Top O’ The Mornin’ this fine spring day! Southern California has had *quite* the drenching of winter rain (with occasional hail,) keeping us mostly indoors. But finally (!!) we are enjoying mother nature’s payoff - Painted Lady butterflies in droves have set our skies aflutter chasing after a record-breaking wildflower bloom along the entire state. We hope you’re able to get outside this weekend and enjoy a little Irish-luck and spring green in your neck of the woods.
We feel like the luckiest leprechauns to have YOU, our members, supporting our parrot adoption program and educational classes. Because of your support, we’re happy to announce THE FIRST TWO ADOPTIONS OF THE YEAR!
Our little Lance (Senegal parrot,) has found his home with wonderful mom Amanda! Amanda says Lance is doing great playing with his toys and sharing special snuggle movie-nights with her. Congratulations Amanda and Lance, we’re thrilled you each found your new best friend!
Sunny, our White-bellied Caique also got lucky with love and found a permanent home with his foster family! Sunny may have set a world speed record for “foster-failure” with his family who instantly fell in love and put in adoption paperwork faster than you can say “Cheers!” in Irish (“Sláinte!”) We can see by the look on Klair’s face that she feels just as lucky to have found Sunny too.
Update on Virulent Newcastle Disease Outbreak in Southern California
Well, this is the one “unlucky” story we wish we didn’t need to share, but the outbreak for Virulent Newcastle Disease (VND) that started last year, has not yet ended. New cases have been found in Utah (traced to a bird moved from Los Angeles,) and most recently, in San Mateo County in Northern California.
VND, formerly known as Exotic Newcastle Disease, is a serious, highly contagious viral disease that can affect poultry and other birds. In rare cases, humans that have exposure to infected birds may get eye inflammation or mild fever-like symptoms. There is no effective cure for virulent Newcastle Disease.
The virus is found in respiratory discharges and feces and may cause high rates of sickness and death in susceptible birds. For poultry, chickens are most susceptible and ducks and geese are the least susceptible. Mortality rates for Psittacine birds (parrots) can range from zero up to 75%. Certain parrots, especially Amazon parrots, can shed VND virus intermittently in excess of one year and thus transmit the disease to chickens and other pet birds. Once VND is introduced into domestic avian populations, subsequent spread is normally caused by domestic bird-to-bird contact or through contact with contaminated people, feed or equipment.
What can you do to keep your companion pet parrots safe?
If you are residing within the regional quarantine zone set up around Los Angeles and Riverside Counties, keep your birds indoors and keep your pet birds away from any and all other birds.
Additional ways to protect your birds (and best-practice procedures for all companion parrot owners,) include:
Don’t visit poultry farms, farms that may contain other domestic fowl or any bird mart or fair that may have domestic fowl, pigeons, doves, geese, ducks, ratites (like ostriches,) or quail on site. Should you bring a new bird onto your property, quarantine them for 30 days before bringing them in contact with any birds you may have.
Try to keep people who also have birds, from visiting your property. If you should visit family and friends with birds: shower, wash your clothes and change your shoes before handling your birds. Don’t visit them without taking these same steps if you have handled your bird. And share information about VND with family and friends.
Most importantly: Stay informed! To view the regional quarantine map and learn more about biosecurity measures you can take to keep your birds safe, please visit the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s website at www.cdfa.ca.gov or call the Sick Bird Hotline at 866-922-2473, for more information.
Featured Adoptable Parrots - Ruby and Mango
PEAC’s foster mom for Ruby the Greenwing macaw told us the cutest story about his latest accomplishment. She said that Ruby never climbs down off his cage, but when some new toys were given out, Ruby noticed that one of them was a stuffed toy parrot that looked just like him! Ruby snuck down to claim it as his own and proudly took it back to his cage all by himself. We think he looks especially pleased in the picture she shared with us, what do you think?!
If you couldn’t make it to our Volunteer meeting last weekend, then you missed one of our newest volunteers, Tori, creating beautiful artwork of each of our adoptable parrots! We just had to include a picture of Mango (a Senegal,) who is enchanted by what she is seeing! It was a real treat and we’ll do our best to share more of her drawings in future newsletters!
