Hoarding, rescuing,collecting,arm candy or love

My first parrot is Huie and as you all know he is healthy happy and eating my fingers at this stage of his life. I’ve had him for 17 years. I got Huie because I wanted a pet to spend time with in the house and my husband wouldn’t let me have any animals in the house except a bird. So being the ass that I am I found a T-REX and brought him home just to prove a point. Well no experience and 1450 grams of wild untamed monster ,guess who was getting taught a lesson. Well he settled in to running the house and me but wasn’t the cuddle box I was looking for. My husband had a friend with an mollucan too named Rosie that he didn’t have time for so off we go. Middle of the day and when we arrived she was still covered in a cage she couldn’t even stand up straight in. Well she jumped into my arms and never left them again. LOVE OF MY LIFE ! He made it a point to tell me that pizza and chips were her favorite foods and the sunflower seed mix is what she eats. I took her home and gave her everything she wanted Then I started reading and learned , took her to the vet she had nose problems supposibly from previously breeding attempts with an aggressive male ( who the hell knows ) that speared her little nose. Well a diagnosis of chronic sinusitis and fatty liver disease started me on to the path of studying. Long story short Rosie started having many problems by then I was well on my way to financial freedom and flew her to every avain scientists and specialist money could buy. My little Rosie saw me through 2 boughts of devastating family cancers with my mom and granddaughter and was always waiting for me with her unconditional love. I lost her 3 years ago and cry for her everyday. She is buried with my mom. Then the mission started taking in abused birds thanks to my vet and another specialist in California. I know they sent the first bird to me to heal my heart , there was not a dry eye from California. To Florida when she passed. She was special. Now I have several birds and I can’t ever say NO . Too many? Room for more ? How big is this going to get ? How can one ever know especially if the funding is there. Is it my own guilt that drives me or my love for all gods creatures or an empty heart to fill ? Is it fair for me to take these birds when I’m 59 and there 4 or 5 years old ?Even the best thought out plans get messed up , SO WHATS YOUR STORY have you got the proper time for all your birds ? Who’s to say and make the judgment and better what would be the alternative in the birds life be if you weren’t taking care of it. Bird Woman

I’ve always loved birds, my grandmother was a huge bird lover and, as she lived with us, there were birds in my house when I was born and I grew up with them. Quakers are considered an agricultural pest and farmers were allowed to kill them back then so my grandmother would buy one or two babies every December (Southern Hemisphere), raised them and allow them to join a wild flock whenever they felt like it (they were never caged and they always had access to the outdoors). I used to help her and raised my first baby when i was ten years old under my grandmother’s supervision (I am sure she did most of the work ). A cousin’s grand-father (maternal, she was related to me through her father) raised canaries and as my cousin lived with them part of the year, was close to my age and we were encouraged to befriend her (her parents were the ONLY divorced couple in the entire family), I became interested and started helping him during the summer vacations when I was 8 years old. I got my first purebred Hartz Roller from champion lines for my 13th birthday from a client and friend of my mother’s who was married to Dr. Pasqual, Minister of Education in my country and one of the foremost breeders and competitors of Hartz Rollers in South America. From then on, I’ve always had birds and the very first thing I bought when I moved to USA was a bird (a poor parakeet that I am sure died from the bad care I gave him!).In 1992, my ex-husband’s wife called me to ask if I would be willing to take in a parrot from a co-worker who no longer wanted it. Neither the owner nor her know what kind it was (“Big and green”) and the story was that she wanted to give him away because she now had a boyfriend with a dog and the dog and the bird did not ‘get along’ but the truth was that the parrot (a female redlored amazon) was a holy terror! She screamed, she plucked and she bit! Pretty Bird was my first rescue and, by the time I moved to Pa and decided to quit working, I had enough parrots that i needed a birdroom so my husband built me one and that’s how I ended up with a rescue. Pretty Bird was found to have both her legs broken from when she was a baby, one of them had healed crooked but, at least, the bone had knitted together and although her leg was badly bowed, it was functional. The problem was her other leg where the bone had not knitted together so the two parts moved every time she used it and the broken ends had grown a lot of bone scar making like little balls at each end. The avian vet who figured it out (two others had said that her ungainly gait was, most likely, a result of some sort of metabolic disease or a congenital defect -both avian vets, by the way!) said to leave it like that but I could not stand the idea of her having broken bones moving in her legs every time she moved so I insisted on surgery. A orthopedic surgeon was consulted and they did surgery on her leg, filing out as much of the extra bone tissue from the ends, putting a steel rod to join the two ends and an external fixator (a contraption that has things like needles going into the flesh and into the bone and which are attached to this metal ‘frame’ on the outside of the leg preventing any movement of the bone). She had to get XRays weekly to make sure the bone was actually growing back together and, when they determined that it was good enough, had another surgery to remove the rod and fixator pins and put a cast on her leg. The whole process took over two months and she ended up with one bowed leg and the other a bit shorter than it should have been but she was no longer in pain or discomfort from it. She ended up been put to sleep when she developed bone cancer in her legs and to this day I wonder if the surgery was not part of the reason why this happened…

