Flock Talk October, 2013


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A Bio of Jade

The Blue-Throated Macaw is often mistaken for the larger Blue and Gold Macaw.

Jade.croppedThe Blue Throat is native to a small area of north-central Bolivia. Recent population and range estimates suggest that only about 100-150 of these astounding jewels remain in the wild. The two main causes for their decline are capture for the pet trade and land clearance for cattle ranches. This natural wonder is currently considered critically endangered and is protected by trading prohibitions.

Jade is the name of Garuda Aviary’s Blue-Throated Macaw. She became a member of our flock when our avian sanctuary was just starting. As a loner, Jade tended to gravitate toward interactions with people. Being small, she knew she needed big friends. A parrot’s affections are often gender specific. As a male, and the “alpha” of the flock, Jade would show her endearing side to Christopher Zeoli, our main caretaker and Director of Avian Care. She is one of the most adorable macaws we have ever encountered.

Put your head on my shoulderMeanwhile, another member of our flock was struggling with some very difficult times. Harry, one of our Blue and Gold Macaws, had just suffered the loss of his mate, Juliet. After a period of mourning time for Harry, Jade began approaching Harry. And who could blame her? Harry is a handsome and distinguished-looking fellow. Harry was receptive to the lovely Jade, and romance was born! When two macaws bond as mates, they often distance themselves from the rest of the flock to prevent competition from other flock members. In this case, Harry and Jade became a fearsome force in the flock. They protect and defend each other as only life-bonded macaws do. Since Jade had found her mate, she was less interested in the attention of others, including Christopher! Boo hoo! Despite this shift in affection, we have felt nothing but joy over Harry and Jade’s union. Their love for each other is palpable. Awww!

Ask our “Bird Whisperer”

Recently, we have received questions from several bird owners and bird lovers.

Our Director of Avian Care, Christopher Zeoli, whom we refer to as the “Bird Whisperer” because of the breadth and depth of his avian knowledge and experience, has been busy responding to various queries. We wanted to share some of the most recent Q&A’s with our regular Flock Talk subscribers. If you have a question for our “Bird Whisperer”, please email your question to us at garudaaviary@earthlink.net


Q: I have an outdoor aviary for my orange winged Amazon. How late in the season do you let them play in your outdoor aviary? I bring my bird in every night, and we let him play outdoors on most summer good weather days. I’m just not sure how much cold he can take and still enjoy the outdoors. Can you give me any advice?

threeonastickA: In response to your question, our birds are generally comfortable outside as long as the temperature is above 60ºF. However, we do have some feather-plucked parrots and a few small parrots (goffins, conures, etc) that aren’t comfortable outside unless it’s above 65ºF.

Rain and thunderstorms are an obvious reason to keep our birds inside. But wind can also be a factor. Even if the temperature is above 60ºF, our fully-feathered parrots can get chilly on a windy day.

If your bird is fully-feathered, then I’m confident he’ll be comfortable outside in temperatures above 60ºF. But always supervise! If he’s trembling, then it is best to bring him in.

Disclaimer: Our Director of Avian Care has over 15 years of avian experience, however, he is not a veterinarian. For any medical conditions or emergencies, please consult an avian veterinarian. Garuda Aviary accepts no liability or responsibility to any person as a consequence of any reliance upon the information contained in Flock Talk.

A Volunteer’s View

Welcome to the Aviary

Bobby says Hi!The first thing you notice as you walk down the hill to the aviary building is the overwhelming noise. This is because parrots – as prey birds – have excellent eyesight and an alarm is sounded when something approaches their home. When I first started volunteering, Christopher Zeoli, our Director of Avian Care told me that the birds would know exactly how many buttons I had on my jacket as I walked down the hill, because survival of birds in the wild is dependent on their visual acuity.

The Garuda Aviary birds, for whom we have the privilege to care for, are also survivors but not of the forces in their natural habitats. These are birds that were poached/bred/sold for humans and then abused/abandoned or were unable to be cared for by their owners. Parrots can live for up to 100 years, and have the mentality of a three-year-old child. This affects their long-term welfare in two significant ways:

  • They will undoubtedly outlive their first “owner” and another willing person (or persons) will need to take on the role of becoming their new caretaker, and
  • For the duration of their lives they will behave in a fashion similar to a three-year-old – with noise, behavior and constant emotional needs.

As someone who has never had a particular interest in birds other than those still in the wild, volunteering at the Garuda Aviary has opened my heart and eyes in unexpected ways. As part of my volunteer duties, I have the good fortune to give the birds breakfast – fresh nuts, seed and water ­- two mornings a week. I have begun to get to know the personalities of at least some of them. And I have grown to love them and think more about their suffering, and the suffering of all beings.

Thank you!

Ani K.

Volunteer At Garuda Aviary

Would you like to become a volunteer at the Garuda Aviary?

We are recruiting for volunteers to help in the Garuda Aviary, our lifelong sanctuary for abused, neglected, and abandoned companion Parrots and other exotic birds.

We offer ALL of our volunteers a safety orientation and volunteer guideline training. Please note that volunteers must be 18 years or older.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at the Garuda Aviary, please send us an email at garudaaviary@earthlink.net

Thank you for your interest!

Light up their Lives!

Did you know that Parrots are essentially wild animals?
They are accustomed to natural full spectrum light from the sun.

IMG_20141207_183131croppedIn a domestic environment, they need full spectrum light to stave off depression and anxiety. A parrot’s vision is extraordinary and it is their most important sense. Full spectrum light is crucial to a parrot’s mental and emotional health. Here at Garuda Aviary, as autumn approaches and the days get shorter and colder, our flock has less opportunity to experience natural sunlight in their outdoor flight cage, and full spectrum indoor lights are especially important. Currently, we are in need of new full spectrum light bulbs for the indoor aviary. Each light bulb costs about $18 and our need is ongoing, as the bulbs do eventually burn out. The Garuda Aviary will be purchasing these special light bulbs and we would like to invite you, our caring contributors, to literally help “light up the lives” of our flock!

To make a contribution of $18 dollars, or any amount, to be used towards full spectrum lighting, please click on the DONATE button at the bottom of this page.

Rest assured that your kind contribution will go a long way to both maintaining and improving the flock’s mental and emotional health. As always, our deepest thanks for your kind contribution. Thank you for “lighting up their lives”!