SHOULD I ADOPT AN OLDER "SECOND HAND" BIRD??
This question is asked all the time.
Generally, the myth that "second hand", (or third, or fourth hand) birds, will not bond to a new owner is patently incorrect. While they may carry some "emotional/behavioral baggage" and may need additional patience and lots of love and compassion, most of them are "redeemable". They have evolved to be able to eventually adjust and bond to new partners, speak "care givers", by instinct alone. If their mate dies or is eaten by a predator, they have to be emotionally able to attach themselves to someone else in the flock. It is no different here. It does take patience, sometimes over many months.
Please consider this: There are literally thousands of unwanted birds that were often bought on impulse. They all desperately need a permanent home. Successful relationships do require an understanding of these birds and an absolute willingness for unconditional acceptance. Anyone who is prepared to seriously commit him or herself, who is ready to love, understand, respect and have patience with their new charge will end up with a rewarding and wonderful experience. Prior to acquiring any bird, baby or mature, we as care givers have the ethical and moral obligation to familiarize ourselves and be aware of the challenge that faces us. There are excellent books on the subject of keeping parrots and it is incumbent upon all of us to take advantage of the outstanding work already done in this field: To be aware of their physiological and psychological requirements. These requirements are identical for bird babies and "seniors". The same mutually painful consequences for ignorance and the same rewards for being informed and treating the bird with respect, compassion, patience and understanding for and of the species invariably apply.
There are some who insist that "rescued" birds know what has happened and that they are grateful to those who gave them security and a real loving home.
We must always remember that parrots in general and greys in particular are not just birds, they are highly evolved and extremely sensitive, intelligent and perceptive creatures who deserve to be treated as what they are: Someone very, very special.
In summary, there are no "second hand" birds – there are only birds in need of a loving home. Some of our best known avian behaviorists are strong advocates for the adoption of unwanted birds – in many cases over the acquisition of babies. There is a very good reason for that: Firstly, they desperately need us and secondly, adult birds, albeit rejected by their owners, have the potential to becoming outstanding companions!
It is all up to us!
Why A Second Hand Bird?