‘Project Perry’ Open House to educate the public about rescued exotic birds

African Grey residents eating breakfast in the climate-controlled area of the 3,600 square foot African Grey aviary. (Photo: Project Perry)

LOUISA, Va. (WRIC) — Preparations are underway for this weekend’s Open House at Project Perry, also known as the Central Virginia Parrot Sanctuary.

The 15,000 square foot aviary is a shelter for exotic birds. More than 200 exotic birds currently live there.

Gracie, a Greenwing macaw in the 3,900 square foot Macaw aviary. (Photo: Project Perry)

“Dogs and cats are usually cared for in the traditional sheltering system, but exotic birds are often left out of those models of sheltering,” explains Project Perry Founder and Executive Director, Matt Smith. “Project Perry was designed to fill that need to help out exotic birds.”

In April 2015, known animal lover and supporter Bob Barker donated $200,000 to the sanctuary to open a new 3,900 square foot home specifically for macaws. The birds just moved in last month.

The Bob Barker Macaw Aviary and other free-flight spaces for the birds will be accessible during the Open House.

“The public can just go and see the work that we do, see the birds living, how they live, talk to the staff and volunteers that are on site,” explains Smith.

Smith says Project Perry aims to educate potential owners about what kind of care is required so fewer exotic birds end up in shelters or in situations where they need to be re-homed.

“A lot of people impulsively get exotic birds as a pet without really knowing what to expect for the life of the bird, some of the traits that are also negative traits to having a bird, things like the loud vocalizations or the destructive chewing behavior or possibly even biting people,” Smith describes. “They require such challenging care. These are animals that are designed to fly, to have social stimulation and interaction with others of their kind or with people, so a lot of times people can’t really meet those challenges to having an exotic bird as a pet require.”

Humah, a Jenday Conure, in the 1,250 square foot Conure aviary. (Photo: Project Perry)

Many people are also unaware of the long life-span of many exotic birds, according to Smith. Macaws, for example, often live about 80 years.

The Open House at Project Perry is scheduled for Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 1:30 until 5:00 p.m. at the sanctuary in Louisa County. There is a rain date of May 20, 2017.

Guests must R.S.V.P. prior to the event. Call (540) 967-0447 to register and get directions.

The face of the organization, Princess Joupityr, is a Timneh African Grey Parrot. You can follow her facebook page for education about parrot care or Project Perry’s facebook page directly.

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