Parrots are not pets. It is not mutually beneficial for parrots to live with us. Parrots are more intelligent and more empathetic than we, as humans, have even begun to understand. Parrots deserve to live their lives with their families, in the rain-soaked jungles, dense forests and fog shrouded mountains of the world. Unfortunately, as usually happens when human beings get involved, millions of parrots worldwide will never have the chance to live with their own families in their natural habitat. If you have never actually lived with a parrot and worked to understand its motivations, fears, unending memory, sense of humor and sense of loyalty, this concept of parrots ‘not being pets’ may sound like a hysterical response to a nonexistent problem.
Let me help you understand why this is a very existent problem. The most widely publicized attempt at understanding a parrot’s intellect, by human criteria, is a university study. That study has estimated the learning capability of an African Grey parrot to approximate that of a five-year-old human being. Think about these implications. If you have ever spent time with a five year old, you know what their memories are like; how they soak up everything they see and hear and how their learning grows like a wild fire in a high wind. We take that mind and put it in a cage in our living room and wonder why so many of these captive birds literally go insane.
What does this have to do with adopting an older parrot versus buying a baby? Thousands of loving, brilliant and sensitive older birds are abandoned each year because people just don’t want them anymore. These birds have not had a choice in the decision. These birds feel very lost and scared and have no idea what is going to happen to them next. Yes, they really do understand that the person they loved is gone, and they really do feel emotional pain and enormous fear when this happens. They have no control over what is going on and for a mind that knows it should simply fly to higher ground and find its flock for safety and comfort, this feeling is truly horrible. These birds need emotional nurturing as much as you and I do and, if they have lived in more than one home, they have very real fears and mistrust.
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Why Would Anyone Want To Rescue A Parrot? by Anne Feldhacker