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Adopting A Senior Bird
November 1, 2023

November is Adopt A Senior Pet Month! While the focus here is often on dogs and cats, there are plenty of other furred and feathered retirees in need of good homes … including birds. Here,  a Las Vegas, NV vet offers some advice on adopting a senior bird.


Bird lifespans vary wildly, so there’s no set age where they all are considered seniors: the general rule of thumb is that birds are considered seniors at half their expected lifespan. Many of the older birds that are available for adoption are parrots. As you may know, many parrots have extremely long lifespans. It isn’t uncommon for them to outlive their owners. Parrots also get rehomed for various other reasons. Sadly, the average parrot has seven owners over the course of their life.


Adopting a senior parrot can be both challenging and rewarding. It’s also a huge commitment, and may not be the best option for first-time bird owners. Before making a final decision, find out as much as you can about Polly, including her diet, medical history, personality, and history. You’ll also want to do plenty of breed-specific research.

Coming Home

If you have other birds, it’s crucial to quarantine your new arrival. Usually that quarantine would last about 3 months, but ask your vet for information. During this time, keep your feathered pal in a quiet place. If you can, give her some familiar items, such as a favorite toy. Watch for signs of stress, such as feather pulling, loose droppings, or poor appetite.


One of the first things you’ll want to do is schedule a veterinary appointment. Have your vet check for a microchip, just in case the rescue organization missed one. Bring any information or medical records with you. Ask your vet for specific care tips. 


Going to a new home is a big adjustment for any pet. This is particularly the case with birds, as they often get extremely attached to their owners. It may take time for Polly to learn to trust you. If you can, keep her on her old routine as much as possible. Don’t force attention on her: it’s better to build trust slowly. Talk to her in a gentle tone, offering toys and treats, and just hang out with her. You can sit on the floor near her cage, or position a comfy reading chair near it.

Do you have questions about bird care? Contact us, your Las Vegas, NV pet hospital, today!