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OtRwC Day 17, Part 3: It's for the birds

Yesterday Elaine and I volunteered with the birds. Today Elaine went to the bunnies and I went back to the birds. Neither of us knew what kinds of birds, how many, what was up with this group, and in fact I wasn't particularly excited about going there. I had visions of an aviary with birds flying around and me cleaning shit off my clothing.

It didn't quite work out that way. Turns out the birds are separated into cages, one, two, maybe three of the big ones in a cage, larger bunches of cockatiels and other smaller birds. There are indoor cages and outdoor cages. During the warmer months the big guys are moved from the indoor to the outdoor cages every morning, so they can bask in the filtered sun for most of the day. They are moved back in the late afternoon. In the winter they have to stay inside the whole time, unless there is a window of warmth, in which case they get taken out for short periods.

The majority of the birds are varieties of parrots.

But I get ahead of myself. Let's enter the building.

Headquarters. Many many bird cages inside. And outside!

Volunteer Hughes gives the birdies showers. Hughes said he didn't like sitting still, and he certainly didn't sit down the whole morning yesterday. He swept and mopped and grabbed hoses and did anything they would let him do.

The sanctuary offers tours several times a day. The leaders of the tours drive groups around, stopping at the dogs and cats and birds - maybe more - and explaining what is going on. While we were there yesterday this group came through, and the bird person went into educational mode:

It occurred to me that one could gain a better understanding of many animals and actually have closer experiences with them at this sanctuary than you could get at most zoos or other similar institutions.

After we cleaned cages yesterday we got to sit outside and socialize. With the birds.

Elaine showed the bird - his name is Captain - what he looks like in the pic she just took.

This is Higgins. A real sweetheart.

Moi with Captain.

Nonny was surrendered along with all of his toys and this special perch. He had a loving family that had difficulty keeping him after fifteen years and tearfully gave him up.

Today I joined two interns in making bird toys. Just about anything goes in this activity, and it is done sitting down, which really works for me.

Another volunteer gave showers with this spray bottle today. This bird in particular just loved the water.

The outdoor cages offer lots of room and shade. The birds add the chatter. It is quite a performance.

In addition to the parrots and other domesticated birds, the sanctuary has rehab cages for wild birds that have fallen on hard times. Some of them can't mend well enough to go back to the wild so they are permanent residents. There are turkeys, geese, peacocks, blackbirds, and more. On the grounds are also chipmunks and rabbits rabbits rabbits! Adjacent to the bird area, a bit apart, is this building:

The signs say:

I wanted so much to peek. But I didn't.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 28th, 2007 02:54 am (UTC)
What a great trip you are having! :)

Keep posting.
Jun. 28th, 2007 03:23 am (UTC)
Yes, it's terrific! And I will. I am still behind!
Jun. 28th, 2007 09:42 am (UTC)
When I was in Australia, birds of these kinds were flying around naturally - it was amazing.

Looks like you had a good day.

What an adventure girl that you are taking!
Jun. 28th, 2007 12:26 pm (UTC)
One of the staffers asked me yesterday if I had any birds. I said no, that long ago I figured out that birds are better off staying where they came from. She nodded, agreeing with me. I know that these types of birds develop strong bonds with humans and are highly intelligent, so I can see the attraction. Their intelligence also suggests, to me, that they know when they are in prison.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


Judith Lautner
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