by Amanda Just
Categories: Animals, Causes, Film/TV, Science.

On Wednesday, November 13th, PBS Nature will be airing a new special about captured parrots living in homes as pets. “Parrot Confidential” aims to shed light on the issue, from the trauma the captive birds experience to the rising number of surrendered parrots and conservation efforts in the wild.

Despite parrots’ popularity as pets (who wouldn’t be fascinated by their brilliant colors and gift of gab?), they aren’t domesticated the way dogs and cats are. Parrots were made to be wild and free. (Their high-decibel squawks cannot be contained!) While these magnificent birds can live up to 90 years, they find that they’ve worn out their owners’ welcome within a couple years. Shelters and sanctuaries are turning away these unwanted birds because they are at capacity.

In the one-hour documentary, you’ll meet a colorful cast of feathered characters and learn their stories, some bittersweet. You’ll also meet some human helpers who are doing important work to help these unlucky birds. Filmmaker, Allison Argo hopes to raise awareness about the needs of these magnificent birds and the important responsibilities that are a part of adopting one. Argo feels strongly that those who are ready to take on a lifelong commitment with a parrot should adopt one from a rescue or sanctuary.

Humane Society of the United States president, Wayne Pacelle, writes about the special, “The documentary “Parrot Confidential” – which airs on NATURE Wednesday night on most PBS stations throughout the country – asks the public to re-envision parrots, and it questions the paradigm of captivity for these creatures. It’s our hope that “Parrot Confidential” does for the birds what “Blackfish” is now doing for orcas – delivering a wake-up message to a public not familiar with the hidden lives of creatures consigned to a life of captivity they were never meant for.”

‘Parrot Confidential’ will be airing on PBS on Wednesday, November 13th at 8PM Eastern. To learn more about the film and its “cast,” check out their PBS page, where there’s already quite a discussion going about this cause.

Photo credit:

About Amanda Just

Amanda Just is a longtime vegan who loves to promote compassionate living in fun, creative ways. As a writer, she has contributed to This Dish Is Veg,, and many other blogs, websites, and newsletters. As an activist, she champions many causes, from veganism and animal rights to environmental protection and human rights. Amanda resides in Tampa Bay, Florida.

View all posts by Amanda Just →
  • Maleficent

    My last job was actually at a store that sold hand-raised exotic birds. 3 months there and I walked away convinced that the majority of those animals do not belong in homes. They are unpredictable even as babies, and when they hit sexual maturity after a few years, well most people simply have no clue the kind of aggression they are in for. Having grown up with conures and smaller birds like cockatiels, I’m not anti all pet birds (though I do not believe in keeping them caged). But when you get up into the Amazons, Cockatoos, and Macaws – 99% of people are in over their heads. They are wild animals through and through with a lot of complex behavior that most people do not understand, and complex needs that simply cannot be met in a captive, caged environment.