Many species of parrots can live 70, 80, and in rare cases, even 100 years! When older people adopt or purchase the birds, they are often outlived by their new pets. Ken Banks began looking for a solution.
He is the president of the Rockhampton Finch and Parrot Social Club, a group that specializes in educating bird owners about the care and happiness of their pets. But as time went on, he also found himself taking in the birds of those members who had passed away or could no longer properly care for their feathered friends.
One of the birds he has taken in is a one-eyed cockatoo that is over 90 years old. Another friend left him a flock of 400 canaries when he moved inot a nursing home. Larger native birds often outlive humans, and many of the cockatoos he cares for are older than he is.
So, how many birds is he actually caring for? He’s not sure. Every time he tries to count them, they inevitably start flying randomly and he can’t pin a number down. He estimates that he is caring for 1,500 to 1,000 birds.
He doesn’t sell the birds, either. He prefers to trade with breeders or give them away to people who are genuinely interested in caring for a new friend. A bird is a big responsibility, and he wants people to realize that there is a large possibility of your pet bird living even longer than you will.
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