We rescued a Quaker parrot!

A rescue indeed, "Petrie", is not very tame, is on a bad diet, and has a severe fear of hands. The rescue we got him from actually made his issues worse. And we almost didnt get him at all!

I prefer to rescue. There are too many pets needing a home for me to allow myself to purchase from a breeder (though theres nothing wrong with that!) Rescues have enriched my life with their resiliency, forgiveness of the humans that cared for them, and the appreciation and love they show when you finally treat them with love and respect. That said, rescues can be A LOT more work. Usually you dont know their history, or exact age and they tend to come with at least some behavior problems due to being mistreated or rehomed. This usually turns most people away, but most behavior problems can be worked through and the history and age matter less the more you get to know them. Ive fostered several rescues, but Petrie would be the 2nd one I adopt. Our first adoption, Rex, is such an amazing dog, beyond what we could've hoped for and yet the first week we brought him home, I really, REALLY wanted to take him back. In the future, Ill write a post about his story and how we got where we are with him now, but I figured I should write about Petrie, as its happening, while its all fresh and real.

Why we chose Petrie

Though I love my dogs deeply, my favorite species are birds. Specifically parrots and waterfowl. After my first Quaker passed away from an unknown disease in 2010, I hardly felt ready for another bird right away. It was harder on me than I imagined it would be. Fast forward 8 years and I finally felt ready. I had researched new information on bird care, nutrition, and training and realized we've come a long way in almost a decade. I really wanted a Macaw, but due to our current situation, we decided we just couldn't commit to larger bird at this time. Florida having so many bird sanctuaries, I was surprised to find Houston barely had any, and none were close by. Many months of searching, calling and asking, I resorted to facebook. Inquired to several places about birds available for adoption - none responded. Soon after, I gave up. I decided to stop looking, but was open to it if the opportunity to adopt came along. Several weeks later I get a message - "I have a Quaker".

quaker parrot monk parakeet
Petrie, 16mo old Quaker Parrot, on the ride home on 11/22/18

The "parrot rescue" that contacted me said she had a 15mo old Quaker parrot who was very sweet. After asking many questions, I found out Petrie was not used to human contact & thus did not know how to step up. Previous owners kept her in her cage 24/7 with little interaction outside of feeding & cage cleaning. Petrie's wings were also clipped. Upon meeting Petrie, my first thought was how small this quaker parrot was. Much smaller than any I'd seen before and it was concerning because at 15mo parrots are pretty much done growing. When I mentioned Petrie's size, she confidently told me Petrie was nowhere near done growing and that she knew this from her previous experience working with a breeder.

12/22/18 Petrie was willing to ride on my shoulder from the window sill to cage for the first time. And took food from a spoon.

This is when I realized the rescue person was not knowledgeable and therefore couldn't possibly be trusted to guarantee me a healthy bird. So we went home that night and were torn about the choice to be made. My husband, less emotionally invested in the idea of a bird, clearly saw the situation as shady and didn't think we should adopt Petrie. I myself agreed - this is not the kind of "rescue" I want to support. However, Petrie still needed a home and after meeting the cute little ball of feathers I couldn't make the rational choice to say no. Things got shadier with the seller, not someone I would call a rescuer anymore.

Regardless, I still fought to adopt Petrie, which the seller eventually, reluctantly allowed us to do. I braced myself for a super sickly bird.


After bringing Petrie home, I realized he had a real fear of hands. Ever the gentle soul, he never bit us, but would panic anytime our hands came close. We later found out that the seller had toweled him everyday to force him to come out of the cage. No wonder he wanted nothing to do with hands. Sigh. What's done is done. We will work on it.

12/28/18 Petrie Barked like a dog & on 12/29/18 finally took food from my hand for the first time!

To my surprise, Petrie has turned out to be a very healthy, well adjusted parrot with a clean bill of health from his vet. We are waiting on DNA results and I'm hoping for a male... and wonderful life with our new feathered kid!

8 views0 comments