FAQ’s


Q: What types of bird’s live at the aviary?

A: There is an assortment of birds at the aviary. The largest groups being those of the parrot family and their close kin, of which are house indoors and have access to outdoor flights in the summer months. There is also an assorted outdoor collection, housed in spacious coupes, including Pea Fowl, Pheasants, Chickens, and Pigeons.

Q: How rare are these bird’s?

A: Bird’s in captivity generally have stable populations. But in the wild, range from common to extremely endangered. See reference book for specific details on the conservation status of our birds Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Q: What part of the world are the birds from?

A: Our birds are mainly from tropical and sub-tropical zones right around the world. They are grouped into 3 main groups… 1) Afro-Asian, 2) Australasian, & 3) Neotropical. We also have birds from more northern climates.

Q: How smart are parrots?

A: The parrot family is considered to be the smartest of all bird. Some such as African Greys are thought to have the intelligence of a 4 year old human being. Most parrots are capable of mimicry, association, understanding, and empathy.

Q: How old can parrots live?

A: Many birds in the parrot family, particularly those properly cared for in captivity can live up to 80 years. One Sulfur-Crested Cockatoo (Fred) in Australia (Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary) turned 100 years of age. Fred was hatched during World War 1 and is still with us today (2014). They oldest ever recorded was 125 years of age.

Q: What is the purpose of, “The Friends of The Aviary”?

A: “The Friends of The Aviary”, is a non-profit organization that took over the care of these wonderful birds from the City of Hamilton. We are run by a team of dedicated volunteers. Our purpose is to care for this beautiful collection of exotic birds and educate the public. Most live a long time, may be endangered, and require great attention. Therefore if one desires owning a pet bird, we would like them to know the commitment that will be required.

Q: How can you help?

A: There are many ways you can help, whether you’re an individual or a business. Volunteering and donating are the main ways. Donations can be done with cash (donation box, coin drive), credit card, PayPal, Interac, and redemption of gift cards through CanadaHelps. Also donating services or various items we can utilize to improve the care and wellbeing of the birds.

Q: Are there any parrots indigenous to our Carolinian forest ecosystem?

A: Yes the Carolina Parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis) frequented parts of the southwestern Ontario region near Lake Erie during the summer months. Sadly due to human ignorance, these beautiful birds were extinct by the 1920’s (see Reference Book for further details).

Q: What is the heaviest parrot in the world?

A: The Kakapoo (Strigops habroptilus) of New Zealand is, can weigh in at 2 to 9lbs. These fantastic birds are now extremely endangered, once again, due to humans (see Reference Book for further details).

Q: Why do domesticated parrots and kin usually have leg bands?

A: Leg bands are often applied by the breeder to help identify and keep track of their birds. Quarantine bands are placed on imported birds for regulatory reasons. Sexing bands are put on the right leg to indicate males and on the left leg to indicate females.

Q: How powerful is a parrots bite?

A: There are few reliable sources on this, but some people have estimated that a large macaw has the bite strength of 500 to 700 pounds per square inch, which is close to that of a large dog bite.