best in your household.

Here are a few good beginner birds:

  • Finches: These pretty little birds are quite small and delicate, and can be fascinating to watch. Finches do best in small flocks, and bond more with each other than with human owners. They’re a good choice for someone who wants a low-maintenance pet.
  • Budgies: Small, playful, and utterly adorable, Budgies, aka Parakeets, make wonderful pets and are good companions for children. They don’t require as much room as some of our larger feathered friends, and are really lovable and charming.
  • Lovebirds: These colorful and cuddly parrots are friendly, sociable, and super sweet. They do need buddies: as the name suggests, they are very social and do not do well alone.
  • African Grey: If you’re looking for a pet that will keep you laughing and on your toes, Polly may be the one for you. Just make sure you’re ready for a parrot. These guys are very smart, and need lots of attention. If they get bored, they can get into quite a bit of mischief.

There are dozens of types of birds that make suitable pets. Some other good beginner birds are the Cockatiel, Parrotlet, Canary, and  Pionus Parrot. In addition to doing lots of reading, reach out to your vet for advice.

Picking A Rescued Bird

There are quite a few things to look into when choosing the type of bird that is right for you. Some birds are better for apartments, while others need a lot of space. Some are very quiet, while others are extremely loud.

Consider these factors:

  • Companionship Requirements
  • Volume
  • Trainability
  • Speech Capacity
  • Space Requirements
  • Size
  • Life Expectancy
  • Friendliness

Polly’s breed is just one factor. All birds have different personalities. Make sure you observe your potential pet. Watch how she interacts with you and others, and observe her physical condition. It’s important to make a connection, but it’s also important to make a good match. You’ll also want to learn as much as you can about Polly’s history and medical background. 

Ask your Mt. Pocono, PA veterinary clinic for more information. 

Be Realistic When Adopting Rescued Birds

Birds get rehomed for a variety of reasons. In some cases, it’s simply because they’re noisy. Not everyone wants a pet who will start singing Adele songs in the middle of the day. In other cases, it’s due to behavioral issues. These often stem from improper care. This is sad, because often the problem here is a simple lack of understanding. Many people adopt birds without realizing how much care and attention they require. 

Some birds may also be dealing with health issues, or they may be particularly aggressive or unsettled due to trauma. These guys definitely need loving homes, but may be a bit too much for a new bird owner.

How Do You Help A Rescued Bird Get Used To Its New Home?

Upon bringing Polly home, place her in her cage and allow her to adjust for a few days. Our feathered buddies need freedom to play and explore, but they also need to adjust to new homes. Keeping your bird in her cage for a few days can help her feel safe. It will take about two weeks for your winged pal to start to feel comfortable, though in some cases it may take longer.

Get A Great Birdcage

A good cage can go a long way towards helping your feathered pal feel happy and safe. The size and type of cage birds need will vary, depending on their breed. However, we always recommend opting for the largest one that is feasible for you. Before purchasing a cage, measure the spot where you want to put it. That way, you’ll know how much room you have to work with. It can be tempting to save money by buying a secondhand cage, but be careful: a cage previously used by an ill bird may not be safe.

What Is The Best Way To Bond With A Rescued Bird?

Rescued birds can be quite timid. They can also get very attached to their humans, so it’s important to keep this in mind. Polly may feel sad and depressed at being separated from her former master, and it might take her some time to settle in.

Here are a few tips on ways to win your winged pal’s heart:

  • Put a comfy chair near Polly’s cage, so you can sit there when you want to read, scroll on your phone, or watch TV. This will help your new pet feel safe.
  • Talk to your new pet! When you speak to Polly, she will pick up on the tone of your voice. Use a quiet, gentle, and friendly voice.
  • Be very gentle! It’s understandable that you may want to pet or cuddle your new bird, but it’s important to let Polly feel safe before you try to handle her. Be careful not to grab her or stick your hands in her cage. Always move slowly around your new pal, and offer treats and toys.
  • Offer snacks! A yummy treat can help to bond with your pet and build trust. That is true for all pets. (Snakes are an exception here, as they tend not to be as food-motivated as some animals, but that’s a different story.) It may take some time to figure out what your new buddy likes best. You can offer a variety of bird-safe fruits and vegetables, millet spray, treat sticks, or raw pasta. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Polly will need time to learn to trust you. Don’t force things! Love takes time. Birds become very attached to their owners, but that bond does not develop overnight.

Is A Rescued Bird Right For Me?

Birds have wonderful qualities, but they aren’t the right pet for everyone. Polly can be a messy roommate. Her lungs are also very sensitive, so she doesn’t do well in a home where she’s going to be exposed to cigarette smoke or a lot of chemicals or vapors. You’ll need to take other pets into consideration as well. If you have a kitty, you’ll need to do some extra ‘catculation’ if you want to bring a bird into your home.

What Can I Do To Make My Home A Safe Place For Rescued Birds?

Proper bird proofing is crucial! Many common household items are dangerous to birds. That list includes mirrors, fireplaces, fans, window treatments, and candles, to name just a few. In addition to small or sharp objects, things like kitchen utensils, full sinks or toilets, and plastic objects should also be avoided. You’ll also need to be careful with air quality, as Polly has very sensitive lungs. Ask your Mt. Pocono, PA veterinarian for more information.

Be Ready To Commit

Last but not least, think carefully before adopting any animal. Adoption lasts a lifetime! It would be terribly sad for a sweet bird to finally get a home, only to be rehomed again. Some parrots are rehomed as much as seven times during the course of their lives. 

Conclusion: Adopting a rescued bird can be very rewarding, but it’s important to do plenty of research first. 

Contact us, your local Mt. Pocono, PA pet hospital, if you have questions about caring for a rescued bird. We’re always happy to help!