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.

Hungry, friendly birds

African Greys
African Grey Parrots

African Greys
Father-in-law Ben feeds African Greys

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.

Share the birds, share the love!
This entry was posted in Netherlands, Parrot Week. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *