Apr 182012

Here are some of the informational and educational posters around the Refuge. 

Many of these have information about what birds eat and how to keep them happy in a home, like ideas like foraging and play. There are also species-specific informational posters throughout WPR to teach people about the various types of birds living at the Refuge, as well as from where they originate. There’s the self-guided-tour board and a number of warning signs throughout to keep both humans and parrots safe. Rosie the Macaw did a stand-up job making sure I read the posters in the informational display. Thank you, Rosie!

Horst was busy outside putting up some more of the educational banners along the walkway up to the entrance. There will be about a dozen or so when he’s finished.

Wendy told me that there will be two new outdoor flights being built, as soon as the weather is amenable. The posts and fencing was already there, now all that’s needed is a few days of sun to get them up!

22 photos – 2 pages


Other photos from the day:

Meet the Birds

Meet Some Staff

Jun 192011

Posted with permission from CreaturesAll.com. Written by Jonathan Martin.

Calgary Parrot ClubIn a first for Canada, and joining some of the more progressive bird clubs of North America, the Calgary Parrot Club (CPC) has shaken its ties to an earlier era, and embraced compassion as its overriding objective. Members of the CPC voted overwhelmingly to place the welfare of captive and wild parrots above the secular interests of parrot breeders and owners – individuals and companies who far too often view these magnificent creatures as mere objects or handy cash machines.

In so doing, the Calgary Parrot Club has closely aligned itself with the World Parrot Refuge in Coombs, on Vancouver Island.

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May 102011

The wonderful students at Diamond Elementary held a special fundraiser in order to sponsor Sassie, the Blue and Gold Macaw. They raised $520 – enough to fully sponsor Sassie for a whole year! Their class teacher is Ms. Howard, who personally sponsors Ewok the Amazon and Iggy the Moluccan cockatoo. What a creative way to teach children about both parrots and giving back to one’s community! The coloured parrots are so fun, and the enthusiasm of the children is palpable.

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Sep 142010

Do you know anyone who hoards birds or other animals? The World Parrot Refuge has received an email from a researcher with the television show Confessions: Animal Hoarders on Animal Planet. They work with the Humane Society of the United States, as well as friends, family, psychologists and social workers to offer solutions that are effective and compassionate to both the animals – and the person trying to care for them.

Animal hoarding is defined as: “… (a) failure to provide minimal standards of care for animals, denial that there is a problem… coupled with obsessive attempts to maintain and even increase the number of animals in the face of deteriorating conditions.” (Gary J. Patronek, VMD, PhD)

Why is the World Parrot Refuge getting involved? In Wendy’s words:

“I do think this is very important because we do get birds from such situations already in the making. I hear often from Ann of Phoenix Landing about the terrible situations in the US. Two this year alone were 1000 birds in one home and 100 in another. Needless to say most of them died.

I have received many parrots from such situations – although not in large numbers. Each and every one of the birds has arrived in very poor condition. I know these people start off with the best of intentions, but they have no clue as to the reality of the workload or the cost. The saddest part, of course, is that people who want to rid themselves of a problem just dump their unwanted pets on these already overburdened people.

We need for people to know that there are good places for these parrots to go to. If the World Parrot Refuge was televised so that people could see how parrots should be kept, I think it would truly make a difference.”

If you care about someone who might be an animal hoarder – or care about their pets – you can reach the Animal Hoarding Project at this link.

May 052010

This article has been reposted with the kind permission of Ambika Shukla.

Imagine being confined to the same room day after day, week after week, year after year. You cannot choose when and what you eat, how you spend your time, whether you have a partner and – if you do – who that partner is. Imagine never being able to seek out the company of another person, take a walk or decide anything for yourself.

If you can imagine this, you have some idea of how frustrated birds are when they are cooped up in cages. Just ask John Abraham.

A longtime animal supporter, John posed for a PETA print ad with the slogan “No One Wants to Be Caged: Let Birds Fly Free”.  Says John, “I crawled into a human-sized cage to depict the sad plight of birds imprisoned in cages. Birds are born to fly great distances. Keeping them jailed is a cruel thing to do and possibly the worst form of punishment anyone can think of for a bird”.  (Note: You can view the ad here.)

Click the link to finish reading the article:
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From Here to Forever

 Posted by at 12:06 am  1 Response »
Mar 212010

Grey Bird’s caregiver (see this story) wrote the following letter to Wendy after considering how he could give Grey Bird the best future that he possibly could.


I am impressed with your organization.

I have a Congo African Grey Parrot. She is female and is about 15 years old. Compared to some of the birds on your site, Grey Bird is in great shape. She has all her feathers and does not pluck herself, but her quality of life is not the best!

I have reached a point in my life when I would like to travel a bit. I cannot do so with her. She does not do well if she is moved! And I do not feel good leaving her.

A few weeks ago I saw a DVD entitled “The Cove”. It was about the slaughter of dolphins in Japan and about the dolphins that are captured and sent to “sea exhibits” around the world. The producer was the person who trained the original Flipper in the Flipper television series. Flipper ended his life in this man’s arms. Dolphins and whales are the only animals who can will themselves to stop breathing and this is what Flipper did. It opened this man’s eyes to the level of suffering of dolphins in captivity.

I think the same level of suffering is true for parrots! It opened my eyes.

What do dolphins and parrots have in common?

1. They are both highly intelligent creatures.

2. They are both VERY social animals.

3. They are both capable of living a long time. I think parrots outlive dolphins.

4. They both suffer a great deal in captivity.

Parrots cannot end their own suffering, but some of their “captive” behaviours make one think that they want to!

I tried to be a good owner. I rescued Grey Bird. There is no comparison to what she was when she came to me and what she is now, but I failed her as well.

What I see on a much deeper level now is that parrots cannot be kept happily as pets by a single owner in a cage, any more than dolphins can be happily kept in a sea world environment. Neither is possible.

Parrots should not be offered for sale.

In my other life I was a biologist. I majored in animal behaviour – ethology. The study of ethology teaches very clearly the difference between “tame” and “domesticated”. Dolphins and parrots can be easily tamed but never domesticated.

All wild animals have what are called flight distances. This is the distance a wild animal will let you approach before they attack or run. Sociable animals like parrots and dolphins can reduce this distance to zero. They allow human contact. This is the definition of “tame” – flight distance is reduced to zero. “Domestic” means the animal can thrive and do well in a human environment. Most domestic animals could not survive in any other environment. Cats, dogs, and cattle are some examples, but this is not true of dolphins or parrots. Most do not thrive.

Parrots require tremendous stimulation.

Alas poor Grey Bird leads a most deprived life. She has had the best of food (pellets!), care, etc, but I have failed her. She does not know that she is a bird. I know this. She actively courts Magi, my Papillon. What can I say?

I do not think it is in a parrot’s best interest to be someone’s pet.

Like I said, parrots are tamed, not domesticated. They need to be in colonies of their own kind. Like training Flipper did for the producer of The Cove, having Grey Bird has made me see very clearly how totally wrong it is to keep a parrot as a pet. I am her future, and I want to do what is best for her.

I want to give her the best “forever” future I possibly can.