When I moved to Texas from Virginia six years ago, I was already a "bird-nerd." I had companion parrots for several years. I had become involved with a lovely bird club, where I made lifelong friends. Through that group I volunteered for a local parrot re-homing group. I continually educated myself through the re-home groups classes and through other aviculture resources.
When I arrived in Texas, I naturally started looking for new bird friends and outlets to continue to educate about parrots and the need for adoption. In a web search, I found Wings of Love Bird Haven. I was able to volunteer at the Haven once a week for a while, as I was working freelance. I helped clean cages, sweep and mop floors and even rotate toys in cages. It was a fun way for me to get to interact with larger parrots, and I as able to meet like minded bird-nerds.
It was here that De, operator of the Haven, introduced me to a little black-headed caique. I'd read a lot of stories about caiques and their hyperactive, Jekyll and hyde personalities, but never imagined I'd ever have one in my life. This particular bird was at the Haven as a special temporary foster. His family had been temporarily relocated out of state for work and were unable to take Ravi along. He was a funny little bird, and I visited with him each time I was at the Haven volunteering. De really wanted him to be fostered in a home, but the few homes they tried all had larger birds, and it just didn't work. My fiancé and I have little birds; cockatiels and budgies. De thought Ravi might work out. So she finally talked us into trying out as a foster home. I was eager to learn to interact with a slightly larger beak. After much research and discussion we decided to give it a go.
Well, it was a blast! I used positive reinforcement to interact and we soon learned to be great friends with Ravi. A year later I prepared myself for having to let him go back to his family. We became enamored with the little guy. He was so much fun! But I tried not to get too attached. As fate would have it, Ravi's family reluctantly had to relinquish him permanently as their relocation became permanent. We were given first option to adopt and the rest is history. I couldn't imagine life without the little guy. I am thankful De talked us into taking him in the first place. She's very good at matching birds with people. It was meant to be!
As time went by I wasn't able to visit the Haven as often. I took on permanent work and life just got busy. I was able donate a little here and there, but I still had the urge to help more in some way. It was a few months ago during the North Texas Giving Day promotion that I realized what a great way it would be for the Haven to bring in a little money. I used my skills as a graphic designer to create some imagery for De to use on Facebook and the Haven's website to advertise the event. It was all very last minute but we managed to raise a nice little bit of money for the Parrots at the Haven. I felt good about it.
I then realized I could help more with my graphic design. Good design is always a good idea. It engages people instantly and can communicate quickly. I have a list of design ideas for social media and the website that I'm excited to discuss with De for the future. For now, we're doing out best to navigate our way through Giving Tuesday and hopefully raise a little more money for the parrots!