After reading an article in the local newspaper Cindy found herself volunteering for The Hamilton Aviary. That was four years ago! A proud parrot parent - or parront as the lingo goes - Cindy brings the same love and compassion she has for her birds to the members of the aviary flock. “I love all the birds at the aviary as if they were my own.”
It’s a Thursday, and the birdhouse is filled with a riot of noise as each of the birds wait for their treat. Cindy visits each cage in turn, handing out treats to eager beaks. She tells me that her favourite part of volunteering at the aviary is “interacting with and developing relationships with every bird.” She always makes sure to talk with the birds and when she feels she’ll even sing a song or too. Her go-to song is Oh Canada which warrants a chorus of squawks and chirps from the cockatoos. Volunteering at the aviary is not all song and dance though, and Cindy is quick to mention the expansive daily care required to keep the birds happy and healthy. This includes feeding the birds, cleaning out their cages, giving them mini-showers and nutritious treats, and providing daily enrichment - necessary social interaction important to their mental health. Today they will be letting the birds out of their cages to fly and climb around as they please - under a watchful eye of course.
“The most rewarding part of caring for the birds is their growing response to you,” she says. Tia, our Citron-crested Cockatoo, has taken quite a liking to Cindy and will often choose to cuddle with her during his enrichment period. When asked why she continues to volunteer, Cindy’s reply is to the point: “The bird’s need us!” What better reason could there be?
If you would like to volunteer at The Hamilton Aviary please apply on our website!