Renaming parrots: Do we have the right?

Over the time that I have been posting here, I have come to realize the strong parallels between companion parrots and small children. How else does one explain temper tantrums, being constantly surprised by their intelligence, having to watch your language around them, and making sure that they eat their veggies!?On the recent PBS documentary "Parrot Confidential," One of the people at a rescue states that they let the birds tell them their names. This starts an interesting philosophical question in my mind: if you adopt a parrot is it okay to rename the bird? Something that pretty routinely happens with Dogs and Cats is usually unthinkable when adopting human children. If parrots are more than pets and yet less than children, where do we stand on naming? Does it matter? Would they really care?

I guess you do have the right if you want to rename a parrot. I never got to name my parrots they are all rehome/rescue birds. my cockatoo says her name all day so even if I wanted to I don’t think she would stop saying the name she has now. people do tell me I should change penny’s name since it turns out he’s a male but he knows his name and comes when I call. my amazon’s name was the worst people would ask his name I would say “cebal” pronounced seeble but they would always call him sable. my uncle named him some ridiculously long name that was almost a whole sentence so we shortened it to cebal when we were small children I can’t even remember his full name it was so long.

In some cases where the bird really responds to, says, or is involved with it’s name it’s a practical consideration of why it doesn’t make sense to. In the case of birds that have no particular attachment or reaction to it, it’s no big deal at all. In fact in some cases it’s even a good thing if the bird comes from a terrible environment. A new start and a new name can put it on the track toward better success.

I suppose that the answer depends somewhat how you would choose to look at the question. To put it as briefly as I can the answer is as follows …You have the right to do whatever you choose to do whether it is right or wrong, but you must live with the results of your choice whether you like it or not.

Ollie didn’t have a name when we got him but he definitely chose his own name. I had a big list of potential names for him and none on of them on the list was “ollie” or anything close to it. I said each name out loud several times over a few days and couldn’t settle on one as none seemed to suit. By chance I heard the name Ollie mentioned, said it out loud and he responded to it instantly.As far as renaming goes, I don’t tend to rename my rescue/rehomes. The only exceptions to that would be if I had already had an animal with the same name (then I would try to get something similar) or if the name was completely stupid or offensive, though you cant get much dafter than “bunny” for a rabbit but the name stayed lol.

Unfortunately for a lot of birds, people do rename them but, personally, I don’t agree with it. I have changed the names of a few ones that had male names when they were hens but I always try to choose one that sounds almost like the old one (so Elliot became Ellie and Nathan became Naida) but, in a couple of cases, they told me which name they wanted. My male Senegal came to me from his second home and they told me his name was Sabu but the bird never reacted at all to it and, a couple of weeks after he came, he started saying: “What’s your name?.. SWEETPEEEEEE!” so I knew the second home had changed it to Sabu when his original home had named him Sweetpea. But he doesn’t refer to himself as Sweetpea, either, he calls himself Sweet so although I talk of him on the third person as Sweetpea, when I talk to him, I use Sweet. And then there is this female quaker whose name was Randolph and, again, no reaction to it (or anything else, she was a holy terror and an escape artist that would get out of her cage at the rescue and fly looking for somebody to attack -so the third day, they called me and asked me to take her -LOL). Now, as soon as I saw her, I knew this was not a male and looked for a similar name so I came up with Rhonda for her but, again, no reaction whatsoever. Because she was so very aggressive, I would do my beak caress daily (I caress the top beak very gently with my right index while I watch them like a hawk so they don’t bite me) and this implies saying “piquito… piquito… piquito” with each caress of the finger. Well, I guess I did it too much and too often because she started believing her name was Piquito and, whenever I would do it to another bird, she would come flying and perch in front of my face so, as far as I was concerned, she had chosen that name for herself.Now, the reason why I am against changing the name is that parrots in the wild have names of their own, given to them by their parents when they are hatchlings and they continue using this name for the rest of their lives (some of them tweak the sound a bit but stay within the general parameters the parents set) so they are hard-wired to understand and use the concept of a name that identifies them.

Pajarita wrote:Unfortunately for a lot of birds, people do rename them but, personally, I don’t agree with it. marie83 wrote: As far as renaming goes, I don’t tend to rename my rescue/rehomes.I agree with this… I don’t really care for the name “Chance”…but she says it clearly, and knows it is her name, so I won’t change it. If anything I think it could confuse the bird, especially rehomes. So, I don’t think it’s the best thing, or even particularly fair to a parrot to change its name just because WE don’t necessarily like it. Chance knows her name, responds to it, and even says “HI CHANCE!” So, Chance it is. If anything, I can think of it as a heartfelt name for her, as Chance got another chance for a loving home. If that sounds corny, so be it, lolPajarita wrote:Now, the reason why I am against changing the name is that parrots in the wild have names of their own, given to them by their parents when they are hatchlings and they continue using this name for the rest of their lives (some of them tweak the sound a bit but stay within the general parameters the parents set) so they are hard-wired to understand and use the concept of a name that identifies them.EXACTLY. It has been proven that parrots name each other! Chance calls me “Mew”… I don’t know why, but she also has said my real name! Parrots are so crazy smart.

I’m with Mike on this, and I guess too what Mike meant is this…1. If it’s a stupid bird then it has no clue, LOL…2. If it was an abused animal then a fresh start could be niceMy GCC from the pet store was given the name BeBe and I left her name and didn’t change it. BeBe actually says her name.Noelani my Too, came from a good life and I never changed her name.

There is no such thing as a ‘stupid’ bird (or any other animal for that matter, only people who think they are stupid are stupid or ignorant). They are all smart - even chickens which have always had a reputation of been unintelligent have proven to have quite a nice dosage of smarts!

Scotty wrote:1. If it’s a stupid bird then it has no clue, LOL…Perhaps it’s more diplomatic to say: a non-speaking parrot. The uneducated public often has to be reminded that not all parrots talk. Especially in rescue situations, If there’s no history how would anyone know?Pajarita wrote:There is no such thing as a ‘stupid’ bird (or any other animal for that matter, only people who think they are stupid are stupid or ignorant).tisk tisk, Pajarita, you oughtn’t deliver such broad sweeping generalizations. It isn’t good for the peace of the forum. I, by your definition am stupid. No one can ever convince me that cattle are smart after all of my experience.