When I first came to this website, it made me angry! I started reading the stickies, about how you shouldn’t buy from breeders, or pet shops. It seemed very negative and off putting, and I thought that it was plain rude. I have wanted a parrot all my life, and since my cat passed away and I have had some time to mourn him, I decided that now is the right time. So I researched all sorts of different parrot breeds, and decided on a ‘too, as they are less likely to be one person birds, and also because of the cuddle factor. I was so excited about getting a baby cockatoo to be my lifelong companion. I knew that they require a huge amount of attention for between 50-75 years, and I was going to give it a large room filled with stimulation for when I wasn’t at home.
But now after reading every article you have links to, and a HUGE amount of forum posts, I realise that my need is a selfish one. I have been crying over what these poor birds go through, and now I feel like I truly understand them as a species. I now understand exactly HOW social these birds are- and that it is MUCH more social than us ‘Loner’ Humans who like to have a bit of me-time every now and then! In the wild they are in a flock 24 hours a day, and I realise that even in the best aviary room, with all the toys in the world, they are still not getting the interaction they need. Right now, I am looking after my 9 year old and 5 year old kids, and I am at university for 20 hours a week, with lots of holiday breaks. It’s my final year, so for the next year, both me and my partner (who I am in an admittedly rocky relationship with) could between us could give a bird a lot of love and attention.
But then what? Next year I will be working full time, rushing home, cooking my kids dinner, doing housework, giving the kids a bath, maybe watching a bit of telly and crashing out in bed. I like to go out and about at weekends, especially during the summer. I could do my evening routine accompanied by a ‘too, I would love it in fact, but I would not have that much time in the future too give it my undivided attention. They are birds which need company 24 hours a day. I could give it 4 at most as I go to bed at 10pm, which means that for 20 hours every single day it would be alone. And that is not right. I would be getting a bird for purely selfish reasons… It seems a bit ridiculous writing it down, but I have always thought that if I could be any creature, it would be a parrot… Bright, dazzling, talkative, intelligent, caring… It just seems like such a winning combination of good qualities.
I now understand that even when you give ‘toos a ‘perfect’ existence in captivity they are still vulnerable to self-destruction as they are wild creatures, who should be using that huge wingspan to fly through a forest. They should be able to freely mate. They are too intelligent to deal with being caged alone. We don’t keep eagles as pets- Why parrots?
I am now shocked that I ever thought that owning a magnificent bird like this was a good idea, and I feel awful that I was going to get a baby bird, thus encouraging further breeding. I have absolute awe for them, and whilst I have lots of time to look after a bird right now, I would never own them outright, because I now realise that I will not be a suitable owner in the future. I am desperately saddened by the stories of these creatures who live in numerous homes, and who have suffered from neglect. However, I would very much love to foster a parrot (Especially a ‘too!) until it finds it’s forever home, and I am now researching into that. But I do agree that people who want to own large birds like this should need at the very least a licence, which will help prevent and alleviate the suffering of some of these poor birds.
I know it seems a bit contradictory that I am now against the ownership and breeding of cockatoos and other large birds in a domestic setting, yet still want to foster one, but I believe that the ones who are already living in captivity who are imprinted on humans should be loved and cherished for the rest of their lives.
I still think they are amazing creatures, but their enormous capacity for love can ultimately end up destroying them if they are not placed in the right home.
Last edited by Ruthie; 08/12/13 04:20 PM.