The shame around here is that we've lost so many independents that used to carry GOOD quality birds and reptiles. Now the only option (unless you can find a breeder, or for reptiles want to do mail order) is Petsmart or Petco. I wouldn't buy a bird from either of those places if my life depended on it. It amazes me that they don't sell cats and dogs, (which I agree they shouldn't do) but have no problem selling very expensive, MUCH more intelligent, MUCH longer lived birds that need much more specialized care.
Dogs and cats end up in shelters, birds end up passed from pillar to post, surrendered, or just plain dead because they aren't properly cared for.
Our parrotlet is currently being boarded to protect her from the fumes of the polyurethane while they refinish the floors. They asked how old she was, and were amazed when I told them she was 7. Why should they be amazed? Even these little parrots should live to at least 20 with proper care. But the fact is, very few DO get proper care.
It's great that they are getting pet stores out of malls... they don't belong there. But the big box stores should also look at what a crummy job they do with their other animals too. (they do no better with fish, BTW)
Sorry, rant over. (though I'm sure Linda would agree with me.
Now back to our dog discussion!)