I got back from the D.C. area after an incredible time last weekend with the Phoenix Landing Organization. A little background is called for here:

I’ve known Ann Brooks since 2005 when we both attended the Natural Encounters Companion Parrot Training Class, or “Birdy Boot Camp” as I called it.  Ann’s a tad on the quiet side and I was sick as a dog having come down with some truly heinous bug I picked up from some guy who coughed on me on the way back from Haiti. Despite my feeling like ten miles of bad road and due to Ann’s ability to put up with this virus monster sitting next to her for days on end, we got along just great. I just had a feeling that she was going to accomplish something amazing. And I was right.

Ann has a fascinating background. Ask her sometime time about drinking Norwegian Glogg somewhere near the North Pole. I found Ann introspective, shrewd, extremely dedicated and very, very sharp.  Ann knew that she wanted to work with birds and well, she did it. And that’s a pretty tall order.

We managed to maintain a cyberspace relationship through the years and I would help Phoenix Landing as much as I possibly could. Being the southernmost outpost of PL didn’t give me much opportunity to help, but I did what I could here and there. I wish I could have done more, and hope to do more in the future.

Not long ago, she asked me if I wanted to do a presentation on Chop for the January Phoenix Landing get together. “Sure! Why not?” was my response.

So this past weekend, I flew up there with my “Got Chop?” T-shirt and hopped around in my “5 seasons-ago Non-Prada  boots” talking about Chop. Please forgive some of the photos, but when you’re talking and someone shoots your photo, invariably a few are going to make you look like a goldfish:

I made a slide show for you about the event.

Behold:

Needless to say, I had a blast! I haven’t had that much fun since traveling to Raleigh Durham to do my Chop Presentation for the Raleigh Durham Caged Bird Society.

The people I got to meet and the new friends I made was amazing. And I also got to meet people I’ve known on the internet and finally got to meet in person! Here’s Eileen:

And here’s Melissa!

I also met a ton more people I knew here and there and also got to see people I already knew, so it was just a wonderful gathering. We talked, we had lunch, we made plans…it was all good. (Vicky:”Up the stairs and to the right.” Is that correct?)

If you live in the area of D.C. or Virginia, or are around the Ashville, North Carolina area, you should really get involved with this non-profit. It’s a great group of people and they are making a HUGE impact on thousands of people and thousands of parrots. They are smart, savvy, incredibly well versed in applied behavior analysis, all things parrot and above all, they get the job done.

And it’s not about a lot of sitting around talking about their birds. They bring in speakers, organize projects and are proactive in the community with education about aviculture, training, adoption and of course they help people who are in need of assistance.

Please join these people for their wonderful warmth, their love of birds and their dedication to adoption, education and the welfare of birds. We can all learn from them. I loved my visit to Phoenix Landing and hope to come back soon. You can visit the Phoenix Landing website here. Just click on the PL logo. And if you can, please get involved. It’ll make you a better person. And I know that from experience.

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