Two very friendly baby Great Green Macaws. They love to hop on your shoulder and play with your hair. (Please click to enlarge!)
Anza Exotic Birds/Avian Rescue is a bird and animal rescue facility in Anza California. It is owned by Kathleen Willhelm.
Anza, Kathleen, and her bird and animal inhabitants, are all quite fascinating.
Scarlet Macaw. (Please remember to enlarge for optimal viewing!)
Lets’s start with Kathleen. She was a stock broker working on the 80th floor in Manhattan, who decided after 9/11, and the death of friends and co-workers, that stock brokering was no longer for her, and that she was wasting her life. So she pulled up stakes, purchased a 26 acre ranch in Anza California, and started her exotic bird and animal rescue.
She has over 1000 birds.
Many are handicapped, missing feet, parts of their beak, or are blind. Others were relinquished by owners who decided they couldn’t manage their bird. Quite a few of the parrot species survived owners who predeceased them, since parrots have long life spans. Some were scheduled for euthansia. Kathleen is breeding several species of endangered birds.
Many of her birds talk fluently. Most are immensely gregarious, and prone to hop on you when you least expect it, for a friendly visit!
The rare and highly endangered Golden Conure, AKA Queen of Bavaria. I was enchanted by these birds.
I have been to many bird breeders, stores, refuges, etc., over the years, but I have never seen a collection of such happy, healthy, contented birds. Kathleen is not interested in adopting out her birds unless she screens you and makes sure you are worthy of her birds.
Good for her!
She guarantees that her birds don’t bite and they don’t. This is a no-brainer, because her birds are content.
She hooks new birds up with companion mentor birds. Birds with special needs are not adopted out, but accommodated. She has a team of dedicated volunteers who work in her facility, and she runs an oncology rehab program, that hooks up elderly Anza cancer patients with rehab birds, who cheer the patients up.
I don’t know about you, but I would chuck being a stock broker in a heartbeat to do what Kathleen does. She rocks!
Check out more of her happy birds.
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo.
In my next post I will introduce you to some of the other animals Kathleen has acquired as her rescue reputation has spread. She has a whole menagerie of happy, well cared for animals, including abandoned doggies, Patagonian Guinea Pigs, Pot Bellied Pigs, two skunks, one named Flower……you get the idea.
This is a baby Sun Conure and a bird I am considering adopting, but not until February of 2014.
Kathleen selected a most interesting area to open her refuge. Anza is a semi-desert community in an isolated part of California in the San Jacinto mountains, right above the descent down the mountains, into the Mojave Desert. It is located about an hour and a half east of The Holler. “It is estimated that the Cahuilla aboriginal tribes inhabited the area now known as Anza more than 2000 years ago” and first encountered white invaders in 1774. It is a community of around 4,000 people according to the 2010 census.
Here’s what Wiki says about Anza, “Due to its history and relative isolation for hundreds of years, Anza is dissimilar to many areas in California settled during the same period. The cultural identity of many long-time Anzans exhibits the marked influence of Cahuillan aboriginal culture on the White population, expressed in terms of art and folklore.”
Anza is a wonderful place with interesting residents, like Kathleen.
Oh, and Red Skeleton lived here, in his ranch on Burnt Valley Road.
Reference source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anza,_California
This is a Derbyian Parrot, a bird Kathleen recommends for me, as they love to travel!
For more info on Kathleen and her awesome animal operation check out:
Cheers to you from wonderful Anza, and the cutest baby pot-bellied pigs you will ever have the opportunity to play with!
134 thoughts on “Anza Avian Refuge!”
I admire Kathleen for having the courage to set up the place to help the birds and other animals. These are lovely birds and appear to have great personality. Thank you for sharing.
As always, thank you my dear friend!
I’m molten…those are beautiful!
Just incredibly beautiful creatures aren’t they! Thank you for stopping by~
Lovely pictures of these birds thanks for posting them.
