The Crystal Parrot - It happens to all of us. We encounter a bird in a less than desirable situation and we want to "save" him. While it is commendable to do so, it's important to think with your head as opposed to your heart. The practical side of things must be taken care of before adding a "rescue" to your flock or deciding that he would be a great first bird. If not, then it will be you looking for someone to "rescue" the bird and so the unjust cycle continues.
If you already have birds, you need to consider at least the very basics before adding a troubled one to the mix. You will need to quarantine the bird when you first get it home. A complete physical exam by an avian vet should be done as soon as possible. The exam should include a throat culture and a blood panel so that you can get a baseline and know which direction you need to go as far as health and nutrition.
The bird deserves an appropriate cage that is neither too big nor too small with appropriate bar spacing. It is best to purchase a new cage unless you are very sure that the current cage for the bird can be properly disinfected and it is made of quality material.
Do your research! Some birds breeze right through breeding season without much of any hormonal changes and/or aggression. Others can be quite the opposite. Many birds get caught up in the "rescue cycle" simply because they are doing what nature tells them to do and it's actually the lack of understanding from people that is the issue at hand! The person that is taking the bird usually has an (unrealistic) idea in their head of how things will go once the bird is "safe" with them. The bird will be all better, so grateful, and well behaved now that he has a new and loving home. Take into consideration that reality is that the bird will most likely be scared and confused which can be the cause of some very undesirable behavior such as biting! You know you are trying to help, but the bird doesn't know that! All he knows is that he woke to his normal routine that morning and out of no where a stranger came and took him away from all that is familiar! If this happened to you, wouldn't you exhibit some less than stellar behavior too? Add hormones to the equation and you are already setting up yourself and the bird for failure at a forever home.
If your heart tugs at you to rescue a bird, please think about the practical side of things before making a decision! Having to re-home the bird because you did not look at the situation realistically is not helping the bird! It only perpetuates an unjust, continuous house after house situation for the bird. Birds and all pets deserve forever homes! If we make the decision to give a bird a home, whether it's from a store, breeder, or someone's house, we have taken on the responsibility to provide the best permanent home possible! Sometimes we have to leave our ego at the door and admit that we cannot provide the right home. This is not to suggest that if you know of a situation, you should turn your back on an innocent bird in need of help. Take some time to research who can help, if not you. There are many good organizations and rescues around the country that are equipped to deal with many different kinds of rescue situation. You may even have a friend whose home is more suited for a particular bird than your own. There are always other good options if we just stop and think things through in a logical manner.
If you have any questions and concerns about this subject, please feel free to call us 413-527-2550 and we will be glad to help!