The Resiliency of Parrots
– by Michele Wolf
I have had the great pleasure of being a foster home for many birds since we started MDPR. When they arrive into our care they are often leaving a life behind that has spanned decades and a person that they were very bonded with. Their world is new again and we do the best we can to make them comfortable during this big change.
There are many people who believe that moving an animal to a new home and family is a terrible and traumatizing experience for the animal, and I am sure that’s true in some cases. But change is a natural expectation in life for all species.
A disabled scarlett macaw came to us in March of this year after being with his owner for over 40 years and was coming out of a situation that had become stressful and somewhat neglectful. I am sure he was quite shell-shocked at first at my house, his new foster home, but right away he was eating the mash, veggies and pellets we gave him and chewing on some toys. He was allowed freedom from his cage to walk around and get the exercise he wasn’t before andvery quickly was willing to step up for me. Within two weeks he allowed me to pet his head.
Human lives are full of change; going from the home you were raised in to college, from college to new relationships, creating a new family, moves, career changes and new places. We don’t label all of these changes as traumatic, we fit them into our expectations that life will and should change.
So why would we think it’s different for parrots? Certainly change is a temporarily stressful experience for a parrot, however, it can open the door to a much better and enriched life, even with new people. They, just like us, can move on emotionally.
This macaw will soon be adopted and once again his move will be temporarily stressful, but after a brief adjustment period I have every belief that will be a positive change and that he will continue to flourish, bond with his family and enjoy life.