Founder, Birds of Paradise
As the chair of this organization, I’m often asked why the plight of captive parrots is so important and I love this question because a large part of my role is to be their voice in the sanctuary sector of the avian ecosystem. Perhaps the most direct answer is that parrots are absolutely ill-suited for captivity and with lifespans of up to 80 years they are more than a lifetime commitment for their owners. And this deeply concerns me as just these two factors force these beautiful, intelligent—and yet instinctively wild—animals to struggle through the constraints of captivity and face anxiety from broken bonds with their companion owners. In short, from a captive parrot’s perspective, we take far more than we can possibly give back to them. Legislation has not yet begun to catch up to the billion-dollar pet bird trade and estimates say there are more than 40 million parrots kept as pets in the US alone. My vision is that the Birds of Paradise Sanctuary & Rescue team will provide an ecosystem where rescued captive parrots thrive in an environment uniquely tailored to their characteristics and needs.