I realised today that I haven’t blogged since my arrival – nearly three weeks ago. It both does and doesn’t feel as though it’s been so long. But it’s definitely time to return to blogging again.
What have I been up to? Well, the birds haven’t arrived yet as we’re waiting on the last piece of paperwork to import them, so I’ve been helping do up the house: painting, redecorating, and generally giving everything good clean. It’s kept me busy thus far.
Having no birds is strange, but fear not: The cats and dogs of the house have temporarily claimed my time.
Mostly this one, Koko.
Most of Koko’s photographs look something along the lines of these:
There is also Muffin, fondly known as Bear.
And Mika – a.k.a. Pikasaur.
Finally. Bauldur, who I mostly call Thing.
You can consider them the temporary cast of Students with Birds. I could change the site name, but Unemployed Graduate Living with Cats and Dogs just doesn’t have quite the same ring to it… Plus, I have high hopes that the birds will be here soon! And maybe that one day not too terribly far in the future, I’ll be enrolling for a second degree in Avian Behaviour.
I mention this because I’ve found what I want to do in this world, something that might make a little bit of difference. This, this thing… it’s largely unrelated to performance, but that’s okay. University taught me many skills – mainly how to use your music in this current industry. (Hint: You probably won’t ‘make it’ performing – best learn to gig and apply for funding.)
I want to start a parrot sanctuary and rehabilitation centre.
It is a very long-term prospect, obviously. I need to get working, saving, and researching. In the meantime, O. has some plans of his own that tie into a sanctuary, but that’s a secret!
I guess if I started my own centre, I’d want to have a twin focus: offering birds who can’t live with people a forever-home type situation in aviaries, while at the same time rehabilitating less ‘damaged’ birds for adoption. Because of the great need out there, offering a permanent home to every bird just isn’t possible. I know of the risks (like taking in too many inhabitants) – but that’s why there’s much more research to be done.
And our sanctuary would of course be promoting the education of both potential and current bird owners. I’d personally work to convince owners to abandon the idea of keeping birds as pets, and instead to provide aviaries where the animals would be encouraged to be birds. At the same time, I would also continue the work of current rescues and teach people about the importance of good diet, training, enrichment, sunlight, and foraging.
I know that owning and running a rescue would not be easy. When I last visited the Island Parrot Sanctuary to see Bobo – right before my departure – O. and I both discussed the good and bad of starting something like that. It’s not all flowers and rainbows, and we know that… In fact, it’s mostly bird poop and vicious bites… But it still needs to be done.