Unwanted parrots have found a home with a Calgary woman who considers herself a caretaker, not an owner.

Gloria Fantin has 16 parrots in her house, most of which were rescued from neglectful owners. She cleans, feeds and plays with the birds for six to eight hours a day. But she doesn’t like to refer to them as pets.

"I'm their guardian. Because of the longevity these birds will outlive me," she said.

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Some larger species of parrots can live more than 70 years.

Fantin is a founding director of the Parrot Resource Centre, an educational non-profit organization in Calgary.

She says she was uneducated about parrots when she got one 15 years ago. She now believes these tropical birds shouldn’t be kept as pets.

"In a perfect world we would not have parrots as companion pets and I feel guilty for what they have gone through in the past," she said.

Judy Foster, another volunteer with the organization, said the group aims to educate people about parrots.

"I think if people know what they're in for, then they will think twice or at least they will be aware and they'll go into it knowing what is involved," said Foster.

Parrots are messy, destructive, noisy, expensive and need regular socialization, according to the organization's website.

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