where to buy a parrot

Where to Buy a Parrot: A Complete Guide

Parrots have soared in popularity as beloved pets, captivating people with their vibrant plumage, intelligence, and entertaining personalities. As more individuals embrace the joys of parrot ownership, it becomes crucial to approach the process with careful consideration. 


Making an informed decision when purchasing a parrot is paramount to ensure a harmonious and fulfilling relationship between owner and bird. This article aims to be your ultimate guide, offering comprehensive guidance on where and how to buy a parrot responsibly. 


Whether you’re considering adoption centers, reputable breeders, pet stores, or online platforms, we’ll provide you with valuable insights to help you make the best choice for your future feathery companion. Get ready to embark on a journey of parrot ownership that is both rewarding and ethically sound.

parrot signs

The Importance of Research and Creating a Suitable Environment

Thorough Research:

Before diving into parrot ownership, conducting thorough research is essential. This step allows prospective parrot owners to gain a comprehensive understanding of the responsibilities and requirements associated with caring for these intelligent creatures. Research helps to dispel misconceptions and ensures that you are well-prepared for the challenges and joys that come with having a parrot as a pet.



Parrot Species and Suitability:

The world of parrots is vast and diverse, encompassing a wide range of species with distinct characteristics. Understanding the various species and their suitability as pets is crucial when selecting the right parrot for your lifestyle. Some parrots are more social and outgoing, while others may require specific environmental conditions or specialized care. Researching species-specific traits and temperaments will assist you in finding a parrot that aligns with your preferences and abilities as an owner.



Responsibilities and Long-Term Commitment:

Owning a parrot is a significant commitment that requires time, patience, and dedication. These intelligent birds thrive on social interaction, mental stimulation, and a structured routine. As a responsible parrot owner, you must be prepared to devote ample time and attention to your feathered companion. Parrots have long lifespans, often living for several decades, so it’s crucial to understand the long-term commitment involved in providing them with a loving and nurturing environment throughout their lives.



Creating a Suitable Living Environment:

Creating an ideal living environment is essential for the well-being and happiness of your parrot. A spacious and secure cage that allows for comfortable movement and exercise is crucial. Additionally, providing a variety of toys, perches of different sizes and textures, and engaging activities is vital for their mental stimulation. Researching proper cage setup, enrichment options, and potential hazards to avoid will ensure a safe and enriching environment for your parrot.



parrot adoption sign

Adopting from Parrot Rescue and Adoption Centers

Adopting a parrot from a rescue or adoption center not only provides a loving home for a bird in need but also brings several advantages to prospective owners. These establishments are dedicated to the welfare and rehabilitation of parrots, making them excellent options for those seeking a feathered companion.



Reputable Rescues and Adoption Centers:

Numerous reputable parrot rescues and adoption centers exist and we have provided a comprehensive list at the end of this article, each committed to finding suitable forever homes for parrots. These organizations prioritize the well-being of the birds, ensuring they receive proper care, attention, and necessary medical treatments. By adopting from these trusted establishments, you can have peace of mind knowing that the parrot you bring into your life has received proper care and attention.



Adoption Process and Requirements:

When adopting from a rescue or adoption center, it’s important to understand the adoption process and any requirements involved. Typically, these centers will conduct interviews and home visits to ensure a suitable environment for the parrot. Adoption fees are often charged to help cover the costs of care and rehabilitation. It is essential to familiarize yourself with the specific policies and procedures of the chosen rescue or adoption center to ensure a smooth adoption experience.



Advantages of Adopting an Adult Parrot:

One significant advantage of adopting an adult parrot is their established behavior and potential for training. Unlike younger parrots, adult birds often come with established personalities and behaviors. This allows prospective owners to have a clearer understanding of the parrot’s needs, preferences, and compatibility with their own lifestyle. Additionally, adult parrots can be trained and socialized, making it easier to shape their behavior and bond with them as they already possess a foundation of skills and experiences.


girl with an african grey parrot

Buying a Parrot from a Bird Breeder

Role of Avian Breeders:

Avian breeders play a significant role in the parrot market by responsibly and ethically breeding parrots for the purpose of producing healthy, well-socialized, and genetically diverse individuals. These dedicated professionals work diligently to ensure the well-being of their breeding birds and offspring, contributing to the availability of a wide range of parrot species for prospective owners.



Benefits of Purchasing from Reputable Breeders:

Purchasing a parrot from a reputable breeder offers several advantages. Firstly, reputable breeders prioritize the health and socialization of their parrots, implementing proper nutrition, veterinary care, and social interaction from an early age. This results in well-adjusted and physically sound parrots, increasing the likelihood of a smooth transition into their new homes. Additionally, reputable breeders often provide ongoing support and guidance to owners, sharing their expertise and knowledge to ensure the best possible care for the parrots.



