Featured Flock Member

Garuda Aviary is happy to welcome “Rosie” and “Green Guy” into our flock.

rosie.croppedRosie is a spirited and energetic Sun Conure. While otherwise physically normal, she has a deformed foot with only one rear toe. But she doesn’t let that slow her down. Rosie calls relentlessly for attention and will climb up the arm and onto the shoulder of anyone that responds.

Green Guy is a shy and reserved Red Crowned Amazon that does not “step up” (perch on a human’s hand) and does not like to be touched. He’d rather stay in the back of his cage and play with his toys. But like most Amazons, Green Guy has a large repertoire of curious calls and noises.green guy.croppe

Rosie and Green Guy were the last two occupants in a home that was being foreclosed. When a kind couple came to look at the empty and unheated house, they found these two parrots in a dimly lit room. The owner offered them to the couple for free because they were all about to become homeless.

Green Guy was not eating well due to of a mildly deformed beak. The new foster parents took him to the vet to have his beaked reshaped. After his beak was corrected, Green Guy ate and ate and ate… and hasn’t slowed down yet.

Their foster parents knew that they could only take proper care of these two for a limited time. An exhaustive search for the proper home led them to Garuda Aviary.

I have been looking at sanctuaries and yours resonated with me. I love the fact that the parrots are accepted as they are and can spend their lives being themselves.”

Rosie & Green Guy’s foster mother


We at Garuda Aviary would like to thank this compassionate couple for opening their hearts and securing a positive future for these sensitive and deserving creatures.




Amigo W.C. Pionus

1998 – 2014

This update comes with much sadness. Amigo has passed away. We spared no effort to find the root of Amigo’s illness. But sometimes this is a battle you cannot win. Our avian specialist veterinarian was able to rule out the most worrisome possibilities, such as Avian Borna Virus, Tuberculosis, and Psittacosis.
Amigo was on a regimen of medicines and a high calorie specialized recovery formula. Meanwhile, our highly skilled veterinarian pursued other possible causative pathologies right up to the end.
Amigo was comfortable, and her passing was peaceful.
In life, Amigo was proud, bossy and bold. But if you earned her respect, she was sweet and affectionate. While she was a small bird, (around 190 grams max.) she leaves a very big hole in our hearts.
We will miss you, Amigo. You were a true friend.

Garuda Aviary accumulated over $1500 in veterinary bills from the effort to treat Amigo’s illness. If you would like to help lighten the weight of these costs, please contribute today by clicking on the Donate button. Even small donations make a big difference. Thank you for your generosity.


Our Aviary Director, Christopher Zeoli, who watches over the Flock with an “eagle eye”, recently noticed that Amigo, our Pionus Parrot was visibly losing weight, napping a lot, making atypical vocalizations and exhibiting altered behavior.
After bringing Amigo to our trusted vet, the decision was made to keep her overnight to examine her and tube feed her. The next morning when Christopher returned, the vet did not have a diagnosis for Amigo. Her blood levels looked great, her organs read out as being in great shape. The vet went on to say that “sometimes a bird just gets knocked down and they may need help to pull through. And if they do, ‎they will generally pull through and recover.”
Amigo was sent me home with a “recovery formula” and a common veterinary antibiotic.
For over a week, Christopher vigilantly nursed Amigo, but still she was still not eating enough of her regular food to sustain life.
Christopher brought Amigo back to the vet, who was disheartened and perplexed to see Amigo not recovering. Looking at her file, he went through a long list of readings that did not provide any clues, “Her bloodwork looks great. Her organs look great. Kidneys, liver, heart looks great. These results provided no clues at all. She should be doing fine.”
Christopher explained that Amigo likes the recovery formula and she seems to eat regular food, but apparently not enough. Christopher suggested that perhaps it could be some kind of physical discomfort or obstruction to eating‎, because in her seed bowl he saw sunflower seeds that were broken open, but the kernels were uneaten. That made the vet furrow his brow. “It sounds like something wrong with her beak or jaw. But I took X-rays and saw no abnormalities.”
Before sending Christopher and Amigo home with instructions to continue the supplemental feedings and a referral to a local specialist, this is what the vet told Christopher, “I am really impressed with your follow through here. Without any doubt, you have kept this bird alive. Were it not for your attention, we would not be here having this conversation.”
That is because, here at Garuda Aviary, we NEVER give up – and we need your help to sustain our efforts to care for Amigo.
As our loyal and dedicated supporters, you will be happy to know the good news is that Amigo is still with us and she continues to be nursed under the watchful and vigilant eye of Christopher, our Aviary Director.
However, we currently have a vet bill for $1,200.00 and more expenses looming, if further vet care is needed.
Please help us to never give up on Amigo by making a contribution today!
To contribute now, please click on the donate button (which is in the upper right hand corner of this page) and be sure to note that your generosity is for Amigo’s Vet Bill.
We thank you for your compassion and generosity — and for never giving up on Amigo!
With gratitude,
The Garuda Aviary




Coco2 was our Featured Flock Member for June, 2014

Don’t Throw Me Away

 by Christopher (Rigdzen) Zeoli

You don’t have to go far to hear about an animal that has been “thrown away.” But that description is usually exaggerated symbolic imagery for a more mundane example of neglect and abandonment. In this case, the description “thrown away” is literal.
The story you are about to read comes to us from Samantha, a single mother struggling to raise two children with no child support coming in. Samantha and her children depend on every paycheck she brings home. And the apartment building they live in does not allow pets.

