Friday, April 24, 2009

This Blog Is For Parrots.

This blog is for parrots.

I am for parrots, captive and wild.

I'm not for breeders or rescues....


seeds or pellets....


flighted or clipped....

Only parrots... parrots are first and foremost.

If you are reading this blog, chances are you already have a good foundation of knowledge with regard to parrots. You probably do things like cook for your birds, chop fruits and vegetables, make regular visits to your avian vet, have bins full of toys, play stands in different rooms of your house, and carry pictures of your companions to show the world how wonderful parrots are. All these subjects are important to me, and I will be discussing issues like them, but a little differently than in the usual manner. I'd like to open a dialog that discusses and informs people about the ethics of keeping parrots in captivity, and what our moral obligations are to parrots as guardians of them.

Sometimes, I think we forget who our parrots really are. One of my favorite analogies is the mauling of animal trainer Roy Horn (of Siegfried & Roy) by their performing tiger, Montecore. Have you ever viewed your captive parrot in the way you view a captive tiger? Certainly, your parrot will never send you to the hospital with massive amounts of blood loss (although we've all had our mini-moments) but Montecore was born and raised in captivity, just like our parrots. Perhaps his parents were tigers captured from the wild, like many of our parrots' parents. Perhaps we have parrots that are even more wild than Montecore, having been captured in the wild themselves. My point here is that our parrots are just as wild as that tiger, or any other "exotic" animal in captivity, such as monkeys, mountain lions, elephants, and the like. Understanding their nature is fundamental to making our captive parrots as happy as possible in our homes, as we cannot change their "parrotness."

Richard Farinato, Director of Captive Wildlife Programs and the Wildlife Advocacy Division for The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) said something quite interesting regarding the mauling of Roy Horn. He said, "Birth in a cage, attended by loving humans, does not alter the animal's nature nor eliminate his capabilities; captive breeding does not wipe away the effect of millions of years of evolution and selection for success in the wild." (Siegfried & Roy Incident Underscores the Dangers of Exotic Pets. ). If I didn't tell you that he was talking about a tiger, you might think he was talking about one of our parrots.

So, my purpose in writing this blog is to make us all aware of what keeping parrots really means to them, to us, and to their wild populations and habitats. I want to encourage us to ask ourselves the tough questions, and remind us, lest we forget, of whom our parrots really are and what we owe them for making our lives so much better.

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