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.

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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