These guys are for the birds…..
I am fortunate to share my life with an Umbrella Cockatoo, who goes by the name of Ze’! We named him after our favorite bar in Buzios, Brazil (http://www.buziosonline.com.br/home/portugues/o-que-ver-e-fazer/comer-e-beber/bar-do-ze.cfm). I know, call me shallow, naming my sweet bird after a bar, but believe me when I tell you if you have ever had the joy of going, you would understand.
Life with an Umbrella Cockatoo (http://www.birdchannel.com/bird-species/profiles/umbrella-cockatoo-2.aspx) is not for the faint of heart. When Ze’ came into my life, I knew absolutely nothing about these guys! I treated Ze’ like he a dog. I took him everywhere, I played with him and I learned. I still remember the day, almost 12 years ago when I was able to bring this awesome guy (a mere 11 weeks old) home. Oh, what joy, what bliss, and what a complete incompetent when it came to knowing about these creatures!
Having Ze’ in my life has been an adventure of the most amazing sort. We have travelled together. He lived with us on our boat, he flew with me to the Bahamas (yes, I obtained the required Bird Passport), and he and I entered and won the Pet Owner Look-Alike contest at Fantasy Fest in Key West! http://www.sun-sentinel.com/travel/sfl-1029fantasyfest.jpg,0,3467841.photo.
When I purchased Ze’, I had no clue about the number of birds needing homes, that were in rescues all over the United States. I, like so many, just never knew of the epic numbers of birds suffering at the hands of many. Since then, my eyes are open, and I have learned. One friend aptly described my entrance into the avian world as “an accidental passion”, and oh how she nailed it! Thank you Patricia! http://parrotnation.com/.
I have had the honor of meeting and visiting with so many people who are passionate about the “rescue” and “re-homing” of the 100,000’s of birds waiting for their new home. I have met Jacqueline Johnson, the “guardian” of the sweet birds at Best Friends Animal Society http://bestfriends.org/common/pages/VideoCarousel.aspx?id=317.
It was a pleasure and honor to volunteer and work with the wonderful people at The Oasis. There I met and grew to admire Sybil Erden, the founder of The Oasis. http://the-oasis.org/
I’ve met the most astonishing group of people who run a fantastic foster network in Florida http://floridaparrotrescue.com/birds-for-adoption/. Rebecca Stockslager, the owner of Bonnie’s Birds in Florida has blown me away with her love and dedication to the cause http://www.bonniesbirds.org/. Sweet Bonnie Grafton, the original owner and founder of Bonnie’s Birds lost her heart during a visit to Best Friends Animal Society, and now resides and works with the 100+ birds that currently call Best Friends home!
Vicki Knox LeClaire, what can I say about this amazing woman? She and her husband run Miss Vicki’s Parrot Village in Georgia http://www.parrotvillage.org/. This woman is a saint, pure and simple!
And how could I not mention Robert Seymour? This man is a genius, an artist, and a man with a passion for helping animals find new homes. He gives his work and talent freely and with joy, and created the work that will be proudly worn by supporters of The Roaming Parrot! http://birdbreath.com/.
What do I say about Robin Shewokis? She is brilliant, simply brilliant! Her knowledge of all things avian is only surpassed by her love of these creatures. http://www.theleatherelves.com/main/index.php
Last, but by no means least is the amazing and talented Tony Sanchez. His art work will take your breath away. He inspires me to do better every time I see one of his paintings. http://www.tonysanchezart.com/.
I am sure I have missed mentioning many, and I do apologize. I just needed to thank everyone for bearing with me as I learn, and guiding me along the way. The avian community still has miles to go, as do I, but with people like these (and all I forgot to mention), how can we fail?