Along with the members of our Board of Directors and Consultants, other hardworking Volunteers perform the duties that make MAARS tick, including providing care for the birds at The MAARS Landing, transportation, avian veterinary care, grooming, education, consultation, fundraising, administration, and other crucial tasks.
MAARS has more than 60 regular Volunteers and runs twelve shifts per week at The Landing, each shift lasting at least four hours. Therefore, MAARS provides a minimum of 450 Volunteer hours each week in order to provide fresh food and water, clean cages, and socialization for the birds in MAARS’ care. Most — if not all — of the Volunteers, Directors, and veterinarians involved with MAARS also donate additional time and other services out of their dedication to the organization and the birds.
MAARS is the oldest avian welfare organization in the area and we have lots of goals for the future of our group. Volunteers with expertise in administration, grant writing, technology, law, humane work, veterinary medicine, writing, public relations, media, publishing, printing, environmentalism, education, fundraising, business, accounting, construction, maintenance, retail, and other professional areas can help us meet our goals to make a real difference for the birds and people we serve.
The homeless bird problem is quickly reaching epidemic proportions in our country. MAARS needs lots of help to properly maintain the birds in our care. We cannot in good conscience take in more birds than we can properly care for, so the more Volunteers who participate, the more birds we can help!
We also understand that the key to a long-term solution to the homeless bird epidemic is public eduation. We rely on our experienced Volunteers to provide this crucial piece in the avian welfare puzzle.
Because we are an all-volunteer organization relying on our volunteers to provide all of the day-to-day care of the flock and because of the time it takes to get to know the flock, we ask that all new volunteers commit to working one regular four-hour shift per week and to make a commitment of at least six months.
If the child is over 14 a parent will need to attend the volunteer training and the captive bird care class as well. For safety, the parent will also be required to volunteer until they and the shift manager are comfortable with the child’s knowledge of the shelter and the flock, and the child may eventually be able to volunteer on their own.
If the child is under the age of 14 a parent or adult will also need to be a regular volunteer.
The physical nature of taking care of the flock including cleaning enclosures, dishes, walls, and floors, means that volunteers should be able to lift at least 25 pounds, bend repeatedly, and perform physical activity for several hours.
All MAARS Volunteers are expected to comply with all MAARS Policies, Procedures & Protocols. Volunteers are provided detailed written information regarding policies and procedures including: safety/security and confidentiality, quarantine and veterinary protocols, and daily care/feeding/cleaning for MAARS birds. These policies are reviewed with all MAARS Volunteers during Volunteer orientation.
All Volunteers are required to attend at least one MAARS Basic Bird Care Class; Shift Managers are also required to attend an Advanced Bird Care Class taught by a MAARS veterinary care director.
The Board of Directors also holds Volunteer meetings as needed to insure that MAARS policies are clear and consistently implemented and to answer any Volunteer questions.
If you are interested in volunteering your time and expertise to help MAARS, please submit a Volunteer Application. This form is designed to provide MAARS with the information necessary to match you with MAARS Volunteer opportunities. Following review of your application, a MAARS representative will contact you to discuss your volunteer interests.
I’ve been working with parrot rescues and sanctuaries for over 10 years, and MAARS is leagues above any other place I’ve visited. The level of love and care that is given to these birds is phenomenal.
Many of the birds here have histories of severe abuse and/or neglect that have resulted in a myriad of behavior and psychological problems, but the staff and volunteers here create a safe space for the birds, allowing them to succeed and flourish in life.
I cannot even begin to put into words what an incredible place this is.
I have volunteered and been a part of this nonprofit for a long time. They are simply amazing. Everything they do, they do for the birds. I owe all my parrot knowledge to them. Just amazing folks doing amazing things for some amazing parrots.
(About Winston): He spent several years never knowing the freedom outside the bars of his cage. Everyone was too scared of him to take him out.
When he arrived at MAARS a few months ago, boy did everyone think we had our work cut out for us.
Today he climbed down from his perch and up on my lap and took a snack nice. He is a shadow of his former upset, sad, frustrated self. Seeing the changes in him is why I LOVE MAARS and spend my time volunteering there.