If you would like to learn about some of our other parrots who are looking for a home, please visit our adoptable parrot profiles at PEAC.petfinder.com to learn more about each of our birds.
And follow us on Facebook (@peac.org); Twitter (@PEACsandiego) or Instagram (@peac_sandiego) for more cute photos and stories about all of our adoptable parrots (and more of Tori’s artwork!)
What’s It Like to Foster a Parrot for PEAC?!
We asked one of our newest fosters, Daniela, to tell us about her experience fostering one of PEAC’s adoptable parrots and to catch us up on how Baby, our adoptable Yellow Collared mini macaw, is doing. This is their story.
Last year, when I attended my first Volunteer Meeting and Parrot Behavior, Foraging & Enrichment Class, it was basically just to learn more about the organization. I was not thinking that pretty soon after I would foster a parrot for PEAC.
However, being a foster is very rewarding for me, not only to provide shelter for a parrot I can take care of until they find a loving forever home, but I also get to work with different parrots and their unique personalities, backgrounds and stories. And while giving those intelligent and challenging beings love and security, they show me their gratitude in so many ways.
When Baby came to me a few weeks ago, he wouldn’t really step up or want to engage, especially during the day. I was still a stranger to Baby, and he needed time to get to know me and I respected that. But I also wanted to challenge him (probably more myself) and see how far we could come. At first, I just visited him during the day in his bird room, talked to him, offered him treats (which he gladly accepted) and left his cage door open whenever I was home. It took him only two days to come out and explore his new environment. But still no stepping up.
So, I decided to try and use target training with him. Target training can be a great way to communicate with your parrot and build trust. To my surprise, he picked up on it very quickly. One morning using the target stick (a simple chopstick) he stretched his foot out and tried to step on it. Maybe you can imagine how clumsy he was considering his weight and how much he must have trusted me to hold him on that little tiny stick.
That was the breakthrough for us. We found a way to communicate and get him out during the day without having to step up on my hand. Since then I give him an option every single day - “hand” or “stick.” I now use a stick that is similar to his perch. He also got to experience fun things during the day whenever he steps up on the stick, as a reinforcement. He is going outside in the yard (protected and secure of course), watching the food preparation in the morning, he is able to hang out on different play gyms in the house, etc.
Baby has come a long way in a few weeks. He talks, is with my other parrots and me in the living room during the day whenever I am home. He is trying new foods, steps up more and more on the hand, and he lets me touch his head and beak. We also went to our first vet appointment for grooming where he charmed the whole staff and stepped up for the vet with no hesitation! Sometimes we laugh and sing together and he has started to say “I love you.”
Of course, I love Baby too - he melted my heart from day one with his sweet face and deep eyes. I learn so much every day from fostering him and growing with him. Although it will be hard to say goodbye when he finds a forever home, I know he will be going to a family who will also love him and enjoy hearing him say “I love you” too.
PEAC can always use more fosters for our adoptable parrots. If you are interested in becoming a foster, please reach out to us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be thrilled to discuss this volunteer opportunity with you!
Our Next Event
Meet us next Saturday, March 23rd at Turquoise Animal Hospital in Pacific Beach from noon to 4pm (950 Turquoise St, San Diego,) for their FREE and FAMILY oriented Exotic Pet Expo! Last year we had so much fun and there will be other exotic animal representatives like San Diego Turtle and Tortoise (and many more!) plus raffles, face painting, and surprises! We hope you can join us!
Wishing you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day with this Irish Blessing,
“For every petal on the shamrock, this brings a wish your way - Good health, good luck and happiness, for today and every day!”
Kelly Flynn, President, and Barbara Crouse, Board Member
Are you still looking for a “tweet-heart” this weekend? Join PEAC, our adoptable parrots and friendly volunteers this weekend at “Cupids and Canines Mega Adoption Event” at Grossmont Center on Saturday February 16th, from 11am to 3pm! We love talking about companion parrot care and giving high fives to all our members and supporters! You’ll definitely make our hearts flutter when you stop by our booth! And don’t forget to snap your picture with our Rainbow Wings to become “Insta-famous!”
