• Oct
  • 23

Why the Caged Bird Screams

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Caged parakeetCan you imagine the feeling of flying? Imagine the wind, the sun, the freedom; imagine the whole world below you. As a child, I would dream about flying, and I envied the life of a bird soaring high in the sky. But many birds don’t get to live this life and instead lead lives of misery in cages as pets.

Caged birds are either captured in the wild or bred in captivity. Both are horrible: One involves knowing what freedom was and the other never knowing a minute of it. Around the world, nearly every species of bird is kept in cages, from pigeons to parrots; people create prisons for every type of these beautiful animals.

Many people buy birds not knowing of the cruelty that they will be inflicting on them and often underestimating the care that a bird needs. In the wild, birds would never leave their flock, but pet birds rarely ever have the opportunity even to see another bird for their entire lifetimes. Pet birds are often kept in cramped cages where they are unable even to stretch their wings and never know the joy of flying or the happiness of freedom.

Birds in cages crave freedom and companionship and often exhibit aggressive, neurotic, and self-destructive behavior as they languish in cramped cages. Because of their seemingly bad behavior caused by their torturous conditions, people will often condemn them to living in dark corners, in basements, or on balconies, all the while locked inside of cages.

Birds are known for their complex communication techniques, their beautiful feathers, and their unique intelligence, but when we cage birds, we take away their lives. Buying birds contributes to this horrible problem. Birds are meant to fly and be with their flock. If you are a bird lover, consider buying binoculars and going on bird-watching hikes or making a backyard oasis for your feathered friends. Never cage birds!

Posted by Edwina Baier


  1. Chi Hsu...
    October 24th, 2012, 4:33 am

    Very heartbreaking to hear that people would keep birds in their basements. Do you think an exception can be made to cage a bird if someone finds one that is injured and decides to look after it?

  2. Richard...
    December 2nd, 2012, 7:34 am

    Hey I found this website to be actually attention-grabbing Bookmarked!

    January 4th, 2013, 6:10 am

    bird need to be free. and fly . they have wings. remember that///

  4. Gillian...
    September 4th, 2013, 5:49 pm

    Sadly, most people when they get any animal, domestic or wild don’t understand what they’re getting into. I’ve had varying animals all my life so far, some more of what one would consider the normal and others exotic.

    One fact has proved true regardless of the species, if you do not know how to take care of it, you should not get it, simple as that. If you’re willing to learn how to care for the animal you wish to own? Great, go for it, study! If not– well don’t blame me if your companion dies an early and miserable death.

    Now while my words may seem cruel to some these are my views, so I’m afraid anyone who doesn’t like them, will just have to bite their tongue or post your own views. Now which one you do? I don’t really care.

    And moving on– I’ve had people come to me, saying, “I can’t care for this animal, will you please take it?” I just stare at them in disbelief most of the time. If you can’t care for the animal(s), why do you have it? Listen to me, please, people. There are animal shelters out there. So if you’re planning on just keeping your pet and letting it suffer? Well in that case you can go meet the same fate that you’re torturing it with, and no, you won’t get any pity from me.

    Time and time again the same act plays out, “Oh, well, I know how to take care of this animal(s), but I don’t have the means to do so.” Well too bad, if you don’t have the means, why do you have it in the first place? Did you not think before you went and bought or adopted your companion? Ah well, sad to be you.

    Now while I understand that sometimes one’s life doesn’t always go as planned, that is no excuse to mistreat your animal(s), and if you do, you won’t get an ounce of pity from me. My apologies but I tend to play hard ball. If you don’t know what you’re getting into when taking on an animal, or what to do when something goes amiss, you should either study up on what course of action to take, or give the animal(s) up to someone who can care for them properly.

    Come on, people, please get your heads out of wherever they are and think before you and go take another’s life into your hands. I’ve seen the results of cruelty to animals; I’ve taken at least one animal in that had suffered by the hands of humans. And you know what the end result for that creature was? Death, despite my best attempts to nurse it back to health, the creature was too far gone for me to bring back.