“In March 2012, my daughter and I were leaving the apartment and went outside. We noticed various tenants standing outside surrounding the dumpster. A couple of the local kids had sticks in their hands and were reaching into the dumpster. Curious to see what was all the commotion we walked down to the look inside the dumpster. There was a white Umbrella Cockatoo inside foraging through a garbage bag eating some old food. In that moment my heart sank for the cruelty I was witnessing. Realizing the situation and having some familiarity with parrots I immediately attempted to figure out his disposition. I gave him a toy to test his temperament. He seemed timid and unsure however; he extended his foot and grabbed the toy. He seemed to be enjoying all the attention and I attempted to extend my hand to him to see his reaction. He extended his foot and perched onto my hand. From this point I decided to take him home with me.”

While Samantha’s apartment building does not allow pets, her landlord gave her permission to keep the cockatoo temporarily until she found it a new home. Samantha scoured the Internet looking for any local postings of lost parrots, and to learn more about the type of animal she now had in her home.
“I began researching online and found that often Umbrella Cockatoo’s get passed from home to home and owner to owner stressing and plucking feathers because they are lonely and do not get enough attention from busy owners. I did not want this to be the case with this bird.”

Samantha was unsuccessful in both locating the cockatoo’s previous owners, and in finding it a new home. As time went on, she and her children began to regard this parrot as a family member. As their affection grew, they decided to call him “Coco.”
“(Coco) has been very loving and affectionate towards me and the kids. He has shared in our home life experiences with friends, meals, and outings. However, over the past couple of years, a few things have changed, more so in the past six months, and as my children are now more grown and have become more active outside of the home, they have less time for Coco. Likewise, during the time that we have had him he has gone through various anxiety stages from plucking more feathers, to biting my kids. One bite caused my son to lose an entire fingernail. It took four months to grow back. Coco once walked across the couch and approached my mother, a person who has had significant time with him and is aware of his nature. Coco crawled up her arm to seemingly show affection and then bit her face breaking the skin under her eye. When left for only a few minutes unattended he has ripped holes in my furniture. To my knowledge after researching and consulting with an avian vet, Coco also seems to have reached his sexual maturity which is in or around five years of age and as such has also began to frequently scream as loud as possible for attention. There are times where even when we attempt to show him attention, it is not enough, and for whatever reason he insists on being aggressive with us. This makes living with him and keeping the peace with our surrounding neighbors more difficult and physically more concerning for us at the home. Clearly, this is through no fault of his own and as a wild animal nature compels him to be destructive to keep himself busy and staying entertained. However, due to his sometimes volatile nature, predicting when he will be aggressive towards us has become more and more of a challenge.”

As I am very experienced with parrots, I can tell you that Coco’s behavior is typical for most types of cockatoo. The screaming, biting, feather plucking and destruction of property are all due to anxiety disorders that most parrots develop while living in captivity.  Samantha was facing disturbing and damaging behaviors that are very difficult to manage regardless of what the parrot owner’s living situation is. Her family was repeatedly enduring bite-related injuries. And Coco’s frequent screaming threatened to turn the fear of eviction into a reality.

Coco was unhappy with the confinement of apartment living. And his coping methods were doing damage to Samantha and her family’s home life. With a heavy heart, she contacted Garuda Aviary in the hopes that Coco could live in an environment suited to provide for his unique needs; where he may vocalize as loud and as long as he wants; a place with toys to chew and space to play.
So I am happy to report that Coco will become a member of our flock. And since we already have a bird named Coco, we’re calling this new one Coco2.

I would also like to convey Garuda Aviary’s heartfelt “Thank You” to Samantha and her family for pulling this poor creature from the trash and holding it close to their hearts. For a period of time, you relieved his suffering at no small cost to yourselves. Thank goodness you were there when he needed you the most.

And to future generations and historians, I beg you judge us kindly. I beg this plea because we will judged not only for the qualities of our penal system, but also for the lives that we throw away.


Please consider a donation to help us keep Coco2 and our other parrots sheltered, well fed, and loved.



Garuda Aviary
18400 River rd. Poolesville, MD. 20837
E-mail:    GarudaAviary@earthlink.net


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