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Birds of a Feather: Parrot Segment from CBS Sunday Morning 6/21/2009

February 11, 2010

Parrots are beautiful, they can talk, and they do tricks. So it’s perhaps no surprise that parrots are now one of the most popular pets in the U.S.

With an estimated 40 million in American households, they’re not far behind cats and dogs in popularity. But owners soon learn that Polly wants more than just a cracker – Polly wants hand-prepared food, plus all your time and attention and patience.

Parrots can live to 80, they love to chew, and they have beaks as strong as can openers. Like a toddler, if they don’t get the care they need, they bite and scream. Or even worse, if isolated in a cage, these flock animals go stir crazy, mutilating themselves and plucking out feathers.

It’s all too much for many owners. The result: Flocks of parrots, set loose by frustrated owners, are multiplying from coast to coast, with 30,000 flying around cities from California to Brooklyn, even as their numbers decline in their natural habitats. Parrot rescue centers, now found in every state, are also growing fast. It’s such a big problem that the Humane Society recommends unwanted birds be euthanized. Many owners say they love their parrots but, experts say, prospective parrot owners should be prepared for a pet that demands a lot of time, attention and patience.

For more info:

Second Chance Birds…

Bird Rescue, Adoption & Sanctuary Organizations…

Author and Advocate Mira Tweti

Garuda Aviary

Santa Barbara Bird Sanctuary

Parrots First (Rescue Organization)

Brooklyn Parrots

Mira Tweti is a journalist who writes about animal welfare and environmental issues with a particular interest in parrots. Mira also produced and directed two documentaries and is currently in production on a third. Mira’s most recent book “Of Parrots and People: the Sometimes Funny, Always Fascinating, and Often Catastrophic Collision of Two Intelligent Species” is now available on Amazon:…


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