Tuesday morning. The dawning sun warms the Hamilton Aviary and the sound of parrots squawking drown out the morning songbird chorus. A big black sedan rolls up and from it descends Eva, our volunteer of the week. She enters the aviary and immediately the parrots start to talk faster and louder. Eva has arrived!
For over two years now, Eva has been volunteering with the Hamilton Aviary. A bird-lover and fellow parrot-parent (or ‘parront’ as we like to call it) of her own Amazon, Eva stumbled across the Hamilton Aviary online while looking ways to get involved in her community. She knew right away that the Hamilton Aviary was the place she wanted to volunteer her time.
Since then, she has developed rich relationships with all the birds cared for at the aviary, Every Tuesday morning when she comes into the aviary Eva goes over to each bird to say good morning, doling out their daily meal with a friendly ‘hello’ to every feathered face. She makes surer to stop at while longer with Jessie and Tia who get especially excited when they see her. Her fondest memories are of them and the first time she was able to handle the two of them as they are both very picky when it comes to the company they keep.
“It is such a special thing to be able to gain the trust of these birds!” Eva said, with Tia on her knee. When all the work is done, she enjoys having the birds sit in her lap and having long conversations with them.
But her work does not stop when she leaves the aviary! Eva is one of the volunteers that provides food for flock, so she goes out and collects fruits and vegetables from grocery stores and cuts them up to make her “chop creations.” Each week she carefully decides what should go into these mixes to ensure the healthiest and tastiest options for the birds. She is considerate in making sure they do not get the same thing every time, because just like people, if you eat the same meal everyday it can get boring. She also takes time in the mornings to cook up scrambled eggs, and sometimes makes “bird muffins” as a treat. This week its pomegranates, kale and some pasta.
“The most rewarding part about volunteering is knowing I am contributing to the bird’s health, care and welfare.” Even when she is not there!
That, in short, is the goal of the Hamilton Aviary: to provide the best care possible for our flock. This includes providing food, regularly cleaning, enrichment activities, and of course lots of human and bird interaction with treats, petting, and chatting. However, these birds only receive proper care through the help of volunteers and public donations.
If you would like to, please donate to the Hamilton Aviary under the Donate tab on our website!
Written by: Michelle
Photographed by: Michelle