What to Consider When Considering Adopting a Rescue Bird

If any pet needs a little extra love, it’s birds. Even though these feathered friends make excellent pets, many wind up in animal shelters and rescues during the winter months. If you’ve considered expanding your pet family or you have wondered if a bird would make a good pet for you, we have what you need to know. We hope to provide you with the insight you need to keep your bird happy and healthy all year-round.

Why Consider Adopting a Bird?

Birds make excellent pets. With hundreds of species, you can choose between an easy-going songbird or a highly intelligent parrot. No matter the species, most bird owners will agree that birds are smart, social, relatively easy to care for, and strikingly beautiful.

Furthermore, rescue birds are an often overlooked option for those wanting to add one to their household. These birds wind up sitting for far too long in shelters, which leads to stress, loneliness, and trauma. These issues can cause birds to pull out their feathers, become withdrawn, and fall off track on their ability to interact well with people.

Will A Shelter Bird Be As ‘Good’ of a Pet as a Store-Bought Bird?

For the most part, yes. Birds will readjust to being in a household over the course of a few weeks. They frequently will need some peace, quiet, and TLC, though.

You can also minimize the re-adjustment period by adopting from a reputable shelter that provides their birds with plenty of mental stimulation and socialization. You will also want to choose a shelter that provides adequate veterinary care and hygienic conditions for their birds.

How Can You Prepare for Bird Adoption?

If you’ve decided to adopt a shelter-bird, we thank you! But what can you do to ensure you are prepared for their homecoming and that your avian friend has what they need for a long, healthy, joyful life?

1. Decide On The Type of Bird You Want to Adopt

When choosing a bird, you want to consider how long it will live and what kind of care it will need. Parrots can live for decades while smaller birds often have lifespans of about eight to fifteen years.

Some birds thrive with a partner and the upkeep for a second bird does not add a lot of additional work. Bird partners can keep each other content and mentally enriched. Parakeets, lovebirds, and finches are two of the most popular pet birds that do well with companions.

Decide on how much room your bird will need. If you have limited space, consider a finch.

Understand the expense of your bird’s veterinary care. Birds, like other pets, need regular checkups and medical care. Most birds are fine with annual exams, but others need their claws and beaks shaved more regularly.

2. Purchase the Equipment Your Bird Needs

Research the species you’re going to adopt, then make a list of what you will need. Most birds require:

  • A large cage: Birds should be able to spread their wings and rest on their perch without their tails touching the cage floor. The bigger, the better when it comes to your bird’s habitat.
  • Food: You will want a mix of pet bird feed and fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • A perch: Birds need a place to rest that is far from their water bowls.
  • Cage liners: Newspaper or paper towels will work. 
  • Food and water bowls
  • A hiding nook: Many birds like to get away for a bit of peace, quiet, and privacy. A hidey-hole is a great way to provide your bird their own private retreat.
  • Toys & Mental Enrichment: Chews, rawhide, and ropes make excellent additions to your bird’s cage. Just be sure to look into your specific species to ensure the toys you add to the cage are safe and appropriate.
  • Nail clippers

3. Call Us to Establish Care

If you’re bringing home a new feathered friend, give us a call and we will happily add your bird to our family of pets we care for. You will want to schedule an initial appointment, so we have a baseline for your bird’s health. We are also happy to discuss tips to help you better care for your new bird.

4. Meet and Greet Potential Adoptees

When adopting a companion bird, you will want to meet them in person and spend some time getting to know them. Be sure to ask the shelter staff questions about the bird you may adopt, including if the bird needs special medical care.

Birds of a Feather Flock to Cedar Pet Clinic Together.

We believe all pets deserve the best veterinary care. We provide birds with thorough medical care and are happy to be your go-to choice for beak maintenance, talon and feather trims, and nutritional counselling.

Want to show your bird some extra love this month? Make an appointment to see us soon.

Photo Credit: Luan Oosthuizen / Pexels.

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After Hours Veterinary Care
1014 Dale Street North
St. Paul, MN 55117
(Inside Como Park Animal Hospital just north of downtown St. Paul)
24-hour care for multiple species

Animal Emergency & Referral Center of MN
1163 Helmo Avenue N
Oakdale, MN 55128


Animal Emergency & Referral Center of MN
1542 7th St. W.
St. Paul, MN 55012
(located 2 blocks east of 35E)