Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I have to pay a fee when there is no guaranee that I will get a parrot?

Birdline is not a shop – we do not sell birds. We are a charity that does vital work to rehome and rehabilitate sick or lost birds and birds whose owners can no longer care for them. We ask that everyone who is interested in fostering one of our birds becomes a member and supports the work birdline does.

Without membership fees we wouldn’t be able to run the rescue, take in sick birds and pay for vet bills, buy new cages and other equipment like avian lamps, perches and toys (if necessary), because sadly many birds come to us in poor health or with unsuitable equipment.

By the time someone is selected to have a bird, they’ve used many of the charity’s  resources which cost money to provide, such as the website and the helpline. Our volunteers will have spent several hours making phone calls and driving (often many miles) to do a home visit.

We think the most fair way to operate is to spread these costs across everyone who is interested in having one of our birds and the membership fee helps to cover some of these hidden costs up front as well as helping Birdline to continue running year on year.

Why is my application taking so long?

If a bird has ten applicants, that’s ten hours of phone calls. Some of our volunteers only have a couple of hours a week to spare. Only one Rehoming officer does all the calls for the one bird, so they can get a feel for the applicants and help the committee decide which one would be the best match. So, this process is somewhat lengthy.

Why can’t I apply for more than one bird?

Because the process is lengthy, we can’t have multiple Rehoming Officers call you and ask the same questions. You can however be considered for another bird and we may well have one in mind after your phone interview. You can tell the Rehoming Officer of your interest during the interview.

What happens during a homecheck?

The main purpose of a home check is to check your circumstances are suitable for a bird, and to ensure certain health and safety aspects are either in place, or you are committed to establishing them. Your home doesn’t have to be spotless or super tidy, but it does have to be hygienic and not have so much clutter that it could injure the bird. Points we usually address in home checks and follow ups are:

  • Exposed wiring, which should be adequately covered or concealed.
  • Non-stick pans or electrical items with Teflon (air fryers, irons, waffle makers…)
  • Lethal detergents such as bleach, spray polish etc.
  • Toxic plants, cigarette smoke, fragrances or solvents present in the bird area.
  • Heating systems which emit fumes e.g. paraffin, smoke, gas
  • Level of knowledge, research and willingness to learn and accept advice. You may find our fact sheets helpful.
  • Unwillingness to accept advice on bird nutrition, health, safety and care.
  • Refusal or inability to use an avian certified vet, e.g. because it is too far away, no transport or friend/family to help with transport etc.
  • Rusty cage or lack of bird approved carrier.
  • Unwillingness to accept destructive behaviour from the bird.
  • Unsuitable living arrangements to cope with bird noise, e.g. a loud cockatoo in a flat.
  • Refusal to keep dogs and cats confined and controlled when the bird is out.

I have money, why don’t I just buy a bird?

Several reasons.

  1. There are too many unwanted birds already and encouraging breeders to add to the problem is not helpful.
  2. A baby bird will completely change when it reaches sexual maturity. It may prefer one person in the house to the exclusion of all others. It may start to bite or scream. With our birds, you will get a full history and help, advice and support to ensure they are the best companion ever.
  3. Some disreputable breeders or pet shops sell birds which are sick.