Nene and his counterpart in our logo
We've just about wrapped up another great year here at SoCal Parrot. It was our busiest year ever but we are so lucky to have staff and volunteers that dedicate their time to SCP. Their help as well as everyone that helps us out with donations makes all of this possible.
On October 9th we had our 4th Annual Picnic with the Parrots. In the past we would have guest speakers and vendors throughout our two acre property. It made for an awesome event but it also took months of planning and organizing. We just don't have that amount of time anymore due to the number of parrots that come in. So now we have simplified our event which has actually made it better. As always, everyone is still welcome to have an actual picnic at our property. We are now able to focus our tours on the most important thing, our parrots. We are able to spend more time on an individual basis with each visitor. This year was our most successful Picnic as far as donations go as well. Our sanctuary is closed to the public other than this event so it was great to see many donors that keep visiting year after year.
One of the best benefits of running a non-profit for animals is the people you meet who you might never cross paths with. I'm not allowed to use last names in these reports so I'll be using initials in place of last names. Bonnie Z., the Director of the Indonesian Parrot Project, visited from Northern California to see our Amazon release. She has been a longtime supporter of ours and was a guest speaker at one of our previous Picnic with the Parrots. She brought Charles B. along for the visit as well. Chuck is an accomplished writer, photographer and professor at Pacific Lutheran University. You can see what he has accomplished at www.charlesbergman.com. He just happened to be putting together a story on naturalized parrots so it was a perfect fit. We were so happy to see that they were both able to see our San Diego flock of 500 Amazons flying in to their night roost. Pat L. has been a constant supporter for years and she made the trip to San Diego from Arizona for a visit during our Picnic with the Parrots. Her experience as an avian veterinarian is extensive and her artwork is amazing. It is humbling for us here at SCP to have people travel to see our organization and sanctuary who, in the case of Bonnie, Chuck and Pat, have traveled to Indonesia to save a species on the brink of extinction, released African Grey parrots in Uganda with Jane G. (a very well known primatologist) and have volunteered in New Zealand to help save the Kakapo.
Brooke (SCP Director and Founder) and I visited the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival in November. It is a huge event that is very popular with birders. It was very popular with us because it is based in Harlingen, Texas, which is right along the Texas border with Mexico along with Brownsville, McAllen and Weslaco, which are home to naturally occuring Rec-crowned Amazons. Texas Parks and Wildlife estimates that half of the existing population of native Red-Crowned Amazons currently reside in Texas. This is very exciting news to us. Red-crowns are occuring naturally in the United States! It was awesome to see the Red-crowns thriving in these Texas cities, just like they are in Southern California. It gives us hope that the existing native wild population will survive even if they become extinct in Mexico. A bonus for us is that the tour guides to see the parrots were the scientists that are currently studying the parrot populations in Texas. You can check out their programs at www.facebook.com/TejanoParrots/ and www.inaturalist.org/projects/red-crowned-parrot-project.
We released 37 Amazons at our release in November! A majority are babies and fledglings from this year that are now old enough to fly and fend for themselves. What we are really proud of are the parrots that for one reason or another were forced to be here at our sanctuary for over a year. Here are a couple of the stories from this year's release of what some of these parrots go through to be able to be reunited with their wild flock. In July of 2015, a young fledgling came in with a puncture through the left side of its beak. When they are young, a parrot's beak is soft so at some point he was most likely bitten which caused the puncture. His beak was able to heal and a scar is the only sign he was injured. We took in an adult Red-Crown that was larger than normal and very muscular in late September of 2015. He had punctures in his central and right side of his chest along with a swollen right wing. Our best guess is that the injures were due to a raptor. The one thing parrots have going for them is that beak, I can see a raptor figuring out pretty quick that what they thought was dinner can fight back. It always amazes me how resilient parrots are. You'd assume they are fragile but some of the injuries I've seen these parrots recover from is remarkable.
We'd like to once again thank everyone who has helped us, we couldn't do it without you. We'd also like to thank everyone that donated recently in GlobalGiving's Giving Tuesday where their donations were matched with additional funds. It is near the end of the year so please keep us in mind if you would like to contribute any donations for your year end tax planning. Thanks again!
Our first two Amazons - Kai and Hilo