Tips for Finding Trustworthy Breeders:

Finding trustworthy breeders is essential to ensure a positive and responsible parrot acquisition experience. Consider these tips when searching for a reputable breeder. First, check for credentials such as licenses, certifications, and memberships to professional organizations that reflect their commitment to ethical breeding practices. Visiting the breeder’s facility is also crucial, allowing you to assess the cleanliness, size, and overall conditions in which the parrots are raised. A reputable breeder will have nothing to hide and will gladly welcome potential owners to see their operation firsthand.



The Significance of Welfare-Focused Breeders:

Breeders who prioritize the welfare and health of their parrots contribute to the overall well-being of the species. These breeders place great emphasis on maintaining appropriate breeding practices, providing suitable housing, and offering enrichment opportunities for their birds. They prioritize genetic diversity, preventing inbreeding and potential health issues. By supporting breeders who prioritize the welfare of their parrots, prospective owners not only acquire a healthy and well-adjusted companion but also contribute to the continued improvement of parrot breeding practices.



a woman looking at a african grey parrot in a cage within a pet store

Buying a Parrot from a Pet Store

Weighing the Pros and Cons:

Purchasing a parrot from a pet store offers both advantages and drawbacks. On the positive side, pet stores provide convenience, as they are easily accessible and offer a variety of parrot species. They may also provide introductory resources, such as basic care information and starter kits. 


However, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks. Parrots in pet stores often come from unknown origins, lacking the background information and socialization that can be obtained from reputable breeders or adoption centers. Additionally, pet stores may not always prioritize the specialized care and knowledge required to properly raise and support parrots.



Thorough Research and Specialization:

When considering buying a parrot from a pet store, it is crucial to research and choose a store that specializes in birds. Look for stores that have knowledgeable staff with experience in avian care. Specialized stores are more likely to prioritize the well-being of their parrots and provide appropriate housing, nutrition, and enrichment.



Tips for Evaluating Health and Well-being:

When visiting a pet store, closely observe the parrots to evaluate their health and well-being. Look for signs of active behavior, bright eyes, clean feathers, and an alert demeanor. Notice if the parrots are housed in clean and spacious cages with appropriate perches, toys, and access to fresh food and water. It is also essential to inquire about the store’s veterinary care protocols, including regular check-ups and health guarantees for their parrots.



Seeking Expert Advice:

Don’t hesitate to ask questions and seek expert advice from the store staff. Inquire about the parrot’s background, including its age, species, and any known history. Ask about the parrot’s diet, socialization, and behavior. Knowledgeable staff should be willing to provide helpful information and address your concerns. Engaging in conversation with the staff will allow you to assess their level of expertise and gauge their commitment to the well-being of their parrots.



Senegal Parrot with a shopping cart

Buying a Parrot from Online Platforms and Classifieds

The Growing Trend:

In recent years, there has been a noticeable surge in the trend of purchasing parrots online. The convenience of browsing through a wide range of available parrots from the comfort of one’s home has attracted many prospective owners to explore this avenue. However, it’s crucial to approach online purchases with a discerning eye, considering both the benefits and risks involved.



Benefits and Risks of Online Purchases:

One of the significant advantages of buying parrots online is the extensive selection of species and breeders available. Online platforms and classified ads can connect buyers with reputable breeders, adoption centers, and individuals looking to find suitable homes for their parrots. Additionally, the ability to research and compare different sellers and parrot options can empower buyers to make more informed decisions.



However, there are risks associated with online parrot purchases. It can be challenging to assess the credibility and trustworthiness of sellers solely based on their online presence. There is also a lack of physical interaction and the opportunity to directly observe the parrot’s health, behavior, and environment before making a purchase. This increases the importance of being vigilant and following proper protocols to ensure a safe and successful transaction.



Tips for Safely Navigating Online Platforms:

To safely navigate the online parrot market, consider the following tips:


  • Research and verify the legitimacy of sellers: Conduct thorough research on the seller’s reputation, customer reviews, and any available background information. Look for credible testimonials and recommendations from previous buyers.
  • Request detailed information and documentation: Ask for comprehensive details about the parrot’s history, health records, and any relevant documentation, such as hatch certificates or DNA testing.
  • Insist on video interactions: Whenever possible, request video interactions with the seller to assess the parrot’s behavior, socialization, and overall condition. This helps establish a level of trust and transparency.
  • Use secure payment methods: Prioritize secure payment options that offer buyer protection, such as escrow services or platforms that facilitate secure transactions. Although Crypto Currency is becoming more common in today’s society, this can be a red flag when purchasing goods online, particularly an expensive Parrot so avoid this method if you can.

