Watchbird January 2022

The following Monday I loaded up with supplies and headed back south to help more bird lovers. I was told of a young lady who had birds and needed help. When I got to the property out in the country, I met the lady who had not heard of The American Federation of Aviculture, or its disaster relief program. There were blue tarps covering her new house and as she took me to the back of the property she started crying as she showed me her bird building approximately 75 ft long and 20 ft wide. The front 25 ft was twisted and nearly on the ground which had housed her macaws. Their cages had been pulled out but the remainder of the building was leaning so much that her husband had told her to not go in to feed her smaller birds as he left for work. She said they hadn't been fed for 2 days. I started looking for fence posts and any loose boards to prop the building walls. I asked if there were any farmers around who might have a tractor with a loader. She contact- ed one who came down and we put the loader against the building to support it while she went in and fed and watered her birds. A few had perished but most survived. Jerry Johnson, another long time AFA supporter and I then went back the next morning with enough materials to secure the end of building because of the many bobcats in the area. The building was now secured so she could safely enter. Since the storm had de- stroyed her supply of bird food, all she could find was 50# of wild bird seed for $7.00 to feed her Macaws. I was so glad that I had parrot food in my truck boxes donated by a seed company to give her. After resting the next day, a Sunday, on Monday morning we loaded the trailer with more supplies and head- ed out to help more people with their birds ’ needs. 'Get prepared' was the words coming out of the truck ra- dio. Another hurricane was headed toward Florida! What? I thought not another one. It's only been a week and a half since the last one! Little did we know there would be 4 hurricanes within 6 weeks to hit Florida! As the news began to spread, some of those breeders who had volunteered to help others were calling to say they could no longer help because they had to prepare for a storm heading in their direction! The 4th hurricane was reportedly heading out to sea and Florida would be spared. As I was driving back home late that evening, I received a phone call from Dwight Greenberg asking if I was going to be alright. I stated that I was tired but doing fine. "No, I mean the hurricane, it has made a circle in the ocean and is head- ing to Tampa"! It's heading to my place! I hurried home and started preparing my own birds for a disaster! Hurricanes aren't the only disaster's that AFA's Disaster Relief Program has dealt with. The western fires have been horrific to those who live in the western states. California has suffered it's share of fires as well as Oregon, Washington and other states. Many times a change of wind direction can be a matter of saving everything or losing everything! Most times roads are closed to outside help, so those with a number of birds are left to evacuate by themselves. I do know of cases where bird lover's have driven through field after field to reach someone in need of extra help to evacuate! When a large river climbs out of its banks and travels far into an area of nice bird facili- ties, within minutes it's a matter of saving or losing everything! In all these cases, The American Federation of Aviculture's Disaster Relief Program is prepared to fly into action to help all of those needing assistance with their birds. With the thousands of birds that have been challenged by a natural disaster over these many years, their care- givers know that the AFA Disaster Relief team will be there when we ’ re needed! All that the Disaster Team has accomplished was only made possible because of the donations of supplies, manpower and money by you AFA supporters! After all, AFA CARES for the birds! This is our motto and We're Sticking To It!

Visit the AFA website if you would like to contribute to the AFA Disaster Relief Fund - Now - p195510266

AFA Watchbird 23

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