I was looking for a place to take my macaw should I become unable to care for her. I had no intention of doing it right away. After reading the testimonials on the website, I was impressed enough to take the 2 hour trip to visit.
Macaws are very intelligent creatures and really should not be in captivity. When I saw the new Hudson location and especially the HUGE macaw flight I knew this is where I wanted to bring my macaw. She had begun some feather plucking and I had not felt that she was truly happy for some time. Seeing the other macaws in the flight interacting, preening, and just enjoying "hanging out" made me realize I had to make arrangements for her to come and "just be a bird". It was a very difficult decision but I had to set her free to live a life as much like her relatives in South America as I could.
She has let her feathers grow back and every time I visit there I see how she is beginning to interact and enjoy the HUGE spacious flight. She recognizes me and comes down to chat and cuddle but we both know she is in the right place. If you love something you set it free to enjoy the best life it can have.
I found FEBS because I was planning a trust for my birds and wanted to feel comfortable in knowing they would be going to a good place should anything happen to me. After reviewing the FEBS website I was so impressed I made a visit to see if it was one of those places that was "just too good to be true".
Well, it IS good and it IS true! I can't tell you how impressed I was at seeing the sanctuary with my own eyes. So impressed that I drive 2 hours one way to volunteer to do what I do at home...clean cages and feed and water birds! But what a wonderful feeling it is to know that I'm doing just this small thing to help these glorious creatures!
Pat, the founder, is a wonderful person with a big heart and an even bigger vision. She runs a tight ship to make sure that the birds are #1 priority in regard to cleanliness, meeting their needs, and letting them live as they should...as flock birds! What a joy it was to see them pairing up to preen, snuggle, and nap.
She also has an acclimation period for newcomers so they get used to new surroundings, sounds, and "meeting" other birds of their own breed before they enter the aviary. It's important to Pat that they experience as little stress as possible during the transition. Now THAT'S a person that knows what she's doing!
If you're thinking about donating to something worthwhile, this is the place. It's as easy as sponsoring one of the birds or you can get the "wish list" and ear mark for one of the many needs of the sanctuary.
It was wonderful to have a place for my parrot, Sweet Pea, to live due to our change in living arrangements. He has found a forever bird girlfriend and seems very happy. Please donate to continue the wonderful care that all of these birds receive due to the wonderful staff! Thank you for all you do!
My beloved yellow nape has been at FEBS now almost 3 years now. Hard to believe. it's been the most amazing experience and I thank God every day that she is there safe and loved. Patricia and her amazing staff work tirelessly for the well being of all of their birds. I'm so grateful for the Florida Exotic Bird Sanctuary that words can't describe it. I also go down and volunteer a few times a year and have a blast!
Patricia Norton (and her staff at Florida Exotic Bird Sanctuary) is just an extraordinary individual that has given her life to the rescue of exotic birds. She tirelessly works to care for over 300 birds on a daily basis in addition to her ongoing fundraising efforts to support the needs of the birds and sanctuary grounds. We took our beloved yellow Nape "Alex" to her 18 months ago and I Thank God everyday for Patricia and FEBS. There is no finer exotic bird rescue in the United States and I wholeheartedly will continue to support Patricia and FEBS for life.
I’ve had my Blue and Gold Macaw, ‘Perikeen’, for eighteen years – nearly his entire life has been spent with me and my husband. He doesn’t care for strangers, he doesn’t like change in his routines and we enjoy his company (most of the time) and love him (all of the time). Certainly no one could accuse us of abusing him – he had three cages: one in the house where he spent his nights eating dinner and snacks with us, watching TV, doing dishes (he loved helping with the dishes!) and playing games; another was outside in a covered porch where he could see us as we came and went all day – since we work from home, he always had someone talking to him, interacting with him all day long; the last one was a large cage hanging from a tree where he could see all around him, see the sky and the ground, see the other birds and wildlife in the area, as well as see us anytime we were outside.
