Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bird Is the Word

Magnet # 135: Cancun Parrot

Material: Plastic

Purchased By: The Kibby Family

It's National Bird Day today, an annual event begun in 2002 by activists wanting to bring attention to the exploitation of birds in captivity. They point out that while native North American birds, such as the cardinal and the robin, are protected from being commercially sold as pets because they are simply unsuitable, exotic birds from other nations do not always receive the same consideration. And some wild birds, even when they're commercially bred, will never make proper housepets, just as a crow never really would. It's just not in their nature, and trying to force them to become domestic animals is simply cruel to both the animals and their owners.

Of course, the participants behind this event, some of which are responsible for their website, http://www.nationalbirdday.com/
are in favor of taking in birds as pets, but they ask that people realize the responsibility they are taking on and avoid purchasing an unsuitable animal. They also have some nice suggestions for how to make your pet bird happy, such as giving him (or her) as much space as possible, setting perches for him throughout your home, and even taking him outside in a controlled manner, perhaps in a harness, to enjoy the fresh air. Also, giving him a variety of healthy foods and a regular misting can help your bird stay happy. And they maintain that if you decide to give up your bird, don't let them fly off or leave them at an animal shelter - be responsible and find him a good home with a responsible owner.

I thought this little guy was appropriate to post today, as it's seen a little trauma of his own. I accidentally knocked it off of the fridge awhile back and, to my horror, it broke into a few pieces. Once I had patched it up, I was careful not to put it back where it had been damaged before, but stuck it to a magnet board that is above my head, so I have very little chance of brushing up against it anymore. So this bird is all mended - and, thanks to its new roost, has not experienced any further damage.

So, when you're out today, have a look around and appreciate the wild birds that surround us (if you can find any in this bitter cold weather that's gripping most of the country). Birds enrich our lives with their pretty colors and sweet songs and play a vital role in our ecosystems. It's fitting that we set aside a day to celebrate them, and more importantly, consider the problems they face. And consider for yourself if you'd like to take on a bird of your own - but giving one to your friends or relatives to celebrate this day is probably a bad idea...

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