I've lived with Peachfront Conures Aratinga aurea for 30 years. I've bred 'em, trained 'em, even visited Bolivia to observe them in the wild. For more about me, click right here.
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6:42 p.m. 2012-10-08
question: if i want a peachfront, should i adopt a rescue or buy a young bird?
I'm a little surprised that I even have to address this question, but apparently, I do. There are a lot of truisms about breeders and pets that come from experience with dogs and cats. There are millions upon millions of unwanted dogs and cats, which create a misery not just for themselves but a danger to others. (In the case of wild dog packs, the danger may be to human beings; in the case of feral cats, the danger is to our wild population of baby birds.) The reality is that these hordes of parrots in need of rescue don't really exist, and you are unlikely to find a peachfronted conure in convenient need of rescue in the first place.
Despite some wild statistics I've seen tossed around, the unwanted parrot population appears to be a tiny fraction of the unwanted pet problem. Before the lovebird I just rescued, I hadn't been approached to rescue any other parrots since 1993, when I was asked to take (coincidentally) a pair of lovebirds. One of our closest friends is in animal rescue, and she has NEVER had anything we could help her with. Just the endless parade of dogs and cats. (I'm allergic to fur, so no matter how deserving the critter in question, I'm not willing to sacrifice my ability to breathe to help out with those species.)
There just isn't this large population of parrots floating around that people claim when they're trying to raise funds. A large parrot has value. If someone is trying to give you a large parrot (or charge you a derisory "rehoming fee" to take the bird away), something is the matter. The bird could be stolen, or the bird could have a huge behavior problem, or the bird could have a serious illness.
The average person looking to have a special one-on-one relationship over many years and even decades, will do much better by learning about the normal personality traits of the various parrots and then picking a domestic- bred bird that meets their needs and expectations. Very few species of parrots are domesticated animals. All large parrots are wild animals, with wild instincts. You can get coaching and learn how to work with your special parrot. But are you prepared to do major emotional rehabilitation on an emotionally scarred, mishandled rescue parrot that already has a bad habit of screaming, plucking, or biting? Like it or not, you should leave those problems to experienced experts who know what they're dealing with.
Now, considering the name of this website, it should come as no surprise that I highly recommend the Peachfronted Conure as a good personal pet for a variety of situations. Handled young, they become very affectionate. The instincts that cause them to bite are easily understood and, with not too much awareness, you can stop the biting. They are not especially loud. Their one weakness, shared by all conures, is that a single neglected bird may start plucking -- a habit that is very difficult to break. But if your pet is your one and only pet, and you're spending a lot of time with it, you don't have to worry about breaking the habit, because it probably never got started to begin with.
I would never want to discourage anyone from doing parrot rescue. However, in many situations, if you take on a rescue, you are taking on a serious problem that you may, or may not, be qualified to handle.
A rescue dog may have the same personality as a costly purebred dog. I've never heard anyone argue otherwise. However, a rescue parrot who has been the victim of abuse or (more likely) neglect simply does not have the same personality as a parrot who has never experienced anything but love and attention at human hands.
In other words, for most people, do as I say and not as I do. I will occasionally rescue a parrot. However, I don't think it's a task for everyone. A happy parrot that fits well into your family is probably going to come from a well-regarded breeder or trainer...not a rescue.
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