GIVING UP A BIRD
Doreen Tamara Gluck 1998
While I would like to think that all the birds that get adopted, bought or given as gifts are going to stay with that
one family, I am realistic enough to know that many don't.
I have been adopting and placing DOZENS of birds each year. There are as many good reasons for giving up birds
as there are bad reasons. A woman on AOL (America Online) had to not only give up her birds because of several
medical problems (some she has had for years) but she couldn't return home till the house was professionally
cleaned. Every trace of bird had to be removed. Several years ago, I received a call on Thanksgiving Eve that an
older woman had to give up her two birds. A hispanolian Amazon, about 25 years old at the time, and a Congo
African Grey, who at the time was in her teens. The woman's daughter came home from work and told her mother
"It is you or the birds, pack or find a home for them". I now share my life and home with Momma and Silvey. I
worked with a man who had over 125 cockatiels and 45 parrots. His daughter told him one afternoon- "Get out dad
and your birds go too!"
Several years ago I had a woman contact me. She needed to place a Moluccan Cockatoo that she had only a few
years. When I asked her why, she said because when she repainted her living room, the bird didn't match the color
scheme. A young woman going to law school gave up her 7-year old lovebird because she needed to study and he
wanted to sit on her... she didn't like anything touching her when she studied.
So... for every bird there is a reason. The purpose of this sheet is to help you find the best home possible for your
bird should you have to give him or her up. I am not here to judge, whatever your reason for having to give up your
bird, your goal should be finding the best permanent home that you can.
One last thing... while I do not like the idea of people who need to find a home for their bird selling them, I also
understand that sometimes that is needed. There is a woman I talk to on the Internet whose husband walked out
on her. HE had over 200 birds, he left all them behind. He cleaned out the bank accounts and closed all IRA's,
stocks etc. She was left with birds she doesn't even know how to feed, what they are or ANY info on them. She
is flat broke, just got a job at an office supply store, earns minimum wage and has no family to turn to. She is
now working with a local bird club and selling the birds (she is NOT going to get rich- she sold a pair of greys who
had babies in the nest for only $300.00) Her goal is not to get rich, but she is broke and this will help. I know
some people would say her goal should be good homes and not the money, but in this case, she is doing both.
WHERE TO TURN:
Whether you are adopting out or selling your bird(s), I DO NOT recommend you put ads in newspapers. I dislike
this for several reasons:
1) Some people are looking for FREE birds. They want them to turn around and sell them. Their goal is not to give
a good home. Like many con people, they will come across as the loving home you are looking for. Days later
when you call to check on the bird, it is long gone.
2) Many people think that people with birds MUST have money. While a little paranoid, I would be afraid someone would case my house thinking I was loaded.
3) How can you properly screen people thru a phone call? I want to see their homes, talk to their family, even talk to their vet. I am not sure I would feel comfortable going to a stranger's home to check them out.
They are in almost every big city, or at least within an hour's drive. Many clubs have adoption programs. You can
speak with the club member in charge of this program regarding placing your bird. Many clubs require that
individuals who want to adopt be club members for at least 6 months. Some interview individuals and their
families. This usually rules out the bad homes. TAKE YOUR TIME --providing you have time. This should not be a
rush decision. I thought I had the greatest home going. I knew the woman a few months. While I hadn't been to
her home, others had and she seemed PERFECT... well, she wasn't. I found out she had had a bird fly away, lost
another, has no money to care for medical care if needed, and has gotten over a dozen birds in the year that I
know her. She is someone who is out to collect free birds. While her birds are healthy, clean, well fed, vetted etc.
She is a collector, I won't help her do that.
I kind of have the same feeling about the Internet as I do newspapers. How do you really know who you are
dealing with? On AOL there is a special area for bird adoptions. Tons of birds are posted there for adoption. Ten
times as many people are there to adopt. A friend posted an amazon for adoption. He got 300 responses. He
forwarded names to me to look at. Several of the people I knew personally and knew that adopt birds for free and
then adopt them out, always asking for a small fee to cover expenses. How sad that people are thinking the birds
are going to the man and a home they are trying to trust- only to have the bird end up who knows where.
I know of several rescue groups on the Internet. They are people all over the country who help with placement and rescue of birds. Often birds are bought or --as many say-- "ransomed" from horrid homes and then placed with a
loving family. Like all groups, there are some good and some bad. I know many birds that have been
placed in great homes because of programs like them, but do you homework. Talk to people. Don't be afraid to
say that you would like to know more about the person who will be getting your bird.
YOUR VET, PET SHOP or FRIENDS
Ask around. You never know who has an interest in birds. I received my first bird from family friends who could no
longer keep her. I use to sit for hours at their house and play with Ghandie. What a thrill to find out they wanted
me to have her! Maybe you know someone whose life you can change. I know mine is. Twenty plus years later I
talk around the country on bird care. Birds are a very big part of my life --and all because of a bird no one wanted
all those years ago.
IS IT A GOOD HOME?
Check out the person and the home you are giving your bird to. I am amazed at the number of people who just
hand a bird over to the first smooth talker to come along. Ask for references --ask to see their home, speak to
their vet, even a neighbor. There are too many wackos out there wanting free birds. I had one man contact me for
a bird, he wanted it NOW!! (I already ruled him out because he was in such a rush) I asked to speak to his vet, he
gave me the vets number, HE GAVE THE VET PERMISSION TO TALK TO ME. The vet did. The man had had 4
birds in the last yr.
#1 was killed by the family dog
#2 flew off the man’s shoulder when he took him for a walk. THE BIRD WAS FULLY FLIGHTED
#3 they left alone for the WEEKEND and he hung himself with a toy that had a long chain.
and #4 died after the man gave him a cigarette to play with.
Hmm... should this man ever get another bird? Now, I spoke with the man for over an hour and he never told me
he had had other birds. I asked him directly and he said “no”. Now, why he said “yes” to talking to the vet is
beyond me. But had I not checked him out... number 5 would have died to I am sure.
However you find a new home for your bird, FEEL GREAT ABOUT IT. Do not settle. You want this home to the
FOREVER home. If you couldn't provide that, the next home should.
Doreen Tamara Gluck 1998
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