This empty stocking fund’s for the birds

Local rescue society needs food, items for brainy birds.

Brainy birds like this one will benefit from Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary's empty stocking fund.

It’s a Christmas wish list for our fine feathered friends.

Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary – B.C.’s only registered non-profit exotic bird rescue society – is seeking donations for its empty stocking fund.

The organization cares for and rehabilitates abandoned, orphaned, injured and unwanted birds, and offers lost bird recovery. It finds new homes for exotic birds, along with providing education and outreach programs to the public.

Greyhaven receives calls almost daily from people who want to give up their birds, says spokesperson Robin Fiorese, who lives in Port Kells along with a clutch of foster birds currently in her care.

Unfortunately, too many people aren’t prepared for the demands of owning an exotic bird – or their longevity.

“That’s the main problem, because they live so long, they will live in an average of seven homes in their lifetime,” Fiorese says, pointing out that a macaw, for instance, can live 80 to 100 years. Contrast that with a more traditional pet like a cat or a dog.

Pets outlive their owners, or are given up by people who realize – too late – that a parrot or cockatoo isn’t a good fit.

“People look at today and they don’t really look into the future,” she says.

The organization takes in around 200 birds a year. “I’ve probably got six birds that have shown up in the past two weeks.”

Most end up at the home of Greyhaven’s bird adoption director in Tsawwassen, but others are fostered out by volunteers across the Lower Mainland.

Founded in 1998, the society’s been without a home of its own for more than five years now, since leaving its former facility in the second floor of a plant nursery in Surrey, and is desperately looking for a new sanctuary.

“We want it to be a long-term thing. We need running water, heat, a place where people can get to and we can afford to pay the lease or rent, and the birds have to be safe,” she says.

Greyhaven is entirely volunteer-run, and relies on donations from the public to keep going.

This Christmas season, supporters can purchase an item from the society’s wish list at Feathered Addictions. Look for the link in under Empty Stocking Drive at www.greyhaven.bc.ca.

Items include rope perches, bird swings, tents, food, mineral blocks and toys designed to engage and amuse brainy exotic birds, highly intelligent animals that require mental stimulation.

There’s another way to help out –  and find something for you or the bird lover on your list. Under Greyhaven’s Books for Birds, a portion of online sales at Amazon.com will go back to the society. Visit Greyhaven’s website and follow the link.

Additionally, Greyhaven has also set up an account at Tisol’s Pet Food Bank. Visit the location nearest you, including: #103-20645 Langley Bypass in Langley, and #103-3010 152 Street, South Surrey.

Exotic birds aren’t for everyone. The attributes that make them so beautiful, intelligent and personable are the same reason why they are given up. They need a lot of mental stimulation, and if they’re unhappy they can be destructive.

“They’re like children who never grow up. They need toys. They need something to stimulate them.”

Follow the Cloverdale Reporter on Twitter and Facebook. View our print edition online.

Just Posted

Surrey mayor appoints his Safe Surrey Coalition to police transition committee

McCallum dissolved the city’s public safety committee last week in favour of the new committee

Surrey council approves modular housing projects for homeless after lengthy hearing

Vote comes after three-hour-long public hearing over supportive housing projects in Whalley, Guildford

Rollover crash in South Surrey

One person airlifted following incident near 40 Avenue and 160 Street

Annual waterfront border-collie jamboree cancelled following concerns

Restoring water quality in Boundary Bay will require sacrifice: LCWS

‘You don’t want to miss’ the fresh fruit, vegetables at upcoming Cloverdale Market Days

First-of-the-season corn, microgreens, honey, freshly baked goods and much more

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

Hazmat incident closes down Lower Mainland street

One person is believed to be dead, police said

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Pride flags stolen from Lower Mainland church

Went missing sometime Friday night, says Maple Ridge reverend

25 new wheelchair-accessible cabins open at Cultus Lake Provincial Park

Maple Bay Campground is now home to 25 new wheelchair friendly cabins, a first for BC Parks

Most Read