Jungle Birds: Parrots from the Rainforest

Parrots are not native to zoos or pirates’ shoulders. They have to come from somewhere else first. Typically when people think of a parrot’s natural habitat, they picture the rainforest. For a significant number of parrot species, that is exactly right. These are tropical birds, mostly living in places like the Amazon. A few species have migrated over time, or escaped into wild areas that have been friendly to them—like the birds that escaped into the Florida everglades. Knowing a little about where these incredible birds come from, however, can help you understand them better and why you need to make special accommodations for them if you keep any as pets.
Sys-BudThe vast majority of wild parrots live in the southern hemisphere of the world, flying around rainforests in South America, Australia, and Africa, though a few are native to parts of Mexico or on various islands. There are 31 species of Amazon parrots dominating the jungle areas in Mexico and the northern part of South America. Most of Australia’s 56 types of parrots are in rainforests as well.

The most popular types of parrots—the “classic” birds people love for pets—are all rainforest birds. Macaws, parakeets, lovebirds, and cockatoos fall into this category. Although these are all very different birds, they do tend to have a few characteristics in common. The hard, curved beak, colorful plumage, and toes of these birds are all very similar across the various species, although they may look slightly different from bird to bird.

Since so many parrots that make good pets are originally from the rainforest, they do need special accommodations when they live outside that habitat in your home. Their food needs to match the kinds of foods they might find in the wild, from nuts and seeds to flowers and fruits. You can’t let your bird get too cold, either.

With a little work, you can make your home a friendly place for your tropical feathered friend. As always with birds, you simply have to be intentional about their care and their needs. If you’d like to know more about how to accommodate a rainforest parrot in your home, or you’d like to get to know some birds and their care before adopting (which we recommend), connect with us at Sy’s Piece of Heaven bird sanctuary. We’d love to help you. Call (908) 475-8750 to reach us.

A Day in the Life of the Parrot Sanctuary

Maxine2Sy’s Piece of Heaven has been serving and saving abandoned and abused birds for years now, giving them the safety, love, and medical care they so desperately need. This doesn’t happen on its own, of course. The dedication of our staff, founder, and sponsors help make daily life at Sy’s possible!

Our four full-time staff members come to the parrot sanctuary every day to care for the more than 200 birds we host. We feed and water all the birds, as well as clean their cages and replace the cage liners with fresh newspaper. We must change the eight HEPA filters that run daily, since parrots can flake off a lot of dander—and letting that float in the air could cause serious respiratory problems for the birds. We also have to change any dressings and give medications to our feathered friends with health problems and injuries.

Every day, we spend time loving all the birds. Parrots are highly intelligent and can suffer depression after abuse or neglect. They can also become terribly afraid of people. Spending time with the birds helps them overcome this and get them back to healthy, happy lives.

Once a week, our team replaces toys for all the birds. Parrots must have toys to keep their minds occupied—and many get destroyed on a regular basis. Every week our team also unloads and unpacks hundreds of pounds of food, compacts an incredible amount of trash, and does load after load of washing. We’re often picking up or dropping birds off at the vet, too—we always have half a dozen or more receiving urgent care.

All of these day-to-day and weekly tasks take enormous effort and astronomical amounts of money. Saving, providing for, and medically treating abandoned birds is far above $65,000 every single year. Since most of these birds are not adoptable, and we are a nonprofit organization, these costs add up quick. This is where help from volunteers and bird sponsors plays a daily role. Help from others is what allows us to take in new, desperate parrots every day!

Right now we are severely short on volunteer help and sponsors for birds, though. We need this extra help to continue to do our work. If you’re interested at all in volunteering, or you’d like to sponsor a bird, we’d love to hear from you. Call (908) 475-8750 for more information today!

What Sy’s Piece of Heaven Does for Parrots

Sys-AbbyPeople love pets, but a day may come where they can no longer take care of them. Dogs can be delivered to farms and cats can be given to lonely neighbors, but what do you do with a parrot? Many people aren’t interested in getting a messy, sometimes noisy, feathered roommate! Some birds can’t handle the change, either. So what are you to do when you simply can’t keep your feathered friend? This is the very reason Sy’s Piece of Heaven exists.

Parrots can be challenging pets. They need regular love and care, brain stimulation, socialization, cleaning, feeding, and a safe home environment. They also live for decades, sometimes even out-living an owner. Their medical care can be expensive and complicated, requiring a specialized vet. Because of this, many people end up unable to care for a bird for its entire life span, and the parrot has to be relocated. However, parrots form strong bonds with their families and may not transition well to a new one.

Sy’s Piece of Heaven is a place these birds can live out the rest of their lives in safety, comfort, and a loving, social environment. As a parrot sanctuary, we provide a permanent home for abandoned or unwanted birds that have no place to go. These are birds that can’t be adopted out because of their special needs. We also rescue neglected or outright abused birds, giving them the medical care and love they so desperately need. This means regular vet trips, healthy food, clean and climate-controlled living spaces, toys, and attention.

Of course, volunteers and donations make all of this possible! We can’t support our birds’ health and well-being on our own. It takes thousands of dollars a month to support a parrot sanctuary. That’s why sponsoring a rescued bird is such a big help. If you’re interested in our work, providing for a rescued parrot, or looking for more information about raising your own feathered friend, contact our Easton, PA sanctuary! We don’t adopt out our permanent residents, but we do connect potential owners with adoptable birds. Just call (908) 475-8750 or e-mail richlinea@comcast.net with the word “Sy’s” in the subject line.