On March 23rd, we’re returning to Turquoise Animal Hospital in Pacific Beach for their exciting “Exotic Pet Expo” which is a blast! Meet your local veterinary staff who will have raffles, face painting, snacks, and representatives from Project Wildlife, San Diego Turtle and Tortoise Society, unusual pets and US! (Because it’s not a party without the parrots to spice things up!) Completely free and fun from noon to 4pm on Saturday, March 23rd.
Upcoming Volunteer Meeting and Classes
We’re still having our monthly parrot educational classes which are FREE to members! It’s a great place to meet our adoptable parrots AND like-minded friends to talk about our favorite subject (parrots!) Find our class listings and register at our website PEAC.org. Just click directly on the label “Seminar Schedule and Registration” page under the “Calendar” tab and you’re there! (If you have any problems, just email us and we’ll make that magic happen )
Have you thought about becoming a volunteer or foster? We would love to tell you more - reach out to us directly, or just stop by our next Volunteer meeting March 10th, starting at 11am at the San Diego County, North Animal Shelter in Carlsbad, and please RSVP for specific directions and so that we’ll have enough treats for everyone in honor of National Volunteer Week!
Year End Campaign Report
We had an excellent response to our year-end campaign, bringing in $7,379.86. We can’t say it enough - THANK YOU - to everyone who has contributed to PEAC this past year!
Because of your support, in 2018 we adopted 17 parrots, placed 2 parrots with sanctuaries, participated in 15 outreach and adoption fair events throughout Southern California, answered hundreds of calls and emails and taught over 33 hours of classes! (whew! ) It takes *tremendous* support to make all of this happen and the need for our work continues. If you have not renewed your membership for the upcoming year, please visit our website PEAC.org or Global Giving to do so today! We can’t do this without OUR tweet-hearts - that’s YOU!
If you have any feedback on what we’re doing, or ideas and thoughts on what you would LIKE to see us do, please share them with us by responding to this email or reaching out directly, we are always interested in what you have to say.
Coming Soon to a Theater Near You: Blaze!
Imagine our surprise when we learned that our little Blaze, (a Red-bellied parrot who was adopted in 2017,) will soon be a movie star! His mom, Rachel, was hired as his “wrangler” and she was with him every day on set. “Everyone fell in love with him,” Rachel said. And she let us know that there were “animal protection people from Hollywood” to ensure everything was done ethically and with Blaze’s safety placed first and foremost as a member of the cast. Blaze had a custom “double” made to stand in for any filming that could be hazardous. The film is titled “The Sweet Taste of Souls” and is described as a psychological horror. Filmed locally in Julian, California, it is expected to be released this year. We hope the cast is used to being upstaged by a parrot because we know that Blaze will set everyone’s hearts on fire once he’s on the big screen!
Our Adoptable Flock
We have some new additions to our adoptable flock!
Carmen is an 8 yr old, female, Blue and Gold macaw who has been spoiled by one family her entire life. Carmen would call over her family’s dogs by name, and also says “I love you” and “poopies” with enthusiasm. Carmen is a little suspicious of men and tends to go to women first. She’s always had a good diet and enjoys time outdoors in her aviary in addition to spending time in the home.
Kiwi is an 8 yr old, female Green cheek conure who is very well socialized and will step up for just about anyone. Kiwi loves dancing to music and receiving head-scritches. She has always had an excellent diet but will do just about anything for an extra bite of walnut. Kiwi just wants to be doted on by a loving family and be the center of attention!
Elvis is a 24 yr old, male, Congo African Grey parrot who enjoys carefully watching absolutely everything going on around him! He’s recently conquered a complex foraging toy and is sweet and gentle with his foster mom. He says “wanna cookie” and “hello” in the morning when his foster mom greets him or when the phone rings.
Amos is a 16 yr old, female, Congo African Grey who enjoys head-scritches and does very well with baths from a misting bottle. She has a large, sweet vocabulary, enjoys staying busy by chewing up her toys and actively climbing on her cage or playstand. She is also not afraid to leap off her cage and has strong flight muscles, so keeping a close eye on her is a must.