Thank you for liking them my friend~
Wonderful 2 shoot~ Like it
Have a good day^^
Domo arigatou! 🙂
nihongo jyouzu ^^
houmon arigatou ^^
Just beautiful birds, Cindy
Aren’t they incredible! Thanks~
Adorable and gorgeous are the birds, and your pics if them are wonderful!
I’m still thinking about your last dress! Wondering who could carry it off. I have a few ideas!
I see from the pictures that they are very well cared. We all have something to learn from the peoples which saves animals.
Yes. They seem like happier people interestingly enough!
These photographs are just magnificent: exceptional, clear detail and wonderful colours. And the story behind the photographs is both uplifting and heart warming.
Awww. Thank you my friend. Very touched~
What beautiful birds!!
Beauties aren’t they!
I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed seeing those incredibly beautiful birds. Wonderful post. Just brilliant color and sweetness. What a fantastic life they all have together, bound by love and devotion. Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us. 🙂 xxoo
For you ma deah, I would do anything I could to make you smile. You so deserve it. Thank you and hugs to you~
What gorgeous creatures. And thank God for Kathleen and people like her. I can’t imagine all the work it takes. I have two dogs and five cats I’ve rescued and they keep me hopping! 🙂
It is exactly what I thought. But she has a tight, small community that helps her, and she radiates that contentment that comes from doing something you really believe in. Cheers to you my friend and the happiest of TG’s!
Gorgeous photos, Cindy. 🙂
Awww, merci beaucoup mon ami!
What beauties–I like that you gave us some up close portraits.
Thank you. These parrots and cockatoos are intelligent and highly social. You can see this clearly in their eyes. So glad you liked them my friend~
Wonderful close-ups. You have gotten more detail in your photography than I think I’ve ever seen with birds as subjects. Thanks for sharing!
Awww. So kind. I love them and I think that is why. To me they have such individual personalities. Thank you so much~
Great post and wonderful photos! Blessings, Natalie 🙂
Blessings to you too ma deah~
Thanks for another fascinating post! What beautiful creatures. I look forward to learning more about the other animals in Kathleen’s refuge.
I keep thinking is an hour an a half too long to drive to volunteer? lol! I could learn so much from her. Thank you for appreciating!
What a wonderful sanctuary for birds (and, probably, people too).
As usual you are perceptive and right on both counts!
Truly beautiful captures…
Very much appreciated! Thank you~
I love parrots. On holiday in Devon I met one who sat in the tree of an out of the pub. Hidden away he would call “You can’t park here”.
The same parrot liked to sit on peoples shoulders as they played darts. Simply fascinated by the strange activity.
Great photos. Enjoyable to see. 🙂
Oh that is too good! “Don’t park here!” Love it! Apparently they have a word apprehension phase where they soak up language. Certain species have more natural ability. I heard of a bird that yelled “stop thief,” everytime someone walked into a store. They also can be quite protective and warn owners of intruders! Amazing creatures~
Oh Yeah 🙂
Thank you for sharing a wonderful story about a HUGE hearted person that helps animals. I love her as family already 🙂
She clearly has that effect on both humans and animals! One relaxes in her presence~
Awesome pictures, stunning birds! Made my day 😀
Your comment just made mine! 🙂
They are all such beautiful birds. I especially like the Golden Conure. I’m so glad they have a home with such a wonderful person. 🙂
Those Golden Conures were captivating!! Such personalities and so vocal! I would love to help them reproduce since they are so endangered, and I have a inner-courtyard that would make a perfect aviary. The birds would be outside with plants, but totally protected!!!
awesome post! I hope you do get the lil Conure!! Kathleen sounds great, and I am going to her blog directly. You did her babies justice, and I love that she screens her clients. 🙂
She is a very cool muchacha, as are you ma deah!
From you, with your talent, that is a huge compliment!
How can you not want them all?
They are all so very pretty!
I like how there are mentor birds for the noobs 🙂
I would be overwhelmed though with 1000 birds! I’m am being super conservative about the prospect of getting one! Some people have amazing gifts and capacities!
