Plucked Parrots Are Beautiful, Too.

Please, do not buy parrots. I will let a few images speak for themselves:

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Friday has a fear monster – a condition that causes his heart and blood to constantly race. He tries to rip his own heart out of his chest.
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Friday is one of the ones you don’t forget.
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He takes medicine to calm his condition. The injection (which he lets you know when he needs) gives him 30 minutes of being stoned, then 3 weeks of the munchies. Which relaxes him!
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He is the clearest evidence of why cockatoos especially aren’t pets.
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Rocco has beak and feather disease from his pet shop background. He was going to be euthanised, but the Sanctuary saved him, and now he lives in quarantine. Milk thistle has even helped him grow back a little fluff.
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Ari didn’t appreciate me snapping photos of him and his mate.
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I love little Monty!

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Sweet, shy Lemon.
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Bobo loved being harnessed and getting to romp in the grass.
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This little girl has OCD.

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You can find more photos from the Sanctuary here and here.

9 thoughts on “Plucked Parrots Are Beautiful, Too.

Add yours

  1. Mwuahaha! Welcome to the Dark Side of anti-parrot ownership! Although I am wary of “forever home” sanctuaries, as the owners/founders/directors have a tendency to become hoarders and forget their ultimate reason for starting them. The fact that a “Beak & Feather” bird lives on site, regardless of quarantine procedures, raises huge red flags in the cynical side of my brain. The best situation I’ve seen for birds with highly contagious, lethal diseases is to live remotely, off-site in a single-bird home for the remainder of their years.


    1. I never thought I’d be anti-ownership, but I see exactly what you mean! (Love your blog, by the by. I’ve been on my way to forming this opinion for quite awhile, but it’s solidified now!) I respectfully must say, though, that this Sanctuary is the best place a bird could go. As Alison commented below me, they take extreme precautions, including – but not limited to – the F10 showers and isolated containment for the PBFD birds. I can see how it could be dangerous, but it’s also wonderful, too, that the birds get this chance.

      The IPS does turn down a lot of birds. Their goal is to offer a home to those who just can’t live with people. I think she said they turn down 2-3 cockatoos alone per week? Bobo was offered a place because of how dangerous he is. My punchy boy! They will definitely re-home a bird if it doesn’t thrive in the Sanctuary, though. They also encourage the birds to be birds, which is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever witnessed. I wish every bird could have this.

      I don’t think I could do what they do, not half so well, anyway. I see how easily rescue work could turn to hoarding, but at no point did I feel the aviaries were overcrowded, or the owners overwhelmed (their volunteer force certainly helps!). It is a truly great place.


  2. Great pictures. I have visited this sanctuary several times and the two birds with PBFD are in isolation, in a separate building well away from any other birds. The lady that cares for them wears a white gown and hat, she then showers in F10 , even her hair before she goes anywhere near other birds. This sanctuary is amazing the owners do everything they can for the parrots, they even have a chef doing parrot meals three times a day!


    1. Thanks! I’m glad you commented – couldn’t remember quite everything involved there! Did she say they have a nebuliser in the isolation aviary as well? It is certainly an AMAZING place.


  3. Thank you for this – exotic bird ownership is a very dear subject to me, as i used to take care of the traumatized birds ‘donated’ to a petting zoo in our city park when their owners realized their romantic ideas of boosting their image were no match for the actual needs of their new pet. Many had no idea at all of even what to feed them. Needless to say, i ensured that these birds (including an entire pen of scarlet macaws) were nowhere within petting range of any inquisitive humans. Some of the birds would never recover; all i could do was feed them and grant them a little peace.
    Keep up the good work!


    1. That’s wonderful that you did that for them! It’s something very close to me as well, and it’s so great to hear of more and more people who understand. Thanks for stopping by!


