Flying Colors Aviary
On February 2nd 2019 Apryle and I visited Flying Colors Aviary on Widbey Island. Flying Colors Aviary is operated by Susan Hilliard and Mark Hockett in the small town of Langley. With several flights and two large aviaries, it is home to over 140 birds. Most of these birds were adopted from households that could no longer care for them. Some of the parrots are even free-flying around the property and are trained to return in the evening to roost.
The facilities are impressive; when we first arrived the entrance gait was bookended by a wood carved Macaw on one side and an Eclectus on the other. After descending a winding gravel drive, we arrived at the main complex that is surrounded by towering evergreens. There are two large greenhouse-looking aviaries, and two smaller flights, one of which contained a flock of Lovebirds.
The main aviary contains several different species of Macaws, Conures, Cockatoos, Eclectus, Amazons, and many others. There are numerous wood perches, spinning toys, and old Christmas trees scattered about the enclosure. In addition to the wood perches there are also heated perches, which provide the parrots with much needed warmth in the winter months. There are modified PVC pipe troughs which serve as feeders for the birds.
Despite the many different personalities, sizes, and temperaments, the unorthodox flock appears to get along quite well. Most of the Parrots are welcoming and enjoy perching on an arm or chewing on a button upon entry to their home. We were provided with seeds and nuts in the main entry-way in order to offer the birds a treat, which they readily sought out.
There is also an offshoot enclosure attached to the main aviary that houses recovering birds as well as new arrivals. This area is heated and much more relaxed than the bustling aviary. The secondary aviary contains a few peacocks, several doves and pigeons as well as recovering wild birds. Additionally, there is a separate area in which we practiced flying with Darwin on March 22nd, on our third visit to the aviary.
Susan and Mark have created a remarkable place that Apryle and will continue to visit as much as time will allow. I am so thankful that they have taken the time to create a better life for parrots that have been discarded or abandoned. Providing a loving and stimulating environment for these intelligent creatures is imperative and fortunately Flying Colors Aviary provides both these with their facility.