Friday, October 7, 2011

Some recent questions

I had a few questions in the recent comments that I thought I might just address here instead of in the comments since it took me some time to finally get around to them!

phonelady asked: do greys just naturally get into everything ? sure sounds like they do from your gang

Of course I can't answer this for all greys since every parrot is an individual, but I do think that greys have the tendency to be very curious and intelligent and therefore get into everything, including trouble!  I must also add that when Max was a single grey, she did not get into nearly as much as she has since Stella arrived.  Because they are flock animals, I believe that the presence of another grey motivates them to explore.  I also believe that a big part of the reason why Stella transformed so quickly into a happy bird after her mutilation is the presence of Max -- even though they don't physically interact, I think that Max was a good role model for Stella.

Additionally, we encourage our parrots to explore and make their own choices as much as possible.  That, combined with the fact that they can fly, may make them more likely to get into things than an average grey who is clipped and may only come out of his cage a few times a month.  The fact that they frequently find food only reinforces this!

D. Richard asked: What if I may ask is the status of , Basil, Thought he would be home by now or do I not remember the proper dates ?

Officially, Basil is still just a foster bird.  He is willed to us, so we were expecting to have him full-time at some point, though we thought it would be decades yet until this happened.  Originally, he was just supposed to stay with us for a month or two, but it's not been nearly 10 months.  His owners aren't ready yet to officially sign him over to us, though I suspect that will happen soon.

Luckily, he is quite possibly the lowest-maintenance parrot I have ever met.  That's part of the reason I write about him so infrequently -- he's not doing many exciting things!  He has integrated well into our house, has learned our routines, and I think he's pretty happy.  I'd like to eventually get him playing with toys more frequently and stepping up nicely, but we have lots of time to work on that.

I do have a bit of guilt about keeping him, though if he is surrendered to us, he'll stay.  He took the last open spot in our house, which I'd been planning on using to foster birds for the rescue and adopt them out, like with Steve.  There's actually a (mutilating, seizure-prone so on meds twice a day, blind) grey at the rescue that I'd be fostering right now if it weren't for Basil.  It doesn't sit well with me that such an easy, low-maintenance bird is taking the place of someone who needs us more, but that's the way things are.

D Richard continues: I am no spring chicken myself and I am a little worried about what to do with my flock in any event . I was wondering after you sent a review of RIO . what do you think of my leaving money to have my flock released in their respective lands at least for the conures and lovebirds . Australia does not want the cockatiels back and the same with the quaker, Both considered agricultural pests . But do you have any thoughts ?  I don't have family or friends that would want them , Any of them

I am not aware of any programs that return former pets to the wild, but frankly, I'd be very hesitant to go this route.  While I do wish that all parrots could be wild and that we'd never brought them into our homes, I don't believe that those who've lived so long in captivity would possess the skills to survive and thrive in their native land.  I've read a bit about the work done by the Ara Project in breeding macaws to release in the wild, and spoke with a biologist doing that work in Costa Rica.  It's a lot of work to make sure that the bird is ready to live in the wild and won't just walk up to a human (to be recaptured) as that's what they know.  I've also read about work done by captive breeding programs by the International Crane Foundation (for cranes, obviously!) and was involved in helping to raise orphan baby wildlife when I volunteered at a wildlife rescue center, and I know they try very strongly to make sure that the animals will not associate humans with food.

That being said, if you can't find any individuals who will take your birds when you're no longer around, I think the best thing to do is connect with a parrot rescue to make plans.  This includes leaving money for them to be taken care of, possibly by means of an insurance policy.  This should help ensure that the facility will be able to take your birds when it's time (many rescues are currently full with long waiting lists for surrenders and this problem will only get worse every year.)  The good thing in your case is that your birds are smaller, so it should be easier to find someone to take them, even if it means they are split up.  It's very difficult to find a good home for a cockatoo or macaw.  I wish I had a better answer for you.


D. Richard said...

Thanks for the reply
I was thinking that the Fischers would be suited for release as they naturally fear humans and the wild population is endangered . there is no real rescue for parrots in houston , not like yours , there are people who call themselves a rescue and the spca with a list of people that will pick up parrots when they are turned in . More of a network rather than a physical rescue. If there was a physical rescue I would volunteer there.

phonelady said...

I guess I should not have slandered your greys the way I did or try and lump all greys together . My mistake I hate when people do that about my quakers and people say are'nt quakers mean ? well some are and some are quite sweet like mine . Thanks for the answer.

Mary said...

PL -- I took it as a compliment, not any kind of slander as we love that they are confident enough to get into so much trouble!