He pretty much had the “Life of Riley” – he’d get treats throughout the day, had interaction with us almost constantly and had more toys to play with than most children, but still we worried that he wasn’t happy. He would have screaming fits daily – just scream and scream and scream and nothing would satisfy him during those times. He would also bite us without provocation – just ‘cause he felt like it or was in a bad mood, perhaps out of frustration or boredom. I guess if I lived in a cage, or even three cages, I’d probably feel like biting someone, too.
My husband and I had discussed placing him into a sanctuary in the past – wondering if he would be happier there with the other birds, out in a large flight cage where even he, the klutziest bird known to man, might be able to fly (and land) like a real bird. But, other than do a little research online, I never pursued it – until this year. As happens with most changes in life, this one was brought on by changes in our circumstances, so, the decision was made – Perikeen would be getting a new home.
So, back to the computer I went looking up parrot sanctuaries and one that caught my attention was the Florida Exotic Bird Sanctuary. One reason I focused on this organization was that it was close to where I lived, so the idea of visiting Perikeen while he was there was feasible, but the most important reason they drew my attention was the obvious love and caring they exude for the birds in their care which is evident in the pictures, videos and the words of their Mission Statement.
“Anxious” and “emotional” didn’t begin to describe my feelings when I arrived at FEBS one afternoon. When I opened my door and stepped out of the car, I was greeted with the screeching, calling and talking of what sounded like hundreds of birds of all descriptions – it was truly amazing that this parrot ‘oasis’ exists here amongst other homes in rural Pasco County. And my neighbors complain to me about Perikeen’s screaming! Ha!
It was early spring and the temperatures were still cool – Pat had a lot of parrots in cages in the big double garage of her house. As I walked through the aisles of birds in the garage I noticed a few things:
• First, clean – all the cages were kept clean, there weren’t bird droppings or bad smells coming from the garage, despite the number of birds in there at the time.
• Second, food and water – every bird had ample food and clean water in their cage – it was obvious that they weren’t skimpy with the rations and kept the water cleaned daily.
• Third, happy – all the birds seemed perfectly happy – they talked, each with their own favorite word or phrase as you walked through, some wanted to be touched and petted – they weren’t afraid, they weren’t frightened of people.
After meeting Pat, she explained that the garage was where all the birds start out so she and her fellow bird lovers can get a feel for the bird, for their personality and to make sure they have adjusted well, are eating right and that the change has not gotten them sick. She showed me how they were kept warm in the winter and cool in the summer and how she was aware of which birds got along and which ones didn’t and arranged them accordingly. She told me the birds were left for a while in their own, familiar cages, with their own, familiar toys and food to make the transition easier.
Finally, the day came to bring Perikeen to the sanctuary. I’d had two weeks to dwell on it, worry about it, cry over it and finally come to grips with it – Perikeen hadn’t. So, into the carrier he went – not willingly mind you, but eventually he went in. His cage, toys and food went in the back of the truck and down the road we went. The trip was again filled with tears and me telling him how sorry I was that I had to do this and how much I loved him and I promised to visit him at his new home. We sang his favorite songs and I said all his favorite words and phrases as we drove to his new home. I prayed that I was doing the right thing – I hoped he would forgive me.
At the sanctuary, I expected Perikeen to be trembling and nervous – he hates change and hasn’t even SEEN another parrot in the last 18 years, but, to my shock and amazement, he seemed curious and happy. We got his cage set up and he settled in it, talking animatedly to me, Pat and Magic – her amazing helper.
When I finally got in my car to leave, I yelled “Bye!” to him out the window and he told me “Bye! B-Bye!” over and over as I drove out the gate. I cried all the way home, but at the same time I was really hopeful that he’d be happy there. His initial reaction wasn’t what I had expected – he wasn’t scared, he wasn’t trembling – he seemed joyful and curious. The time that Magic and Pat spent with him, with us, gave me confidence that, if anything did happen – if he wasn’t adjusting, they would know it and tell me and I could come and get him and bring him back home.
For the next few days I got emails from Pat telling me that he was doing well – he was eating, he was talking . . . he was doing fine. Over time, she moved him from his cage in the garage to one of the smaller cages in the flight pen, then one day she emailed to say that she’d let him out into the large flight. I was amazed – it had only been a little over a month. She said he was well suited to it because he wasn’t timid – timid birds took longer, but Perikeen was perfect – he was doing really well.