But don’t forget about…
Mango, a 19 yr old, female, Senegal parrot who enjoys “woodworking” (splintering any available wooden toy into bits,) and head scritches. She will go to just about anyone and step up. Mango was aggressive to another smaller bird in her previous home, but has been a good girl in her foster mom’s home and will make someone a wonderful, loving companion.
Skye is a 3-4 yr old, male, Indian Ringneck (Grey mutation,) who was found by the Department of Animal Services. Skye is just a joy to have in your life - he is energetic, inquisitive, gives kisses (complete with kissing noise,) talks in a squeaky voice, loves to bathe (especially in someone else’s water bowl,) and receive attention. He expects to be in the middle of everything that happens and enjoys watching videos on your mobile device. He makes friends with everyone (or certainly tries to!) Perfect for the home who would love a nonstop nosy-buddy!
You may have noticed that Ollie, an older Green cheek conure (Cinnamon mutation,) is still with us after a year! Ollie is a SWEETheart! He loves to dance and step up (once he gets to know you just a little.) Ollie might have a bottomless stomach though, he is always eating, but always on the go too! You have to meet him to really appreciate what a wonderful, loving companion he would make for any family.
Remember, ALL of our parrots have had at least one exam to check their general health by a veterinarian that specializes in avian care. This incoming exam includes a physical review of their body and additional lab work for: a basic bloodwork panel, choanal (throat) culture, psittacosis test and, for old world species, a test for Psittacine Beak and Feather disease. Each of these exams is covered by your donations and our adoption fees. Although they may be costly, it’s critically important to us that the companion parrots who are adopted into their forever homes be healthy and ready to begin that happy new chapter in their long lives.
As always, should you ever have any questions about our adoptable parrots or anything at all, never hesitate to reach out to us - that’s why we’re here!
Keep an eye on our Facebook pages (“@peac.org”) Twitter (“@PEACsandiego”) and Instagram (“@peac_sandiego”) for the latest cute videos and photos of what our volunteers and parrots have been up to!
Wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day weekend!
Kelly Flynn, President, and Barbara Crouse, Secretary
Parrot Education and Adoption Center
Coco and Valdirene
You might remember last December (2017) when Coco the African Grey was adopted by a delightful family that included an Eclectus parrot “Enoch.” Coco has since been flourishing in their home, and Valdirene, Coco’s mom, shared an essay she wrote about her experience adopting a parrot from PEAC and how Coco has changed their lives. We were so moved by it, that we’d like to share it with you.
“What can I say about Coco? As a pet loving person I have always had pets in my home, and I absolutely spoil them rotten. In our household before Coco, we had an old cat and a silly parrot named Enoch. We also had another parrot named Jewlie who unfortunately passed away a few years ago. After Coco came into our home, Enoch no longer felt alone, and Coco has also done a great job making my kid laugh on a daily basis.
There are no sad days around Coco, she always wakes up talking and dancing to everyone in our home. How has Coco changed my life? When I first saw Coco at a PEAC adoption event, she ultimately won my heart. Coco puts a smile on my face all day long and makes me laugh so hard multiple times a day! Coco also has helped my child smile more, and he loves to help feed and play with Coco, and that for me is priceless. Seeing the change in my son means everything to me.
Coco is the sweetest, easiest-going, funny, silly parrot I ever saw and she has also helped Enoch because now they are best friends. Some days I see them talk to each other saying “I love you” and it melts my heart.
How did I find Coco? Last year I came to know PEAC and started to participate in their adoption programs, and I learned about the marvelous work they do with their parrots. PEAC takes time educating the potential adopters to make sure those beautiful creatures will find forever homes. The fact that PEAC has wonderful foster pet parents who take the time and energy to train the parrots to socialize them and to support them is amazing to us. I absolutely love all of the volunteers at PEAC, because their support for adopters doesn’t end at adoption.
The work PEAC does for their parrots is amazing and considering that birds, unlike other pets, will live a long time, sometimes even over 60 years, it can get costly for them to care for all of their birds.
