Sunday, March 1, 2015

Parrot Refuge

One of the sad members of the World Parrot Refuge in Coombs, BC...
One of the parrots at the World Parrot Refuge in Coombs, BC...
The World Parrot Refuge at Coombs, BC takes in parrots from all across Canada that have been abandoned or abused. Many of these birds have been smuggled into the country. Parrot smuggling is a lucrative trade. Many of the birds die in transit. The ones that make it through are often abandoned once the owners realize that they are high maintenance animals.

The facility is a large warehouse which contains hundreds and hundreds of birds. When they all get to squawking the noise is ridiculously loud. The cockatoos are the most talkative... one of the regulars will fly up and land on visitors with a cheerful, "Hi ya' bud!"

Another cockatoo  repeats the phrase:"Hello? Is anyone there?" -- the recorded message of a phone left off the hook.

Many of them are in rough shape (see above) as a result of their abuse. Some of them are ornery, but most of them are friendly. Many of them are kept behind fencing but in the 'socialization' room, they are free to fly about and land on visitors if they choose. It's not unusual to find two or three of the cockatoos on your shoulders as well as the large blue macaw who is a sort of mascot for the facility.

Inmates at the World Parrot Refuge near Coombs, BC...

Beware though... you might get the odd nip as they explore your body for things to chew on. During this particular visit, the macaw discovered my coconut shell bracelet and made short work of it in his powerful beak.

Faux jungle canopy for the parrots at the World Parrot Refuge...

Staff do their best to create an interesting environment for the birds while surviving on donations and limited government loans. Above is an example of the elaborate perch and toy structures that they build to entertain the animals.

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