Caution and Verifying Legitimacy:

While the online parrot market offers convenience and a broad range of options, it’s essential to exercise caution and verify the legitimacy of sellers. Be wary of suspiciously low prices, unrealistic claims, or requests for unusual payment methods. If something feels off or too good to be true, then it likely is. It’s crucial to trust your instincts and proceed with caution or seek alternative options.


Ethics when buying parrots

Navigating Legalities and Ethical Considerations

Legal Aspects of Ownership:

Owning a parrot comes with legal considerations, including permits and regulations that vary across jurisdictions. It is essential to familiarize yourself with local laws regarding parrot ownership, ensuring compliance with any necessary permits or licenses. Some parrot species may be subject to specific restrictions or require special documentation, particularly when it comes to endangered or protected species. By understanding and adhering to these legal requirements, you can ensure a responsible and lawful ownership experience.


Assessing Health and Behavior through Personal Visits:

When considering potential sources for acquiring a parrot, it is crucial to visit them in person whenever possible. Personal visits allow you to directly observe the parrot’s health, behavior, and living conditions. Look for signs of active engagement, bright eyes, clean feathers, and overall vitality. Assess the cleanliness and size of the parrot’s enclosure, as well as the presence of enrichment items and appropriate perches. Observing the parrot’s interactions with its current environment and caretakers provides valuable insights into its temperament and overall well-being.


Requesting Documentation for Transparency:

To ensure transparency and make informed decisions, it is important to ask for documentation from the source. Request health records that outline the parrot’s veterinary history, including any vaccinations or medical treatments. Inquire about DNA sexing documentation to verify the parrot’s gender, as this information can be crucial for proper care and socialization. Legitimate sources should be willing to provide these records and demonstrate a commitment to the parrot’s well-being.


Emphasizing Ethical Considerations:

Ethical considerations play a vital role in responsible parrot ownership. Supporting legal and ethical practices helps combat the illegal wildlife trade and protect the welfare of parrots. Avoid purchasing parrots from sources that engage in or support the illegal wildlife trade, which often involves cruel and unsustainable practices. By choosing reputable breeders, adoption centers, or authorized sellers, you contribute to the conservation of parrot species and support ethical standards in the industry.

Group of Parrots including a macaw, Eclectus and African Grey on a white background

Final Thoughts

Owning a parrot is a rewarding experience that requires careful consideration and responsible decision-making. Throughout this article, we have explored various aspects of acquiring a parrot, including adoption centers, breeders, pet stores, online platforms, legal requirements, and ethical considerations. By weighing the pros and cons of each option and conducting thorough research, potential parrot owners can make informed choices that prioritize the well-being and welfare of these intelligent and charismatic birds.


Remember, thorough research and personal visits to assess a parrot’s health and behavior are essential. Requesting documentation, such as health records and DNA sexing, adds an extra layer of transparency. It is crucial to adhere to legal requirements and obtain any necessary permits or licenses to ensure compliance with local regulations.


Equally important is the ethical aspect of parrot ownership. By supporting reputable sources and avoiding participation in the illegal wildlife trade, we contribute to the conservation of parrot species and promote responsible practices within the industry.


As you embark on your journey to find a parrot companion, be patient and take the time to find the right match for your lifestyle and preferences. Seek expert advice, ask questions, and engage with knowledgeable individuals who can provide guidance on proper care and ongoing support.

Reputable Parrot Rescue and Adoption Centers across North America you should Consider

 We have compiled a comprehensive list of reputable parrot rescues and adoption centers across North America. These organizations are dedicated to the welfare and rehabilitation of parrots, ensuring they find safe and caring forever homes. By adopting from these esteemed establishments, you can make a positive impact while welcoming a feathered friend into your life. 


Centre for Avian Adoption, Rescue and Education (C.A.A.R.E):


C.A.A.R.E is an all-volunteer, North Dakota, 501(c)(3), non-profit, parrot shelter devoted to the welfare of companion parrots. In their shelter, there are two dedicated rooms for parrots awaiting adoption: One for larger parrots and one for smaller parrots.  They have an Adoption Process in place for finding the adoptable parrots the best home possible. 



They also educate the public about the proper care of exotic birds whenever anyone not familiar with owning and caring for parrots comes into their shelter.   They also offer Memberships, which helps to continue their mission and also provide a discount on most items available in their Avian Warehouse.



