Fostering Parrots: Sigmund Revisited

I brought Sigmund the African Grey back to the rescue for the duration of my road trip.  I may have mentioned that we have done a lot of talking over there about how long a time is appropriate for a foster and the reasons that a bird is being fostered in the first place.  We do not have hard and fast rules, but I make it a habit of taking a bird back to the rescue when I am on the road.  A few reasons:

  1. When I am out of town, my mother is caring for the dog, the cat, and Kiwi the Grey.  Asking her to care for my foster parrot is a lot.
  2. The rescue needs to keep track of the progress of each bird, and my regular travel schedule is a good opportunity to evaluate.
  3. I don’t want the bird to get too attached to my house, or for my house to get too attached to a bird.
  4. When a foster family starts dodging requests to bring the bird back, it makes everyone jumpy.  I want to set an example for how it should work.

In my two longer-term foster assignments, there were good reasons.  With Manu, the Amazon, the rescue facility was under construction for a really long time.  The more birds in foster care, the fewer cages we were tripping on at the facility.  I fostered him to adoption and it was fabulous.

My second long term foster was Eloise, an African Grey.  She had been ill, was on long term meds and did much better in a home environment than at the rescue facility.  I sent her to another volunteer’s home when I learned there was mold in my house last summer.  (She was already on anti-fungal meds, so thankfully she was protected.) 

I brought Sigmund home this weekend when I returned from DC.  He had done fine most of the time I was gone, but started picking his feathers again a couple of days before.  He seems happy enough and comfortable at my house and we want to see if we can get him to leave the feathers alone.  He is a great bird – incredibly adoptable – he just looks funny.

He has long been a feather-picker, so that might not change.  But he doesn’t ask for much: just some good food and good company.  I am sure we can find a great home for him.  Here’s hoping.

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