How to start a parrot rescue

These are the show notes from Cockatude 31, “So you want to rescue parrots?


You can find the episode here:

Show Notes Episode 31

“It is impossible to begin to learn that which one thinks one already knows.”— Epictetus  CE 55-155

The first place to stop by on the web and visit to get a feel for starting a sanctuary is AVIANWELFARE.ORG. We firmly agree with their statement of Principles and Goals. We strongly urge you to use their flyers and brochures to get the message out about our suffering friends in captivity.

You can get the recommended books from our amazon store or buy them from choosing The Chloe Sanctuary as your charity. We appreciate it if you do! It’s time intensive and expensive to care for our flock and also do videos for our Internet bird friends.

Read all they have to offer and check out these videos to further you on your goal of starting a sanctuary.

This link will take you to a page with books recommended in the video


If you are getting into the world of helping parrots it is critical that you know real facts about them. These two texts can provide the basis you need to go forward. Just having lived with parrots doesn’t make you an expert any more than driving a car makes you an auto-mechanic. Cognitive bias, especially confirmation bias, shroud us in superstition. Only real facts derived from proper study can lead us to the light of understanding.

One and two are the core of what you need to know about parrots.

  1. The Manual of Parrot Behavior
  2. The BSAVA Manual of Psittacine Birds

Clinical Avian Medicine (Not only for parrots. Includes most other birds, too. The BSAVA is a better choice for us). I do refer to it, though.


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NOLO press How to form a nonprofit corporation California Edition


START HERE on your path to learning about parrot behavior and training. The online tutoring is FREE but don’t let that fool you; it is the first step to gaining understanding. ParrotBAS is a group that is managed by Dr. Susan Friedman, Phd. Where else can you begin to learn the science of behavior shaping for free?  Both a professional and a free course in Applied Behavior Analysis tailored to avians. Free literature on behavior training for parrots by the best in the field. The professional course is not expensive—as college courses generally go for around $5000—but expensive enough. I highly recommend it (I received my certificate of excellence in 2008) but

Steve Martin of Natural Encounters — Mr. Martin puts the principles of behavior into a language easy to understand but solidly backed by science. Please take a moment to read his articles. Sources to help you understand how to get started, how to maintain a sanctuary, and how to work with avians in a shelter. THIS IS WHERE YOU BUY THE SHELTER MANUAL, the best $25 you will ever spend for your rescue or sanctuary. There are downloadable flyers, brochures, and handouts.

SCORE. This is where to get your business mentoring. If you think business is easy check out government figures on startup failures. It’s not rocket science but you must know what you are doing! Take the introductory course to starting a nonprofit so that you know what you are getting into and how to do it.

The Bridgespan Group has an excellent article on creating a Board of Directors. What is this board? They are the oversight group. They watch, advise, and promote.


I suggest taking the level one course only. This organization promotes breeding and I hate to see them getting money but online courses covering this material at universities are expensive. Level two has many studies that concern breeding which most rescuers see as part of the problem and not the solution.

Please contact us for more information or support if needed!