How To Adopt

Criteria for Adopting or Fostering

Meeting our criteria before adopting or fostering a bird is important. To learn more, read Why attend our training class? You may also want to read about common misconceptions about rescue groups before going through our application process.

Please bear with us during the screening process. Mickaboo is an all-volunteer organization and it may take some time to complete this process.

  1. Attend a free Mickaboo bird care class.
  2. Submit an application, as described in Application Forms.
  3. After processing your application, a Mickaboo volunteer will call you for a phone screen.
  4. The final screening step is for Mickaboo to schedule and do a home visit.
  5. When the screening is complete, you are submitted for approval.
  6. Once approved, you can go and meet the foster birds.
  7. If you want to foster a bird, Mickaboo provides a cage and covers any necessary medical expenses.
  8. Adopters pay an adoption fee, which varies by species. Birds adopted from Mickaboo may not be sold, given away, or used as "breeder stock." If a new owner cannot keep an adopted bird, the bird must be returned to Mickaboo.
Foster Parenting

Our foster parents are caring, conscientious volunteers who care for displaced rescue birds until a permanent home can be found. These individuals go through our entire approval process first.They care for the birds and supply food, treats, toys and love. Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue supplies cages and medical care. Foster parents are expected to drive his/her foster bird(s) to the veterinarian if necessary. They might also have to drive to pick up the bird(s) or drop them off to a permanent home. Foster parents may become permanent parents should they wish to do so.

Application Forms

Please read our disclaimer below, which is part of the application that you will be signing. Taking our free Basic Bird Care class is a prerequisite to submitting an application. Please provide the date and location of the class you have taken on the application form. You can submit an application online or download and fill out a PDF-formatted application form (use the free Adobe Reader to read the PDF). To submit the PDF application, either:

  • Bring it with you to a bird care class
  • Fax it to 1-866-201-4199
  • Scan it to an image and email to
  • Mail it to our address listed on the application (PO Box 697, San Jose, CA  95106)

NOTE: The PDF forms cannot be simply 'saved' and emailed to us!


Our primary concern is the well being of these animals. The majority of them have at some time, either been abused, neglected, sick or injured. For these reasons, all prospective foster and /or adoptive parents must fill out an application and attend one of our regularly scheduled bird education classes, please see our scheduled events page for our next scheduled class. You must also participate in our screening process prior to receipt of any bird. We charge an adoption fee for all birds adopted from Mickaboo. The amount of the fee depends on the species of bird adopted. Due to our commitment to place these birds in the best possible environment, we reserve the right to refuse adoption/fostering of any bird to anyone for any reason. For more information, please see rescue myths. If you are applying to adopt a bird larger than a Cockatiel you must submit a written authorization from your landlord along with a phone number where he/she can be reached, if you are renting. We also reserve the right to repossess any birds adopted/fostered if we find for any reason their care requirements are not being met. Additionally, applicants must sign a written contract stating that: No birds adopted/fostered from Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue shall be used for breeding purposes. If for any reason they can no longer keep one of our adopted birds, they agree to arrange for immediate return of the bird to Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue. For this reason no birds will be adopted outside the state of California. And, finally, due to the responsibilities involved in pet ownership, and the possibility of incurring significant costs associated with veterinary care, by signing a foster or adoption application, all applicants signify that they are at least 18 years of age. If you become a Mickaboo Volunteer, or adopt from us, there are a few policies we wish to be up front about to avoid any misunderstandings later on. Our volunteers and foster parents are our most valuable assets, and we'd like to keep it that way. As a Mickaboo Volunteer or adoptive parent, you may, from time to time be trusted with confidential personal information regarding, but not limited to address, telephone, and other personal information of other Mickaboo volunteers and adoptive parents. It is our policy that this information is not only proprietary, but confidential as well. In the interest of professionalism, no one who volunteers for or adopts from Mickaboo will be authorized to share, or otherwise disseminate this information for any reason, not limited to sales pitches, business opportunities, or any other activities which may present a conflict of interest, or otherwise result in any harm to Mickaboo or any of its agents, foster parents, adoptive parents, or other volunteers. By returning this application, you are certifying that you will abide by each and every one of these terms, as well as the terms of the application itself.

Why Attend Our Training Class?

Here are some of the reasons we require everyone to come to a bird education class and fill out an application before qualifying to foster or adopt a bird.

• Birds are not domesticated animals. Domestic animals are animals that have been bred for hundreds of years to live in the care of humans and are distinct from their wild ancestors. Birds commonly kept as pets are no different than their wild relatives -- they are the native Species of other countries.

• Chlamydiosis (psittacosis) and avian tuberculosis can be transmitted through the air from birds to humans. These diseases can cause significant illness, especially for people with compromised immune systems. Birds also continually shed "feather dust" -- particles of feathers, which may aggravate asthma in some people. Many homes with pet birds have HEPA-type air filters in rooms with birds to control allergies from bird dander.

• Parrots, including lovebirds, parakeets, and cockatiels, are noisy and messy, and can be destructive. Vocalizing (squawking, chirping, talking) is an important part of any parrot's social communication. Birds eat continually throughout the day, dropping and discarding chew and shred wood, whether it is a perch, toy, picture frame, or furniture. Birds will also chew electrical cords, paper, and curtains.

• All parrots have long life spans. Depending on species, they may live 20 to 50 years or more. Caring for a bird is often a life-long responsibility.

• Parrots are extremely social animals, and have been compared to human toddlers in the needs of their emotional and social lives but, unlike children, they never grow up.

• Birds are active and inquisitive and must be provided with ample room to move about and play. An indoor or sheltered outdoor aviary or a flight safe room (windows covered, no cats/dogs, no ceiling fans, etc.) that will allow the bird(s) to fly is good for exercise. Birds with clipped wings can get exercise by climbing, swinging, and flapping, if provided with ample space, toys, and climbing structures.

• All birds need a varied diet, not just seeds or pellets, but grains, beans, fruits and vegetables too.

• Light exposure and sleep are very important to birds. Proper lighting can regulate their sleep-wake cycle. Birds must have a minimum of 10 hours of sleep each night.  We also teach an advanced class on Avian Vision and Proper Lightiing .

• Birds are very sensitive to air quality. Unlike humans, a bird replaces nearly all the air in its lungs with each breath. Because no residual air is left in the lungs during the ventilation cycle of birds, they transfer more oxygen and more pollutants during each breath. Birds should never be exposed to tobacco smoke, chemical fumes (hairspray, cleaners, etc.), or Teflon coated materials. Exposure to some toxic inhalants can cause immediate death; chronic exposure to other toxic can lead to premature death.

• Birds need veterinary care from a veterinarian that specializes in birds. Proper vet care for birds can be expensive. Your vet will probably recommend a complete examination and diagnostic tests when you first acquire your bird; in addition, she/he will probably recommend annual well-bird examinations. Smaller birds require the same vet care and regular examinations as larger pets.