In my travels I have been extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to see parrots in the wild. It is overwhelming, breathtaking and simply amazing. I highly recommend the experience to anyone who shares their home with a parrot.
For years I presented free flight bird shows that featured parrot conservation messages. The goal was to instill a sense of awe and an emotional connection with birds in the hopes that when faced with a decision that could effect the welfare of wild parrots, that person in the audience would choose to fight for parrots. I do truly believe that helping humans make an emotional connection with animals is an important first step towards creating conservationists. And most parrot owners are already there. They know what it is like to be absolutely head over heels about a parrot.
The next step is sometimes harder to visualize. Not too many of us are lucky enough to hop on a plane to join an eco-tour, or become a field assistant counting macaws on a clay lick. But it doesn’t mean there are not other ways to help, as I hope to share here.
One parrot conservation project that I have come to know is the Bird Endowment. The Bird Endowment speaks to my love of both birds and music. Founder Laney Rickman is a fan of blues music…and so am I. She is also a fan of parrots after a stint volunteering at the Houston Zoo in the Bird Department. She left a lucrative advertising job to start an organization dedicated to saving Blue Throated Macaws.
I asked her why she made such a decision knowing what hard work it would be. Laney explained she once saw Eric Clapton explain why he was so dedicated to playing and exposing the world to traditional blues music and musicians. He said “If he did not do it, who would?” Laney has taken the same approach with saving Blue Throated Macaws. Someone needed to do it, and why not her? I like that attitude and I appreciate what she has sacrificed in her mission to save these macaws in the wild.
When my father passed away, Robin Shewokis of The Leather Elves bought a nest box in Blue Throated Macaw territory via the Bird Endowment in his honor. Good Bird Inc continued the sponsorship of the box in the following year. So far no Blue Throated Macaw babies, but I am optimistic. You can purchase a nest box as well by visiting The Bird Endowment.
Another option for supporting parrot conservation and the Bird Endowment is to add $1 onto your next purchase from Good Bird Inc. You will see this at the check out portion of your order. Each quarter funds will be distributed to our currently featured parrot conservation project the Bird Endowment.
It is no secret that many parrot species are disappearing from the wild. With a little help from parrot enthusiasts around the world, we can make sure parrot conservation projects like the Bird Endowment are successful in saving parrots from extinction.