Ever volunteered at a parrot rescue centre? Want to? Well, if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like, this is how my days there usually go.
Fridays are our busiest day of the week, it is called “clean up Friday” after all. Now I usually arrive around 7am, Dee (owner of Brainy Birds) and I sit down for some morning tea before heading into the craziness! First things first, take all the birds in the “big bird room” (the room where most of our big birds sleep) out of their cages so that some of our dedicated volunteers can start cleaning out those cages before we head into the “small bird room”. Usually I get stuck washing most of the birdfood dishes with my buddy, “Pepper” the Eclectus. I actually don’t clean a lot of bird cages because I’m very easily distracted and what’s more distracting than, well, birds!
Dee and our amazing volunteers spend most of their time outside cleaning and scrubbing cages, also always someone to help out with the dishes. When most of the cleaning work is done we can start preparing fresh food for the birds, we never start chopping alone. Like always, I need Pepper with me, she hardly ever stops eating! On average we have around 5 birds ‘helping out’ amongst the two of us.
When the food is ready, we start moving the cages back into the rooms and try our best to find the right dishes for the right cages! We have a few ‘hair pulling’ moments when we can’t find that ONE dish to go into that ONE holder. Afterwards, we do the fun/scary part…finding all the birds and putting them back into their cages to eat. Why is it scary? Well, not all of the birds like all of us. Some birds, like our one male Eclectus, will go to everyone but you never know how he’ll react after stepping on your hand. Sometimes everything goes as planned, other times, well better go look for a bandaid!
We’re usually done around one in the afternoon, of course they still need to eat dinner…
So to bring things to a rather serious end, volunteering at a rescue centre isn’t always “fun” but we have to do our part. I often hear people saying they can’t bring themselves to volunteer or adopt from a rescue because it’s “too upsetting”, well I bet some of those animals/volunteers aren’t all that happy they have to be there either. As it is there are a lot of birds needing our help but we just don’t have the space to take in any more! Rescue centres (bird or not) need as much help as they can get.
If you can’t adopt, foster. If you can’t foster, donate. If you can’t donate, educate.