Finally, after a period of time that I thought would be enough for him to be well adjusted, I went to visit. Pat walked with me to the flight pen and we entered together. There were several B&G’s in there and I wondered how in the world I’d be able to tell which one he was – they all looked pretty much the same. We eliminated a few that Pat knew for sure weren’t him and that left only a couple of possibilities. I walked towards the first one and called his name, but that one scurried up the wire of the tall cage and away from me. “I hope that wasn’t him!” I thought before turning to the other one who was perched at the highest point of the cage on the opposite wall. As I turned around and called his name again, that one started bobbing his head up and down and I knew – that was my baby! Then he asked, “How are ya’ doin’?!”
The entire time I was there with him, Perikeen never once offered to bite me, never once screamed, didn’t mind the other macaws there with us, wasn’t scared, wasn’t intimidated – he was happy. It was like he was welcoming me to his new home – showing me around, introducing me to his new friends. He had lost some weight, he had gained muscle – he looked good, healthy and strong and he acted like this was where he belonged. At that moment I knew I had done the right thing – I probably should have done it sooner, for his sake, but it was one of the hardest and scariest things I’ve ever done in my life. Sometimes we need some larger force to push us to overcome our fears, to do the scary thing – that’s what happened to me. Looking back, I wish I’d had the courage to do the right thing for HIM sooner, even if it was painful for a while (isn’t change always painful?) the payoff was more than worth it.
When the time came to leave, I took Perikeen and kissed him goodbye, told him I loved him and tossed him up into the air. He flew across the cage and landed on the opposite side of the enclosure – it was the first time I’d seen him actually fly in all of his eighteen years. He was a real bird, now – finally – and my heart expanded with the joy of it.
I didn’t need his forgiveness, after all . . . except, perhaps, for not allowing him this freedom sooner.
My blue and gold macaw, Sebastian, was my feathered baby. After much research and two visits to Florida Exotic Bird Sanctuary, I knew I was putting him the best environment possible; a place where he could socialize with his kind and live his long life to the fullest. Pat took him in and has taken good care of him for many years. I can only thank the sanctuary from the bottom of my heart. I now have peace of mind knowing he is happy.
Three years ago I brought by Blue and Gold Macaw to live at the sanctuary. I have visited a few times and he is happy, content and, I think, in love.... I could not have picked a better place for my beloved bird and knowing he is happy makes me happy. I now donate regularly to Pat's sanctuary as a way to take care of him and other birds that are so kindly adopted by Pat. I hope that everyone understands how hard it is to take care of these wonderful creatures and helps to keep the sanctuary going.
Nearly New Thrift
Benefiting Florida Exotic Bird Sanctuary...
I had occasion to visit this facility in November of 2015. With much trepidation, I agreed to place by Blue and Gold and Scarlet Macaws with FEBS. I have had these birds for 20+ years, raised the Scarlet from a hatchling. I was relocating to an altitude of 9000 feet and there was no way I could keep the birds in their aviary and I was not going to force them into an indoor cage. I knew there was no way I would sell them or rehome them, only to have them sold again or not given the care I gave them. My birds spent their entire lives in an outdoor aviary with lots of stimulation and attention. I spent some time talking with Bob Cook and finally made my way to Florida. I brought the birds and their aviary. When I arrived Bob was there and in no time the caretaker (who lives on site, SORRY I forgot his name) had their aviary together and made sure there were toys and branches. While all this took place (several hours) I had free roam of the sanctuary. No place was "off limits". I was amazed at all the birds. Yes, some of them were in temporary cages, some were in large flight cages and there was a huge aviary under construction for the Macaws. EVERY cage had food, water, branches and toys. I will say this, I don't know how the one caretaker does it all. He is on-site and this man REALLY cares about these birds. He is a very nice man and was willing to discuss all of his catering duties with me. I don't think anyplace is perfect. Not even a zoo. I have seen some zoos that I would never put my birds in! FEBS really cares about these birds and does what they can to enlarge flights, provide quality food and fresh foods and nuts. In addition, if I call, I am able to get updates about my birds. I can visit without having any questions asked. Did it cost for me to place my birds? Sure! And it wasn't exactly cheap. But then I wasn't looking for cheap, I was looking for as much peace of mind that I could find.