    This said animal was a Red-eared slider, a species of turtle. This turtle managed to live a good year and a half in a proper environment with proper care. And it would have lived a fair while longer if the previous owner hadn’t bought it without knowing the proper procedures, pertaining to animal husbandry, veterinary, and so on and so on.

    Now onto enrichment, you do not get a creature as intelligent, oh let’s say a parakeet and stick it a cage without any toys or any form of distraction. I’ve had people say to me, “Oh, it’s, smart enough to entertain itself; I don’t have to worry about that.”

    Ahem…had your head buried beneath the sand there for a bit too long? Wake up! Parakeets while they can be quite intelligent are not going to find ways to entertain themselves when housed in an environment without any enrichment sources. I’m speaking from firsthand experience on this matter.

    Currently, I have a pet parakeet. Now before anyone goes raging off against me, you damn well better hold your tongue and finish reading this entire post, before you go and throw your little temper tantrum, got that? Now as I was saying this parakeet is a pet, and he was hand raised from domestic stock, and the breeders of this stock knew what they were doing, and they took excellent care of their birds. And I know this from research! On average parakeets live about eight years, so yeah, they’re not the longest lived creature you can have for a pet. At the current time my little guy is about two years old or so and he is very well taken care of.

    His cage is like a palace, providing him ample room to spread his wings and fly around. I’ve provided him with varying types of toys for his entertainment, and I change these out regularly to help expose him to new activities. My little guy gets six hours or so of ‘enrichment time’ every day, normally three hours in the morning or afternoon and three in the evening. During these times I take him out of the cage and interact with him. I’ll offer the little one treats, toys, sing to him, play music, and varying other activities.

    And now here comes the end of the ramble, and I cannot simply express this last point enough. Do not get an animal(s) if you cannot care for it! You are taking a life into your hands, not just some item, and don’t you dare try to tell me otherwise or I will throw reality at you like an iron mallet, do we understand one another? Good.

  5. PETA Asia-Pacific...
    September 10th, 2013, 10:42 am

    Hi Gillian,

    Thanks for your comment. You are correct in saying that if someone does not have the knowledge and cannot provide the right environment to keep a pet then they should not get one in the first place.

    Keeping ANY exotic pet is endangering the well-being of the animal. Many exotic animals are harmed and killed in transportation, where they are often confined to crowded living conditions and subjected to poor ventilation and inadequate care. Those who survive the journey are then introduced into environments that are far removed from their natural habitats, which can cause stress, malnutrition, and illness. Many animals die when the purchasers aren’t prepared to provide the correct food, temperature, or environment to keep them healthy. Exotic animals are also regularly abandoned when the purchasers realize how much maintenance and expense is involved in keeping a wild animal, putting a burden on government agencies that have the task of accepting and rehabilitating animals.

    Exotic animals can also pose a threat to their guardians by introducing foreign diseases and infections, called “zoonosis,” that primarily infect animals but are transmissible to humans. Zoonotic diseases that pose a potential threat to human health include rabies, ringworm, West Nile virus, tuberculosis, hepatitis A, measles, gastroenteritis, monkey pox, candidiasis, and avian influenza.

    If you love birds, don’t sentence one to a lifetime behind bars. All caged birds are either captured or captive-bred. In the wild, these beautiful beings are never alone, and if separated even for just a moment, they call wildly to their flock mates. Flock-oriented, they preen each other, fly together, play, and share egg-incubation duties. Many species of birds mate for life and share parenting tasks. Most birds will not take a second mate in the wild if their first is lost.

    Life in captivity is often a death sentence for birds, who may suffer from malnutrition, an improper environment, loneliness, and the stress of confinement. Birds are meant to fly and be with others of their own kind in a natural environment. Confinement causes birds to have temper tantrums and mood swings.

    If you want to share your home with another bird in the future, you can contact an animal rescue group in your area to learn how you can foster or adopt an abused or neglected bird.

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