After 2 years of work, volunteering, training, saving, and wishing, my dream finally came true. Welcome home Mickey!
Mickey is a 28-year old scarlet macaw, adopted from a parrot rescue.
if you are considering sharing the rest of your life with a feathered companion, don’t shop, adopt. Hundreds of thousands of unwanted parrots need homes desperately. Almost all rescues are closed due to overcrowding and are unable to take in more birds. In desperation, people euthanize or worse, throw it outside to die or if it survives, disrupt the natural environment. Parrots DO NOT make good pets for most people — in fact they make poor pets in general. If you have the time, money, and skills, you may share a relationship with an intelligent wild animal like a parrot for many years to come, but these are not domesticated, they are not “pets” so much as animal dependents.
Even the smallest parrots can live easily 20-30 years (that includes parakeets and cockatiels). Small-medium parrots live 30-50, and anything on the larger end is 50+, macaws often reaching 80-100 years old. Yes, Mickey is almost 30, but if he lives a full lifespan, I will be past retirement age when he dies (and I am in college right now).
Small parakeets are relatively inexpensive to maintain, unlike medium-large parrots which can cost in excess of $500 a month — after 10 years, a pet bird could rack up over $60,000 of care, but remember this bird could live 50-80 years. That’s over $300,000. Yes, there are ways to keep costs down, but you should be prepared for the worst when considering such an addition to your life. Also, bear in mind that vet fees for a parakeet cost the same as vet fees for a macaw — one $15 bird costs hundreds at an avian vet — no you can’t take them to a regular vet.
Knowing just this much, you can see why parrots do not often keep a home for long.
Please do not support breeding. Visit a local bird rescue and get to know some of the amazing feathered kids who need someone to love them. There is no such thing as damaged goods when it comes to rescue birds.
And now, bruises, bites and all, I look forward to spending the next 20-50 years with Mickey.
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