People love parrots and it’s easy to see the attraction to them as pets.
Parrots are not only beautiful to look at but are also smart and entertaining.
The problem is, when people think of getting a parrot as a pet, they only look at the good qualities.
But parrots are definitely not for everyone.
They are extremely complicated birds that require a great deal of care and attention.
Sadly, a lot of people don’t realize just how much care and attention parrots not only need, but demand.
For this reason, many people find their parrots too much to handle after buying them as a pet and they need to find some way to pass them off.
This leads us to the question – can you release a parrot into the wild?
The answer to this question is no. You cannot release a parrot into the wild. Firstly, it is illegal to release a non-native species into the wild. Secondly, it’s against the best welfare of your parrot. A parrot that is domesticated does not have the tools or capabilities that it needs to survive in the wild on its own. If you do release it, it’s unlikely to survive for long.
So what do you do when your parrot becomes too much to handle?
And if parrots can’t be released into the wild, then why are there release programs for birds?
There are so many questions to be answered about releasing parrots into the wild, so let’s answer some of them!
Why can’t you release parrots into the wild?
There are actually several reasons that you cannot release a parrot into the wild.
The first reason is that it is illegal to release non-native species into the wild.
The main reason for this is because there is a concern for disease.
If a parrot has a disease and is released into the wild, it can then bring that disease into an area where it was not present beforehand.
This can endanger other birds, animals, and populations.
What if I take my parrot to its country of origin to release it?
First off, it’s not that easy to take your parrot to its country of origin.
In order to do so, you must have a variety of tests and assessments done to rule out sickness or disease, and you must fill out all of the appropriate paperwork.
There is nothing quick or easy about this process.
In fact, it’s usually a very lengthy and complex process.
Even if you do manage to bring your parrot back to the country of origin (or if you bought it in the country of origin), it’s still not a good idea to release it into the wild once it has been in captivity.
It’s chance of survival is low.
Parrots can only survive in the wild with others of their kind.
Yes, your parrot will still maintain some of it’s natural instincts even if it is domesticated.
There are a lot of things that your parrot will not be able to do in the wild on its own.
Because your parrot has been domesticated, it will not know how to find food.
In order to do so, it will need to rely on others of its kind.
Wild parrots learn everything that they need to know about food from their parents and other wild parrots.
They learn where to find food, what food is safe and what food is poisonous, and so on and so forth.
They also learn how to stay warm and how to avoid predators from other parrots.
In order to learn these behaviors, your parrot would need to find others of its kind.
This is unlikely in itself, but even if your parrot managed to do so, it would still need to be accepted by them.
The chances of your parrot both finding and being accepted by another parrot of the same species is unlikely.
Your parrot requires a specific climate
Parrots in the wild are designed to adapt to the temperatures of their climates.
You can find parrots in a wide variety of climates including hot climates, mild climates, and even cold climates.
But domesticated parrots aren’t adapted to the climate outside – they are adapted to the climate of your home.
In fact, their feathers grow specifically to account for the temperature within your home at any given time.
If you release your parrot outside, their body won’t be prepared to adapt to the change in temperature.
This is especially true if you release your parrot mid-summer or mid-winter when temperatures are at their most extreme.
In such a case, your parrot would be unlikely to survive.
Your parrot doesn’t know to watch for predators
Within your home, your parrot doesn’t have much to worry about.
Sure, it might have to watch out for the cat once in a while but for the most part, your parrot knows it can safely revert back into its cage.
In the wild, your parrot won’t have this advantage and won’t know how to defend itself.
Not only that, but it won’t know about all of the other predators that are out there.
Without help from other flockmates to learn about predators, your parrot has little chance of fending them away.
So if starvation or temperature changes don’t kill it, a predator might.
What are your alternatives to releasing your parrot?
If you can’t keep your parrot and you can’t release your parrot into the wild, what can you do with your parrot?
If you are no longer able to care for your parrot, our strongest piece of advice is to place your bird with another caring owner or family.
You can do this by placing your parrot up for adoption.
If this is not an attractive option to you, you can also consider giving your parrot to a zoological foundation or a bird sanctuary where there are professional keepers who know how to provide your parrot with exactly what they need to thrive in captivity.
Remember, parrots can thrive in the wild but once a parrot has been in captivity it can die in the wild.
Parrots who are kept in captivity are safe from predators, have an abundance of food, and don’t have to worry about weather conditions that can make living difficult.
If your parrot has been in captivity, keep it in captivity where it can lead a long, healthy life.
How do release programs work?
I’m sure many of you are asking the question, “if you can’t release parrots into the wild then why are there release programs?”
Because you can release parrots into the wild, but you need to go about it very methodically.
Release programs typically focus on parrots that have a high probability of survival in the wild.
Parrots who were hatched in the wild, parrots that have only recently been in captivity or parrots that have been properly conditioned and prepared for life in the wild are good candidates.
In order for a parrot to be considered for release, it must be adapted to the behaviors associated with wild parrots like foraging for food, understanding parrot hierarchies, interacting with others of their species, and evading predators.
Without all of these characteristics, a parrot cannot be released.
Parrots that have spent a long time in captivity (such as most parrots that are kept as pets) are not good candidates for release programs.
These birds rely too much on their caregivers and are not successfully adapted to live in the wild.
Adapting them to do so through a release program would take years of specialized training and preparations.
Should I buy a parrot?
Buying a parrot is not a decision to take lightly.
Parrots can make lovely companions but they require an immense amount of time and commitment.
If you are considering getting a parrot, ask yourself this question first “are you prepared to look after a needy toddler that throws temper tantrums and will never grow up for the next 60 years of your life?”
If you answered no, you’re probably not a good candidate for owning a parrot.
Parrots are social beings and without regular interaction, they can become angry, aggressive, and destructive.
Please do your research before you decide to buy a parrot for a pet so that no more parrots end up being left behind.