Song­bird sanc­tu­ary

Un­wanted birds re-homed af­ter love and care

Sunshine Coast Daily - Caloundra Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - Carly Cullen Carly.Cullen@sc­news.com.au

IT’S quite com­mon to be met with a ‘hello’ or ‘good morn­ing’ as you en­ter work, but for the vol­un­teers at Par­rots in Par­adise their morn­ing greet­ings are made by clever birds.

Dail Malins runs the reg­is­tered not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion from her home in the Glass House Moun­tains to res­cue, train and breed birds while ed­u­cat­ing the com­mu­nity about the in­tel­li­gence of th­ese winged an­i­mals.

In a few weeks, Dail will cel­e­brate 50 years of ser­vice to her feath­ery friends.

Re­cently the sanc­tu­ary just in­tro­duced a new bird with the flock of 400 oth­ers al­ready call­ing the par­adise home.

“She’s ab­so­lutely beau­ti­ful, a green-wing macaw. Her life be­fore had been crowded with lots of other par­rots bat­tling for morsels of food and be­ing ig­nored for two years,” Dail said.

“She now only shares with one other bird and she’s just so happy.”

She said hav­ing a bird as part of the fam­ily is a life-time com­mit­ment with some be­ing able to live “more than 100 years old”.

“The av­er­age pet par­rot gets five dif­fer­ent homes in their life. It’s a com­mit­ment and we want to make sure they get their for­ever home,” said the pas­sion­ate bird trainer.

Dail’s en­thu­si­asm is ob­vi­ous and she loves to show off just how smart birds are.

“We do shows for peo­ple to come and see all the tricks the birds can do, such as basketball and bal­let,” she said.

“They are so in­tel­li­gent, they lis­ten to com­mands just like a dog.

“Once a bird is taught some­thing it’s taught that for life. They have a huge amount of cog­ni­tive abil­ity.”

The sanc­tu­ary is mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary, it of­fers board for birds when their own­ers go away on hol­i­day and even pro­vides prac­tise skills for as­pir­ing vet­eri­nar­i­ans.

“Vet stu­dents from Ade­laide, Mel­bourne and Queens­land have all been here to learn. They de­velop lots of prac­ti­cal knowl­edge and usu­ally vol­un­teer for a week or two,” Dail said.

“There’s lots of hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence, such as feed­ing ba­bies and trim­ming wings.”

The safe haven only takes do­mes­ti­cated pets, not wild birds and they are cur­rently look­ing for a fe­male swan for a wid­owed male, Ebony.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit the web­site par­rots in­par­adise.net.

❝ They are so in­tel­li­gent, they lis­ten to com­mands just like a dog.

— Dail Malins

PHO­TOS: CON­TRIB­UTED

SAFE HAVEN: Aban­doned birds find oa­sis at Par­rots in Par­adise. IN­SET: Dail Malins (left) cel­e­brates golden ju­bilee car­ing for feath­ery pets.

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