'How To' Guides for Bird Shelters
and Care Facilities
Our new series of informative pamphlets are designed to help shelters and care facilities tend to the needs of birds. If you operate a shelter or care facility or would like to help shelter of care facility near you, please download any or all of these free pamphlets below: Note: All are PDF’s and are intended to serve the short-term care and housing needs of birds in a shelter setting.
Special thanks to the following individuals for contributing to this project:
Denise Kelly, President, Avian Welfare Coalition
Monica Engebretson, Senior Program Associate, Born Free USA,
Anthony Pilny, DVM, DAB
Karen Windsor, Co-Director, Foster Parrots Ltd
Grace Lerner Sharfstein, Graphic Designer
Photos: Foster Parrots, Ltd., Central Virginia Parrot Sanctuary/Project Perry, Midwest Avian Adoption & Rescue Services (MAARS), Jennifer Lenz, Parrots R4Ever Avian Rescue & Sanctuary, Joel Allerhand, and the Center of Avian & Exotic Medicine, New York, NY.
These materials are made possible through a generous grant from the ASPCA®.
Captive Exotic Birds: A Brief Introduction: While almost a third of the world's 330 parrot species are threatened with extinction due to pressures from collecting for the pet trade, combined with habitat loss, many of these same species end up at the doorsteps of animal sheltering facilities throughout the United States.
Common Physical Abnormalties of Captive Birds: Birds often arrive in sheltering facilities with physical or behavioral conditions that require remedy but are not necessarily signs that a bird is diseased or ill or has a life-threatening condition.
Feeding Birds: While much has been learned about bird nutrition in recent years, the exact nutritional requirements for parrots are unknown. A majority of birds kept as pets are suffering from some degrees of nutritional deficiency.
Intake Considerations: Whether a bird is owner surrendered, dropped off, found stray outdoors, or is brought to your shelter as a result of a seizure by humane law enforcements, it is important to capture as much information as possible about each bird and about the circumstances that brought them to your door.
Placement Application: Taking care of a bird is a serious responsibility. This adoption application is designed to help you decide if a bird is right for you, and to ensure that you are properly informed about the needs of captive birds.
Placement Application Evaluation Guide: Because the adoption application is designed to encourage potential adopters to take seriously the responsibility of caring for a captive bird, some questions listed are purely educational and, as such, there are no "right" or "wrong" answers.
Supportive Care for Sick or Injured Captive Birds: A bird that who ill or injured but not bleeding should receive supportive care immediately. Birds have high metabolic rates, and their body temperature is much higher than our own, averaging 103-106 degrees Fahrenheit.
Symptoms of Illness in Avians: There are three main criteria involved when examining birds for symptoms of illness: the appearance of the bird, the state of activity of the bird, and the environment in which it is housed.
10 Things You Need To Know Before Adopting A Bird: The first thing you should know is birds are not domesticated animals. Domestic animals are animals who have been bred for thousands of years to live in the care of humans and are distinct from their wild ancestors.