Florida Exotic Bird Sanctuary
In early 2002, when I lived in Florida, out of my love of animals and to address a need that was being ignored, I created the Florida Exotic Bird Sanctuary (also known as FEBS). It started as a small refuge for unwanted and abused birds and has now grown into the biggest bird sanctuary in the United States. We now have over 300 big parrots and are still growing!
We only take in exotic birds. Most are birds that were held like pets in small cages and we rescue them and give them a home where they can fly freely in large enclosures and live long, healthy lives. Most of these birds will live to be around 80 years old and when they are cooped up in small cages they live a miserable life where they can’t fly and be free. FEBS currently has a beautiful 1500 square foot aviary for Macaws and many 10 x 20 flights for the smaller species. We can also subdivide them for different species as well.
Most people who buy these birds as pets are either unaware of how long these birds actually live or they have no idea how to properly take care of them so that they remain healthy and happy. A lot of the birds that find a happy home with us at the Florida Exotic Bird Sanctuary were originally bought as pets and, although most people take very good care of their bird and the bird lives a long time with those families who become very attached to them, the owner unfortunately finds that one day whether through a life change or the bird’s behavior change, they must re-home the bird.
So many people today are looking at the parrot, who is by nature a social creature, locked up in a cage and alone for the most part, and realize that this is not natural. This is one of the many reasons that the Sanctuary is called every day to take in birds. We couldn’t stand to see the birds treated like that and we found that there was no safe sanctuary for those bird owners to turn their unwanted birds over to. We felt that we had to do something about changing that and we did.
I started the Florida Exotic Bird Sanctuary in 2002. Unfortunately because it was after 9/11 it was a nightmare to set up a charitable foundation in the U.S. at that time but I knew that it had to be done. When all was said and done it cost 5 times more and took 4 times longer than usual to set up but 2 years later we had it all set up and ready to go.
My passion was so strong for this project that in addition to all of the above I bought the land on a farm near Tampa, built the cages and huge aviaries so that the parrots could fly, built housing for the care takers and a residence for the manager of FEBS and then I donated all of it to the sanctuary. For the past 10 years the manager of FEBS, Patricia Norton, with her Board and Volunteers have taken it all over and they have taken this fabulous sanctuary to where it is today!
Now we are called upon by government agencies all over the country to help rescue parrots from horrific situations because they know that we can nurse them back to health and give them a happy, healthy life where they can socialize with others just like themselves. They know that we are the experts in the field of rehab and recovery of exotic birds.
As you can see a lot of love and money goes into FEBS in order to keep it running and to keep all the birds happy, healthy, and cared for so we always welcome any donations to keep us up and running and able to save any birds that need our help. We currently have over 500 parrots on our waiting list to come live at FEBS. We can help all of these birds and more at risk birds just by having people ‘Sponsor a Flight’. When you ‘Sponsor a Flight’ FEBS will put up a beautiful engraved sign with your name on it saying ‘This Flight Cage was donated by…’ so it’s a nice way to help the birds in need and become part of the FEBS family.
Some of the things that FEBS needs currently in order to expand and help more birds are lots of cage wire, roofing and hardware. Currently there are four people who have stepped up to do the work but FEBS needs more. So if you can help with this please click here to contact us. The contact information can also be found by going directly to our website (the link is right below).
Also if you decide to donate anything to the sanctuary it is tax deductible as well.
You can check out the Florida Exotic Bird Sanctuary’s website at www.flabirdsanctuary.com. On the site you can take a video tour of the sanctuary and meet some of our resident birdies as well as find a list of things that we need or wish for our birds. (Click here to go to our ‘Wish List’) So if you feel it in your heart to help our little birds we would be so thankful.