Volunteers at the Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary in Surrey, B.C. eventually hope to find new homes for hundreds of parrots and cockatoos that had to leave their previous home at Coombs World Parrot Refuge, 150 kilometres north of Victoria. We see three of the birds sitting on limbs in the forefront of the picture with the mesh of their case in the background. They are absolutely gorgeous--a combination of exotic tones of blue, yellow and green.

Volunteers at the Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary in Surrey, B.C. eventually hope to find new homes for hundreds of parrots and cockatoos that had to leave their previous home at Coombs World Parrot Refuge, 150 kilometres north of Victoria.
Photo Credit: CBC / Chris Corday

Hundreds of parrots and cockatoos ready for adoption in British Columbia

Hundreds of parrots are up for adoption in British Columbia following their removal from a sanctuary where they had lived for years and a rescue operation believed to to be largest of of its kind ever in Canada. 

The birds are now safe and sound following a series of events that began in February when the founder of Vancouver Island’s World Parrot Refuge, Wendy Huntbatch, died after 25 years of taking of parrots and cockatoos abandoned by owners and breeders.

Over the past month, volunteers have filled trucks with dozens of donated crates, including this one loaded with African grey parrots. We see cages stacked four high and seven rows across in the interior of a truck.

Over the past month, volunteers have filled trucks with dozens of donated crates, including this one loaded with African grey parrots. © WPR Community Support Central/Facebook

She left no succession plan for the refuge, located about 150 kilometres north of Victoria, nor enough money to keep it going and the refuge faced an Aug. 1 deadline to remove all the parrots, which once numbered more than 900.

Rescue operations were proceeding smoothly until Mrs. Huntbatch’s widowed husband got nervous about rescuers damaging the site’s infrastructure and temporarily locked the doors.

He relented, and earlier this week the last birds were removed.

They are now being housed at shelters in B.C. with a great number of birds at the Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver.

The task now: to find them homes.

Jan Robson is media and education director at Greyhaven.

When she joined me by phone on Friday, I asked her to describe how all this began.

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7 comments on “Hundreds of parrots and cockatoos ready for adoption in British Columbia
  1. Thomas Granger says:

    I need a female Umbrella Cockatoo. I live in Campbell River. Females have brown eyes.

  2. Tajinder Singh Sandhu says:

    I am ready to adopt one parrot.

  3. Jo Ann Heidel says:

    Interested in adopting a parrot

  4. Greyhaven Exotic,
    I’m mommy to a 23yr.young catalina Macaw.(Lola) and 3 african greys… Before moving to fl.Iwas breading cockateils n love birds collecting cages and would donate them to children with disabilities clip wings n they stay with the child unlike cats or dogs that would run off to play..We would love to take on some of your misplaced feathered children I have plenty of cages n toys but most importantly Love for more feathered children So if you can find it in your heart to let us adopt some of the children we would be most grateful you could fly them into Tampa,Fl.international airport at my expense Please call anytime or write I’ve had birds all my adult life..Our Lola even says her prayers at night AND SAYS THANK YOU MAMA whenever anyone gives her treat just to cute…Thank you very much for any consideration you could give..

  5. Melissa Crider says:

    How much are the adoption fees? Depending on the fees, I would be able to take on a bird or two.
    I am a CAS (companion animal specialist). I have a huge parrot cage and parrot experience.
    Screaming does not bother me,LOL 😁

  6. Kristina Williams says:

    My kids and I are willing to adopt some of the birds. We live on the island.

  7. Connie Campbell says:

    How do we help become a fosyer or to adopt?