The World Parrot Refuge in Coombs has been empty for over a month, but there are still hundreds of birds looking for homes.
“At this point we are down to about 75 in Nanaimo and maybe 250 in the Lower Mainland,” said Jan Robson a spokesperson with the Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary in Vancouver, which took the lead in finding new homes for the 600 birds they started with.
Greyhaven was one of a number of organizations that stepped in earlier this year when the facility — for parrots from across the continent that could no longer be cared for — ran into difficulty after the death of its founder.
When the building on the Alberni Highway had to be vacated by the end of July, Greyhaven ended up moving about 500 birds to temporary locations in Nanaimo and the Lower Mainland while they looked into their health needs and permanent homes.
For Greyhaven, a non-profit group that usually gets about 200 birds spread through the year, finding adequate new homes for that many birds is a massive task.
“The adoptions have been going well,” Robson said, adding that money is now the biggest issue, having spent hundreds of thousands so far with the extra birds costing them as much as $50,000 a month in food, care and medical expenses.
Robson said that while the collapse of the valuable World Parrot Refuge was a sad story, they are slowly finding happy endings for most of the birds.
She points out that many of the long-living birds were in the refuge because they have complex needs and health issues and they are being very selective about finding the new homes.
She encourages people to go to the FAQ tab at greyhaven.bc.ca for more information, including how to donate or apply to adopt a bird.