Saturday, December 29, 2012

Return to Oasis Bird Sanctuary

With Carol and Dennis visiting for just 2 nights, Carol’s request for our one full day together was to visit the Oasis Bird Sanctuary, after reading my blog post when we visited earlier in the month with Pat Livingston.

This time, Janet was again our guide, but the weather was much colder, so we were all wearing jackets.

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We quickly learned how fond the birds are of the teeth on jacket zippers. Janet knew how to keep them away from hers, and she still lost at least 2 zipper teeth to Cockatoos during our tour. One of them landed on my shoulder and was fascinated with my earrings. Before I knew it, she had pulled off a couple of beads and we never found them. I hope she didn’t swallow them! I should have known not to wear dangly earrings, but during our last visit none of the birds lit on me, so I didn’t think about this danger.

Carol and Dennis were pet store owners in a previous life, and are pretty familiar with the varieties of exotic birds. The birds took to Carol right away. This female Cockatoo got very cuddly!

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As before, some of the birds were very friendly and showed off for us, like this colorful Macaw.

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Others called out their greetings loudly…or was that screaming “what the heck are you doing invading our space?”

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We met more of the staff and some of their favorite birds, like Jean and these nice African Grey Parrots.

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The sanctuary operates on funding from a variety of sources, and encourages private donations. It welcomes volunteers to come and live on site as well.

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The Quakers are illegal in some states, and several of these birds were rescued from people who had to give up their pets, or the birds were confiscated. Janet related story after story about how birds had been rescued from bad situations.

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The Quaker aviary has an enclosed bridge linking two separate rooms.

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Today the birds were friendly with all of us, including Dennis, who didn’t quite know how to deal with the rather ‘amorous’ affection from this Lorie. I won’t go into detail, but the bird seemed to *really* like Dennis’ shoulder a few minutes earlier, and here he’s trying to get the bird back on the branch and off of his hand.

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Buddy (a Cockatiel) gave me lots of kisses, and was soon joined by another friend. These may be the same birds that liked Pat so well during our last visit.

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Don had 4 birds paying close attention to him, with one kissing him, another looking up his pants leg, and another examining the back of his neck, and another sitting on his arm.

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And Carol found one who loved to have his head scratched, while another one scratched her head!

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I encourage you to explore the sanctuary’s excellent web site, to learn more about the birds and the staff. You’ll quickly see why this is such a special place and the people who manage and run it day-to-day are such very special individuals. If you have an interest in supporting a worthy cause, by becoming a member or volunteering or sponsoring a bird, you won’t find a better place to lend a hand and a few dollars. If you’re in the area, take the time to call and schedule a tour – you’ll never forget the experience.

Our tummies were starting to growl when we left the sanctuary, after such an informative and enjoyable tour, so we stopped at one of our favorite places in Benson for lunch: Wild Dogs. This is a new place, with an extensive menu of gourmet hot dogs, and it has quickly become one of our favorite places to eat.

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Such a nice morning, followed by ‘nappy hour,’ then a walk with Shadow for me and Carol. Later, Don grilled a Santa Maria Tri-Tip for our dinner, Dennis baked potatoes on the grill and Carol made a green salad and Watergate salad. (I set the table and washed dishes.) We really enjoyed their brief visit and look forward to seeing these good friends again in Quartzsite next month.

P.S. Don’t forget to check Dennis’ blog for his report on the bird sanctuary. I’m sure his pictures will be far better than mine. (Be sure you get to the entry for Dec. 29.) Also, please forgive me if I got any of the types of birds incorrect.

4 comments:

  1. Enjoyed the tour again. It is always fascinating to learn about RVers' previous lives! Didn't know the Hills had been pet store owners.

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  2. Sounds interesting. I'll have to check it out sometime.

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