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Criteria for Adoption 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.

  • Phone Screen: Once these criteria are met, a Mickaboo volunteer will call you for a phone screen. Please bear with us during the screening process. Mickaboo is an all-volunteer organization and it may take some time to complete this process.
  • Home Visit: The final step is for Mickaboo to schedule and do a home visit.
  • Approval Once you have had your home visit, you are submitted for approval.
  • Find Your Bird Once approved, you can go and meet the foster birds.
  • Pay Adoption Fee An adoption fee is paid by the new owners. The adoption fee 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. Once you have taken our bird care class, you can either submit an application either in an online form:

or by downloading a PDF form and scan, fax, or mail it in:

To read the PDF, use the free Adobe Reader to view these documents.

For PDF forms, fill out the application and submit it by either:

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.

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  1. Sep 20, 2007


    hello i would like to know how to have one of your birds in my home but i live ing redding california and i would love to have a bird any kind .my name is jason

    1. Oct 16, 2007

      Hi Jason--We can adopt out of the area, but it takes some time and patience!   You can complete the bird care class requirement with a phone in class.  One thing to know is that Mickaboo won't ship birds, so if you want to adopt from us, you'd need to come here to pick up a bird and if the adoption failed for some reason, you'd also need to return the bird to us in the Bay Area.  If you're okay with both those things, send in your application!

      Nancy - MCBR Operations Manager

  2. Sep 23, 2007


    What a wonderful idea to mandate a bird education class. Mickaboo is obviously not just trying to adopt out birds, but actually to improve their situations. Kudos!

  3. Oct 15, 2007


    I am very interested in adopting a bird.  I could give it plenty of love and attention, and like my other "feathered" and "furry" kids, it would be spoiled.  I believe in adoption before purchasing pets, please contact me. This computer would not allow me to send emails.  my email is, I live in San Diego.  Thank you~shannon shay

    1. Oct 16, 2007

      Hi Shannon - I'll send you an email about adoption privately.

      Nancy for MCBR

      1. Oct 16, 2007



        1. Oct 19, 2007

          Hello David!   The adoption process doesn't cost anything.  Our bird care class is free to everyone.  We're also planning to offer advanced classes focusing on large bird behavior and training.  Those classes will cost $20.  We do charge adoption fees.  For the large birds, the fees can vary bird to bird based on age, health, and behavior.  The base adoption fee for large macaws is $600 and $325 for the smaller species.


  4. Oct 18, 2007


    Hello! I would first like to say that I think what you all are doing is amazing. I never knew that there were so many neglected birds out there. You see all the commercials about dogs and cats, but never about birds. I am an animal lover, but I have chosen to have birds as my animal companians. I read on your website that a person would have to have had a parrot in their house before if they want to adopt a parrot. I have had parakeets all my life, and I have given them so much attention. Would I be able to qualify to adopt a cockatoo? There is a huge difference between a parakeet and a cockatoo. Also, what would be the adoption cost for a cockatoo? Could I have the cost of a parakeet as well? I was thinking of getting another parakeet, and when I saw all the little ones on your website, my heart just went out to them.

    1. Oct 19, 2007

      Hello!  I'd be happy to answer all your questions, but could you send an email to

       Thanks very much.

  5. Nov 21, 2007


    hello my name is misty i would like to adopt some cockatails and i was wondering about how much would it be and what is the process.

    1. Nov 22, 2007

      Hi Misty--
      The adoption process is explained on this page of the website
      The adoption fee for a single cockatiel is $50 and the fee for a bonded pair is $75.  If you have additional questions, you can email me directly at
      --Nancy for MCBR

  6. Nov 29, 2007


    Hi, I sent an application, and have gone to a bird education class, but still have not been contacted.  Do I need to do something else?

    1. Dec 17, 2007

      Well, that's  not good!   We always tell people to just keep emailing us if you don't hear from anyone after you've taken a class and submitted an application.  Send an email to or  We really try to follow up ASAP, but we're all volunteers so we need prospective adopters to keep bugging us! (smile)

       Nancy for MCBR

  7. Dec 15, 2007


    I am sighing so very hard now.

