Armed Conflict

Refugee supplies from Poland for Ukraine birds, Aleksandra Kornelia Maj

Conservation center evacuation in Qatar

Gunshot victim, SoCal Parrot

Ukrainian chicks with frostbite from fleeing
Ukrainian pets fleeing conflict


Armed conflict can seriously damage entire populations of psittacines. The birds may be killed for food, for trafficking, killed wantonly, or the habitat may be ravaged as the result of war. Rescue is extremely dangerous.

What to Expect

  • Birds captured live for illegal trade (trafficking)

  • birds hunted for food and sold as bushmeat

  • gratuitous violence to birds and environment

  • intentional harassment ("target shooting")

  • expect NO infrastructure support or protection!

  • massive trauma

  • projectile injury

  • many forms of cruelty and inhumane conditions

What to Do

  • leave the area: do not risk death, imprisonment, torture, kidnapping/ransom

  • IF SAFE to do the following:

  • Capture and contain injured birds

  • keep them in a warm, dry, safe and secure environment

  • do not force water or food

  • warm water can be gently dropped along the tomia (edges of upper and lower beak) to encourage normal licking and swallowing

  • once water is accepted, warm sugar water (1:4 sugar to warm water) can be alternated

  • do not offer free-access water until they are able to regain normal posture

  • offer food only after they are hydrated

  • contact appropriate rescue if/when possible

  • minimal handling and refrain from :staring at them all the time"

  • visual or audible contact with other birds is desirable

  • ambulant and non-aggressive birds may do better in small groups (5 or less)

  • Do not attempt to extract projectiles or bandage wounds

  • birds captured live will be in very poor condition and likely injured, dehydrated, starving and sick

Likely Outcomes

  • projectile injuries are usually fatal or require immediate humane euthanasia

  • many birds will have fatal injuries

  • expect a high mortality rate on birds that are found down on the ground and docile

  • over all very poor outcomes