Special Needs – Judy Langille Avian Wellness Centre


Judy Langille is a wonderful benefactor who made a huge contribution that enabled us to set up a special needs unit. The Judy Langille Wellness Centre is the heart of the refuge and provides us with a place to give individual attention to an ever-growing number of our psittacine family.

Special Needs Unit Patients

Many newcomers arrive at the Refuge in poor physical condition. The special needs unit is home to parrots with a multitude of medical and physical problems that make it impossible to them to join the free flight flock facility. None of the birds in pallative care are sick with contagious diseases. Some are crippled, often as a result of neglect, abuse, or injuries sustained when being trapped in the wild. Others are self mutilators, and compulsively pluck out their feathers, which is a common response amongst parrots when dealing with the stresses of captivity. Many others have cancer. More often than not, their illnesses can be associated with years of malnutrition, lack of sunshine, physical confinement and emotional deprivation.

Their stay in this section may be for just a few weeks for short-term medical intervention but in some cases, it becomes their home. Most of the birds here are not caged and are able to wander around at their leisure. Some are justifiably cautious and others are gregarious as they meet and greet visitors, demanding lots of love and attention.

Currently the pallative care unit houses 53 parrots, ranging from a Green-winged macaw to a budgie. The variety of reasons for being in the unit is just as diverse. Several of the Moluccan cockatoos have cancer. One of the Amazon parrots has epilepsy and has been on medication for 25 years. Some of the macaws and Umbrella cockatoos have extreme physical disabilities that were caused when they were caught in snare traps in the wild.

We have emotionally abused cockatoos who cannot forget the horrible words that were used as weapons against them when they pulled out their feathers, while locked in cages in lonely rooms known as “the bird room”.

We have physically abused birds who were so badly beaten that their wings still hang down or they yell “Damn Bird! Damn Bird!”. We have an Eclectus, who was kept in a 20″ square cage on the floor of a garage in an area prone to melting summer heat and long freezing winters, and now suffers from arthritis so badly that his grip is as soft as a touch. He now loves his huge run-around area with his chosen friend, another Eclectus, who was traded to a body shop for work on a car, and who is also now enjoying love, a great diet and fresh air. She actually lived in the body shop where all those chemicals were used.

Sadly many of the birds have become extreme self mutilators. We give them the medical care needed to prevent infection in their wounds. Soon they improve with  continuous loving care and a more appropriate diet  and soon they are able to go back to their own flock in the refuge.

Some of the Moluccan cockatoos here have cancer, but with modern medicine, love and dedication their lives continue in a controlled manner. Elvis a Moluccan Cockatoo is very old (possibly over 60) and is blind from macular degeneration, which is the same aging problem that affects humans. With proper care and love he will live out the rest of his life in the safety and comfort of the World Parrot Refuge.

There are so many reasons why these birds are in the pallative care unit. The financial cost to the refuge is enormous as, for many of the birds, it is intensive care. Your help is desperately needed. If you feel you can donate any money, even $5 can be a great help, please click on the following “Donate Now” button. If you would like to Virtually Adopt a bird, please visit our Virtual Adoption page for more information.