We are birds of paradise.
The road to our happy place is paved with feathers.
Our mission is to be a voice for captive exotic birds and to promote unity within the avian community. We work to fulfill our mission by providing a safe haven for abused or unwanted exotic birds (regardless of species, age, special needs or behavior issues), re-socializing and rehoming eligible companion parrots, and providing educational resources to the avian community.
At Birds of Paradise Sanctuary, we firmly believe (as do many other animal rights and animal welfare organizations) that animals are not ours to exploit for entertainment or profit, and thus, they should not be bred for these purposes. However, we recognize that there is a diverse range of opinions regarding this issue. Rather than alienate ourselves from those who choose to breed parrots, we strive to maintain a courteous relationship with anyone whose actions impact the lives of parrots, and to provide whatever support possible to the birds, regardless of their condition or purpose.
Our phone number is 727-366-9997.
You can email us here.
Please note that visitation is by appointment only. You can Request a Visit here.
Birds of Paradise Sanctuary & Rescue is incorporated in the State of Florida.
We are a 501(c)(3) Certified Organization.
Our Federal EIN is 45-3674500.
Birds of Paradise is grateful to RIVER LANDINGS ANIMAL CLINIC for the avian medical care provided to our birds.
The clinic services in small animals, avian, and exotic medicine, surgeries, dentistry, radiology, ultrasounds, endoscopy, laboratory services, bathing, supplies, and drop off service.
Michael Bonda, DVM graduated from Cornell University in 1988. Originally from Orchard Park, NY where he was employed at the largest 24-hour referral and critical care veterinary medical center in the area, Dr. Bonda moved to Florida in 1998. He has been trained in small animal medicine, soft tissue surgery, abdominal and cardiac ultrasound and endoscopy as well as exotic and avian medicine and surgery. He was board certified in avian medicine by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in 1995 as the care of parrots became a strong interest.
Established in 2011 as a sanctuary facility, Birds of Paradise Sanctuary (BOPS) has evolved into a model exotic bird sanctuary where parrots enjoy tropical ambiance and nurturing care. BOPS is the vision of Debbie Huckaby, its founder and executive director, who astutely recognizes the dire need to aid in the overpopulation issue with parrots in the United States and subscribes to the notion that “we soar or plummet together.”
No stranger to the business, Debbie has been involved with Parrot Rescue for over 10 years, during which she toured many facilities—assisting with strategic development and strength/ weakness assessment.
In August of 2011, Debbie encountered a heart-breaking situation that would change the course of her life. Dozens of parrots in Troy Ohio had been abandoned and were living in filth and extreme heat with no food and water. Tragically, many of them died of starvation and disease, while the remainder resorted to the unthinkable—eating other dead or dying parrots simply to survive. The parrot community sprang to action and Ms. Huckaby was chosen to provide a nurturing lifelong habitat for these parrots. She partnered with Golden Gait Trailers in Concord NC—who supplied transportation and funded the rescue—to transport these birds to the sanctuary and provide them with the love and dignity they deserve.
Fast forward to 2018, and you see a highly engaged community of volunteers and sustainers that support Ms. Huckaby in developing a working sanctuary with a sustaining business model, fueled by passion and poised for growth.
Over 350 parrots now call BOPS home, with many of them enjoying permanent residence or re-socialized and eligible for rehoming as a companion bird. As Ms. Huckaby espouses, “There is no denying the impact of giving a second chance to an amazing and intelligent creature. Some birds simply belong with people and for them we place an emphasis on finding people for birds, not birds for people.”
Birds of Paradise Sanctuary has flourished in the last 7 years through grants, donations, memberships, programs and public and volunteer support and anticipates a future of staying on course through smart and steady growth.
My vision is that the Birds of Paradise Sanctuary & Rescue team will provide an ecosystem where captive parrots thrive in an environment uniquely tailored to their characteristics and needs.
As the chair of this organization, I’m often asked why the plight of captive parrots is so important and I love this question because a large part of my role is to be their voice in the sanctuary sector of the avian ecosystem. Perhaps the most direct answer is that parrots are absolutely ill-suited for captivity and with lifespans of up to 80 years they are more than a lifetime commitment for their owners. And this deeply concerns me as just these two factors force these beautiful, intelligent—and yet instinctively wild—animals to struggle through the constraints of captivity and face anxiety from broken bonds with their companion owners. In short, from a captive parrot’s perspective, we take far more than we can possibly give back to them. Legislation has not yet begun to catch up to the billion-dollar pet bird trade and estimates say there are more than 40 million parrots kept as pets in the US alone.
Although Birds of Paradise Sanctuary & Rescue cannot solve this global issue, we can make a positive impact in the lives of captive parrots by providing a safe haven for abused or unwanted exotic birds, regardless of species, age, special needs or behavior issues. We can resocialize and rehome the parrots that will flourish as companion birds—making sure no breeders or resellers can adopt them. We can make sure our birds receive proper medical care and behavioral evaluations on a regular basis. We can shelter them in ambient, tropical aviaries where they can fly free, with natural vegetation, fresh air and sunshine—allowing them to live as close to free as possible while in captivity and still enjoy the daily interaction of only the most loving caregivers. We can work in partnership with these birds to provide rehabilitation for those that have suffered due to neglect and abuse—and we can teach them to trust humans once again through a gentle process of daily interactions and by providing them with loving communication and positive reinforcement.
And lastly, we can partner with other parrot rescues and sanctuaries throughout the US and educate the avian community. As the overpopulation crisis grows and rescue facilities in every state turn away birds daily or take in more than they can adequately care for, we will support them as best we can. We will also provide educational resources and professional advice for all those wishing to learn the proper care of exotic birds. We hope to help dispel the myths that have been spread by the pet trade industry that has led to the suffering and over population of these magnificent creatures.
In short, the Birds of Paradise Sanctuary & Rescue team can create an ecosystem where captive parrots thrive in a stable environment uniquely tailored to their characteristics and needs.
Connect With Us
17020 Water Line Rd
Bradenton FL 34212
Imagine a place where neglected and abused parrots get second chances every day. Help make it a reality.EMERGENCY RESCUE FUND