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#255341 - 04/12/14 10:14 AM Am I (are we) inadvertently a part of the problem?  
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Rescue M2 Mom Offline
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I have several philosophical-ish questions that are related.

I’m new at this (about three years) and I sometimes have to wonder if I’m part of the problem. Feel free to express how you feel and provide me with any helpful suggestions if you've already worked through this.

When I take Scooter out in public he is invariably on best behavior. I think exposing him to new situations and new people are important. I fear that without new stimulation and new people his minor behavior problems could escalate. Scooter loves our outings, and I don’t want to take that from him. What I struggle with are the people who are considering a bird. I feel like I may be inadvertently encouraging people to go get a sweet cockatoo baby who will then end up in rescue or bounced from home to home. "Oh I didn't realize birds could be so affectionate." "Oh he's just lovely, I've considered getting one."

I usually push hard for them to do a lot of research, visit this site, and never ever buy from a breeder or pet store. I explain that most birds get rehomed every 3-7 years despite their long lifespan, and I add in a comment about glass rattling screams that rival a jet engine taking off. I always feel so negative, but I figure I'm being a realist.

Is there a way to be more positive while convincing them... NO NO NO!!! you are seeing him on his best behavior... spend one of his hormonal days with him.

Before Scooter, I had mixed feelings about aviculture. Obviously birds shouldn't be in cages, but I thought that for many endangered species this may be their best hope for survival. I've changed my mind... completely. They are put in a cage for the sake of the human ego, not for the bird. Such a high percentage of these birds get bounced from place to place until they eventually self destruct. Look a plucked and bleeding cockatoo in the eyes and then tell me that this price is not too high of a price to pay “for the sake of survival” in cages.

And I worry that one of the people seeing Scooter acting happy at the park will impulsively buy a “cuddly” cockatoo chick without doing any research. A cockatoo chick that perhaps a few days ago was warm under it's now dead parents’ bodies. Am I inadvertently part of the problem?
Poaching will stop only if the money dries up. As long as Aviculture is a market ($$$), it is a part of the problem rather than the solution. I’m just hoping I’m not driving $$ into that market when people see Scooter behaving well.


Nothing is so strong as gentleness,
Nothing so gentle as real strength.

Saint Francis de Sales
#255342 - 04/12/14 01:54 PM Re: Am I (are we) inadvertently a part of the problem? [Re: Rescue M2 Mom]  
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I think that I've actually dissuaded quite a few people from buying birds by taking Cassie out in public. When people see her and start with the oh she's so cute I tell them all about living with a bird. I stay honest but explain to them the impact on the household, time, money,behavior, etc. If they still want a bird I give them information on local rescues and tell them why then don't want a baby. I talk about bird mills, numbers that end up in rescue, dangers of bringing home an unweaned baby, and the numbers of birds released out the front door or banned to a darken basement.


Nancy & Cassie BE2
#255344 - 04/13/14 12:24 AM Re: Am I (are we) inadvertently a part of the problem? [Re: Rescue M2 Mom]  
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I have several "screams" and temper tantrums documented on my phone and a few pics of damaged furniture. I also have a couple of scars on my hands that I show folks who gush and goo over mine. They need to see the real consequences of adoption so they can make an informed decision. Most I meet make a face and say its not for them.


#255352 - 04/13/14 01:14 AM Re: Am I (are we) inadvertently a part of the problem? [Re: Rescue M2 Mom]  
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I have similar issues with how I deal with the 'Good Bird' paradox.
Nadia(U2) is the most socialized and trusting sweetie there is,and can charm and enchant anyone.
She is affectionate and engaging,and makes strangers feel as if they are the most important thing in her life.
Like Scooter this part of her life is crucial to her well being,and a flock bird needs to flock.

Having dealt with this for ten years now,I have become adept at sizing up the interest and mostly infatuation I encounter.Everything you are doing is correct,and in time you will know which 'negativity' to emphasize.
Sometimes it's the neediness,sometimes it's the Can Opener! (Yes,I too have my favorite scar at the ready to scare the right person off)
Some respond to the plight of these beings and I recommend Mytoos.
In the end,and in a way I have sort of built in this dissuader,by bringing her to our favorite
Park at sunset,and Nadia has always been a Sunset Squawker.

