Helping parrots, one idea at a time

Me in Echo Bonaire’s happy Amazon t-shirt

There are a number of ways people can help parrots, and it doesn’t have to take a lot of money. It just takes love, dedication, and a bit of creativity! All you have to do is take a look at what your talents are, and go from there.

For example, in addition to photography and web/graphic design, I also love to create illustrations. Specifically, happy, whimsical cartoons of – you guessed it – birds! I have fun doing it, but I also love the feeling of using them to do a bit of good in the parrot world. I’ve donated an illustration of a Yellow-shouldered Amazon perching on a cactus that Echo Bonaire uses on t-shirts, and also as its logo. I also drew a happy little African Grey parrot “flying free” that is part of the World Parrot Refuge’s “Artists’ Nest” on Cafepress.

Helping Jazz Heal illustration

Another project I am currently involved in is helping raise money to assist a Umbrella Cockatoo named Jazz. She is being cared for by a group in Canton, Ohio called The Bird Nerds Rescue, which was founded by an amazing young lady named Jen. Jazz arrived at Bird Nerds without a cage, toys, and in dire need of veterinarian care for self-mutilating wounds and Aspergillosis. (For Jazz’s full story, please click here.)

Jazz’s story was discovered by the Crazy Bird Ladies, a facebook group started by Bev Penny (Living With Parrots) and includes a number of caring and enthusiastic parrot supporters. Crazy Bird Ladies made its mark when it raised almost $3800.00 to fund cataract surgery for a blind M2 named Mr. Magoo (and possibly a second Cockatoo named Casper), who is currently living at Foster Parrots. In Jazz’s case, over $2600.00 was raised in about a month. Both fundraisers used an online auction idea Bev came up, which features items generously donated by various members of the Crazy Bird Ladies and Bev herself. The funds have helped pay for vet bills, and will also be used to buy Jazz her very own cage, as well as tons of toys (or, as Bev puts it, to “Pimp out Jazz’s cage”).

Helping Jazz Heal t-shirt (simulated)

Not to be stopped there, I decided to draw a cartoon of sweet Jazz. I have donated the illustration to help raise funds for Jazz through Crazy Bird Ladies and Deborah Denee is bringing the fundraiser to life through her company, Feathered Angels Designs.

Deborah creates original art for people using photos of their parrots and puts them on a variety of clothing and other items, but when she heard about Jazz, she offered to make and sell t-shirts and dresses through her online store featuring the Jazz illustration. On top of that, Deborah is generously donating $10 from the sale of every t-shirt or dress directly to Jazz to help with her care. Deborah is also involved with a group called Parrot Troopers, which is a community of Avian Supporters of Rescues and Sanctuaries willing to help an “Organization Of The Month” by providing 1 or more toys to birds in their care. She donates $10 from the sale of every “Parrot Troopers” t-shirt or dress to the Parrot Troopers group.

Want to help Jazz heal? You can purchase your very own Jazz t-shirt or dress (in a rainbow of colour selections!) from Feathered Angels Designs here.

So there you have it. A little bit of what the people around me are doing to help birds, each using what skills they have to offer. It’s fun to get creative and help!

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