Parrots are complex creatures and they bite HARD, working with them isn’t always easy. This group of compassionate, persevering, patient, kind volunteers is literally unmatched anywhere.
This is rehabilitation at its finest. This is MAARS.
MAARS is the real deal! They have been working hard for more than two decades to both provide quality care for parrots who have lost their homes AND educate the public to help decrease the number of birds suffering because of the pet trade.
Since most captive parrots cannot be released into the wild, MAARS staff and volunteers are 100% dedicated to providing exactly what each bird needs to live the best possible life in captivity.
Many of the birds in their care have unique physical or psychological needs, and MAARS provides customized housing, food, toys, activities, socialization, medication, equipment, and whatever else is necessary for each bird’s health, safety, and comfort.
Having known MAARS since it began, it has been great to witness all of the advancements they’ve made over the years. They are constantly striving to meet and exceed their mission goals for the birds in their care, and to set new goals to make MAARS even better. They are also dedicated to education in order to make the world a better place for all parrots and other birds.
This bird sanctuary takes great care of their birds! The facility is well maintained and is super clean. The birds are fed fresh food daily and quality pellets. The volunteers are super good at working with parrots that other rescues can’t handle.
Really a great place!
MAARS is an aggregate of outstanding volunteers who provide care, feeding, medical and social needs for approx 85 predominately special needs parrots. No one is paid, so all donations go to this end.
The compassion shown each bird, each with an individual personality and set of circumstances, goes above and beyond merely sustaining them. They get fresh food, plentiful toys and a variety of stimulating interactions and activities (Yes, our parrots can and do paint!) so they can thrive.
It’s a pleasure forging relationships with these beautiful creatures and working with such a committed group of people.
If I were a bird, and found myself homeless, this would be a place I would hope to end up at. Every bird is cared for with their own specific needs in mind. Every volunteer is caring and committed to the welfare of the birds.
Several flock members have a sad story in their past but have come to a place they can call home and put the past behind them.
For me personally, I have learned so much about bird care since starting there. I’ve never met a more dedicated staff and am honored to work with and learn from them.
Best of all, the birds are happy!
The people are outstanding. Every minute they are in the sanctuary (and many hours they aren’t) is dedicated to improving the lives of some very interesting parrots.
The volunteers care about each other as well. The level of knowledge among this group of people is vast, because they have dealt with so many parrots, not only different species, but also difficult behavior and medical cases.
The birds at MAARS are obviously loved. Their welfare and quality of life are the top concerns of the organization, and it shows.
They also advocate adoption over breeding, educate the public and veterinary students about avian care through classes and outreach, and are becoming known for their ‘Painting Parrots.’
MAARS is such an incredible organization focused on improving the lives of parrots (and the people who love them!), both within and outside of the sanctuary. Birds are allowed to be birds here – loud screaming and playing encouraged!
I’m always in awe of how dedicated the volunteers here are to the health (physical and emotional) of the avian residents.
I have been a volunteer for MAARS for over 10 years and in that time I have watched remarkable transformations in the behavior, adjustment and general comfort and security of the nearly 100 birds who now call this sanctuary home.
Many parrots arrive with severe behavior issues, aggression and fear, often from prior neglect, abuse and abandonment.
This amazing and knowledgeable staff is so sensitive to the needs of each of these birds, tailoring behavior modification programs, diet and nutrition and social interaction to improve avian health, well-being and interaction with humans and other birds. The care and attention they receive is specific to the needs of each bird, consistent, and always designed for the good of the bird.
The changes in these distressed birds over years of ministrations, consideration and support have been astounding, both in the way they conduct themselves with others and in their general security and peace of mind.
The staff performs this care from volunteer and community donations and works miracles on a tiny budget. Volunteers bring supplies, homemade toys and food to augment.
MAARS is an extremely well-managed organization, with thanks to the experience of their dedicated senior staff and a few miracles thrown in for good measure.
One of the intents of the organization is to also educate people about owning birds–that they do not make good pets and that keeping free animals in captivity exacerbates the problems that sanctuaries see when owners decide to abandon their birds because they did not behave as imagined. This education is a very important part of saving wildlife as the world moves forward.