The Role Call Sqauwk is the all time great deal breaker.

Even if She's not in the mood,me just explaining how LOUD it is can work,but watching those adoring faces melt to absolute disgust,and hands to ears,moving quickly away,and me trying to shout over her "Now you know why everyone doesn't have one!"

That always works.

It might have worked on me,had I known about it in the day.

Keep it up,and consider Scooter first,everything else we can teach or explain,and you can get good at it too!

John and Nadia grin cool

#255353 - 04/13/14 01:17 AM Re: Am I (are we) inadvertently a part of the problem? [Re: Rescue M2 Mom]  
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http://www.mytoos.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=243867#Post243867

Charlie expresses my voice perfectly on this thread


'I don't want to wonder too far from your subject of Pathological Altruism but I do want to make one thing clear about our main interest here at Mytoos, the large parrots and cockatoos. These intelligent, winged creatures are flock animals and prey animals. They do not do well, at all, in captivity. They do not make good pets and they, above most other animals, suffer the effects of change the most. They thrive in groups that ensure flock and individual security and the routines that make up their average day in the wild. They are creatures of simple habit and subtle relationship. Every time they are uprooted from one situation, no matter how bad, to another, they suffer the consequences. They have no business in our homes, they are wild at heart, we have have no business "rescuing" them. We can best serve their kind by staying away from places that appeal to misguided passions.'


The Heavens Created Birds, then man created cages, shame on man.


#255357 - 04/13/14 10:29 PM Re: Am I (are we) inadvertently a part of the problem? [Re: Rescue M2 Mom]  
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I have to respectfully disagree with you Jackie. I think taking Cassie out in public not only helps her with a change of scenery but also allows me to show people why they do not want to bring a large bird into their homes. Just today we went shopping at Lowes. Cassie enjoys going there and will say hi to everyone she sees. Cute sure but if my husband or I are not in eye shot she will begin screaming. I get lots of dirty looks but that is ok because it tells me that those people will never buy a too. Those that think she is cute including children I explain what life with her is really like. Money can always dissuade just about anyone if the drastic changes in life style don't. I let people know what it cost to keep Cassie happy and healthy. $300 for her yearly well visit even more if she should get hurt or sick. Finding an avian vet. All the veggies that go in the trash that I've spent a fortune on each week not to mention her pellets, nuts and seed mix. Pet sitter cost and trying to find one that knows what they are doing. Cost of cage and toys that are demolished within a couple of days. Bites, hormones, screaming all get explained to those that are willing to listen. I think it's so much better for someone who actually lives with birds to explain why the cute birds they see are not really so cute after all. If we keep our birds hidden from the public all they then see is what the breeders and stores want people to see.


Nancy & Cassie BE2
#255366 - 04/14/14 05:02 AM Re: Am I (are we) inadvertently a part of the problem? [Re: BE2Cassie]  
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Nancy you are very responsible and very well educated but not all are like you. You also have a genuine passion and are not a 'fluff' person. My thoughts are that in the grand scheme of things parrots should not be in public places not just because of even a passive promotion of parrots as pets but also out of concern of the parrot biting someone or injury to the parrot. I have seen in public such as street fairs, street community yard sales, and the like, all city events for me are 'fluff' owners and unlike you they do not dissuade people and only speak of how wonderful and sweet they are and how great they are and all the rest. But of course everyone has a different experience with parrots in public places. Mine are all urban and have all been 'fluffly' owners. I'm glad you are educating but most are not like you and others here and either don't have the assertiveness or the tact or whatever to educate as you do and some others here. It takes a special person to pull it off - taking parrots in public and not promoting the pet trade. You're obviously one of the rare exceptions but most others are not so as a blanket statement I am totally against parrots in public but not just do to the very real possibility of promotion but also due to safety of the parrot and the public. Also location is key and with so many bird only specialty stores in the areas in which I see parrots in public there is a shop withing 20 miles. Some people just cannot handle the 'oh, my gosh, he is so beautiful and so sweet, where did you get him?' in a friendly yet assertive manner like you do and end up really pushing them as pets. Hat off to you but you are a rarity in my experience with parrots in public. We all base our thoughts upon our experiences and face to face I've yet to encouter one parrot in public with a dissuasive and/or educational truth telling owner. frown I've also seen a few issues with dogs and parrots in street fairs, community yard sales and all the rest. The two areas I live in just don't permit animals in any store so the only places I see parrots in public is at out of doors areas with 'fluff' minded owners appealing to other 'fluff' minded pet mentality people. Thanks for your reality education with parrot in stores and thanks for being you! smile


The Heavens Created Birds, then man created cages, shame on man.


