Category Archives: Parrot Week

Parrot Week: A visit to Papegaaienpark Veldhoven (part 3)

Seeing the birds at the parrot park was a joy, as was giving the friendly feathered friends treats from our hands. As we followed the suggested route through the park, we came upon my favorite aviary of all – the one that we could go inside!

Aviary
The aviary that welcomed human visitors

Several different species were housed in the aviary open to visitors. The birds came to us, if they wished. There were plenty of perches where the birds could retreat if they didn’t want to visit with the papegaairazzi (zing!).

Peach-faced Lovebird
Peach-faced Lovebirds chillaxing in the aviary

Please forgive (or enjoy!) this series of gratuitous me-feeding-parrots pictures. The short video shows a Cockatiel on my shoulder. It looks like I’m encouraging her to kiss me, but she started it, honestly!!

Jandaya Conure & Red-fronted Conure
Jandaya Conure & Red-fronted Conure

Jandaya Conure & Red-fronted Conure
Jandaya Conure & Red-fronted Conure

Alexandrine Parakeet
Alexandrine Parakeet

Cockatiel
Cockatiel


Hand-feeding & kissyface Cockatiel

You can imagine this was a really special experience for me, and I loved meeting all of the birds up close and personal. Unfortunately, the pet trade is no friend to parrot species in general, and so almost everywhere you look in the park, there are signs like this one.

Sign
“Don’t buy any parrots, because parrots live long. Sometimes longer than even yourself.”

This post concludes Parrot Week on the blog. I’ll have one final post on the Papegaaienpark Veldhoven next week – because there are more than parrots at the park!

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Parrot Week: A visit to Papegaaienpark Veldhoven (part 2)

Following yesterday’s introduction to our visit to this wonderful sanctuary for parrots and other animals, today I’d like to share some photos of our encounters with the residents.

After passing the initial “quarantine” aviaries, we visited the larger macaws and the unflighted birds in an outdoor, uncaged area. By the time we reached this area we’d only spent about a half hour in the park and I was having a ball. We walked further, finding larger aviaries full of many more of these social, noisy, happy birds. But we weren’t just viewing these magnificent creatures – we were interacting with them, namely by providing them with treats.

parrot noms
Parrot noms. The hard shells of these pinenuts were discarded for the tiny nutmeat inside

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
My brother-in-law Patrick feeds a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

At each aviary, some of the birds would approach us as we walked by. These large cockatoos and parrots have huge, powerful hooked beaks, but they were all, without exception, extremely polite and gentle when reaching for offered treats. The park provided feeding sticks for visitors to use to pass nuts to the birds, but I didn’t see any need for them. While the birds were polite with us, they also displayed extreme courtesy to each other… most of the time! The African Greys did get a bit loud with their protests.

Aviary
Hungry, friendly birds

African Greys
African Grey Parrots

African Greys
Father-in-law Ben feeds African Greys

Cages
More friendly, hungry beaks to feed

While most of the birds seemed eager for treats, in each aviary there were many other birds socializing with each other in the background, paying us no mind. Then there were the handful that were interested in us, but not in our treats. A few times a bird would catch our attention, and then, instead of reaching out for a treat, would turn its head away from us, pressing against the fencing. These birds, former beloved family pets, were only looking for some contact, a scratch, or a pet. They just about broke my heart.

Senegal Parrot
Arthur pets a Senegal Parrot

Western Corella
I’m scratching the head of a beautiful Western Corella

I was falling in love with the birds left and right. And there was more to come. We got even closer! Stay tuned.

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Parrot Week: A visit to Papegaaienpark Veldhoven (part 1)

In August we visited the Papegaaienpark (parrot park) Veldhoven, a sort of parrot, bird and animal rescue center and sanctuary near Eindhoven. The park took in its first birds in 1987 and is run by the Dutch Foundation for the Refuge and Care of Parrots. Besides providing a forever home for unwanted parrots, the sanctuary cares for birds and animals caught by customs agents at Dutch airports, and other confiscated exotic animals.

The facility covers almost 20 acres and is open to the public 363 days per year. There are over 500 enclosures housing thousands of parrots, birds, mammals and other animals. A team of about 50 volunteers works with the park’s veterinarians and management staff.

Entrance
The entrance to the Papegaaienpark Veldhoven

We arrived shortly after the park opened, and began our visit by walking by large outdoor cages housing newer arrivals. When a bird first comes to the sanctuary, it is housed in a small aviary alone or with just one or two other birds. The birds remain there until the staff can determine the bird’s temperament and which larger aviary will be the best fit.

Quarantine area
Birds are initially housed in these “quarantine” cages alone or in pairs

Salmon-crested Cockatoo
Salmon-crested Cockatoos

Walking on, we passed a large open area where bigger parrots who were unable to fly were housed. This large yard was surrounded by aviaries housing large macaws.

Open area for unflighted parrots
The unflighted birds could climb up the branches to perch; they could also retreat to an enclosed shelter.

White-crested Cockatoo at play
White-crested Cockatoo

White-crested Cockatoo
White-crested Cockatoo

Scarlet Macaw
Scarlet Macaw

Hyacinth Macaw
Hyacinth Macaw

While these beautiful birds were wonderful to see, we weren’t just looking at them, we got to feed them, too. More on that in the next post.

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Parrot Week BPW: Rose-ringed Parakeet

I’m kicking off a week of blog posts on parrots with this Bird Photography Weekly submission. The number of parrots on my life list is very small – ONE! We spotted this Rose-ringed Parakeet at the Taj Mahal in India back in 2006. This one is a juvenile, since it hasn’t developed its ring yet. We saw others on the India trip, but this was the first.

I’ve also seen feral parrots in a few places: Monks in Madrid and Rose-ringed in my back yard in Leiden. I find the number of parrots on my life list far too small. Hope to change that someday!

Bird Photography Weekly is a regular collection of user-submitted bird photos from all over the world. The new edition comes out every Sunday. Go have a look at this week’s submissions!

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