Finding those parrots a forever home that understands the needs of these beautiful creatures is not an easy task and PEAC is the best. With all this being said I would like to give my many thanks to all of the PEAC volunteers and especially to Sue, who was the best foster mom to my Coco before Coco become my "Coconut girl!”
Thank you Valdirene for telling us in your own words, the difference Coco has made in your life! Would you believe that when PEAC first received Coco, we were told she could not be handled by women? Her foster family, and African Grey specialist and PEAC foster volunteer Sue, continued to patiently work with Coco until Coco felt confident enough to trust more people and find another home she loved AND is loved and cherished in.
Sweetie and Kay
Remember Sweetie, a Yellow-naped Amazon who was over 50 years old and had only known one home? Sweetie was adopted earlier this year by Kay. Kay loved Sweetie’s unique character but was concerned that he might not do well with too many changes made to his “routine lifestyle” too quickly. After all, he was over 50! However, Kay was eager to share “…Just recently (when he got his new cage) I offered him a rope swing and hanging rope perch... Sweetie has finally figured out they won’t kill him and he is a wild man in the evenings! Playing! Singing! Calling and climbing all over the cage! He is even playing with his cargo rope & toys. Maybe he’s in his second childhood….LOL! (lots-of-laughs!)” Who said you can’t teach an old bird ‘new tricks’ - not Kay or Sweetie! We are thrilled they are enjoying their new life together!
Jakey and Patricia
Jakey was adopted by Patricia in January (2018.) She has been regularly sharing photos and stories of Jakey’s adventures making new friends and how Jakey has continued to be “…really sweet and gentle.” Patricia says that Jakey often prefers to just “hang out” and keep an eye on mom from one of her favorite curly perches. “My new adopted old lady Jakey, she’s such a love bug, we’re so blessed to have found each other!” Thank you for sharing such adorable pictures with us Patricia, we feel blessed that you found each other as well!
This is the world of difference you are making in each of our parrots’ lives!
And there is still time left before the clock strikes twelve to change the lives of three more parrots who are waiting to come into our program…
Each one will require a veterinary examination with blood work together totaling over $1200. At least one will need a new cage totaling $500. No donation of time or money is ever too small, and your compassion and concern for these parrots are so greatly appreciated.
We know that each of our parrots touches your hearts and lives just as deeply as they do ours.
And we could not have a better group of members, volunteers and supporters than YOU.
THANK YOU FOR A WONDERFUL 2018!
Wishing you health and happiness for all in the beautiful New Year,
Kelly Flynn, President, and Barbara Crouse, Board Member
First a heartfelt THANK YOU to all who have donated or regularly contribute to support PEAC. We can't thank you enough for your generosity; YOU are what makes PEAC able to continue the work we've done for over 22 years. We're honored by your giving and trust.
Time is running out for last-minute contributions should you wish to make a gift before the end of the year or renew your membership! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time.
Two Surprise Adoptions Before the Year’s End!
Sparkle, the young Indian Ringneck (with cone-shaped eyes, whom we introduced in our last newsletter,) and Gonzo, the Timneh African Grey, have both been adopted! That means SEVENTEEN parrots were given a second chance and found a loving home in 2018 because YOU took action to support our education and adoption programs.
Everything we do is dependent on private donations from people just like you who recognize the challenges of owning a parrot and know that there are few places for them to go when they lose their home or family. Dogs and cats have city or privately run shelters, but parrots can often fall through the cracks unless specialized care is provided to ensure they find a prepared and educated long-term home.
For example, Polo, a 33 yr old Red-lored Amazon, has just returned to PEAC after being adopted eight years ago, because his family suddenly and unexpectedly lost the resources to care for him. Polo’s family was heartbroken to let him go, especially since he loved being with their children. However, they wanted to make sure he found another good loving home and knew PEAC would provide for Polo until one was found.
