General Comment on Public Display of Parrots

I am the proud owner of a Green wing Macaw, male, soon to be 28 years old. I have had him since a rescue from a horrible pet store in California. Here is my comment. I hate to see people out on public display with these creatures. It gives the passerby the impression, "Oh, how cool to have a bird like that"? As responsible owners we spend a lifetime educating the public about the responsibility of owning or having these incredible creatures own us. I would so love to hear and receive comments on this subject. I know first hand of someone who went out and spontaneously purchased a bird with this intention "to be cool and attract chicks"This sickens me. Love and enjoy these precious creatures in the privacy of your own home or green space…but please do not parade them around the stupid public!

Hi, J and greenwing [name, please!]. I absolutely agree with you and I’ll tell you another reason why I so dislike this practice. As you said, there is the ‘arm candy’ effect on people who see somebody walking around with a bird on its shoulder which, of course, affects parrots in general because the more demand, the more production, and we already have hundreds of thousands of homeless birds in rescues as it is, we certainly do not need more! But there is also the harm to the parrot itself. Parrots are not explorers, they are born, live all their lives and die in the same territory and surrounded by the same family. They don’t venture far and they don’t interact with strange birds. Taking them out of their familiar [and known to be safe] environment is extremely stressful to them because unfamiliar means dangerous and, taking into consideration that pet parrots live with chronic stress [unavoidable given the unnatural conditions they live under for which there is nothing we can do], it’s actually harmful to them. People say that they do it for the birds but I don’t know if I actually believe it because being on somebody shoulder stared at by strangers or flying around with a leash doesn’t really provide any health or emotional benefit to the bird. Flight does, of course! But birds don’t need to fly outside to get that benefit.

And here is an example of a well-intentioned but not very knowledgeable woman [clipped birds, birds loose in the car, feeding cream cheese]: … k-caf.html