There are many different places where you can obtain a grey parrot. While pet shops and some garden centres might seem the most obvious sources, you can also check adverts in birdkeeping magazines. Private adverts appear in local papers and free 'ad-mags' as well, often with older birds being offered. While some businesses advertise birds on the internet, you should make sure you visit the seller and see the bird in its current home and reassure yourself that you trust the seller before acquiring the bird. Also, make sure you have some form of guarantee as to the bird's health before parting with your money and get a detailed receipt for your bird which includes date of purchase and species of bird.

Adopting a parrot

As with some other pets, there are actually far more parrots in need of good homes than there are good homes available for them. Many birds end up in rescue centres and sanctuaries. Some of these places do foster their birds out to suitable homes. In most cases you will be adopting, rather than taking ownership of the bird, provided the sanctuary feels you can provide the right type of home. Some parrots from these places may have behavioural problems and this may be the reason why they were given to a sanctuary in the first place. But in the circumstances where an older bird has always been a 'pet' bird, you may be able to offer it better one-to-one attention than staff at a sanctuary are able to provide. To find details of these sources you can search the internet using the words 'parrot sanctuary' or 'parrot rescue' or 'parrot re-homing' etc. Or you could contact the RSPCA (in the USA the ASPCA) and ask them for details of bona fide sources of birds in need of good homes.

Birds are sometimes described as being 'tame' but later prove not to be. If a bird is advertised as tame, make sure you see the seller handling the bird and observe if the bird is comfortable with being handled, even if this is only coming onto the hand. In the world of birdkeeping, it is a case of 'Let the buyer beware', so take your time when selecting a bird from the range of sources available.

This young grey has been
badly wing-clipped.

Take care when buying a bird - wing-clipping is unnatural and can lead to behavioural problems.

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