Sweet Jackie

 Posted by at 2:09 pm  No Responses »
Sep 012013

This is Jackie

Jackie was bought as a pet in the early 70’s At that time these parrots were not being bred in this country, so we can be assured that she was caught in the wild.

Sadly there was no understanding of the needs of these birds at that time. Bird seed and people food was the answer. Moluccan cockatoos come from one Island – Seram – in Indonesia.

As with all parrots they have evolved over 40 million years to be the birds we see today. The digestive systems of each species evolved to survive on the foods on their specific Island or country. Just because they are here does not change their requirements. In Seram these birds fly freely in beautiful sunshine, and the rains wash their feathers. They chew on the bark of trees that grow only there, and eat flowers, nuts and fruits that are not found anywhere else.

Jackie was fortunate enough not to be passed from home to home. She lived with her caregiver until the lady passed away. Jackie now lives at the World Parrot Refuge in our Senior Parrots Home. She made friends with other Moluccan cockatoos immediately. Parrots are a flock species and depend on their extended families to ensure their safety when feeding and sleeping.

Jackie is a very happy bird here at the Refuge. Jackie would love to have a special human who would choose to be her sponsor.

Refuge Photos Galore!

 Posted by at 12:04 pm  2 Responses »
Apr 182012

On Saturday, April 14, I spent a number of hours photographing the daily goings-on of the staff and volunteers, the many new signs and posters that are up with information about how to keep a parrot happy and healthy (provided by Phoenix Landing), and most importantly of all, some of the many feathered residents.

I will admit that my heart was stolen by Tilly, a sweet Congo African Grey with only a few feathers left, who came to the Refuge in January. You can read about her story here. I was pleased to see a few red tail feathers peeking out! She’s a feisty, happy, bright little bird. I just wanted to snuffle her fluff!

Please enjoy a “day in the life” of the Refuge. I did!

The birds!

There were many rustic tree stands and branches throughout the Refuge to give the birds some natural chewing “toys” (in addition to the many cardboard boxes they also enjoy destroying). The staff made the tree-perches and chew-branches from trees cut down out the back. The birds obviously enjoyed them very much: there were many chew marks to be seen.

The Blue and Gold Macaw in some of the photos was endearing: he’s alteast 60 years old. When I first spotted him, he was snoozing on a cage towards the back; then I saw him snacking on a strawberry on the floor; finally he was towards the front having a snooze on top of another cage. He was able to do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted.

I brought chop sticks with me; Tilly quite liked hers until she gave it up to sample a bean, and then snack on some broccoli. It was also good to see Lucky Loo, who was being kept company by her new friend, Nelson, a 40+ year old wild-caught Amazon. I found Batman being a naughty monkey-bird pulling paper from under Caesar’s cage. Caesar was oblivious, contentedly talking to himself above.

Some visitors to the Refuge also agreed to pose for photos with birds they had met. Brianne, a young lady from Edmonton, told me she always makes time to visit the Refuge. She hopes to bring more awareness to people in Edmonton about the plight of parrots, and of the Refuge.

60 photos – 3 pages

Other photos from the day:

Meet Some Staff

Education at the Refuge

New Arrivals

 Posted by at 10:00 am  No Responses »
Mar 202009


2009 continues to present challenges. As well as ongoing funding issues, new parrots come in daily it seems. Most arrive with no commitment to their financial needs and some have health issues.

Reuben Macaw is in poor condition. His feathers are picked almost bare in many places. His beak shows chalky areas and generally he seems to have experienced poor nutritional and environmental conditions. Wendy told me his estimated age – about ten I as I recall.

Kolbe is a two-year-old African Grey. His feathers are over-groomed to nothing, and he is extremely nervous around people. When he first arrived he cowered high in a corner of his cage. Within just a few days, he is gaining confidence.



Wendy reports that he is switching to the new food very quickly, and has been playing in his cage and even hanging upside down. That’s a great sign!

Remember you can contribute to the Virtual Adoption of any of our birds through the donations page. The average cost per bird is $500/year, but any donation helps immensely. Thanks again for checking in on us!

Chi Chi is Doing Fine!

 Posted by at 10:35 pm  3 Responses »
Nov 052008

It’s been over a year since Chi Chi’s first big walk, after the amputation to save her from cancer in her right hip.

I’m happy to report that she is a contented bird. She moves at will in and out of her cage, and because she has a special corner full of people and birds of all sub-species, she’s developed some interesting friendships – and nap-buddies!

Buster Update 4

 Posted by at 10:43 pm  2 Responses »
Nov 042008

Now that Buster has stopped chewing his injured wing, he can roam around the refuge free from bandages and the cone he hates so much!

He loves hangin’ out near the floor, with his buddy Dr Earl.

Goodbye to Esther

 Posted by at 5:34 pm  14 Responses »
Oct 152008

It’s never easy saying goodbye to loved ones, and in the case of larger-than-life inspirational cancer survivor, Esther, the Moluccan cockatoo, it’s even more difficult. You’ve read lots of stories about Esther on the website. Originally named Lester, but very fond of dropping the L, Lester quickly became Esther, and Esther worked his way into everybody’s heart, feathered or otherwise.

Wendy writes: “Esther came to us when he was 12 years old from a great and loving family, who wanted him to have the best life he could possibly have. Esther was with us for about 10 years. He had squamous cell carcinoma, which is a skin cancer – deadly in humans – most people die with within the first year. Esther had this type of cancer for about 8 years. He had 14 surgeries and 10 chemotherapy therapy treatments in the early stages, and went into remission for a year and a half, but then it came back. He reacted very badly to the next round of chemo so we had to stop. He was given 3 months to live – about 4 years ago!

Esther with one of her flock, former staff supervisor, Corinna

Esther with one of his flock, former staff supervisor, Corinna

“We tried a new treatment as follows: Esther said, “Cancer, go away” every day, and then I kissed it better with magical healing kisses. The cancer was almost gone on the outside. Esther was very happy and did all the educational shows with me. Esther greeted people when they arrived at the sanctuary. Esther was the sanctuary. Recently, Esther has looked the best he has ever looked since the cancer first came. He was a great weight and his feathers were fabulous. He even had new wing feathers coming in.”

However, on October 11, Esther passed away in a moment. As is fitting for a friend who gave so much to all of us, he did not suffer at all. And he was by Wendy’s side, so he was not alone.

We should let our beloved Esther have the last word, from this video taken by volunteer Grant Corriveau. Fly high, strong, and free, Esther. We love you!