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The parrots want Christmas trees

Stephanie Martin shares a kiss with green wing macaw Ruby Jewel at Coombs
Stephanie Martin shares a kiss with green wing macaw Ruby Jewel at Coombs' World Parrot Refuge Saturday afternoon. 
— image credit: CANDACE WU PHOTO

CANDACE WU

news@pqbnews.com

Christmas is over and if you’re looking for a place to dispose of old trees, the World Parrot Refuge in Errington is a good place to start.

“Parrots are comparable to beavers when it comes to chewing wood,” said WPR supervisor Stephanie Martin. “So we’re asking people to bring their used trees here for the parrots.”

The non profit organization’s 23,000 square foot building is home to more than 900 birds who enjoy the liberty of free flight and flock orientation.

“We’re the only shelter that keeps birds for life,” said Martin, adding that the organization takes in birds from all over the world.

The refuge consists of a few large rooms with tall windows letting in lots of sunlight. In an effort to recreate the most natural habitat possible, volunteers and workers have wired together long pieces of wood to resemble a jungle-like setting. Various types of wood hang from the ceiling, nestled together like a tropical rainforest where hundreds of abandoned parrots have found solace.

“We’ll accept any type of wood except cedar,” said Martin, noting that cedar contains toxins harmful to many animals.

She said old Christmas trees will provide hours of entertainment for the birds.

“Anyone who has ever been abandoned as a child can relate,” she said, looking lovingly at one of the many orphaned animals.

Those willing to donate their old Christmas trees will be greatly appreciated by the WPR.

“Additionally, we’re also accepting used or old toys for the parrots,” said Martin. “Basically we take anything the parrots can chew.”

Bring your trees or toys down to World Parrot Refuge located at 2116 Alberni Highway in Coombs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The organization will accept wood donations on a continuous basis.

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