Stop breeding birds, say Foster Parrots’ Marc Johnson

By Carla Thornton from Parrot Chronicles

MARC JOHNSON thinks breeding parrots is wrong and hopes breeders eventually go the way of the dodo.

“Breeders’ attempts to justify the reasons for why they are here usually falls under the conservation claim, which for the most part is bogus,” says Johnson, founder and director of the nonprofit parrot rescue organization Foster Parrots Ltd.

Residents of Foster Parrots, Ltd., enjoy open space in Marc Johnson’s renovated barn.
“Yes, they may preserve a species in captivity, but what is that really worth? It’s worth money in their pockets, because the rarer the species the more expensive the bird.”

Johnson comes by his hard-line opinions honestly. For the last 10 years he has devoted his life to finding new homes for the unwanted byproduct of breeders’ livelihoods–a ragtag parade of some 350 macaws, cockatoos, Amazons, conures, cockatiels and other species abandoned by their owners.

This summer, Johnson and a handful of other parrot lovers formed the Avian Welfare Coalition to lobby for legislation protecting captive birds.

Unlike similar welfare organizations, the coalition opposes captive breeding and favors adoption of homeless birds, of which there are thousands in this country alone.

“I’m not against people keeping parrots,” Johnson stresses. “I’m looking for homes all the time. But the rate we are adopting birds out is much slower than the rate we’re taking them in.”

Johnson estimates he has placed about half of the 80 birds he’s received so far this year.

Breeding has “pretty much saturated the market of available homes.”

The full article can be read here Parrot Chronicles

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