I haven’t posted in a long time, but I find this an interesting topic. I associate hoarding with mental health issues. Depression and/or anxiety can play a significant role in these situations, jmo. I have 12 birds. Two were given to me and two are canaries…not that they aren’t as important, but for this topic I will stick to my parrots. Most of my parrots came from a single breeder and two came from a pet store. I had birds when I was younger and a few years ago, decided to have another feathered friend. This was triggered by a baby robin that I handfed and released. He stayed in the trees around the property and followed me around the yard when I was outside. That connection made me realize how much I missed having birds in my life. Hoarding is such catch all phrase for collections of anything. Where it crosses the line is when there is no control over the collecting and the person’s environment. So many of these situations end up with filthy living conditions and the very thing that was collected has no value, other than to exist or be there for the owner’s needs. Again, this is just my own opinion. When it comes to my birds, I find that there is a connection that is not present with my other animals. It may be due to their cognitive abilities and also the caring, interactive relationship that exists between us… I am quite happy to just be sitting with one on my shoulder while we both watch videos on my iPad. I have reached my limit and know that I would be short changing my other birds if I took in another. I think that the broader issue is that it is too easy to get animals in general. There are no enforceable standards of care for parrots. The line between loving them and providing a standard of care for them can be blurred very easily into hoarding and lack of care because it is too easy to get them. Just some thoughts.

I agree 100% with many of the sentiments you stated, Dragonlady! I have always said that love is not enough, there needs to be knowledge and the willingness and ability to provide for their needs adequately - without them, love is nothing!And, yes, again on the problem that there are no legal guidelines, checks and controls or whatever you want to call them. If the pet industry and ownership was regulated, the majority of the cruelty cases would disappear! Mind you, I am not advocating no pets, I am advocating for minimum standards of care - like they did in Sweden.

I agree wholeheartedly with both of you , but ask your self one question when you are approached with another bird that has been denied much needed medical attention and they threaten to just kill it or let it loose what would you do? Me I am luckier than most , financially stable but not a spring chicken and able to bring in help as needed. Kids that want the ranch when I croak under the threat of putting it in trust for whomever steps up to care for my birds. But I know just by the attitudes that many of my birds are a little tired of sharing me.To me the worst of the worst are the mills weather it be birds cats dogs etc. The filthy confined lack of medical care etc. anything to keep pumping product out with minimal expenditures. Then theres the lonely people filling something lacking in there life and hearts that truly think there saving the soles of gods creatures by what they do. They could be starved sick and dying right before there eyes and they will justify it because of the love they felt. These people are truly the sick and in need of help in my opinion , the money mills just need a good stay in a filthy overseas prison. : truly my critters are my life and always will be. Filling my life with purpose and meaning . BW

If I were confronted with a situation like you have described Bird woman, I would first see what other resources were available…ie) shelter, friend etc. If nothing is available, I would definitely take the bird, but just to buy the time necessary to rehabilitate and rehome. I have had to harden my heart, and not without tears, to taking in every bird, stray cat or dog. We have 5 cats, all strays, 2 of them feral cats that we built a cat condo for and we have 1 dog. I have an obligation and responsibility to take care of the ones that I decided to bring into my home. To give them any less, is unconscionable to me. That’s just me though.I went through a “I will rescue anything and everything” phase. I am no good to anybody or any bird, cat, dog etc, if I am too exhausted to care for them. I absolutely admire and give kudos to the ones that can manage it all.

