Fine Feathers~

It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds~ Aesop
My love affair with birds started when I was a very young child. I bred and raised parakeets and cockatiels as a kid. I had two egrets, one pigeon, two cockatiels, and one great blue heron find me at picnics or hikes or at home, who I adopted and raised at various points in my life.
I talk to birds wherever I am and they tend to talk back. You should try it. I highly recommend it.
Birds just make me happy. Always have and I find more and more now that I am retired, that the things that made me happy as a kid, still make me happy as an adult, and once again now, I have time for them!
I cannot however adopt a bird until I stop traveling, so I get my bird fix these days by hanging out with the wild Holler birds, and visiting people who rescue birds.
Check out the birds at Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary. Free flight was started by a veternarian who loved birds. He built the facility next to his veterinary hospital that of course treats birds. Free flight is a non-profit that accepts birds with special problems and houses them in a natural tropical setting, where birds are kept in open air perchs with other flock members as they are in the wild. The results are magical, for the birds and for people who are encouraged to visit and interact with the birds.
People leave this place in love with birds! You can see it happening right before your eyes, when the bird decides to hop on them.
The helpful cockatoo got me a better photo by thoughtfully removing this boys hat. I didn’t even have to ask him! Smart chirper.
This one had strong preferences for certain tunes on this woman’s i pod and danced in approval when she picked the ones he liked.
Big brother was quite brave and showed his little sister how to handle a big bird!
The staff thought this eclectus might enjoy calling The Holler home. The only hard part is walking away. We have room for free flight aviaries at The Holler, so someday….. I might be able to breed some birds that are critically endangered in the wild.
All I know is that I grew up not questioning God. God was there like the birds and the wind~ Jane Godall
Cheers to you from all your feathered friends~

For more info check out:

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“What the World Needs Now is Love”~

(Scarlet Macaw) “Sweet Love.” These birds have this figured out. (Please click to enlarge)
Many birds raise offspring jointly and mate for life.
(Yellow Crowned Amazon Parrot) Some of the birds at the Bloedel Conservatory in Vancouver BC are endangered in the wild.
Birds don’t wage wars and they don’t wipe out multiple species and habitats.
(Red Shouldered Macaw) Sometimes I wonder who is more highly evolved?
(Eclectus Parrot) “Imagine all the people living life in peace.”
Cheers to you from our peaceable feathered friends. We can learn a lot from them~
Lyrics Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach & John Lennon.

Anza Avian Refuge!


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.


Blue Macaw.

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!

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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:,_California


This is  a Derbyian Parrot, a bird Kathleen recommends for me, as they love to travel!


Moluccan Cockatoo.

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!