What To Do If You Got a Parrot For Christmas (or Your Birthday).

Parrots are honestly not good presents, but that doesn’t mean that people don’t give them anyway.

If you got a parrot, canary, or finch as a gift, the first step is to educate yourself. Find out about good diet, basic parrot or finch care,and training, to start. Arm yourself with knowledge.

You will need to make a vet appointment with a qualified avian vet in your area. This ensures that your pet  is in good health, and is an excellent place to ask any questions you may have. Birds hide their illness, so seeing the vet helps set you both up for a long, happy future together.

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Any bird, hookbill or finch, has specific needs.

If you are having trouble with a parrot (issues such as plucking, biting, and screaming are sadly common), know that many rescues will give free advice. Try Birdline UK, the Island Parrot Sanctuary, or Phoenix Landing U.S.A., even if you aren’t local. There are lots of forums and groups on Facebook, too, such as Fluff and Feathers. And an avian vet should always be your first stop if you feel something is wrong. Remember: Re-homing an animal is always an option, but it should be a last resort. These birds are highly intelligent and sensitive, and it’s best for them to stay with their families. With so many homeless parrots already out there, the odds for your parrot being adopted are unfairly slim.

Know also that a captive parrot or finch should NEVER be released into the wild. They are not equipped with the skills to cope in nature – and will die. Survival is not instinctive for any bird. If you absolutely cannot keep yours, ensure that it goes to a rescue, sanctuary, or new family. Avians learn how to survive from their flocks, so it makes sense that a parrot raised by humans would not have skills to find food, for instance, or know where shelter is.

Next, new owners should realise that if their bird is a baby, hormones lie in its future. The twice-yearly hormones typically cause serious issues, but they are not insurmountable. Babyhood is a period when it is critical to invest in training in your bird, as doing so can help later in its life.

Finally, know that your new pet is a beautiful but demanding creature with specific care requirements. You will need to make sacrifices in your life, but it is entirely worth it. There are also many places to go if you need help, but your best teacher will be your parrot. He will show you what you need to know.

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