#255367 - 04/14/14 11:38 AM Re: Am I (are we) inadvertently a part of the problem? [Re: Rescue M2 Mom]  
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I've seen what you are referring to and agree 100%


Nancy & Cassie BE2
#255372 - 04/14/14 05:53 PM Re: Am I (are we) inadvertently a part of the problem? [Re: Rescue M2 Mom]  
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My problem is that I see both sides too. Ask any of my friends if they want a cockatoo, or any parrot... I defend Scooter to my friends, but several have seen him spun up and would never consider a pet bird. I try to educate, but what about the people who never talk to me?

I've been places where someone has violently opposed what I said. Several had never owned one but had a "friend" who did. One woman, when I pushed said that she had owned a cockatoo... past tense. I just sighed... they made the point that I had tried to make to the other woman about them being hard to keep and needing a stable environment.

Unfortunately, the reason why many people get a bird is because they are suppose to be a low maintenance, easy to keep, caged pet. They are mistakenly considered one step up from a hamster as a kids pet. Pet stores encourage it either deliberately or because the sales people are just that stupid. Parakeets will go on sale right before Easter. I guarantee it. Most of them will be dead before next Easter. frown I feel better about parakeets and cockatiels in captivity, they tend to do better, with an educated owner. But most who go home with them know nothing about their real needs.

I watched a young saleswoman tell a new Amazon owner (the bird was being rehomed) that I was wrong about giving them fruits and vegetables. Human food was bad for them... as she handed the lady a bag of seed. I sighed... "The nutritional research for each bag of food on this shelf was done with Chickens, does your new bird look like a chicken? (Even my chickens did better with some vegetables and table scraps added to their feed.) Please, do some research online and talk with your Avian vet." I walked off.

Arguing never helps, but I try to paint a realistic picture. I just think that too many people think I'm painting a negative picture. They will do what they will do.

I hate to get the government involved, it's usually a big mistake, but I think that an exotic pet license requirement for anyone who wants a parrot would at least pull them out of pet stores and reduce the impulse purchase factor.

I have to say that tongue in cheek. Scooter was an impulse. I knew better than to make an impulse decision. I carefully planned an upcoming adult African Grey adoption. But I went to look at a bird cage and came home with an abused cockatoo.

Please note that I didn't buy the cockatoo. He was headed out the door to a dog/cat shelter that evening. Scooter is a classic case. He spent 11 years with a woman who loved him, but kept him in an Amazon sized cage and fed him the typical seed based diet. Then he spend 5 years being bounced from grandkid to grandkid when she passed away. He had been abused at each hop either through neglect, or outright abuse. I was in tears several times that first year trying to help him and stay sane. The rescues had plenty of M2s with similar stories. I only pushed through and still have him because I thought I might be his best chance. It has worked out and we're doing okay. But I'm still well aware that he is one stressor away from picking himself bald, screaming incessantly, or just losing the sanity he has left. He just doesn't belong in a cage. I know I'm not a great M2 caretaker... but at least I'm trying and at least I HAVE done the research which makes me a better caretaker than anyone else who has had an interest in him.


Nothing is so strong as gentleness,
Nothing so gentle as real strength.

Saint Francis de Sales
#255383 - 04/15/14 11:21 AM Re: Am I (are we) inadvertently a part of the problem? [Re: Rescue M2 Mom]  
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'Arguing never helps, but I try to paint a realistic picture. I just think that too many people think I'm painting a negative picture.'

