LETHBRIDGE – They can be talkative, funny, and even cuddly—but members of the Parrot Lovers of Lethbridge, a group on Facebook, want people to think twice before committing to a feathered friend.
“We have actually discouraged a couple of people from getting parrots,” members Zoey Olsen said. “People say, ‘oh they’re great’ and they are, but they are also a lot of work.”
“It’s like having a three-year-old child that stays three years old for 40 years.”
With the weather warming up, this group of bird enthusiasts gathered at Henderson Lake over the weekend for its first bird walk of the year.
The goal is to socialize their birds and educate people about the difficulties of parrot ownership.
“There’s so many challenges and they’re so long-lived…People have a hard time committing to a two-year cellphone plan. Abby’s a 50-year-old bird,” member Brian Shields said.
Shields also said before purchasing a parrot it’s important to know what you’re looking for.
“If you’re buying a dog and you’re living in a condo and you want something fluffy, you buy a pug or something, not a herding dog. And that’s one of the challenges with the birds—is getting people to buy the appropriate breed.”
Currently, Lethbridge has no avian veterinarian and no resources for parrot owners.
“I’m hoping to give that resource to the community so when they’re having a problem, this is what works for our birds, or here’s an idea,” Shields said.
Olsen said she hopes to get more people out with their birds and make the walk a more frequent event.
Currently the group has over 175 members. For more information you can check out the Parrot Lovers of Lethbridge Facebook page.