Fostering Q and A

Why are foster homes needed?

Foster homes are needed for many parrots who simply have no where to go.  With limited space, we simply cannot take them all in and rely on our foster families to assist us with their housing and care until such time as they find their “feathever” homes.

Do I need to fill out an application to foster?

Yes.  All prospective families must fill out an application.  The questions on the application form allow us to determine which species you are best equipped to handle, if you have other birds in the home (and pets)if you have any special medical training/experience and if you can accommodate a larger cage if/when required.  We would never place a large bird into a home where the experience is limited to smaller species ie: budge/cockatiel.

How much does it cost to foster?

There is NO cost to the foster families with the exception of the fresh fruit/veges provided, if this is a concern, we will ensure that this is provided.  All medical bills, toys, food, are covered by Birdline.   You must notify us within 2 days that you are running low and we will ensure that pellets/and or seeds are brought to you or arrangements made alternately for you to pick them up.  You are welcome to purchase extras for any bird in your care at your own expense.

Do I have to take the bird to the vet?

All medical appointments are done by  Birdline prior to the bird being placed into foster.  If the bird requires further vet appointments, this will be discussed individually with the foster family and arrangements made.   Any bird requiring subsequent vet treatments and/or visits, will not remain in foster but will return to Birdline unless the foster family is in agreement to continue the ongoing care.  If the bird is injured while in your care, you will be required to take him/her to the Avian Vet or the emergency clinic  – if you do not have transportation at this time, please indicate that on the application form. Please note: ANY emergency must be relayed to us ASAP.

How long is the bird going to stay?

The bird could potentially be in your home from 1 – 12 months or longer, some birds require a bit more socializing before they are ready to embark on a new home, some need medical intervention ie: diet changes or wounds to heal.

What if the bird is really aggressive?

We will never place a bird into a home that is beyond your scope of experience or comfort level.  If we have had no prior history of the bird, we will discuss that with you BEFORE we make any arrangements to bring the bird to you.  If you find yourself in a situation after placement where the bird suddenly turns on you or members of your family, contact us ASAP, we can than assess the situation together and remove the bird if needed.  Safety to all members in the family is critical!

Do I have to let people interested in the bird into my home?

NO. Your home is your private residence and it is totally up to your discretion if you wish to have visitors there. We will set up a time to pick up the bird and take them to meet the prospective new family.  Your name/location is not revealed without your  consent.

Can I adopt the bird I am fostering?

YES.  We have many foster families who have fallen in love with the bird they are fostering, and we are quite happy when they decide to provide a permanent home

Do I get any notice before you drop the bird off to me?

Yes.   You will be notified via email/phone that a bird is coming into Birdline, all pertinent information will be given to you about the birds history/medical condition/social skills that we are given.  At times, we do not have full history if the bird is being transferred in from another rescue organization.  Normally there is 2 – 4 days notice and rarely is there ever any same day placements.  Please let us know however, if we CAN utilize your home as an emergency if/when needed.

For foster families who live outside the Calgary area, we do ask that you pick the bird up as we do not have enough resources to take bird/s out of the city limits.

Should I quarantine the bird?

Yes.  If you are able to keep the bird separate from any other birds in your home, we recommend this for a minimum of 30 days but we do recommend 90 days.  You will be instructed on what to look for during that time and gives you a chance to monitor the bird for eating/droppings and notify us immediately of any changes.

Do I get paid to foster?

No.  Birdline is run 100% by volunteers.  All board members, volunteers and foster homes give graciously of their time to help birds in need and we are incredibly thankful to everyone who gives of their time.

Why should I foster?

Fostering a parrot in need is a great way to help within the rescue community without a large financial commitment, or lifetime commitment to a parrot if you are not able to adopt.  Fostering  provides a safe and loving environment for a parrot and the opportunity to share you life/home and your love with an animal in need.  If your thinking of adopting, it gives you great hands on experience with the daily commitments required to share your  home with one of these beautiful creatures.

You will find an application form to foster on our Guardianship page, this is an online form and will be sent to us when you have completed it.  If you require further information, please contact us at

Thank you!!

5 thoughts on “Fostering Q and A

  • Paul and Carrie Middleton

    We have a question for you. Are you a sanctuary that will take and keep a cockatoo for a few months. My Dad is in the hospital and as it stands now, he will not be able to go home again. We need the time to clean out the house and work with the medical staff to get him into log term care. If you don’t do this, do you know of anyone in Edmonton that we could take her too.

  • Dee Green

    HI there!
    I’m so glad I found your site.
    I would like to foster for you.
    My situation is a bit different – I’m not looking to foster at my home, but rather my business.
    I had two cockatiels here that I adopted 13 years ago (I’m not sure how old they were when we got them); Thelma was with us for 5 years before she passed of old age and Louise just left us last September – she was with us for 12 years.
    I guess my question is: would I be considered as a foster seeing as it would be in my business not a home?

  • Curtis

    You have a fabulous program for something so important. I am going to donate to your program as I was I adopted Jasper in 2014. Do to unforeseen family issues I had to give her up. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her. I so wish I could have kept her. Regardless, if it want for you, these neglected birds would never experience the love they deserve. I am very supportive of your program. Besides donating, please let me know what you need. You are Angels.

    • Hi Curtis,
      So nice to hear from you again! Thank you for your kind words. I will be emailing you directly shortly. Thank you 🙂

  • It is truly a nice and helpful piece of information. I am glad that you simply shared this helpful info with us. And also thank you for your detailed explain.


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