Talk to enough owners of parrots about their experiences raising an African gray or yellow-naped Amazon and, while their stories may differ, there seems to be a consensus that not everyone is cut out for the task. Unlike dogs and cats, parrots have not been domesticated — they are still wild. This can have consequences, often unforeseen, for the continued care of parrots by their owners.
Unpredictable behavior or ear-shattering squawks, for example, can result in frustrated owners trying to find new homes for their highly intelligent birds, turning to already overcrowded shelters and sanctuaries for help, or in some cases, abandoning their pets.
From the wilds of Costa Rica to the suburbs of our own country, NATURE explores the difficulties of raising parrots, why some breeders and owners become rescuers, and conservation efforts in the wild. Owners and rescuers of the popular bird talk about the ups and downs of caring for these colorful characters and the impact of “Baretta.”