The Long Island Parrot Society (LIPS) is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to the care of parrots. Since 1985, the Long Island Parrot Society has worked to rescue parrots in need and find new homes for them through adoption.
According to the official website:
“The Long Island Parrot Society exists as a non-profit, 501c3 organization dedicated to improving the lives of psittaciformes through education, research, advocacy and service, to help prevent endangerment or extinction, and to create a shelter and adoption center for displaced parrots and other pet birds. We support rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing efforts, and have contributed to avian shelters, veterinary research, conservation projects, post-9/11 funds and to the animal victims of Hurricane Katrina. LIPS is "for the birds"--We are dedicated to responsible bird ownership through education and example. Our members include breeders, pet shop professionals, and parrot fanatics who share their homes with multiple birds, and there are members who are proud to have just one special parrot.”
Parrots have been kept as pets for centuries because people are charmed by their unique personalities, humorous dispositions and the companionship they offer. They are affectionate, loyal and intelligent and they are also the only creatures that can mimic human speech. However, they are not perfect pets for every person.
Parrots are considered to be exotic and wild pets since they have not been domesticated in the same way that dogs and cats have been. There are dozens of different species of parrots including African Greys, Macaws, and Cockatiels. All of them can prove to be challenging for inexperienced owners. Too many people buy parrots without first researching the needs of the bird and what will be required to adequately care for them. Parrots can be extremely loud and attention-seeking. They can bite and become so bonded to one family member that they can lash out aggressively at others in the household. Parrots can also get stressed and engage in self-mutilating behaviors such as pulling out their feathers. Often these problems are, at their core, caused by parrots being adopted into households that are not able or willing to care for these high-maintenance birds.
The Long Island Parrot Society aims to educate people about parrots and urges everyone who is thinking about obtaining a parrot to do some research first. In fact, LIPS has taken a proactive approach to educating the public about these wonderful and colorful creatures. Via their “Parrot University” program, LIPS members visit schools, nursing homes, fairs, Girl Scout meetings and other organizational events where they make a PowerPoint presentation that focuses on providing information about the natural behaviors of parrots and what to expect if you take one as a pet.
Furthermore, the group urges anyone who is looking for a feathered friend to contact them. The group is constantly looking for new homes for the abandoned parrots left in their care and they will provide the bird, a cage and food at cut rate costs. Additionally, LIPS group members will provide adopters with contact information for vets that deal exclusively with parrots—an exotic species that a surprising number of vets know little to nothing about.
LIPS members meet on the third Wednesday of every month in the American Legion Hall in Babylon, Long Island. At these meetings proud parrot owners are able to mingle with one another—and they bring their birds along with them! These meetings give the society an opportunity to raise money through raffles and the selling of parrot-oriented merchandise. Occasionally, these meetings host guest speakers and presentations about parrot-related issues.
Currently LIPS is attempting to raise funds to open an adoption center. At present, no such location exists and this makes adoption efforts quite difficult. According to the group, if the organization was able to establish a permanent location then they would use the space as an adoption center, a store and a source of entertainment (such as hosting bird-themed birthday parties for children) and that would help them raise funds for their continued efforts at improving the quality of life for parrots everywhere.
Presently, LIPS is approaching its 28th anniversary and has over 600 members. They publish an award winning newsletter 11 times a year and produces bird-centered events such as the Long Island Parrot Expo. The Expo, next scheduled for October 11, 2014, concerns all-things-parrots and even hosts guest speakers—including the world renowned Dr. Irene Pepperberg who did breakthrough research with Alex, the African Grey parrot. LIPS even has its own public access television show called “The Bird Club.” It broadcasts on Channel 20 in Woodbury, Riverhead, Brookhaven and Hauppauge.
Joining the LIPS grants parrot owners the ability to find others to help with their birds in times of crisis and also provides owners with discounts on bird food and toys in many Long Island pet shops.
Organizations like LIPS are constantly looking for volunteers so if you are interested in helping parrots the Long Island Parrot Society is a worthwhile organization to join. Even if you do not live on or near Long Island, LIPS has a list of similar organizations across the country so there is bound to be at least one near you.
For more information visit: http://www.liparrotsociety.org/