The Refuge’s beautiful 23,000 sq ft building provides a free flight, flock-oriented home for previously owned pet parrots. The insulated building is clad with steel sheeting (inside and out) for durability and easy cleaning. State-of-the-art radiant heating is fixed outside of the flights for the safety of the birds. The heaters are directed toward the flights, enabling the birds to choose a warmer or cooler location for their comfort. Wide patio doors on the enclosures will provide easy access to the large outdoor flights that are planned for the Refuge, to take advantage of the many warm, sunny days this area is famous for.
David and Jordi installed arbutus canopies in each of the flights to mimic a jungle habitat, so that the birds can enjoy a close to normal parrot lifestyle with the flock of their choice. They stay high in the canopy, chewing through a constant supply of arbutus branches and colourful homemade toys, which are constructed with a combination of natural wood (dyed with food coloring) and used Fisher Price and Playskool toys. These toys hang everywhere, awaiting playful destruction and ensuring a constant source of entertainment for the flocks. We also include knotted ropes for the parrots to swing and play on, or to use to reach the various feeding stations throughout the enclosures.
The Macaw House
This was the first section of the Refuge to be completed, and is a 5,000 sq ft area divided into four enclosures, each of which provides plenty of space for the macaws to fly. There are 16 double-glazed patio doors which provide access to a further 4,800 sq ft of outdoor flight space. Sunshine and natural trees within the safety of chain link fencing are available to the birds when the outdoor temperatures are parrot-safe.
The Cockatoo House
This section of the Refuge is a 5,400 sq ft area and is divided into two sides, with a ten foot wide walkway between them. The permanent enclosures have been completed on one side, providing a 90ft by 25ft flight which is already occupied by over 50 cockatoos – many of whom are already well hidden in their “jungle” home! These flights will eventually open on each side to outside flights having the same dimensions. All of the outside flights will also have an endless supply of chewable, perchable branches, reflecting the jungle canopy theme.
Amazon and African House
This section is a replica of the Cockatoo House, but these smaller parrots require branches of smaller dimensions and lots more of them! At present, the enclosure frames are constructed from timber, and are divided into five flights that are 25ft deep by 18ft wide. Once work is completed on the Cockatoo House, permanent enclosures will replace these structures, and each side will be converted into a single 90ft by 25ft flight, learning from the experience of the happy residents of the upgraded Cockatoo House.
The enclosures on one side are for the Amazons and, on the other side, for the African Greys and other African parrots. The area is also home to Eclectus parrots who love having the large floor area to simply run around.
Incoming and Special Needs
This is another 5000 sq ft section, located at the opposite end of the facility to the Macaw House. This section has a few uses, including the kitchen and food preparation area, housing for incoming parrots, large enclosures (eventually with outside flights) for new arrivals to become familiar with their new surroundings before choosing a flock to belong to, and the all important heart of the Refuge – the Judy Langille Wellness Centre. This special needs section has eight units complete with outside sunning areas for these birds who cannot fly.
As you can see from the following concept drawing of the finished Refuge, we still have a lot of work to do, including construction of many more outdoor flights to provide even more freedom for our special residents on sunny days. Please click on the “Donate Now” button below if you wish to help us bring this vision to life. Every dollar helps, and is tax deductible.