Birds are associated with freedom because of their awesome ability to fly. Did you know that in the wild, these intelligent animals don’t like being alone and call out to one another if they are separated? Birds have even been known to spend hours side by side, chirping at each other while playing and flying!
Sadly, birds are not as free as many people believe. These feathered cuties are the third most popular companion animal in the U.S., with an estimated 10 million birds trapped in cages all around the country. All caged birds were either kidnapped from their homes in the wild or bred in captivity.
Just as there are puppy mills, there are also enormous bird factories, where breeders warehouse thousands of birds who are often kept in dirty, dark cages, unable even to stretch their wings fully (sound familiar?).
Many people buy birds on impulse without knowing how much time, money, and energy are needed to care for them. When the birds who seemed so cute and lovable in pet stores turn out to be noisy and messy, many are abandoned and few live out their natural life spans. (Some birds can live for more than 100 years!)
Caged birds are often so bored and lonely that they become aggressive and can start hurting themselves. They pull out their own feathers, injure their skin, bob their heads, pace back and forth, peck over and over again at cage bars, and shake or even collapse from anxiety.
No bird was born to live in a cage.
Please never buy a bird—or any animal—from a pet store or breeder, and don’t support any businesses that keep caged birds as “decorations.” If you or your friends already share your home with birds, there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re giving them the best life possible: