Frequently Asked Questions


Here are some answers to some frequently asked questions about the World Parrot Refuge!

What is happening to the Refuge since the sad passing of its founder, Wendy Huntbach
At June 5, 2016: Until further notice the Refuge itself is Closed while the birds are being examined and catalogued by a world renowned avian vet from “The Night Owl Bird hospital which is a Vancouver based veterinary hospital, wholly dedicated to the provision of exceptional avian veterinary services. Our head veterinarian is Dr. Anne McDonald, who, like the entire staff, shares a special interest in your feathered friends.” We can’t thank Dr, McDonald enough for donating her time and resources to ensure our birds are healthy and any injuries or age related issues are being treated properly. So far the birds have passed inspection and are considered well and have no disease. Great news for anyone who surrendered a much loved pet to the refuge. Further news will be posted as it becomes available. Thank you for your patience.

Our Thrift Shop remains OPEN and is filled with treasures. All proceeds go towards the care and feeding of the birds currently residing at the refuge. Donations welcome.

Where is the Refuge located?
The Refuge is located in Coombs, close to the Goats on the Roof – 2116 Alberni Hwy, Coombs BC V0R 1M0, for those with GPS. See our Visitor Info page for a map.

When is the Refuge open?
We’re open 10am to 4pm, every day of the year! (except Christmas Day and New Years Day)

How much is admission to the Refuge?
Adult: $14 + GST
Youth (13-17): $12 + GST
Children (6-12): $10+ GST
Children (5 and under): Free
Senior: $12 + GST
Family Day Pass (2 adults and 2 children/youth): $36 + GST
Family Annual Pass/Annual Membership (tax-deductible and entitles purchaser and three immediate family members to unlimited admission for the year): $120

How many parrots live at the Refuge?
We have over 960 parrots from more than 50 species, as well as one pigeon who thinks she is a parrot.

Where do all the parrots come from?
All of the parrots are previously owned pet parrots or ex-breeding stock, whose owners could no longer care for them.

Why can’t I buy a parrot?
The sanctuary provides a “Home For Life” for the parrots that are surrendered into our care. There are hundreds of thousands of parrots already on the pet-go-around. Check your local “Buy and Sell” – there are always birds listed in there that you can help by providing one with a Home For Life.

What do you mean by Virtual Adoption?
Sponsorship (or Virtual Adoption) of a surrendered parrot is what makes it possible for us to help so many parrots. Many birds come from Humane Societies who have seized them from dreadful situations. Many birds are surrendered from breeding situations without any sponsorship. Virtual Adoption helps these birds to get the care that they deserve.

How much does it cost to do a Virtual Adoption?
It costs the sanctuary an average of $500 per year to care for a healthy parrot, so a full sponsorship is $500 per year. Some people partially sponsor a parrot for $250 per year or some other amount they are comfortable with. Every penny that comes in for Virtual Adoption is used for the care and feeding of the parrots.

Why does it cost so much to look after a parrot, and how do you use my donations?
Think about the costs of running your home. You do not consider the high cost of electricity, water, heating, cleaning and maintenance as a luxury since you need these every day to live comfortably. In a sanctuary with a floor area of 23,000 square feet, the heating bill is enormous. We have 14 staff on hand to ensure that the facility always stays clean and healthy, and that the parrots get fed 3 times a day. The cost of seeds, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables, diet pellets, and special feeding formulas is very high. Add to this the things we all take for granted – lighting, hot water, brooms, mops and cleaning equipment, as well as cleaning products and laundry soaps. The list is endless, and that is only taking care of the needs of the healthy parrots. We also receive many birds who require constant medical care.

If I can’t donate money, are there other ways I can help?
Volunteering, fundraising, and collecting used toys for the parrots, are just a few ways you can help. Look at our Help Us page for inspiration!

I am no longer able to look after my pet parrot – can I bring him/her to the Refuge?
Make arrangements with Wendy via email or by phone and they will be accepted.

If I surrender a parrot, can I get it back?
The surrender form is a legal and binding contract. You sign the parrot over to the sanctuary. A sanctuary representative signs the document to say that we will provide a Home For Life for the bird, and that we will not breed, sell, give away or adopt out the parrot.

If I surrender a parrot, do I have to pay to support it?
Not everyone is able to financially support their previously owned pet. However, if you have the means, you are contributing to the long-term sustainability of the Refuge. Moreover, it is greatly appreciated and you will receive a tax-deductible receipt.

Download a Parrot Surrender Form here.
Right click the link and select “Save as” to save the form to your hard drive. A filled-out form must accompany any bird you wish to surrender to the World Parrot Refuge.

Can I volunteer at the Refuge?
We are always happy to have volunteer help. Learn more about Volunteering for the Refuge.

Can my group volunteer at the Refuge?
Yes – as long as we make arrangements in advance to ensure that we have a suitable project for your group, so that your valuable time is not wasted.

Can my child (under 16) volunteer at the Refuge?
Children under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Young people get so involved with things that they are not always aware of their surroundings and can easily get bitten. Think Work Safe.

Can someone give a talk to my organization?
We would love to come and speak to your organization. We would even bring parrots with us to assist. There is no direct cost for this educational service. However, any donations you can make are tax-deductible and go a long way to helping the parrots in our care.