Hey!! I would like to share with you something I’m starting with some friends here in Mexico. I wrote this as a reply to a question made by Michael, but I thought it was worth the while posting it as a separate topic as well I’m starting one of the first bird rescue centers in this region of México (Querétaro), along with some friends. We are all biology students, still looking for a good avian veterinary jaja (some of us are about to get our degree). But things work a bit different here than in the States or some other countries. It is really sad how things look like for our feathered friends in my country.In México, it is illegal to own any native parrot species, some of them really popular like the yellow headed amazon or the scarlet macaw. It doesn’t matter if the bird was born in the wild or in an aviary, it is no longer legal to own it. This law was aprooved on 2008 because all mexican parrots are endangered, mainly due to the pet trade. Sadly, this means that people now catch these birds illegally, keeping and transporting them in the ugliest conditions you can imagine…For exotic species, breeders need a special permit, with lots of burocracy involved to get it. So, most of the breeders are illegal. Usually illegal breeders don’t care about the conditions they keep the birds in.When the police finds any bird trader, or bird owner without the right documentation, the law says they must take the bird away and place it in a zoo or sanctuary. But all zoos and sanctuaries are severely saturated, so all these birds end up in terrible conditions, and there is nothing we can do for them. Sometimes the police just ignores illegal breeders because there is no better place for these birds!The sad thing is, if a bird was born in the wild or by an illegal breeder, it will never be legal to own it by anyone (unless you have the same legal permit as the zoos and sanctuaries). They can never be adopted or find a nice human home.But we are trying to make a difference. We can’t change the law or stop all illegal traders, but we are making arrangements with our government so confiscated birds come to us, where they will be cared for properly. We can’t put them out for adoption, but we will rehabilitate them to release them back into the wild. For the unlucky ones who can’t be released (due to injuries or imprinting on humans), we will provide them with the best care for life. It will be a reeealy hard work, and lots of research will need to be done to get the rehab program working, but we are determined to make it!We still haven’t started rescuing any bird because we will need to get all the permits and burocracy done, which can take months. Next is all the burocracy to register the center as a non-profit. Untill we have all our permits, we can start building the aviary and raising funds. So, I’m thinking it will take about two years untill we can start recieving birds. But I think it is for the best, because we have two years to learn about bird care and training!Besides rescuing birds, we need to raise awareness on people about the problems of illegal pet trade. We will talk to children in schools and make lots of campaigns to re-educate people, because ignorance is our worst enemy!Our rescue center will be named Xerecua, which means “nest” in purépecha (a beautiful native language). It will be placed in Querétaro city, in association with the Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro (our local university). You can already find us in facebook, as “Xerecua. Centro de Rescatre de Aves” https://www.facebook.com/Xerecua Our site is in spanish, but we can translate you anything you like, you just ask us! We will be posting our progress there, so you can follow us and post any comment you like REMEMBER!! Always check out the origin of your birds before buying. If you live in the States, be specially carefull with mexican species. NEVER buy a wild caught mexican parrot, because there is no way it was caught legally! You can check the list of illegal species in México here: http://www.pericosmexico.org/ The link is in spanish, but at the left of the page you can find the list of all species with an image. When you click on the image, the english and scientific name will appear.I hope I didn’t bore you with this long post, and I apologise if I made any grammar mistake (English is not my native language). We are still not asking for donations, since we don’t have our non-profit registration, but you can help us a lot just by spreading the word, and giving us a like on Facebook!!
Wonderful Good luck to you.You have to let us know how you figure out the funding.If you want to get the word out .I would encourage people to read the book.OF PARROTS AND PEOPLE by Mira Tweti.It really moved me.!!!
I am very interested in your group. My husband and I will be moving to San Miguel de Allende in the spring of 2013. We will be bringing our four parrots, and three dogs.Any advice you can give concerning moving to and living with parrots in Mexico would be appreciated.We have two hand raised African Greys, a African red Belly, and a Blue Headed Pionus.Keep me posted about your group I would be interesting in maybe helping out.Bonnieknitting
Hi Bonnieknitting, actually San Miguel de Allende is close to Querétaro, where we are planning to set up the rescue center, so be sure to visit us when you come! As soon as we are installed, we will publish it so anyone can go there.If you want some advice about owning parrots in Mexico, first thing I should tell you is to be sure to have all your bird’s papers in order, don’t take any chance with that, you might risk government taking them away. Since wild-caught parrots are forbidden, you must have a bill or document that proves the provenience of your birds. Maybe you can ask which permits you need here: http://www.semarnat.gob.mx/Pages/buzonciudadano.aspxI would recommend to write your questions there in spanish, if you need help with translation I would be happy to help you Another really important advice, only give your birds filtered or bottled water (usually we buy it in carboys, we call them garrafón). In this region of México, tap water has some amount of metals, which can be harmfull for birds to drink (for us too). They (and we) can bathe with tap water, although.At last, pellets and bird toys can be hard to find here, and there are no specialized parrot shops. I’m not familiar with pet shops in San Miguel, but you should try a chain called +KOTA, it might be one of the few options avaiable.Also, if you ever think about buying a new parrot here, you have to be very carefull. Not all species are allowed, and illegal breeders or bird traders are abundant. You can contact us, and we will be happy to help you find a responsible breeder.Hope I helped you, sorry for the late response!
I have an absolutely gorgeous Mexican Red-Headed Amazon that I adore. He is about a year old and was domestically raised in the U.S. They are truly wonderful birds and they are very intelligent and friendly. It’s a shame that the Mexican government has prohibited folks from owning parrots. The law basically encourages the continuation of the illegal parrot trade there. I wish you the very best of luck with your parrot rescue.