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Adopting A Rescued Bird

January 1, 2024

January marks Adopt A Rescued Bird Month—a time to celebrate the joy these charming creatures bring into our lives. While bird ownership isn’t for everyone, these feathered companions have garnered a dedicated following of ‘raven’ fans. A local Olympia, WA vet shares valuable advice on adopting Polly in this article.

Why Should I Adopt A Rescued Bird?

There are many reasons to consider giving a sweet rescue bird a loving forever home. For one thing, birds are really fun and cute. They don’t take up much space in our homes, but can definitely take over huge chunks of our hearts!

Our feathered pals are also very playful. Your pet may sing, dance, and play with you. Of course, it also just feels wonderful to give a scared, sweet pet a second chance.

How Do You Bond With A Rescued Bird?

Birds can get very attached to their humans, but can be quite timid. They’re also very emotional, in their own way. This is something to be very aware of with rescues. Polly may be sad and depressed at being separated from her former master, and may need a lot of time to warm up.

Here are a few tips for helping win your feathered friend’s heart:

  • Talk To Your Winged Friend: Polly may not understand what you’re saying, but she will pick up on the tone of your voice. Use a quiet, gentle, and friendly tone.
  • Don’t Scare Polly!: it’s important to let your bird feel safe before you try to handle her. Don’t try to grab her or stick your hands into the cage. Offer treats and toys, and always move very slowly around your new pal.
  • Make Polly Feel Safe: Spend time near your pet’s cage, but don’t force attention on her. You may want to put a comfy chair near Polly’s cage. Just hang out there when you want to read, scroll on your phone, or watch TV. This will help your new buddy get used to you.
  • Offer Treats: Snacks can go a long way towards bonding and building trust. That actually applies to all pets. (Snakes are something of an exception here, as they aren’t as food-motivated as some animals, but that’s another topic.) It may take a bit of time to figure out what Polly likes best. You can offer various bird-safe fruits and veggies, millet spray, treat sticks, or raw pasta. Ask your Olympia, WA vet for more information. 
  • Be Patient: Birds get very, very attached to their owners, but that bond doesn’t form overnight. Polly will need time to learn to trust you. Don’t force things. Love takes time!

Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

Unfortunately, birds are often rehomed. In some cases, this is because they are, well, a bit loud. (Note: definitely check Polly’s volume settings before adopting.) In other cases, it’s due to behavioral issues, which often stem from improper care. A lack of understanding is a big part of the problem here. Many people adopt birds without realizing how much care and attention they need. If you’ve never had a bird, you’ll want to choose one that is suitable for a first-timer. While we want all of our winged pals to have loving homes, a bird that is extremely difficult may be a bit much for a new bird owner.

Here is a quick breakdown of a few of the most popular pet birds:

Budgie/Parakeet: Small, playful, and absolutely adorable, these little birds are wonderful pets. They’re suitable for children, but don’t need as much room as some of our larger pals.

Finches: Finches are quite small and delicate, and tend to do best in small flocks. They bond more to each other than to their humans, which makes them a good fit for someone who wants a low-maintenance pet.

Lovebirds: Colorful and cuddly, these small parrots are really cute and loveable. As the name suggests, they need buddies, as they are very social and do not do well alone.

African Grey Parrot: If you’re looking for a pet that will keep you laughing and keep you on your toes, the African Grey may be your match. Just do plenty of research first: these birds are very smart, and need lots of attention. They can get into quite a bit of mischief if they get bored.

This is of course just a small sampling. There are dozens of types of birds that make suitable pets. We would recommend doing lots of research, and looking at different breeds to determine what is the best bird for you.

Things To Consider When Adopting A Rescued Bird

Our feathered buddies vary wildly in terms of things like noise levels, life expectancy, and volume. As mentioned above, research is key. Some birds do just fine in apartments, while others need lots of room. Some are very quiet, while others are extremely loud.

Here are a few factors to consider:

  • Speech Capacity
  • Size
  • Life ExpectancySpace Requirements
  • Companionship Requirements
  • Volume
  • Trainability
  • Friendliness

Ask your Olympia, WA vet for specific advice. 

How Do I Know I’m Choosing The Right Bird?

Of course, breed is only one factor. Like all other animals, birds all have their own personalities. Observe your potential pet for a while. It’s important to make a connection, but it’s also important to make a good match. Find out about Polly’s history and medical background, and see how she interacts with you and with others. You’ll also want to get an overview of her health.

We can’t overstate the importance of research. However, it’s also important to follow your heart. You may think you want a Cockatoo, only to fall in love with a sad, shy Parakeet.

How Can I Help My Rescued Bird Get Used To A New Home?

When you first bring Polly home, put her in her cage, and leave her in it for a few days. It’s very important for birds to have free time, but for now, you want her to feel settled. 

How Do I Make My Home Safe For A Rescued Bird?

Bird Proofing is a must! Many common household items are dangerous to birds. That list includes fans, window treatments, candles, mirrors, and fireplaces, and toxins, to name just a few. Small or sharp objects are also a concern, as are things like kitchen utensils, full sinks or toilets, and plastic objects. You’ll also need to make sure your feathered pal won’t be exposed to any fumes. Ask your Olympia, WA vet for specific advice.

Be Prepared To Commit

We can’t overstate the importance of doing plenty of research. Birds have wonderful qualities, but they aren’t the right pet for everyone. Polly can be a messy roommate. She also has very sensitive lungs, and isn’t a good match for a household where she’ll be exposed to cigarette smoke or a lot of chemicals or vapors. You’ll need to consider other pets as well. If you have a cat, bringing a bird into your home will require a lot more ‘catculation’ than if Polly were to be an only pet. Last but not least, think carefully before proceeding. Adoption is forever!

Do you have questions about caring for a rescued bird? Contact us, your local Olympia, WA pet hospital, today!

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