This is Part Two of my post, and it concerns my thoughts about Parrot Ownership.
I bring the Golden up because I think that is the position the Large Cockatoos are in. Do I think people should be allowed to breed, sell, and own them? Yes I do. But I also think that those doing so should be for the most dedicated portion of the bird owning populace. In order to fly a Golden Eagle a falconer must have *at least* seven years experience training and flying birds of prey. They also must *prove* they can handle an eagle.
If I were writing the laws for parrot ownership I would divide the birds and owners into three classes.
Level One would be Cockatiels and Budgies as they are considered legally Domesticated by CITIES and the US government. (biologically Domestication occurs between the F20 and F40 generation, and there are some very distinct genetic markers such as pied coloration). Currently they are the only two parrot species considered Domesticated. I'm not certain we could or should require licenses for fully Domesticated parrots unless we also require it for all other domesticated animals (a dog license is to ensure that it has been vaccinated against rabies, not to insure the humane care of the dog). The three common species of Lovebirds could be included as well as Level One birds. This level would have the minimum required rules and regs. I would not consider this analogous to the Apprentice Falconer, simply because I strongly dislike the idea of using these little birds as 'practice' birds, to be thrown away or forgotten when their owner moves on to larger, more challenging species.
Level Two would be most small to medium sized species of parrots. All Level Two 'Parroters'
have to have a two year probation period with a Mentor. Like the Apprentice Falconer they have to pass an extremely in-depth test with 80% or more, and they have to have their facility inspected. The Mentor must be a Level Two Parroter with at least five years off probation and must have no more the five probationers.
I dislike 'practice birds' (for falconry it is ok to release a bird you don't want, as long as it can survive on it's own, isn't imprinted, and is native. This is not an option with parrots). However I feel large parrots (not just large cockatoos, although they are more extreme) require that extra proof of dedication from their owner. After three years off probation a Level Two parroter can apprentice herself to a Level Three Parroter for a Level Three Parrot. A Level Three Parrot would be any large Macaw or Cockatoo, but it would also include such birds as the Golden Conures and Aquamarine Lory, parrots which currently require special licensing to have (these birds might have an extra level of licensing as well, I havenít really worked it out yet).
Iím not certain if M2s would need extra licensing like the Golden Eagle gets under the Falconry system. I think by the time most Parroters got far enough to own one they would A) know what it takes, and B) have the skills necessary to care for them properly. Or C) decide that an M2 or U2 Is Not For Them. There would be no such thing as an impulse purchase of a Level Two or Level Three parrot.
Realistically, of course, I don't think any of this is likely to happen. It won't happen until an majority (or at least a sizable minority) of the bird owning population in the US acknowledges the problem and acts on it. With the falconers it was easier, many had already been campianing for the ending of the shooting of raptors, and it was an easy exention for them to campian for fair laws governing the humane keeping of raptors.