I admire Kathleen for doing here own thing!!! vibrant and beautiful birds…thanks for sharing Cindyk
Thank you ma deah, for appreciating! Saw your latest awesome pics, getting nippy up there for TG!! How nice~
What a wonderfully heart warming story, Cindy, and your photos burst with life and personality! I don’t have a particular affinity for birds but I could fall in love with some of these guys. (and I’m still smiling at you singing Vida 🙂 )
Hey, it’s a catchy tune!! Cheers to you my friend and happy weekend~
Cindy, these are brilliant! It makes one want to personify them in story or poetry… 🙂
ooooh! If you do please email to me so I don’t inadvertantly miss it! Hugz to you Lea~
Stunning captures and fantastic commentary! 😀
Awwww! Hugz to you Jackie!
Amazing photos! I love the yellow chappie looking straight into your camera!
I know I fell in love with him too!! He was just adorable, almost like he knew how cute he was!!
One of the neighbors, long ago, used to ride his bicycle with his parrot on the shoulder.
Isn’t that great and he never wanted to fly off! Love it~
So gorgeous, this colorful life your photos capture.
Very kind and appreciated!
I saw and read this yesterday, Cindy, and what this woman is doing is absolutely wonderful. Animals respond and react to spicial people like that because they can feel the love, and don’t have a sense of fear around them. She is their angel. ~Hugs~
You are so right about that. Children and people do too. They instinctively trust certain people. She definitely had that quality~
The birds are beautiful I love their vibrant colors!! That is so kewl she pulled up stakes and is living her dream!! Awesome pics Cindy!! Hugz Lisa and Bear
Hugz back to you both and so glad you appreciated!!
Their faces are so expressive!
Yes they have personalities don’t they!!
Lovely post Cindy, that is one dedicated lady doing a great job. It looks like you will soon have a bird, I’m sure you will pass all her reqirements
I may well have one ensconced in the inner courtyard sometime in 2014! If I do, you will certainly hear about it!! lol~
And see lots of photos as well… 🙂
No doubt of that!
Ms. Willhelm is doing such wonderful work! And your photos of the birds capture their beauty and personality so vividly. Thanks for sharing, and I look forward to your next post!
Awwww, you just made me feel good! Many thanks & cheers to you~
They’re such vibrant colours! They’re really beautiful.
Gorgeous and friendly too! Whats not to like?
What a wonderful person, wonderful story, and wonderful birds. My best wishes to her for her continued success, and thanks, Cindy, for bringing her animals to our attention. Love them.
The thanks go to you for caring!
How wonderful! The birds are beautiful, like flowers, their colors are so vibrant, sweet little things. Thank you for stopping by my blog! I will be following your wonderful blog, how exciting to travel and see so many things!
How wonderful of you to say such positive things and have such a positive blog! Thank you~
Tack sa mycket! 🙂
So beautiful, both your feathered friends and their story. So glad they have a safe and loving place to call home. Bravo Kathleen and all the volunteers.
Pretty awesome way to spend their days isn’t it!
my grand”bird” is a scarlet Macaw, she is not happy in her environment, she has plucked all her feathers, my son has taken her to several Vets.. she still seems to want to be featherless. Just saw her today, she is a character and a half. You have some great pictures there. thanks for sharing. Can you also send me a link to the WP fix person ..thanks.
Owning a macaw is beyond my skill and confidence level with birds. They are stunning but they do require expertise and lots of attention. Plucking is a problem with bored birds, sounds stressful for your son as well. Its a good cautionary note for anyone considering owning a bird like this. The person who is communicating with me at wp is named Zandy and the only address I have is the generic:
Still do send them your concerns and hopefully they will answer you. Please let me know how it goes! May the force be with you!
First, Cindy, what a beautiful job of photography. The birds are gorgeous. Second, you have to love the folks who devote their lives caring for animals. We have a sanctuary for farm animals about a quarter of a mile from where we live. Very different, and yet the same. Good blog. –Curt
I whole heartedly agree with you about the animal rescue folks! I like to be in their company. They emit positive energy and it is great to be around!
What a gorgeous array of gorgeous birds. Refuge and rescue people are wonderful people.
Aren’t they though! I thoroughly admire them!
