Responsibilities if you desire first hand interaction with birds

Back in 1993 when I first became interested in birds and started reading magazines such as Bird Talk, I found that within the bird keeping community there is an increasing awareness of the following responsibility: if you keep birds as pets you have a responsibility to see that the bird's continued breeding and keepability is supported, and that birds still in the wild should be supported as well.

Bird breeding is a difficult and time consuming thing. It takes up space in your house, takes up your time, and ties you down. Bird breeding is not like the breeding of cats or dogs. There is considerably more effort that goes into it.

If you want to have a bird, you must commit to treat it responsibly, and commit to learn about it so that you can provide the best environment possible. You should also commit to the following activities to support bird keeping and breeding in general:

1. Join one or more local birds clubs. Go to the meetings. Support what they do.

To find a club near you go to the following page and click "find your local club online..."

[For those in Utah: There are two pet birds clubs in Utah that I know of. Click here to go to a page about them.]

2. Join one or more national bird keeping organizations. The only organization I know of which has gone to Washington, DC to help fight for bird keeping/breeding/interaction rights is the American Federation of Aviculture. Their home page can be found at:

3. Contribute to worthy causes which support aviculture. Interestingly this does NOT include places such as PETA or the Humane Society. Both of these groups want to outlaw all first hand interaction with birds, and other fellow animals as well. Based on the information I have, organizations which can presently be trusted to support bird breeding and bird keeping, and which are doing their best to help them in the wild are: the AFA (as noted in item 2), and the World Parrot Trust.

4. Subscribe to On Wings, a magazine that reports on the activities of so called "animal rights" groups, and their efforts to detroy aviculture in the US, and on the collusion of US Fish & Wildlife Service agents with such groups. Their web page is at:

5. Don't languor around and become an avicultural stick in the mud. Some aviculturists just feed their babies and not much else. When the Wild Bird Conservation Act was passed they did not have much to say. When "animal rights" people, the leaders of whom opposed all pet type interaction, cause local or national legislation to be enacted, they aren't organized enough to stop it! If you keep birds you have a responsibility to learn as much as you can about them, and to treat them well, and to learn new things about their care, and to fight for the inalienable right to responsibly interact with them and grow from the experience, and to support the national and local groups with a similar interest.

6. Lastly birds are not like a dog or a cat. They require much more devotion and time, however the rewards are great for those dedicated enough to put the needs of their birds first. We owe them nothing less than the best we can provide for the joy they bring us.

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