Garuda Aviary Needs Volunteers!

Scarlett, ChewieDo you want to learn about parrots? What they should eat? What kind of stimulation they need? Their language? Their history? How they think? How they feel?  Are you good with animals? Do you feel like you know how to talk to them? How to respond to them and what their responses mean?

If you said yes to any of these questions, then maybe you should consider volunteering at Garuda Aviary.

We take in parrots that come from some of the most difficult situations of neglect, mistreatment, and abuse. Garuda Aviary’s guiding philosophy is based on rehabilitation from these traumas and offering lifetime sanctuary.

Volunteering at Garuda Aviary looks something like this:

  • Everything starts in the kitchen.
  • Because of the traumas our parrots have experienced from their previous owners, they can be timid, even fearful of new people. Working in the kitchen allows most of our flock to see you and become accustomed to your appearance.
  • While in the kitchen, you will learn about parrot diet and nutrition – what foods they should eat, what foods they shouldn’t eat and why.
  • You will help in preparing the flock’s food.
  • As the flock becomes more familiar with your appearance, you may assist in feeding the parrots.
  • All of this activity occurs under the supervision of Garuda Aviary’s Director of Avian Care.
  • All parrots and all people interact differently with one another. Your interaction with the flock may differ from others. How close you get to the flock is based upon your own individual karma.

We recently asked one of our volunteers about her ongoing experience at Garuda Aviary. This is what she said:

“I can’t remember exactly where I saw the request for volunteers at Garuda; I do know it was somewhere online – and it instantly tugged at my heart. I am powerfully drawn to the intelligence and beauty of parrots to the point where I have a blue and gold macaw as a member of my household. His name is Alex.

A DisagreementI volunteered at Garuda not really knowing what to expect. If I had only known the effect it would have on me, on my relationship with Alex, I would have volunteered many years ago.

Typically, when I first arrive at Garuda, and climb out of my car, I can feel the day’s stress and anxiety leave my body and go directly into the peaceful grounds of the aviary. As I go through my chores for the birds, collecting their food bowls, and chopping up their meal for the day, I can feel the excitement arise in the birds as they watch me work. Delivering their filled bowls to their cages, I can feel my heart fill with joy. I like to watch, sometimes, to see which item they go for first. The almond? The banana slice?

At the end of the day, as I walk away from the aviary, a true sense of fulfillment brings me joy and hope.

YaYa & ChloeAdditionally, I have learned so much about parrots, in particular, their perspective. Knowing now that they are prey, I understand more about Alex’s shrieks and body language, thanks to the vast store of knowledge which Christopher shares freely. Answering all my questions, offering suggestions, he has helped immensely with my relationship with Alex. My household is more peaceful now that I understand him in greater depth. I always knew Alex was intelligent; now I understand that intelligence to be more complicated that I thought. 

The day I spend each week at Garuda is what I mold the rest of my week around. I know that no matter what happens during the week, on the day I volunteer at Garuda, caring for those birds brings me a sense of peace and fulfillment like nowhere else.

….even if it gets a little noisy at times.

Claire Exten”


If the opportunity to help these parrots appeals to you and if you’re 18 years old or older, please contact us:


Not sure about volunteering? Come and visit the parrots at their outdoor flight cage during visiting hours and chat with our Director.

Harry, Jade






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


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