Northeastern Avian Rescue (NEAR):
NEAR is a not-for-profit, all volunteer organization dedicated to the safety and care of parrots and other exotic pet birds.  The mission of their organization is to Rescue, rehabilitate and re-home abused, neglected and otherwise unwanted parrots and other exotic pet birds.
Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue:
Mickaboo is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1996 in Northern California. Most of their volunteers and foster birds live in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento Valley. They are dedicated to rescuing companion birds (parrot-type and other commonly domesticated birds) who have been neglected, abused, injured or surrendered to them. In addition to finding loving homes for their birds, their goals are:
  • To ensure that birds in their care will have a safe, loving environment for life.
  • To educate bird owners on the most current standard of care, so that the medical, emotional, and dietary needs of their birds will be met.
Their mission is to be a voice for captive exotic birds and to promote unity within the avian community. They work to fulfill their mission by providing a safe haven for abused or unwanted exotic birds (regardless of species, age, special needs or behavior issues), re-socializing and rehoming eligible companion parrots, and providing educational resources to the avian community.
Florida Parrot Rescue was established by Jennifer and Chris, who were team members at a local animal hospital. After getting repeated requests from bird owners wanting to surrender their birds, they decided to see what they could do to help. Realizing there are few avian rescues out there prepared to handle the intake and veterinary care of exotic birds, they formed Florida Parrot Rescue. This organization was established to pair the right birds with their forever families.
While aiming to find a forever home for their exotic residents, their mission is to maintain a sanctuary that shelters, nurtures and re-socializes parrots, while educating the public to inspire a lasting concern for the well being of exotic birds.
Avian Underdogs Rescue Association (AURA) is a registered 501(c)(3) public charity based in Southern California. AURA is building an association of people and resources to assure that birds in their locale that are sick, injured, and/or orphaned are able to get the care they need in order to survive. They specialize in rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming English House Sparrows, European Starlings, feral and domestic pigeons and doves, Nutmeg Mannikins, Pin-tailed Whydahs, Japanese White Eyes, and both wild and domestic parrot species.
Companion Parrots Re-homed (CPR) is a 501(c)(3) all volunteer nonprofit organization whose purpose is to rescue companion parrots from harmful or unwanted situations, to accept surrendered, found or injured parrots, and to adopt these birds to qualified homes.
The vision of Companion Parrots Re-homed is that every companion bird in a home would be cared for properly, owners would realize the longevity of these creatures and establish a plan for them should they out live them.
Founded on the Big Island of Hawaii in 2003 by Dorothy and Jerry Walsh, concerned and caring owners of companion birds. They consider the presence of these intelligent and wild at heart beings a special gift in our lives.
“Our organization is a unique, valuable and lifesaving resource within the local exotic bird community”. They are committed to supporting responsible and enjoyable pet ownership and are pro-active avian advocates and caregivers.
Feathered Friends Sanctuary & Rescue is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Edgerton, Wisconsin. For nearly twenty years, they have been committed to providing a safe haven for homeless parrots living in captivity. This includes proper veterinary care, nutrition, socialization, physical and mental stimulation, clean spacious living areas, and educated adoption guidelines.
Their mission is to give these beautiful and intelligent beings a life worth living. They will do whatever needs to be done to ensure that they accomplish this very important goal. Many birds will need their care indefinitely — some for the rest of their lives. They don’t profit from placing birds and have no paid staff. Everyone associated with Feathered Friends Sanctuary & Rescue is a devoted volunteer.
Their goal is to help people provide a stimulating and healthy life for their companion parrots, in their home. When the parrots are not able to stay in their current home, they work to find a new home for them. Their service goals include:
  • helping parrot owners, who may feel overwhelmed
  • supporting people to learn about healthy and positive parrot care, through education and resources
  • rescue, rehabilitate and rehome parrots to qualified loving homes when possible
  • providing a permanent home to birds in need of sanctuary
Alan Winters

Alan Winters

Alan is a dedicated bird enthusiast and experienced writer who has been sharing insights on bird care and behavior for several years. With a passion for parrots in particular, Alan has a deep understanding of their unique needs and behavior patterns.

As a trusted authority in the field of bird care, Alan takes pride in sharing accurate and up-to-date information with his readers. Through his writing, he aims to educate and inspire bird owners of all experience levels to provide the best possible care for their feathered friends.

When not writing about birds, Alan can be found volunteering at local bird sanctuaries and rescues, where he enjoys putting his knowledge and experience to use helping birds in need.

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