Strays and surrendered pet birds flock to Calgary Humane Society

From chickens and ducks to finches and budgies, the Calgary Humane Society has seen a huge influx of birds in recent months.

Shelter has chickens, ducks, finches and budgies needing adoption

An influx of birds steps up Calgary Humane Society's adoption process

2 months ago
The Calgary Humane Society is running out of shelter space for birds as they rush to find them permanent homes. 1:19

Calling all prospective bird adopters: the Calgary Humane Society is overrun with winged creatures in need of a home.

From chickens and ducks to finches and budgies, the shelter has seen a huge influx of birds in recent months, says communications manager Jessica Bohrson.

There are 16 birds available for adoption — and that's not including several more that are living in foster homes.

"Some have come in as strays, some have come in as owner surrenders," Bohrson said.

"And a lot of the time, the owner surrenders are because an owner has maybe gotten ill, or they're a little bit older and they just don't have the ability to care for their birds anymore." 

Birds as pets

For those curious about adopting a feathered friend, Bohrson says birds are actually lower maintenance than dogs or cats. 

However, they do need room to spread their wings, she notes.

Perches to jump from and toys to play with are important, and larger birds like chickens or ducks should be adopted by people who live outside the city.

Typically, birds eat vegetables and seeds, and are affordable pets, she said.

Finches especially enjoy companionship, says Bohrson, so she encourages people interested in them to consider adopting a pair, or three.

"They're extremely social birds that need each other," she said.

Those who have thought about owning one but aren't sure what to expect can visit the Humane Society for a meet-and-greet. 

Zebra finches are available for adoption through the Calgary Human Society. Finches enjoy the companionship of other birds. (Rebecca Kelly/CBC)

"We find that they just make great pets, they're really great companions … and the costs are relatively low," Bohrson said.

"The chirping and the singing that they do — it's such a nice sound to have in the background."

The shelter will have a pair of baby ducks up for adoption within the next few days, as well as some chickens, finches and budgies.

With files from Rebecca Kelly and Rick Donkers.


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