They don’t need that much space, do they?…
For me seeing a parrot living alone in a cage simply breaks my heart and so does it to others than me such as Dr. Jane Goodall or Marc Johnson…
Marc who runs Foster Parrots (a sanctuary situated on an old chicken farm in Rhode Island that gets over 1,000-plus calls a year from owners seeking to surrender their birds) says poignantly regarding the “right” size cage for a Macaw: “There is no ‘right’ size. 35 square miles is the size. It’s the sky”…
I had tears when hearing him say this… I completely understand, as myself, I had the great privilege to work with large parrots in the wild for a short while as a birder and volunteer in the Peruvian Amazon. Seeing them in the wild interacting with their flock makes you understand immediately that they will never and cannot ever be pets.
Too many times we indulge in admiring them in captivity, in videos, laughing when they mimic us… and we forget a few fundamental things: they are gregarious birds that live and feed in large flocks. They have complex social lives. They need to live in a group of their own kind. A trip to the Amazon and observe them in the wild would do good to a lot of people.
Human company and their environment is an unnatural habitat that can’t fulfill the need of any parrot. Parrots need constant engagement, and that’s why we can’t fit their need. We are truly foolish, ignorant or both to think that we can. Here in the US, we have too many of those birds in captivity (between 10 and 40 million) for the sole purpose of entertaining us and to the detriment of their being – too many get stressed and sick (some so sick that they self-mutilate)…
Please take a moment to watch “Parrot Confidential” a National Geographic Wildlife documentary (below) to learn about parrots and understand why they will never be suited for captivity and how by doing so we harm them. And spread the word. They deserve our compassion and understanding…
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- Parrot Confidential (National Geographic Wildlife documentary)
- Jane Goodall on Parrots and Parrot Confidential
- Parrots Are Not Pets: 8 Things Learned from Watching Parrot Confidential (Via The Dodo)
- Avian Affective Dysregulation: Psychiatric Models and Treatment for Parrots in Captivity by G. A. Bradshaw, Joseph P. Yenkosky, and Eileen McCarthy
Learn more about parrots conservation efforts:
- The ARA Project
- Fly Free (rescues & releases parrots caught in the wild-bird trade)
- World Parrot Trust
- Foster Parrots, Project Guyana
- Project Bird Watch/ Indonesian Parrot Project
- Tambopata Macaw Project, Peru
- More Beautiful Wild
- Lafeber Conservation & Wildlife
- Wild Bird Trust
If you feel strongly one way or the other, feel free to engage us and leave a courteous message below. Thanks!