5 thoughts on “ADOPTING AN OLDER PARROT: The ULTIMATE In Recycling by Liz Wilson

  1. I have so many questions and concerns I don’t know where to start. I am not a new parrot owner. I have had parrots for about sixteen years. They are not trick trained. They know up and down. They talk, play and cuddle.
    I have ten birds. One blue and gold..age four, one scarlet age three, two umbrella’s ..one is twenty four the other is fifthteen, two elenora’s..one is fifthteen the other is six, one bared eyed…age fourteen, one african grey…age sic and two tiels..about fifthteen..
    My first question is about my bare eyed..his name is Wink. We have Wink since he was about 3 months old. He is a great little bird. He loved to play. He would go back and forth between my husband and I. He would sing…winky, winky, wink…he would play. The little bugger was always upside down. Almost six years ago we move from NJ to Fl. I stressed more over moving my birds then buying selling my house. Wink was great on the trip. We had to spend six weeks in a hotel. He was fine. Then we moved into the house. He has the same cage he had in NJ. He won’t come to us anymore, he doesn’t play or talk. When we open the cage each day he flies out and flaps around the room. I took him to an avian vet immediately. He was tested and he’s fine. He has not lost his appetitie. He eats everything…loves fruits and veggies. He will come to us once a week for a shower. The question is…what can I do to make him a part of the family again?
    My second question is…I have a scarlet who was given to my by my vet. He required surgery, which she did. The breeder didn’t want him anymore …couldn’t make money from him. He was only a couple of months old when we got him. He is a great little guy. However, he has started to nip…not bite..but, nip constantly. I find myself yelling at him. He looks at me with those innocent eyes..nothing but love in them..and I feel like crap. How can I get him to stop nipping?
    My third question is a big one…it has to do with older parrots. My babies are not all babies…and neither am I. I am very concerned about what happens to them when we can’t take care of them anymore. The thought actually keeps me up at night. The only people I know that I would trust with my birds already have birds. I’ve seen santuaries…my birds are use to love and cuddles. They are use to being together. And what happens to the santuary when the caregiver gets to old or they run out of money? I was talking to one woman who is my age…fifty eight..who is also concerned about her birds. She is actually thinking of putting them down when she can’t take care of them. She worries about the birds being neglected or abused. I could never do that. I don’t have any answers..do you have any ideas?
    Any help you could give me would be greatly appreceiated.

    • I will do my best to give you some answers to your questions here, but it would probably be best to do some one on one discussion in emails. You can always contact me through featheredangels@comcast.net.
      1. Your question on Wink is almost impossible to answer. Something changed or frightened him after the move and it would be very difficult at this point to understand what that might have been. It could be something as simple as his placement in a room or the color on the walls. Also since the move was six years ago and he is now 14, it could be that his hormones started to kick in just as you moved and he was maturing into an adult. For your relationship to move forward from here, I would suggest you act as though he was brand new to your family and start working with him like that. Does he play on his own and just not with you, or has he completely stopped playing? For now I would sit by him and read to him, offer him his favorite treats, offer small footie toys that you can both play with etc. Will he allow scritches? The idea will be for you to slowly reintroduce yourselves to him as his friends and build up a trust account with him again. Here is a great article on building trust with your parrot


      Do not give up hope, you can make your relationship a good one with Wink again. I will email you and we can discuss this further.

      2. Nipping from your Scarlette is his way of saying NO. He is warning you that he does not like what you are doing. However I do understand sometimes we need to do things rather they like it or not. I am a firm believer in giving these Angels choice though, and also you need to set yourself and him up for success. So for this issue I would suggest that you pay close attention to the times he is nipping, what is happening and view it through his eyes. These angels come with a great deal of baggage sometimes, and we do not always understand what has happened in their past that might make them fearful or dislike certain interactions from us. Yelling will actually reinforce this behavior, so you want to stop that asap. By yelling he has actually got a reaction out of you and birds love this lol. I actually will need further info on when he is nipping to help find some solutions to avoid the nips. This also can be done, there is no such thing as a bad bird, we all just have to learn to view the world through their eyes, and offer choices for them. Trust me this can be fixed and we will discuss it further in emails :).
      3. Planning for our Angels once we no longer can is very important and kudos to you for thinking ahead. There are many sanctuaries who do offer lifetime plans if you do not have someone that you would trust to take your Angels. Making a will and complete instructions on your wishes for them, is very important! There are sanctuary’s that have a board of directors and funds to carry out the care of the birds once the original owner is gone. It is very important to know these sanctuary’s well before you select one. One of my favorites is Best Friends Parrot Gardens. They offer lifetime sanctuary or will adopt out your beloved parrot if that is your instructions. Their birds all receive individual attention, love, and excellent vet care. Here is a link to planning out your estate for your pets


      I do hope some of this helped you out, and I will also be sending this information to your email address you provided 🙂


  2. I live in Daytona Beach I am over 50 and have 4 birds 1 macaw 1 amazon 2 sun connures. I take in birds that need a loving home.

  3. Deborah, thanks for posting another great article. As a person actively involved in rescue, I can tell you these baby bird, handfeeding myths are a huge stumbling block to getting people open to the idea of adoption. Rescued/rehomed birds are not only often easier to deal with than hand feeding and raising a baby, but they also show a level of appreciation that is heartwarming. They are not the behavioral messes people are often lead to believe. As a matter of fact when adopting from a reputable rescue the birds are usually well socialized and any behavioral issues that may or may not existed have usually already been rectified.

  4. Actually you are better off getting an older bird. Many times when a bird that you have handfed reaches maturity they start rejecting you, biting you or develop other behaviors. That is nature telling them it’s time to leave mom/dad to go find a mate. Well guess what? Your bird is screwed up because it’s human imprinted. YOU are mom/dad and they are stuck w/ you. That’s why many times behaviors ‘disappear’ in a new home. The bird has been able to ‘leave the nest’ and find another. By taking in an adult bird you are preventing the possibilty of parental rejection that you get from a baby that matures.

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