  4. I just want to kiss Rocco up all over his pretty little body!!! P.S. I realize it’s very tempting to buy a parrot (whether a Budgie, a Conure, a Cockatoo and everything in between) especially upon seeing them in a crummy pet store. But nobody could ever even begin to truly meet a bird’s real needs and so I refrain from buying in order to avoid making room for the store to “order” another bird to fill the space created whenever they sell a bird. My Budgie (“GiGi”) lived 7 years and was bald after a few years, having developed feather problems starting with her first moult. (The timing and appearance of her feather problems were consistent with PBFD but luckily she never developed any other typical outward PBFD signs (e.g., her beak remained normal and she had no secondary infections). Her veterinarian did not test for PBFD because she felt GiGi was too nervous at the check-up to withstand blood withdrawal. (In retrospect, I think she COULD have done a cloacal swab–Don’t know why she did not…?) The vet further opined that GiGi “probably” did not have PBFD based on her excellent body condition and physical & mental strength and happy attitude. “She would be sick if she had PBFD rather than ‘only’ balding extensively,” was the opinion. (The closest Avian vet is three hours from me–so I used a non-certified veterinarian who was interested in treated birds and who owned two parrots herself. The Avian veterinarian at Cornell in Ithaca (three hours from me) kindly conferred with me by phone and told me that the local non-certified vet that I ended up using was active in attending Avian-related veterinary conferences and was a next-best alternative to an actual Avian-Certified vet. In sum, my vet believed that GiGi was mutilating to the point where she permanently damaged her follicles. (Although I never saw her engage in anything resembling feather-mutilation….) She diagnosed GiGi as having had her wings BUTCHERED by the seller; that the cutting of her wings must have caused bleeding and a LOT of physical AND emotional damage; that she began picking at her butchered wings because they bothered her; and that her supposed wing-picking evolved into nervously picking throughout her entire body. I definitely do believe that someone had butchered her wings, but I was never truly convinced that she was picking at her body or that she did not have PBFD. By age 4 she was totally bald up to the back of her head and during her last year of life, she even dropped most of the little feathers on the top of her head. I noticed during her last year that she did begin running her “hands” through her head feathers, so it’s possible that she actively caused that additional feather loss. She fell ill with extremely subtle symptoms (eating less; playing less; and ever-so-slight change in bowels–specifically her urine was abnormally wet/watery). Symptoms that only I noticed because others in my household were not as familiar as I was with her habits. She quickly became emaciated and died in the waiting room of the E.R. as I waited for the vet to euthanize her. (I held her atop my chest beneath my partially unzipped jacket as we waiting, and she was physically “twirling” in disoriented circles. I don’t know if that was seizure, or a stroke, or mental disorientation possibly caused by a stroke or maybe loss of vision or some other neurological damage or maybe simple fear…?) For some reason it shall always bother me, the lack of closure caused by not knowing what was wrong with her. By the way, I had obtained GiGi from an elderly relative after an ignorant but well-intentioned relative bought the bird as a gift to keep the 90-year-old company. After spending two weeks with the elderly lady (who also had dementia), I was able to take the bird and I provided her with everything imaginable; play stations; toys; snacks; warm showers which she loved; tons of one-on-one time; etc. But I always knew that it was wrong to keep birds and naive at best to think that we people can provide the lives they really want and really need. Thank you for allowing me to post such a long and personal message, but that picture of your sweet little Rocco especially touched my heart. Thank you guys for helping needy parrots 🙂


    1. Wow, what a story! I’m glad you shared – I get super excited whenever I see a comment pop up, haha, and your story is very touching! Gigi was a very, VERY lucky girl. And I get what you mean about no closure… Losing a pet isn’t easy however it happens. I think a lot of people innocently buy budgies to keep kids or elderly folks company, and I wish every one of them could be rescued like Gigi!

      As to Rocco – he is one of the happiest birdiesI know, and his story touches a lot of hearts. He is a darling! The Sanctuary is a wonderful place – it’s what inspired me to want to start my own here in the U.S.A. Poor Rocco lost the top of his aviary to a terrible storm recently, but I know things are slowly getting back to normal now.

      Your theory on buying birds is perfect – don’t make room for more! I wish more people could witness that. There are many rescue birds in need of a home, though – maybe one day, you could adopt another parrot in need. That is another great way to make a difference.

      I agree: Humans can’t meet birds’ needs properly, it’s true, but, sadly, captive-bred parrots can’t be released into the wild. Adopting gives us the opportunity to offer a parrot the best lives possible however we can. With my future sanctuary, I want to educate people about aviary living, which is the closest we can get to letting our birds BE birds. I love the idea of cage-free living!

      Thanks for stopping by!


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