Image by Bruno Martins


How to apply for a bird


Safehaven is a nationwide network of safehouses and successful long-term foster homes.  Our charity is run by totally by volunteers who perform vital work as safehouses, area co-ordinators and Trustees.   Many of our volunteers also have other jobs and as such, rehoming a bird with you can take a little time.  Please bear with us whilst we juggle all of this, our bird’s health and wellbeing is our top priority.

To be able to apply to be a long-term foster home for one of our birds, you must be and remain for the duration of your safehousing or long-term fostering, a member of the charity.    This is a cost currently of £15 per year (annual) or £1.50 per month (recurring).  Follow the link here.

We cannot foster or safehouse a bird with a person under 18 years of age.

Birds that are long-term fostered or safehoused, must remain within England, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales.  Unfortunately, we do not currently operate outside of these boundaries.

Image by Ursula Spaulding

Our Adoption Process:

Stage 1: A home check

We start off at Safehaven, with a homecheck. Where possible, we will do this face-to-face. If a home visit is not possible, then it will be done over video call (either FaceTime, Skype or Facebook video call).

During a homecheck, we go through a questionnaire to find out what bird would best suit your lifestyle, routine and experience. Please be as honest as you can. Home-checks can of course be unsuccessful if we feel you’ve been dishonest with us or that we generally feel that no bird would be suited to your environment.

We try to support everyone as best we can. If it’s a specific parrot that you would like but we feel you are not ready yet, we will support you all the way; we will encourage you to do more research and advise you where we can, we will also then hold your hand once you have your desired parrot and make sure you are comfortable and confident with your new friend.

A home check doesn’t necessarily mean you HAVE to have a bird afterwards. Some people have home-checks done because they would like a pet bird but they don’t have a clue where to begin!


Stage 2: The pairing process

Once you’ve had your home-check done, and we’ve contacted you with our hypothesis, and whether you’ve passed or not, we would expect you to pay a membership fee of £15 (this can also be paid in monthly instalments of £1.50).

Then, we begin (if you are ready) the search for your new friend! This is the most exciting bit. We try to pair a bird as best we can to your desire and needs, as well as that of the bird.

At Safehaven Parrot Refuge, our aim is to place the Charity's birds with the most appropriate long term foster home according to their individual requirements.  This means taking into account not only your experience and knowledge, accommodation, lifestyle and the space available but also the needs and welfare of any existing animals or pets you may have in your household.


In some circumstances, this may mean that we are not able to place with u a particular bird that you had expressed an interest in or that you wanted and we are sorry if this upsets you.


In such circumstances, our Trustees will try to suggest alternatives but if you do not agree with their decision, unfortunately their decision is final because they are responsible for our birds welfare.

Stage 3: Adopting your new friend! 

Once we’ve found the chosen bird, that you are happy to rehome, we arrange to get the bird to you. There is a rehoming fee for each bird. After that, we ensure we support you the whole time. We are here to guide you and ensure your bird has the best possibly life with you.


Image by Xuqing Jia

What costs are involved in rehoming a bird from Safehaven?

When you long term foster a bird from Safehaven, you do not buy the bird. Our charges are to cover the costs of moving birds and assessing them, obtaining veterinary treatment and undertaking the homechecks of their new home along with continuing our rescue and rehabilitation work to help more birds in need.

What is the difference between a long term foster home and safehousing?

A safehouse is a member volunteer who gives up their time and part of their home to look after a donated/rescued bird in order to rehabilitate, assess and care for it whilst a long-term foster home is found.  They do not receive any payment for this service, but it is hugely rewarding due to the variety of birds cared for and gives immense satisfaction to the volunteers seeing a bird going off to its long-term foster home.   If you would like to be considered for safehousing, please contact us here.

As a long-term fosterer, the bird lives with you hopefully on a life-long permanent basis, however many birds within the parrot species live for decades.  We foster our birds rather than permanently adopt the birds to you because on occasions, illness or a change in circumstances forces a re-think and the bird is needed to be returned to us at the Charity.  We can then try to find the bird a new home.

The fostering ensures that the bird always belongs to the charity and therefore we are the life-long owners.  The new long-term foster carers must agree that if their circumstances change, then they will return the bird to us at Safehaven.  It cannot be sold or passed on to anyone else.  

Our Area Co-ordinators will arrange to visit the long-term fosters and bird periodically.  Any bird may be removed from a long-term foster home if the charity has concerns that the bird is at risk of harm or their living conditions are not appropriate, this is thankfully a very rare occurrence but we have to cover this unfortunate possibility.

Cites 1 birds

There are strict regulations around the trade of endangered species and whilst Safehaven does not sell our birds, we are still required to comply with the regulations.  This does mean that this affects our ability to request donations to cover the ongoing costs associated with rescuing and rehabilitating parrots considered as Cites 1 birds.


We do not apply for the required Article 10 certificate nor have birds microchipped (as required by Cites regulation) as we do not feel them undergoing an unnecessary anaesthetic procedure is warranted.  However we incur the same costs for the care of this category of birds as we do other non-Cites 1 birds and as such we would ask that members make a voluntary donation to the charity to help us continue to rescue and rehabilitate other birds when undertaking the long-term fostering of a Cites 1 category bird. 

Image by Hannah Dickens

                             Moving house?

Please ensure you keep us informed of any changes of address so that we may keep our records up to date. Should you move, please ensure you identify your nearest avian specialist vet as a priority in case you need to get the bird veterinary care.

Image by Shanon Palomino Salinas

Preparing to welcome your new parrot – what you will need:

Some parrots that come to us, do not always come with everything they need. We will try our best to rehome a bird with a cage but in some cases you may have to provide one prior to rehoming the bird OR we shall have to purchase one whereby we would expect you to may a small amount towards this. 

These are what you will need when you are preparing to rehome a parrot, feel free to contact us for recommendations on products for specific birds.


- Transport cage


- A new home cage


- Toys and enrichment activity


- Food: Our recommended food is Tidymix supplemented with fresh fruit and vegetables regularly.

Donations for long-term fostering

Small birds/parakeets: Budgies, lovebirds, cockatiels and similar sized birds.                          

Small parrots:  Senegal, Meyers, Quakers and Conures.                                                                  

Mid-size parrots: Miniature Macaws  


Medium parrots:  Amazons, African Greys, Goffin and Galah Cockatoos.                                    

Cockatoos: Umbrella, Ducorps, Corella, Major Mitchells                                                                  

Large breed Parrots: eg Macaws, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Moluccan Cockatoos                   


On occasion we have bonded pairs needed long-term foster homes.  If you are interested in providing a long-term home to such a pair, please discuss the appropriate donation with the Area Coordinator at the time of your homecheck.

£20 each

£100 each

£150 each

£210 each

£300 each

£400 each

Image by Atanas Dzhingarov