     There are no cockatoos -- or even macaws -- in the state of Minnesota. The few I've found for adoption on sites like Petfinder require a class, to live in a certain area, or needing to have previous experience.

    Bad luck for #2, which also makes #1 impossible. #3 is a real bump, considering I can't get any expierence if I'm not able to adopt.

    But I wish all these animals well, and hope they find better qualified homes. I know why people have the rules they do, its for the parrot's own good.

    - Kiki

    1. Dec 16, 2007

      Kiki: I recommend contacting the places near you anyway which require previous experience, and asking if you can foster one of their birds for a while to gain the experience.

      Mickaboo will (assuming home visit passes OK, etc) generally let you foster a larger bird if you have no previous experience, to see if the situation works out for you. If things go well you can convert that into a "Foster to Adopt" relationship and then adopt that bird, or foster others, etc.

  8. Feb 06, 2008


    Hello, My name is Ludmila, and I would love to adopt either a conure or a lovebird. I am looking forward the next class, however, I have questions regarding the cost and procedure for adopting them. I had a pair of conures that I loved when I was growing up, and they were the most adorable pets. When I came to the US I could not bring them here, so I had to re-home them, and they are still very well taken care of. My question is, my pair of conures were very independent. I would play with them, and let them fly and walk on my house about 3 times a week, but we went to school and work, and the parrots did not seem to have any problems with that.  When I see the site, I get the impression that the animals here need lots of attention. I would like to how much attention is that?. Do I need to be at home during the whole day? or they can be on their own if they have a partner?. Thanks for your help, and keep up with the good work. I would like to adopt a bird instead of buying it, I have deep misgivings about pet companies to keep birds under poor conditions.

  9. Feb 15, 2008


    hi! I want to know how much is the cost of the cockatoos?

    1. Apr 16, 2008

      The adoption fees for ALL large bird depends on their age, health, and behavior.  Cockatoo adoption fees run from $250-$450 (depending on the sub-species) for well-socialized birds in good health.


  10. Mar 01, 2008


     my name iss courtney i own two birds (amazon,parakeet) which ive had for over 2 years and my kids have been interesed about adopting your blue and gold  Macaw bird Scherezade we are prepared and have the time and the promps needed for raising this bird but the only promblem is that i live in las vegas, nevada how am i going to be able to adopt

    1. Mar 01, 2008

      Hi Courtney--
      We actually have a fantastic volunteer in Las Vegas, so we would be able to take care of the home visit part of the adoption requirements.  We also teach phone classes for people who are out of the area.  The last challenge would be getting the bird to you.  As you probably know, we don't ship birds, so one of us would have to find someone going your way.   If you'd like to pursue adoption, submit an application and write "Contact Nancy re Phone Class" at the top.


      --Nancy for MCBR 

      1. Mar 01, 2008








  11. Mar 08, 2008


    What is the adoption price for a pair of lovebirds? A pair of budgies?

    1. Mar 09, 2008

      Hi there -
      The adoption fee for a pair of budgies is $35.  The adoption fee for a pair of lovebirds is $45.

      --Nancy for MCBR

      1. Nov 10, 2009

        Adoption Fees have changed from the post for more recent fees please contact us.

  12. Mar 16, 2008


    If you adopt, does Mickaboo supply the cage or do the adopters?

    1. Mar 16, 2008

      Hi! If you foster, Mickaboo will supply the cage and whatever materials come with the bird, and will pay for the medical expenses. 

      If you adopt, Mickaboo does not supply any cages or other material, though the foster family will usually send some of the birds' favorite toys along with them to help ease their transition.

  13. Mar 18, 2008



    What are the adoption fees for conures; senegals; pionus and greys? We are considering adding to our flock perhaps later this year and would like to get a feel for price ranges as we research these species further. email is a address, user name is roseofazure.

  14. Apr 11, 2008


    hi i was just wondering what is the adoption fee for amazons?

    1. Apr 16, 2008

      Hello there.  I understand why everyone is interested in adoption fees, but I'm afraid you've earned my 5 cent lecture on the cost of owning birds!  The adoption fee will be the smallest expense you will face if you choose to be owned by a bird.  Avian veterinary care and a cage that is safe and large enough for your bird to get adequate exercise are the big ticket items.   Large birds also go through a lot of toys!

       The adoption fees for well-socialized amazons in good health run from $325 to $425 depending on the sub-species.


      1. Apr 22, 2008


        thanks for answering my question

      2. Apr 22, 2008

        See also, the "How much does this bird cost?" pamphlet from CPC:

      3. Apr 24, 2008


        Boy, it's a good thing we must just be wanting a cheap bird to not take care of, rather than merely comparing fees for adopting from your rescue group rather than buying a new, hand-fed baby bird. *sigh*

         All *I* was interested in was what to expect from Mickaboo... I already have well-cared-for, seen-by-vet-regularly birds who live in big, safe, clean cages and get a variety of store-bought and home-made toys, in addition to a nutritious diet, and oodles of attention from the humans in the house.

         If asking a previously-answered type of question gets me a little smack on the wrist, I guess I'll just turn my focus elsewhere.

        1. Apr 25, 2008

          Well, I'm sorry that you took this personally!  Not quite sure how that's possible when we had no way of knowing about your current birds, bird experience, or bird care.  The fact is that many people do come to rescues looking for cheap or free birds without understanding their long-term costs.  I hope you find a wonderful bird to add to your home.


  15. Apr 24, 2008


    hi,i would like to adopt a cockatiel named Irwin but there are no classes available right now in the North Bay. i was wondering if there is any way to make sure i could get him then?

    1. Apr 27, 2008

      Hi there-  There isn't any way to put a "hold" on a bird, but if you email me, I'll see if I can work something out for you to have a class earlier.  The next North Bay class will be in June.

      Just email


  16. Apr 24, 2008


    how much is the fee for adopting a cockatiel?

    1. Apr 25, 2008

      $50 for a single cockatiel and $75 for a bonded pair

  17. Apr 28, 2008


    how big does the cage have to be for a cockatiel?

    1. Apr 29, 2008

      If you adopt from Mickaboo, we have a great relationship with a cage supplier who will give you a discount on an excellent powder-coated cage.

      Cockatiels - single or pair

      20 x 20 x 24


  18. May 08, 2008


    hello, i live somewhat close to the Marin Humane Society but i would like to get a class soon so i can get a wonderful little cockatiel. can i do a phone class or is that not possible. i would like to a class as soon as possible.

    thank you.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (=

    1. May 09, 2008

      Hello there!  Email me at and we'll get you set up with a class.

  19. May 11, 2008


    Is there any restriction on the adoption process if you have dogs? I have two small dogs but some birds are accustomed to dogs.

    1. May 13, 2008

      Nope, no restrictions if you have dogs.  We just ask that you insure the safety of the birds -- and the dogs!


  20. May 29, 2008


    Id like to adopt a african gray or a cockatoo, can you give me the adoption fees on these plus the fee on the amazon parrots. I want to adopt but the adoption fees might hinder my chance to provide a bird, a good home. So please get back to me asap. Thank you sincerely Drew.

    1. May 29, 2008

      Hi Drew--The easiest thing to do if you have questions about adopting a specific species is to click the link at the bottom of a bird's story.  That will put you directly in touch with the coordinator for that species who will be happy to answer all your questions.


  21. Jun 13, 2008


    Hello Nancy,

        I want to thank you for your "little slap on the wrist" above in regards to price. My thought on adoption fees are that if you have to ask, you probably can't afford the bird. Your "What does this bird cost" article is a great starting point, but it is missing a few things. For those out there still asking about adoption fees, here is a list of what I typically spend on my Timneh to keep him happy and comfortable. I'm sure that you will see that a the initial cost to obtain the bird is small in comparison to other expenses:

    Schroeder (not a Mickaboo bird): $1200

    Cage (I followed the bigger is better theory. If you are looking at cost when purchasing a cage, and not size, you shouldnt own the bird): $800 + $200 shipping

