This is a frequently requested question. In general, the misconception that “second hand” (or third, or fourth hand) birds would not connect with a new owner is demonstrably false. While they may have some “emotional/behavioral baggage” and may need extra patience as well as tons of love and compassion, the majority of them are “redeemable.” They have grown to the point where they can acclimatize to new mates and connect with them, speaking “care providers” only by instinct. If their partner dies or is devoured by a predator, they must be emotionally capable of attaching themselves to another member of the flock. It is the same here. Patience is required, sometimes for months.
Please consider the following: Thousands of unwanted birds have been purchased on the spur of the moment. They are all in dire need of a permanent home. Successful partnerships need a grasp of these birds as well as an unwavering readiness to receive unconditional acceptance. Anyone who is willing to make a real commitment, who is willing to love, understand, respect, and be patient with their new charge, will have a gratifying and great experience. We as caregivers have an ethical and moral need to acquaint ourselves and be aware of the task that awaits us before obtaining any bird, baby or adult. There are great publications on the topic of maintaining parrots, and it is incumbent upon all of us to benefit from the tremendous work that has already been done in this field: to be aware of their physiological and psychological needs. These needs apply to both bird infants and “seniors.” Invariably, the same mutually painful consequences for ignorance apply, as do the same rewards for being informed and treating the bird with respect, compassion, patience, and understanding for and of the species.
Some argue that “rescued” birds are aware of what has occurred and are grateful to those who provided them with safety and a genuine loving home.
We must always remember that parrots in general, and greys in particular, are more than just birds; they are highly evolved, extremely sensitive, intelligent, and perceptive creatures who deserve to be treated as such.
In conclusion, there are no “second hand” birds; only birds in need of a loving home. Some of our most well-known avian behaviorists are staunch supporters of the adoption of unwanted birds, often over the acquisition of babies. There’s a good reason for this: For starters, they desperately need us, and adult birds, despite being rejected by their owners, have the potential to be wonderful companions! It is entirely up to us!
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