I just got home from another great visit at FEBS! Thanks to Patricia and all of the volunteers/workers at FEBS for their hard work. It really shows. The new sanctuary in Hudson is amazing... and "Paul" the caretaker was nice and worked very good with the birds. They really take time to show the birds love and attention. My macaw "Zsa Zsa" has problems with biting her feet around breeding season. Patricia takes the time to put ointment on her feet to make it better, which says a lot because in the past I have been the only one who has been able to pick her up!
I'm not sure why someone is commenting hateful comments on this review page. They're obviously written by the same person, (check the broken English.) What a shame it is that instead of helping other rescues, this person is attacking them. I would recommend that if someone is doubtful about the work this sanctuary does, give them a call and make a visit to see for yourself how awesome they are!
Bringing my Catalina macaw "Zsa Zsa" to Florida Exotic Bird Sanctuary has been the best decision that I have ever made for her! I had her in my care for 4 great years, but felt guilty keeping her in a cage for most of her life, alone and without other macaws. Macaws are very social in the wild and have constant stimulation and exercise. I am over joyed with the love that they give to ALL of the birds in their care. Every staff member and volunteer has been nice and honest with me. Zsa Zsa has been at the sanctuary since the end of April. She is very comfortable there. When I brought her to see all of the healthy and lively birds, she immediately was interested, yet calm. When I set up her acclimation cage she went inside and ate her food right away. She has always been a "mama's bird" and not wanting to leave my side, but she wasn't nervous at all when I brought her.... she still isn't when I visit her. The staff is also really good about communication so when I left her I was able to keep in touch without a problem.
If you are thinking about bringing your bird here for a forever home I strongly recommend this place without a doubt. If you have any doubts about the sanctuary then make a phone call to them and plan a visit! Ask questions, look at the great condition all the parrots are in, the healthy food they eat, the clean water they drink, and the beautiful property they get to enjoy every day. Just make sure to say hi to Zsa Zsa!
If you have any questions, (as I did many in the beginning of this journey,) feel free to leave a COMMENT below this post or e-mail me at email@example.com
My current plans are to rehome my two macaws with FEBS in April. For anyone with negative reviews, PLEASE email me privately with your concerns firstname.lastname@example.org. I love my two babies more than I can say. I'm VERY particular about what they eat and how they live. I did not see anything that alarmed at FEBS. But if anyone wants to share information with me that you have PROOF of, please contact me at the email address above.
I met Patricia and the birds at FEBS a couple of weeks ago. I must say how impressed I am with the sanctuary and Patricia's vision for FEBS. I plan to relocate my babies to FEBS in the near future knowing I'm doing the best thing for them. I want them to be birds, to live with other birds, and to be able to fly. I have found the place where I can give them that gift.
I would love to know why all the people with negative things to say do not give specifics? There should be no fear of liable if you are speaking the truth and can back up your claims.
I do not understand the bashing that goes on amid these organizations by those that run them. Help each other for the sake of the birds.
Aussie, a wild caught Moluccan cockatoo, was provided sanctuary by Pat Norton and the Florida Exotic Bird Sanctuary in February of 2009. Unlike most cockatoo's, in her 20+ years she had only one home before she came to live with me. Wanting the best situation for her, I began looking for a sanctuary where she could live her life on her terms, being a bird with others of her own species. After talking to a number of sanctuaries and visiting those I could, I found FEBS and Aussie's new home! Pat is one of those special, unselfish people who does much more than provide a home for birds. She is involved in the community and goes into the schools. The sanctuary would like to build more of the large flights that the macaws currently enjoy and I hope she gets the support she deserves to provide more birds with the joy of flight. Please consider donating to FEBS and providing the help these birds need.