Did you know that many parrots can live for decades? Even small birds, like cockatiels or conures, might live 30 years. Larger birds, like macaws, might live 80 or more. Because of their longevity, parrots often need a succession of good homes. That is why Phoenix Landing Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to the welfare of parrots, exists. After Ann Brooks, one of its founders, brought home a young green-wing macaw, she realized the bird, Phoenix, would likely outlive her. She co-founded an organization to help birds and and their people ensure birds would have a succession of prepared, knowledgeable, good homes. As of March 1, 2020, Phoenix Landing has helped 2,995 parrots since its founding in 2000.
Adopting a bird
The Phoenix Landing adoption center in Alexander, NC, houses up to 40 adoptable birds at any given time. Many more, however, are in foster homes across the mid-Atlantic and Southeast. There are always over 100 adoptable birds in Phoenix Landing’s care. Many come from loving homes, and find themselves needing new homes through no fault of their own. As such, Phoenix Landing hopes adoption will be considered first. In 2019, Phoenix Landing adopted out 104 birds. The adoption process includes an application, attendance at a free class, and a home visit. For the majority of adoptable birds, a home that wishes to adopt a bird first fosters the bird for two months before finalizing an adoption. This ensures the home and bird are a good fit for one another. If it is a good fit, then the adoption contract is signed, and adoption fee is paid, after the foster period is completed.
Learning about birds
Living with parrots is rewarding, but does come with own challenges. The birds in our homes are, at most, only a few generations removed from the wild. While they may be tame, they aren’t domesticated in the way dogs and cats are domesticated. Parrots are smart, curious, social, beautiful, and entertaining. They can also be loud and messy.
Their body language is subtle, and as prey animals, they hide signs of illness. All of these things prove to be a challenge for some living with them. Providing educational seminars and resources for those wishing to better understand and care for parrots is a core part of Phoenix Landing’s mission. Monthly classes and special workshops are provided at Phoenix Landing’s facility in Alexander, as well as in various locations across the mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Everyone is welcome, whether you have a parrot, or are just curious about them! The adoption center is also open immediately after the monthly classes for those interested in seeing the birds.
Phoenix Landing also hosts a biennial, international conference about parrots at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. It is called the Phoenix Landing Wellness Retreat, and the next one is May 16-17, 2020. It’s a great opportunity to learn about birds from leading veterinarians, behaviorists, and more.
Helping wild parrots
Many wild parrots are endangered or facing extinction. Habitat loss and the smuggling of parrots for the international pet trade are two of the top reasons for this. Because of this, Phoenix Landing also coordinates eco tours to provide an opportunity for people to see and learn about parrot behavior in the wild, and also support the local non-profits and organizations where parrots are found that are working to protect them. It is one way to try to counteract poaching and habitat destruction, by supporting the protection of these unique natural resources and species. The individuals who go on the Phoenix Landing trips also gain a better understanding of the parrot behavior they might see in their homes, and come away with ideas for how we can provide more enrichment for those in their care.
For more information about adoptable birds, adopting through Phoenix Landing, upcoming events, registering for Phoenix Landing’s conference, joining eco tours, volunteering, and other ways to help, visit Phoenix Landing website at http://www.phoenixlanding.org.
Article submitted by Nicole Renee Quagliata of Phoenix Landing for the Angel Pets Expo 2020 website.