    Initial vet visit for clean bill of health and lab work: $475

    Carrier: $300

    Food (including pellets, supplements and FRESH fruits and veggies): about $80 a month

    Toys: about $70 a month

    Electricity: has gone up about $40 a month so that I can keep the TV on to entertain him while at work. In the winter it is more to keep the heat on, in August it will be much more to keep the AC on

    When I fly, I can't look for the cheapest flight, I have to look at what carrier has an open space for an animal on a fllight...that increases travel costs. Many hotels do not allow pets, so I can't look for a cheap or convienant room either, I have to look at who allows pets. Travel cage, perch and extras were about $450. Boarding the bird, instead of taking him with is about 15 bucks a day.

    Grooming: 12 bucks every 6 weeks.

    Solar light: $30

    New post and pans to replace the non stick cookware I was previously using : $2200

    Sonex foam so my neighbor didn't have to listen to bird vocalizatins on Saturday morning: $100

    replacing toxic plants with bird friendly plants $350

    Bird health insurance: $230 (I think)

    I also have 700 bucks set aside for "just in case"

    TIME 5 hours of out of cage time daily MINIMUM. 2 hours 1 on 1 time MINIMUM

        I admit that I am a bit of an extremist in making sure that Schroeder doesn't want for anything, but I think that people that take on the responsibility of living with a wild animal need to understand that the wild animals needs need to be taken care of first, your needs second. I am aware that some people may be inclined to say that we are probably well off and can probably afford it. We arent. My life changed quite a bit after I got him, I didn't have as much fun money to spend on luxury items and I cant go out right after work and stay out late with friends as often. I love my bird, he is a great source of joy in my life, and I would do anything for him. I wake up earlier to spend time with him in the morning and I watch less TV so we can play 1 on 1. I want him to have the best life possible.

        These are not cheap pets. Can you spend less money than I have? Certainly, but you get what you pay for. A bored bird in a cramped cage that never gets out of the house is not going to make a good life time companion. You can't rationalize with a bird. You can't say "Well Tweety, I was laid off this week and there isnt any money for veggies and toys, so suck it up a bit." If you are looking for a rescue bird to save a few hundred dollars, you will be disapointed when that few hnudred dollars of savings doesnt get you very far. Mickaboo is doing a wonderful job caring for and rehoming everyone elses unwanted birds. They are absorbing the cost of previous owners mistakes in or lacking care. I am impressed by how much financial support they are able to generate to keep their doors open. Please stop asking about adoption fees; ask yourself what you are going to be able to provide for your new pet, and not what Mickaboo is going to be able to save you.


  22. Jun 28, 2008



    I have a male two-year cockatiel who is well-loved, happy and gets plenty of attention. I'm considering for a companion for him, and am wondering if your organization is a good place to start. I live in Davis, California. Thanks in advance, and for all you do. I would like to make a donation as well! Susan

    1. Jul 15, 2008

      Hi Susan--

      Thanks for contacting us!  Best to send an email to and then we can follow up with all the information you'll need.


  23. Jul 15, 2008


    Hi! I was just wondering if you had 2 seperate budgies that are healthy, and would be good with kids. Any gender would be fine. Also I saw Bandit and really liked it. Lastly I would like to know if you have location in florida. Thanks!

    1. Jul 15, 2008

      Hello!  It sounds like your last question may cancel the first two......(sad)   We primarily adopt to people in Northern California with some exceptions for SoCal adotpers if we can make it work--no division in Florida unfortunately.


  24. Jul 17, 2008


    Hello my name is Francis and I want to know how much a dove(Doll) costs to adopt and also what do I have to do take it to foreign country(Korea)? I also have one more question. Can you train doves to fetch something and can they fly(doves) or are their wings clipped off? Thank you.

    1. Jul 17, 2008

      Hi Francis-- I don't think you're going to be able to bring a dove to Korea with you.  Generally, there are very strict quarantine rules related to international travel with birds.  The adoption fee for doves is $10.  No, you really can't train them to fetch.  Doves definitely can fly!