Our Mission Statement,
And Why We Do This Crazy Thing We Do
Our Mission at Good Fox Birdie Haven is to care for abused, neglected, and unwanted domestic birds, rescuing them from hardship and/or euthanization, and providing them with shelter and rehabilitation, with the goal of each living creature finding its “Forever Home,” whether that is here with our other birds, or with a caring human family-flock that can properly care for their unique needs. Our staff and volunteers know that this public service is both unique and critical to the survival of these living beings, whose current hardship is the direct result of human interference in their natural life cycles and habits. We believe our personal dedication to care for these wonderful animals, rooted in our sense of duty to a shared responsibility in helping these creature to live better lives, are our most valuable assets of all.
Long-Term Quality Care: Provide a high quality, permanent residence for a select number of birds at our facility (i.e., unadoptable birds), due to being elderly living out their last years of life, birds with severe behavior issues from severe abuse, neglect or concern of the birds permanent re-homing destination of the person who relinquishes.
Education: Work in schools, colleges, and in other community settings and online, to educate as many people as possible about the plight of the Psittacine population in captivity and the mostly unmet needs of these highly intelligent social animals. Sadly, with only minimal knowledge of these beautiful living beings, they are in great demand by people, often only to end up in heinous conditions at the owner’s hand. However, a lack of interpersonal understanding or experience for the needs of these wonderful creatures can be changed through educating people about these issues, and how better to enable them to thrive outside of their natural habitat, from which they have too often been far removed. In general, parrots are not suited to be pets for the common public. Unlike dogs and cats, which have been domesticated for thousands of years, parrots are only (at best) a couple of generations out of the wild. Remarkably, “parrots may be the third most popular pet in the country, “ as the Best Friends Animal Society attests (From PRWeb.com). There is, therefore, a dire need for as many educators as possible, considering the popularity of parrots as pets, and the widespread misconception about them in this role in our own lives.
Care and Flock Community: A constantly caged, lonely, unattended parrot will immediately become a “problem bird” (the real problem being neglect by the owner), who will soon become the object of abuse. Deny these social creatures the close social bonds their biological blueprint dictates and you have a depressed, feather-denuded bird on your hands. In the wild, parrots live in complex social arrangements. As caged companions, parrots cry out for as much free time as possible outside of their caged “homes”, free flight where feasible, a rich and varied diet, and a flock. For many parrots, a family of birds or a loving human family or significant, human companion, can serve the role of the family-flock for these highly intelligent and social animals.
Collaboration: Work with recognized avian-centered organizations and other animal-welfare outfits to give parrots pride-of-place in assorted public, awareness-raising campaigns, from which parrots are currently excluded. Funds are solicited for and awareness raised over the airwaves about abused and needy dogs and cats, but not about parrots. Despite their popularity as pets and their prevalence in American homes, natural disasters come and go without any mention of the plight of the Psittacine victims. Again, Best friends Animal Society (with which we hope to buddy) forewarns that, “The number of owned parrots, including cockatoos and macaws, soared 417 percent in the last 20 years from 11.6 million in 1990, to 40 million in 2006, and to 60 million in 2010. There could be as many as 100 million captive parrots by 2020… The estimated numbers were based on population forecasts, collected from a number of organizations including the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the Avian Welfare Coalition site.
According to Best Friends Animal Society, “there are literally hundreds of thousands of parrots that already have been rescued by the approximately 100 established parrot sanctuaries and thousands of smaller rescues in the U.S., each housing an average of 100 to 2,000 parrots. People generally are not equipped to provide for parrots’ emotional, social and physical needs over their entire lifetime, and it is common for the birds to outlive their owners...We have every reason to believe the sharp increase in the number of owned parrots will cause an equally sharp increase in the number of homeless pet parrots.”
Given this stark, tragic reality, we at Good Fox Birdie Haven believe that a parrot shelter facility serving a critical need such as this should be well-operated and well-funded, and the birds’ nutritional, medical, social and recreational needs are met or exceeded, to the very best of our capacity.
Good Fox Birdie Haven maintains a home-based facility equipped to deal with these unique needs, with the help of volunteer aid and close collaboration with highly-experienced veterinary professionals with direct experience dealing with exotic birds. We focus almost entirely on caring for parrots (or ‘Psittacines’ as the family of birds is known scientifically), but we can occasionally accommodate other unique situations of need for domestic birds in addition to our parrot flocks. We do not rescue or handle wild animals, but we do work closely with local Humane Society and law enforcement to provide emergency assistance when needed. We do not, under any circumstances, condone breeding programs for parrots, as this directly contributes to the ongoing hardship of those parrots already living in strenuous conditions.
Parrot Intelligence and Social Behavior: As a few examples of the unique circumstances surrounding parrot social intelligence and biological complexity compared to other common pets, consider the following: In the film “Rio”, parrots are shown to resemble humans and primates in their unique ability to manipulate objects with their dexterous, hand-like digits, and not having the claw-configuration of a common bird. Unlike most ordinary birds who have one back- and three front-claw digits, the parrot has two in front and two at the back of each foot. These he cups when he eats, and will delicately hold a piece of food in his claw and pick at it with his beak. The human being’s fantastic facility with his digits has long been one indication of our great intelligence. Likewise, the parrot also uses his dexterous appendages to manipulate objects with considerable purpose (From PRWeb.com).
But we too often underestimate these wonderful creatures. Human beings have often conveniently explained the parrot’s speech as pure mimicry, but in our experience with these sensitive and sentient beings, as well as proven facts in the case studies of Dr. Irene Pepperberg’s “Alex” the Congo African Grey (on Wikipedia), that African Greys have the intelligence of a four- to five-year-old human child. These birds have the abilities to learn as a pre-schooler, count items, name colors, textures, take words and put them into literary context to form a sentence, as well as having the emotional intellect of a two year old. Just as a child would, the parrot absorbs the (limited) language he is capable of acquiring through imitation, behavioral conditioning, and reinforcement, all in a social context. As is the case with institutionalized toddlers, an isolated, abused parrot will have often missed out on the crucial, optimal period during which language is learned.
Short-Term Goals: Our goal is to use our educational skills as well as interpersonal skills of working “hands on” for many years with these exotic domestic birds to make a difference. In which we all share in equal vision that, most cases we have found are in bondage of human prey that are living in hopeless, abusive situations. Again, in which we all hope to help eradicate.
Long-Term Goals: Content