The days have flown by, and it’s time once again for us to wish you the happiest of holidays on behalf of our flock and all of our volunteers.
Gratitude has been much on our minds this year. Gratitude for our group of remarkable volunteers who give so much every day to ensure our flock has what they need, gratitude for our donors for all they do to allow us to continue our mission to give every member of our flock the highest quality of life possible, and, of course, gratitude for our flock for all they teach us each and every day.
This year has been all about recovery. Following last year’s accident, our focus for the year has been around trying to resume normalcy for the flock, to build on and improve what we have, and to return to routines that give them comfort and joy.
There are so many great success stories from our flock to share, so many birds who came to us in distress, either physical or mental, who’ve found a home and a place of peace that it can be hard to identify one story over the others to speak to, but this year we’d like to share the story of Harpo, one of our male Moluccan Cockatoos.
Harpo came to us from a sanctuary in Texas who could no longer handle him. Due to what he’d been subjected to in his life, he was extremely distrusting of other birds and people and would spend long periods of time screaming at himself and acting out violently.
Over time, with lots of patience and hard work by both the volunteers and Harpo, the transformation has been nothing short of amazing.
He’s now one of the most recognizable faces in the flock! Extremely outgoing, he spends most of his day running back and forth from room to room to visit his favorite volunteers, get snuggles and kisses, shred wood, and, occasionally, to even take a bath.
Seeing him slowly transform, learn to trust and discover that he has a home here surrounded by volunteers who love and support him has been extremely moving, and we’re thankful for him every day, as we are for every bird in our flock.
This year saw us accomplish a goal that’s been on our list for quite a while, replacing the original windows in our building! While it sounds like a small thing, doing so has provided for significantly increased natural light for the birds each day and will increase our energy efficiency and decrease our carbon footprint significantly in the years to come. The added benefit of giving the birds larger, and more access to areas they can view the world outside the sanctuary has been fun to watch as well. It’s not uncommon to arrive at the building to see one or more of our cockatoos peering out one of the windows, watching cars or passersby.
In 2019 we hope to continue to make improvements to our current building, and to keep providing enrichment opportunities and the highest quality of life possible for our flock. Our dream for the future is to find a space for outdoor flights, whether at our current building or a different one, but that’s our long term goal.
Of course, none of what we do would be possible without the hugely generous donations of funds to keep the flock fed and healthy, toys to keep them mentally stimulated, supplies to help us keep the building clean and tidy, and, of course, the donation of time so many of you make. We’re grateful for each and every one of you, and we wish you the very best this holiday season and in the year to come.