A parrot’s long lifespan, (upwards of 15-20+ years for smaller species, and 30-40+ years for larger species,) means that each parrot may have seven to eleven owners during their lifetime, according to a study by Best Friends Animal Society. PEAC’s mission has always focused on educating those caregivers and thus enhancing and extending the stay for each parrot in one home as long as possible. However, when rehoming becomes necessary, and with your continued help, PEAC will be there for the families of parrots like Polo, who need us.
Willow Adoption Update!
Last month, one of the most anticipated adoptions of the year happened: Willow FINALLY found her forever family! Willow, a Blue and Gold macaw, had been with PEAC over three years, and to be honest, we all worried whether anyone else would see past her patches of missing feathers and find her beautiful heart as irresistible as we did. But Willow’s foster mom never lost faith that it would happen for her, and it did! Willow’s new family and mom Sherrie shared these photos with us and said she is “thriving” and thoroughly enjoying being spoiled during their first Christmas together.
Your gifts have changed Willow’s world!
AND the worlds of Gonzo, Sparkle, Munchkin, Elvis, Buka, Sweetie, Baby, Dewey, Jakey, Louis, Lucky, Pickle, Tiki, Yato, Kasuku and Panee who were all cared for, loved and rehomed this year thanks to YOU -
Congratulations for helping EVEN MORE parrots find a home this year than last year!
We are still several thousand dollars away from our year-end goal to keep PEAC going through 2019. Any donation you can provide will always be gratefully welcomed!
Wishing you and your family health and happiness in the New Year,
Kelly Flynn, President and Barbara Crouse, Board Member.
Giving Tuesday has become a global day of celebration focused on giving back to our communities. For PEAC, it's the kick-off of our once-a-year fundraising campaign. Our goal is to reach $20,000 to budget for the veterinary costs and care for our adoptable parrot program, which has helped many parrots receive a second chance to find a loving home.
Here’s how you can help us reach our goal with this special bonus opportunity for #GivingTuesday:
Donations received by Global Giving, starting Monday, November 26th at 9:01 pm Pacific time, will qualify PEAC for a portion of an “incentive fund.” Organizations which receive the most donations or most number of unique donations, receive the largest part of the fund. However, any new recurring donation will receive 100% match for their first donation!
Also, many companies have annual matching programs for their employees or provide grants! Ask your Human Resource department to learn about what opportunities may be available for our parrots. Should you have any questions, or need assistance in making a donation, or you would like to volunteer, please don’t hesitate to email or call us anytime!
Stay Tuned for More Parrot Adoption Stories and Pictures!
This year we helped 15 parrots find a home or sanctuary, breaking last year’s record - AND - we still have one more pending!
This includes recent adoptions for Elvis, Munchkin, Buka and Sweetie. But the adoption we are most excited to announce is… for WILLOW! After waiting more than three years in our program, Willow has found her forever home and settled in with her family last weekend.
AND… Munchkin also found his match! Munchkin, a Double yellow-headed Amazon, came to us earlier this year from the San Diego County Animal Shelter. We did not know anything about his history except that he would say “Hi Papa” and was interested in human interaction. Our veterinarian determined that his unique face was due to an under-formed upper-skull, that happened during his development in shell. Munchkin was shy and did not solicit his caregiver for preening. However his attitude completely changed when he saw his future mom! Munchkin had been talking to her “over the phone” and when she came and sat on a couch to meet him in person, Munchkin climbed down and over to perch on her chest and began to solicit her for head scritches while giving kisses. There wasn’t a dry eye among all the volunteers and family present who saw this moment and it was directly made possible because of your support and donations.
Empty spaces in our foster program are filling quickly with new parrots like “Sparkle” a young male Indian Ringneck who has unique cone-shaped eyes that make him nearsighted. He will require some extra TLC and veterinary care and because of your generous gifts, we’ll make sure he gets everything he needs to live a comfortable and happy life and find his new family.
We are excited to continue into our 23rd year of serving our community, and we hope you will join us to help even more parrots and parrot owners in 2019! Keep following us on social media for all the latest videos, photos and news about our classes and parrots available for adoption.
Everything accomplished this year was because of your compassion and continued dedication to supporting our parrots. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
With our deepest gratitude,
Kelly Flynn, President and Barbara Crouse, Board Member
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