Jonathan Raymond says, "You can't know what you don't know. You can't know about things you have yet to discover."
Buying from a breeder/store...
"I want to make my bird be the way I want it to be"
The most common comment 3PR hears from those who have yet to adopt a bird is,"I am thinking about getting a bird from a breeder because I want to make it be the way I want it to be." These people do not think about the fact that rescues are FULL of birds that were purchased with that exact mindset until people learn that birds are not dogs. Birds have far more preferences and opinions. Birds experience sexual maturity and hormones in a way that dogs never feel.
3PR has received store bought relinquishments from families that are heartbroken because their bird decided one day that it no longer liked its owner and began to attack. 3PR has received store bought relinquishments from families that simply cannot handle the 1 to 4 years of their bird's sexual maturity journey - it can be brutal. There are benefits to purchasing a breeder/store bird, but the benefits of adopting are far greater. Why do you think breeders/stores call it "adopting" and "rehoming"? The desire is to give you the feeling of adopting without actually adopting.
The best age to adopt?
Another common question at 3PR is, "Do you have any baby birds?" I can almost hear the volunteer's hearts sink when this is spoken out loud. Why? Because anyone who has experience with exotic birds knows that sexual maturity can be a pain and a bird's personality is often not developed until after this process. However, marketing is powerful and feeds the instant gratification culture we have grown accustomed to in the US. You'll hear 3PR's volunteers refer to a 20-year-old African Grey or a 30-year-old Macaw or even a 5-year-old Lovebird as the perfect age. Why? Because the bird you see is the bird you will get. A bird's personality is developed by these ages and they are typically very stable and simply do not change at this age. A bird in the rescue is going to be far more stimulated than they will be once they settle down in your home. However, you will almost never take an older bird home from a rescue to have it change completely down the road. So, what is the preferred age to adopt a bird? Large birds - 30, Medium birds - 20, Small birds - 5.
"I want a fully-feathered bird"
This comment will send a 3PR volunteer's heart into a tizzy. I love to look up when I hear this to see the response. There is usually a BIG BREATH to build some patience and to process the response. The only recovery from this statement is a willingness to listen and learn. There is a reason why when a new "naked" bird comes in that the volunteers go directly to that bird. A baby bird bought from a bird store/breeder does not have the understanding or ability to be appreciative. Maybe we put our human understanding of being thankful on these naked beauties, but there is definitely something there. The affection and human connection that the "naked ones" give to their adopter's is only understood by those who have adopted them. The greatest offense is when somebody walks in and says, "What happened to that one?" A lot of grace is offered at 3PR. Even if you are being judged, you probably will not feel it because a lot of people are willing to be educated and have a total change of heart once they understand. Those of us who have a "plucker" have a prized bird. This bird is often, secretly, our favorite.