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Hi Cindy: As usual incredible job with the photo’s. On another note, we’ve been dying to introduce you to our networking friends & share your beautiful pictures!! We’ve hosted your blog on our website: Two Voices One Thought. If you have a chance, swing by & see the post dedicated to your website. If your too busy we can certainly understand as we sprung it on you quickly & just wanted to let you know we we’re sharing your blog!! Either way, thank you once again for sharing your amazing talent with us & the world!!
You both rock and I am bowled over and so very appreciative! Hugs and thanks!
Oops….just realized our pic pulls up Tumblr which is our old blog & we forgot to leave our address. So sorry, we’re going on fifteen hours of no rest forgive the mistake. lol http://www.inionnmathair.wordpress.com/
Mil grazi!! Merci & gracias!!
Liebe Cindy das ist ja eine Farbennpracht ein Ara schöner als der andere super Foto und sie sind alle wunderschön einen schönen Sonntag wünsche ich dir Klaus
Schonen Sonntag, Ihnen mein lieber Freund! 🙂 🙂
As a child, I lived opposite a most eccentric woman who used to let her sulphur-crested cockatoo fly about outside. It could differentiate between types of visitors and divebomb the unwanted ones. Luckily for me, I was one of those who were welcome, or I’d probably have everlasting pockmarked bald patches on my head left as war wounds.
Hilarious! I was gobsmacked in Australia. These birds were everywhere in the thousands. I want to go back!! So incredible to see them wild and free in flocks! Saw the Macaws the same way in the Amazon. Amazing Amazon!
This blog is really going to the birds! 😉 Beautiful photos, by the way.
Ain’t it grand!!! Just call me big bird! lol~
These are very striking, colourful birds!! And such a worthy cause too! 😀
I agree with your on both counts and appreciate your support! Cheers to you~
Reblogged this on Freedom for Cetaceans Writers Corner.
I am honored and most appreciative! Thank you and thank you for your wonderful blog!
I’m equally enamored with those Queen of Bavarias as well. What a looker…shame it’s endangered.
Yes they are just gorgeous and have these funny, charming personalities to go with their good looks. They are VERY vocal and it is hilarious! Cheers to you & thank you too!
Lovely photos. 🙂
In our local culture, people who have big noses shaped like the beak of a parrot are said to be very flirtatious. I wonder where the local Chinese folks got the idea! 😀
Oh that is fascinating! There are some similar stereotypes in my culture about people with large noses!
What a wonderful woman she is to take care of all these animals and they will be very happy with her ! She deserve all the help she needs :)!
I agree with you my friend!
Do they talk? Love talking birds. 🙂
Yes! Many of them quite fluently!
She has some beautiful birds. The one you may adopt is gorgeous, but the traveling parrot is pretty and would make a nice choice too.
I agree with you! Both are charming! I have time to think and research!
Enjoyed the words and photoes.
Well, we both are for the birds!!! 🙂
I adore these photo’s. I love the aviary community anyway. I use to have cockatiels, parakeets, finches doves, love birds. It was awesome
Ah ha! You are an official member of the bird lovers club then! Welcome!!!
Enchanted is the word. My boy and I are enjoying your posts.
The thought of parents sharing my posts with their children, is really one of the major reasons I blog. The natural world is only fully appreciated by a child who hasn’t had a chance yet to be limited yet by education/socialization.Tell your boy, the truth of the world is beyond magical, it is factually, miraculous.
Thank you btb.
This comment made my day.
OM ! Cindy,my friend,what a fascinating parade of bird portraits ! All of them are so beautiful with gorgeous motley plumages !!! Have you finally adopted any of them ! I would love to have one !!!
Big hugs and love ♥ , Doda 🙂
Aren’t they gorgeous! I would love to have one too but we can’t until we stop traveling so much! Hugz back to you Doda~ <3 <3
Wow! Going back in time but that’s what word press offers and I love browsing your pics when I get some time. A wonderful project, hope it is still going strong.
I checked a few months ago and couldn’t find it. Maybe it moved and changed the name accordingly დ