Adopting A Rescued Bird: Is Polly Right For You? 

Happy New Year from all of us at Morningside Animal Hospital! This month is dedicated to Adopting Rescued Birds! These charming creatures can bring lots of joy and love into a household. Despite their small size, our feathered friends are full of charm and character, and can liven up any day with their cute antics and musical voices. However, bird ownership may not be the right fit for everyone. Our feathered friends have specific needs that may require a bit of a learning curve for first-time bird owners. In this article, a local Treasure Coast, FL veterinarian offers advice on adopting rescued birds.

What Are The Benefits Of Adopting A Rescued Bird?

Our winged pals have many great qualities. They’re fun and cute, and while they don’t take up much space in our homes, they definitely take up huge chunks of our hearts. Many of these colorful little fluff balls can sing, dance, or even speak, and they also look super cute hopping or flying around. Polly can also be very cuddly and affectionate. No wonder these guys have so many ‘raven’ fans!

Where To Find Adoptable Rescue Birds

There may be more available birds nearby than you think. Your local animal shelter is a good place to start. You can also check out online marketplaces, such as Craigslist, to find local birds for adoption. Your Treasure Coast, FL veterinarian may also be able to point you in the right direction. It never hurts to ask!

What Should you Consider Before Adopting A Rescue Bird?

There are actually quite a few things to mull over here. You’ll need to do a lot of research. In addition to learning about basic bird care, you should do some breed-specific research. Our feathered buddies differ wildly when it comes to things like noise levels, life expectancy, volume, and overall care needs. Also, some birds are better suited for new owners than others. For those considering a bird for the first time, reading about “Choosing a Good Starter Bird” might offer valuable insights into which species are easiest to care for and most likely to thrive in a novice home. Finches and canaries, for example, make great pets for beginners, due to their small size, quiet nature, and tendency to bond with each other. Lovebirds also thrive on companionship and are adored for their colorful feathers and affectionate personalities. Other beginner-friendly options include Cockatiels, Budgies, Parrotlets, Pionus Parrots, and Amazon Parrots.

Here are some things to consider when doing breed-specific research:

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

You’ll also want to ask your Treasure Coast, FL animal clinic for advice.

How Do you Know you’ve Picked The Right Bird?

Breed isn’t the only factor to consider here. All birds have their own unique personalities. Pay attention to your potential pet. It’s important to connect with her, but it’s also important to make a good match with her. Get to know Polly as much as you can about her medical and history. Take time to get to know her. Watch how she interacts with you and others, and pay attention to her health.

Birds are often rehomed for various reasons. Sometimes, it’s because they can be quite noisy. Not everyone wants a pet that can wake the neighbors or likes to start belting out Michael Jackson tunes in the middle of the day.

In other cases, the reason for rehoming is due to behavioral problems, which may stem from inadequate care. This is very unfortunate, because these issues are typically caused by a lack of knowledge and understanding. Many people adopt birds without realizing the level of care and attention they require.

Additionally, some birds may also have health concerns or exhibit aggression or distress due to past experiences. While these birds deserve loving homes, they may be better suited for experienced bird owners rather than first-time caretakers.

Research and think hard before adopting. Adoption is a lifetime promise!

Preparing For Your Rescued Bird

Have everything ready before you bring Polly home. Your winged pal will need a comfortable and safe cage. It’s best to choose your bird before you go shopping for the cage, as these are not one-size-fits-all. Finches, for example, need horizontal space, since they tend to fly across cages rather than climbing up them. Parrots, however, need room to climb, play, and hang upside down while imitating your cell phone.

Get the biggest cage you can afford. It’s a one-time expense, so go ahead and splurge! We would probably suggest measuring the area where you want to put the cage, so you know how much space you’ll have to work with. Ensuring Polly feels comfortable and stays healthy in her new environment also means establishing a relationship with a vet who can provide preventive care. Learn more about our “Vet Preventive Care” services to keep Polly in optimal health.

It’s also important to make sure Polly feels comfortable in the cage. Add lots of toys and perches. Your pet may also appreciate having some plants or trees near the cage. This will make her feel at home. After all, wild birds live in trees! Just stick with non-toxic options.

You’ll also need to consider location. Many of our winged friends prefer corners, because they feel less exposed. A corner in the living room or family room is often ideal. Don’t put the cage in a spot where Polly could be exposed to harmful fumes or loud noises. However, you don’t want to isolate your bird too much, either. Pets can become very lonely when left alone for extended periods!

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

In general, you should expect your feathered pal to need at least a few weeks to feel safe. Keep in mind that birds can become very attached to their human companions. Polly might feel sad and depressed because she has been separated from her former master, which could slow the process down considerably.

However, we do have a few tips.

Chat with your winged pal. Polly will pick up on your tone of voice when you talk to her. Make sure your voice is quiet, gentle, and friendly.

Be very gentle! It’s understandable that you may want to pet or cuddle your new bird, but let Polly feel safe before you try to handle her. Don’t grab or stick your hands in her cage. Offer treats and toys to your new pal and move slowly around her.

Put a comfortable chair near Polly’s cage. Go there whenever you want to read, scroll on your phone, or watch TV.

Treats: It may take some time to find 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. Consult your Treasure Coast, FL veterinarian for specifics.

Conclusion: Giving a shy or gentle pet a second chance can be an incredibly fulfilling experience. Birds can make wonderful companions and beloved pets. They are both fun and adorable, and despite their small size, they have a knack for stealing our hearts. Each bird has its own distinct personality; some are energetic and playful, happily singing, dancing, and playing with their owners. Others are calm and peaceful. Of course, some of our feathered buddies are, well, a bit extra. Just be sure to do plenty of research first. Adoption is forever!

Do you have questions about bird care? Contact us, your Treasure Coast, FL pet hospital, today!

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