Welfare

Our mission is that all parrots enjoy a healthy and rewarding life. To achieve this, we seek to share information on parrot welfare and our insights into nutrition, behaviour and health.

However, if you are concerned about your bird’s health and / or behaviour, we would always recommend your first port of call is a visit to your nearest avian vet. Not all vets’ ads experienced in treating our feathered friends and for that reason we have compiled a list of vets with exotics and avian qualifications and experience.

Directory of Avian Vets

Birdline Avian Care Charter

Our welfare charter sets out best practice for bird care which we expect all our volunteers and members to adhere to.

Birdline’s views on wing clips

Birdline believes in the right of birds to fly. Clipping a bird’s wings is not a decision we take lightly, and we only consider clipping wings for two reasons

  1. The bird is a hazard to itself when fully flighted i.e. if a bird has always been clipped, it may not have gained the correct muscles and skills to fly and land safely.
  2. The bird has such severe behavioural issues that it is a risk to humans and other birds, rendering the bird unrehome-able. This is not a decision we take lightly and would endeavour to explore every other avenue of medical and behavioural management before resorting to clipping.

Birdline members must discuss issues and seek permission from their Area Director before arranging for a Bird’s wings to be clipped.

First aid for birds

Birds mask illness well and by the time us humans notice they are unwell; they can be critically ill. Accidents also happen and having a few handy items on hand can help to save lives. We have compiled a basic list of first aid items and other essential equipment for emergency situations – which we recommend you keep to hand, near your parrot’s cage.

Coping with emergencies

Have you considered how you would cope if you had an emergency in your home such as a gas leak or fire? Have you got enough travel cages for all your birds? We suggest you make sure travel cages are always accessible and not kept in the garage or back of a cupboard. You can also keep pillowcases in your bird room, if you have multiple birds, they can at least then be carried to safety in a hurry. In addition, you could put together an emergency grab bag with a container of food, bottles of water, and basic medical supplies – just in case.

Insurance

Specialist vet care can be expensive. It is worth considering obtaining insurance for your birds. Most pet insurers do not insure exotic birds, however we are aware of two which do.

Exotic Direct – offer special rates to Birdline members for not only their fostered Birdline birds, but also any personal birds you have. More information about the policy can be found on their website. Clicking the link will transfer you from Birdline’s website and to enter a website controlled by BBS. We are grateful to Exotic Direct for their sponsorship of Birdline.

British Pet Insurance – British Pet Insurance have comprehensive bird insurance offering vet fees for £1,000, £3,000 or £5,000 per injury or illness for 12 months; advertising & reward cover for if your bird goes missing and third party liability cover in case they get up to mischief and someone starts legal proceeding against you due to your bird. You can also extend your cover to protect against death, theft or fire. British Pet Insurance offers a 10% discount to Birdline member’s, For more information, click this link to leave Birdliine’s website and to enter the website controlled by British Pet Insurance, or call British Pet Insurance on 01444 708840 and quote 10BLM.