I have actually posted my story on this forum more than once. I have 7 birds and have only had them for about 4 years. I did not ever want birds in my home, they may be pretty, but they are messy and drop food and poop everywhere. I always thought that they belong outside where they can run about and fly. Then early on spring morning here in the Blue Ridge Mountains, with the temperature just above freezing and a storm on the way, I went outside and was dive bombed by a small green and yellow bird that wanted to go into my house. I did not know what kind of bird it was until it landed in a tree by my picnic table and then I realized that it was some kind of parrot but I did not know what kind of parrot. The only thing that I knew for sure was that it had escaped and that it would not survive the coming storm if I did not take it in my house. So I took it in and started looking for the owner and trying to learn what kind of parrot it was and how to care for it. It took a couple of weeks to discover that it was a Senegal and close to 6 months, maybe longer before I found who had lost the bird and then I also learned of the conditions this bird was kept in so I kept the bird and when I learned that they were getting another bird I planned on getting it as soon as I could. I was successful in doing that which gave me two birds. The first year of being with us the Senegal tore me up every single day and my hands and arms were covered with bites. The other bird a Grey fell in love with me on first sight. The others came fast and close together and I was quickly full up with birds and have not taken in any more birds, but 7 is enough for me to deal with. They range from Parrotlets to an Amazon. Today the Senegal has chosen me and rarely ever bites and the Grey is still my sweetheart and I still believe that a birds place is not in a house but outside and in the skies.

Yes yes yes , dragon lady you are right and sometimes I need a little reminder. I have sent other birds to homes that I trust due to already overwhelming situations with ones that needed special round the clock care. So I have tapped that source before . Honestly I need to build a better network of competent care givers , as it seems that word has traveled . I used to laugh and say get one and the rest will come. I’m far from laughing anymore. I so wish and if I had 1 wish it would be for every animal to be free in the manner in which they were intended , and people would share the space instead of pushing them out of there’s BW Wolf look how far you’ve come born to be a bird man Isn’t it odd how most of us accidentally get into this , pajarita has a leg up and an extremely large head start as she came from a family of bird saviors. BW

I grew up in, lets just say less than ideal conditions, and was constantly hunted by humans from the age of 7 until they finally started leaving me alone at about 16, I learned to not trust humans. I had to either steal or hunt if I were going to eat and yet animals were they only ones that I felt that I could trust and were my best friends. The way that I came up fostered a very deep respect for all forms of life and I just naturally move to try and preserve life, if it is possible. My having birds, really has very little to do with me, it has to do with them. The birds in my home could not survive n their own, so they need a little bit of help and most came from bad situations, so again it was the right thing to do. If I could find anyone that could and would give them a good home, I would not have any birds in my home right now. I do love them very much, but they really deserve better.

Well, it was not the entire family, it was just my grandmother and it wasn’t as if we took in birds from other people. My entire family, children included, are good to their animals but none of them are like me (they are ‘normal’ ). They do adopt their animals instead of buying them and I have three that are actually active in rescue and activism but they have one, two, three dogs or cats and that’s it (and one of them doesn’t even have a single animal -the baby boy who is still giving us a bit of worry). None of them have birds but I think that is because they have learned how hard it is to keep them healthy and happy and they figure it’s just too hard -and I agree because they all work full time and, with the exception of the baby boy, they all have small children.My mother used to say that I was born this way and that I rescued my first animal when I was eight years old (I sneaked a feral kitten into the house under my coat and hid her in my bedroom).I know for a fact that my children will step up and care for my animals when I die but, most likely, only until they find them good homes as I doubt any of them will keep the parrots - but I have a large family back home and there are a couple of grandkids, one daughter in law and two cousins (actually, their children) that are nuts for animals so maybe they will step up. My grand-daughter Olivia, who is 6 years old and came to visit us in March, still remembers ALL the names of all the animals in the house and what they look like (she draws us pictures of all of them ). Her mother was telling me that she now tells their dogs (both rescues, of course) to go ‘kitchen’ as I do with my dogs when they come in from the street.