If the truth is negative to them it's not on you - it's on them. I'm glad you are a truth teller about your cockatoo when in public. If you paint them a pretty picture you are not doing them or any parrots any favor. If you plan on being an ongoing voice for parrots at any level get a tough skin on you now as while you do not argue which is great some people will demand you tell them what they want to hear and this is when a person's real character is tested and then you will either affirm the truth or paint a pretty picture for them ..... which, either way, is up to you. At some level most truth tellers I think are concerned with how they are perceived but to be a voice to the voiceless takes courage and guts be it parrots or disabled people unable to communicate or senior citizens needing a voice. Welcome to parrots! and the sickening world, subculture, of those with the pet mentality which create a reason for this message board and the mytoos website to exist. I wish there was not any reason for these two online venues to exist.




The Heavens Created Birds, then man created cages, shame on man.


#256808 - 09/12/14 09:34 AM Re: Am I (are we) inadvertently a part of the problem? [Re: Rescue M2 Mom]  
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When I watch video of Snowball dancing, I worry that, despite Snowball championing the cause of abandoned birds, he may actually cause more people to get cockatoos as pets from pet stores/breeders. I understand the dilemma posted here. I also intend on rescuing a parrot when I move out of the apartment eventually, but being that I'm a bit of a recluse, worry that my bird will becomes dangerously attached to only me and my mate. Ideally, I wish that the pet parrots are exposed to other people in a healthy way (in case something happens to the owners) if it doesn't cause others to get them as pets.

When I post videos of wild cockatoos in Australia, I try to include a disclaimer text somewhere about how wonderful they are in the wild, and why parrot owners need to treat them better, but I fear getting too preachy.

Glad to know that others worry about such things also.

#256825 - 09/13/14 05:57 AM Re: Am I (are we) inadvertently a part of the problem? [Re: One Eyed Cocky]  
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Originally Posted By: One Eyed Cocky
When I post videos of wild cockatoos in Australia, I try to include a disclaimer text somewhere about how wonderful they are in the wild, and why parrot owners need to treat them better, but I fear getting too preachy.

I 100% agree, I do not yet work with birds the public eye, but if I did, I would make sure to get the message to anyone that might be thinking about getting a bird. The good thing about the Internet is that you can label a link "Want to get a parrot?? Click HERE!!". That way, you don't bore or preach to people that have no intention of getting a bird. More than 90% people watching your videos are just looking for a laugh, they will not give a second thought to getting a bird of there own. It's the people that think they want to get a bird that you want to reach.


Originally Posted By: One Eyed Cocky
When I watch video of Snowball dancing, I worry that, despite Snowball championing the cause of abandoned birds, he may actually cause more people to get cockatoos as pets from pet stores/breeders.


Yeah, I've sort had similar questions myself. I think part of the problem has to do with when Snowball® appears on television. In main stream media, most producers want a short cute story to fill the time. Basically they are looking for a no-brainer.

The thing I am more concerned with is that the YouTube channel and the website operated by the 501(c)(3), seams to concern itself more with Snowball's fame. A user of the website has to dig quite a bit to discover that Snowball® was relinquished to the 501(c)(3), because of problems he had at his original home. In my opinion, I believe that Snowball's owners would better serve cockatoos in general if the website were modified. The modification would make it explicit that cockatoos are one of the most demanding companion animals around and that many are surrendered to shelters every year.

A website could be modified modified such that when Snowball® appears on TV his handler could simply say "If your thinking about getting a cockatoo of your own, be sure to visit XXX.com/adoption". From there, I would expect to find a list the honest pros and cons of bird ownership just as most other avian rescue sites I find on the Internet. In addition, the adoption page could link to other resources like rescue locators and such.

The preceding statements are my personal opinion, and do not reflect those of any other person or organization.

#256826 - 09/13/14 06:13 AM Re: Am I (are we) inadvertently a part of the problem? [Re: Rescue M2 Mom]  
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I also have concerns about the "Snowballs" of the world and have voiced them here and directly to the source. If equal airtime to discuss the plight of captive parrots isn't given then for me it would be "no deal".


Birds are angels who lift us up when our own wings forget how to fly.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has!" ~~~ Margaret Meade ~~~

Noelle, A Rehabilitation in Progress

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