What to Do if You Cannot Take Care of Your Pet Bird Any Longer – 3 Alternatives

Translated by Nick R

Birds are amazing pets, very intelligent and active. However, they also have high levels of neglect by their owners, for X or Y reasons. If this happens to you, follow the instructions below.

Why do people abandon pet birds? 

Adopting a pet is a lifelong commitment and is the first thing you must take into account when including a new member in your family. Precisely, birds, as well as dogs and cats are victims of abandonment by their owners, mostly because they didn’t contemplate the necessary care of a pet.

Why not abandon a pet bird? 

Many bird owners think that, after living captive, letting these animals go free is the solution, but nothing could be further from the truth. A bird that has lived in captivity has a different behavior than a wild bird of the same species regarding its survival. This is because the environmental conditions of one and the other are completely different and your friend’s dependency on your care is fundamental for its survival.   

Pet abandonment is a phenomenon that takes place all over the world due to lack of knowledge or mere caprice; when bird owners are unable to keep their friends and abandon them to their fate.

Main reasons for bird abandonment 

  • Lack of space.
  • Economic difficulties.
  • Loss of interest or lack of time.
  • Change of residence.
  • Bad coexistence with the bird.
  • Poor care and lack of knowledge.

Tips before adopting a pet bird to prevent abandonment 

On the other hand, I would like to give you some advice before adopting a bird and offering it a home. If you are here, it’s because you need information about birds. Therefore, I suggest you keep the following points in mind the next time you decide to get a bird as a pet:

  • Think about the commitment of having a winged companion at home.
  • Inform yourself, ask for advice and consult with knowledgeable people or organizations that specialize in birds.
  • Estimate the space and costs for the bird’s maintenance.
  • Identify the best species for you.
  • Educate the animal to make sure its behavior is appropriate for its living conditions.

If living with a pet has definitely not worked out…

What to do if you cannot take care of your pet bird? 

If you have adopted a bird and don’t know what to do with it or every advice you have tried to keep it didn’t work out, you are not lost. Actually, you have two options: abandon it or look for a humane alternative.

If you decide on the first one, you are contributing to animal abuse and it is the worst decision you can make. If you choose the latter, you will be a better person even though you cannot take care of your feathered friend. For this second option, you can choose from three alternatives:

1. Give the bird to someone else 

If despite your best efforts, you don’t have the means and there is no possibility of giving your winged friend a good home, the first option is to give your pet bird a new home somewhere else. You may have a friend or acquaintance who’s willing and has the optimal conditions to receive the bird. Remember, only grant your friend’s tenancy to someone who really wants to keep the bird as a pet.

I emphasize the type of person because not everybody is aware of the responsibility of accepting a pet such as a bird into their home. It’s not good to get carried away by emotionality but to think carefully about it. I know, it’s exciting and cute, but being abandoned is not.

Requirements that the new owner must meet 

The person to whom you are giving the ownership of your bird must meet the following basic requirements:

  • Love. They must love animals and particularly birds. If he/she is a hopeless lover, so much the better!
  • Space. Having enough space for the cage and the bird’s recreation outside of it.
  • Time. Enough time for basic care.
  • Money. The person must have the economic means to maintain the bird.
  • Experience. If the person has some experience in keeping these animals, it will be an excellent option.

2. Give up the bird to an animal protection institution 

The other option you have is to hand your friend over to an entity that will watch over its care and protection. There are animal shelters in all countries and cities, being, in my opinion, the best place for a pet bird.

These types of entities offer a social and environmental voluntary service in most cases in favor of homeless animals, complying with all the requirements to ensure the bird’s welfare.

Animal protection organizations 

There are thousands of local, national, and international organizations around the world that protect wildlife. The recommendation is to go to local or international organizations that can either advise you, assist you directly or contact other organizations in your country or city (local).

These organizations can offer a stable home to your bird in the same center or serve as a transitional home and look for an adopter that meets the requirements through questionnaires, protocols, and follow-ups. Among the most important organizations worldwide are:


The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is one of the oldest animal protection organizations, founded in 1948. The organization works to build bridges between the government and animal protection associations.


Greenpeace is one of the world’s most recognized non-profit environmental organizations, dedicated to denouncing and raising awareness about global environmental problems, and defending nature.


The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is the animal protection organization, a daughter of the World Wildlife Fund and operating since 1960, dedicated to the conservation of wildlife and the environment.

Humane Society International 

The Humane Society International is a worldwide organization that works for the rescue of dogs, cats, farm animals, and wild animals, against animal cruelty.


The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) is an international organization connected with zoos and aquariums. It’s an international organization connected with zoos and aquariums, the main contact for conservation centers.

3. Take the bird to a zoo or breeding center 

Finally, you can choose to hand over your friend to a zoo or breeding center that will also guarantee the necessary care for it to have a life in captivity in optimal conditions.

This alternative is good and safe because the animal won’t be relocated, but the center will be its new home, which translates into greater stability and less stress for the bird. Additionally, the bird will live with other specimens of its species in a place as close as possible to its natural environment.

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (mentioned above) can also be a bridge to contact this type of animal center in your country and city.


Before leaving your bird in one of these centers, I recommend you take into account the following recommendations:


The zoo or breeding center must be certified by the authorities. Additionally, it will be a plus if the center has research and conservation programs.


Regarding the facilities, pay close attention to the size and quality. I recommend that you carefully observe hygiene and environmental enrichment (aviaries, accessories, recreational space).


The knowledge and experience of the caretakers in terms of feeding and care are fundamental for the bird’s well-being. Therefore, the people in charge must be qualified for this task.


Veterinary assistance in these centers is a rule, they usually have it. So, verify that your pet receives it in a timely manner.

Leaving your pet will never be an easy decision. However, if it is your only option, do it bearing in mind the bird’s welfare and never give up your humanity.