Feathered Friends Found Their Forever Home at the 'Meet the Birds' Event [PHOTOS]

On Saturday, March 26, the Center for Animal Rescue & Enrichment of St. Louis (CARE STL) was full of feathered faces and lots of “hellos” from people and animals alike. St. Louis Avian Rescue (STAR) hosted its first “Meet the Birds” event in just over two years. The event highlights many of the rescue’s adoptable birds.

Jill Capps, who is the executive director of STAR, says the COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible to offer such large-scale events with the rescue’s adoptable birds. She says initially, many events had to be moved to outdoor spaces like festivals.

“Harness training a bird is not like leashing a dog,” Capps says. “So we ended up bringing our personal birds that we know are harness trained [and] are good with the public.”

For Capps, the Meet the Birds event was exciting. Capps joined STAR after the pandemic began, so she says she got to meet many of the foster birds and volunteers for the first time in person.

The socialization and being outside of the foster’s home was also a good experience for the birds, according to Capps. She says Meet the Birds allowed fosters to learn more about the temperament of the birds. Some birds, such as Chloe the Griffin’s Cockatoo, did not enjoy the crowd.

“They were uncomfortable for two hours, and it's horrible,” Capps says. “But now we know their home life has to be very calm.”

Capps says turnout was great and that STAR received five or six adoption applications due to the event. She says some visitors also came to meet birds they are working on adopting.

According to Capps, events like Meet the Birds are about more than getting birds adopted. It is also about educating the public about STAR and the realities of bird ownership.

“[People think] they go to the pet store, pick up a bird and that's it,” Capps says, “and that's not how this works. They are a lifetime commitment. And just as important as dogs and cats. They deserve a loving home. They don't just go into a cage.”
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Blue and gold macaw Pepper stands on her perch in front of a painting of the St. Louis Arch. Pepper’s adoption profile describes the 40-year-old macaw as “spunky and loving.”
Cas Waigand
Blue and gold macaw Pepper stands on her perch in front of a painting of the St. Louis Arch. Pepper’s adoption profile describes the 40-year-old macaw as “spunky and loving.”
Rainbow, a greenwing macaw, gets head scratches from her foster, Haleigh Wagner. Wagner describes Rainbow as “large and in charge.”
Cas Waigand
Rainbow, a greenwing macaw, gets head scratches from her foster, Haleigh Wagner. Wagner describes Rainbow as “large and in charge.”
Blizzard shows off his crest as foster Cristine Hill holds him. He is a 20-year-old umbrella cockatoo who often attends STAR events.
Cas Waigand
Blizzard shows off his crest as foster Cristine Hill holds him. He is a 20-year-old umbrella cockatoo who often attends STAR events.
Molly, who is a Moluccan cockatoo, shows off his crest as people come and say hello. Executive director Jill Capps says Molly was adopted after his family met him at the event.
Cas Waigand
Molly, who is a Moluccan cockatoo, shows off his crest as people come and say hello. Executive director Jill Capps says Molly was adopted after his family met him at the event.
Gizmo, an umbrella cockatoo, gets a head scratch from Alanna Murray. Murray visited the Meet the Birds event to meet some of the rescue’s larger birds, as she is looking to adopt.
Cas Waigand
Gizmo, an umbrella cockatoo, gets a head scratch from Alanna Murray. Murray visited the Meet the Birds event to meet some of the rescue’s larger birds, as she is looking to adopt.
Executive director Jill Capps says Gizmo was adopted because of the event.
Cas Waigand
Executive director Jill Capps says Gizmo was adopted because of the event.
Some birds, such as Chloe the Goffin's cockatoo, turned out to be a little weary of the big crowd. Chloe is described as “shy and reserved” but her adoption profile states that she still loves to dance.
Cas Waigand
Some birds, such as Chloe the Goffin's cockatoo, turned out to be a little weary of the big crowd. Chloe is described as “shy and reserved” but her adoption profile states that she still loves to dance.
Parakeets like Hazel stayed within their cages during the Meet the Birds event. Hazel’s adoption profile describes her as a “sassy little lady” who loves exploring her foster home.
Cas Waigand
Parakeets like Hazel stayed within their cages during the Meet the Birds event. Hazel’s adoption profile describes her as a “sassy little lady” who loves exploring her foster home.
Visitors and volunteers gather inside CARE STL for STAR’s Meet the Birds event on March 26.
Cas Waigand
Visitors and volunteers gather inside CARE STL for STAR’s Meet the Birds event on March 26.
Volunteers Erin Devries, left, and Carly Carmosino, right, stand behind a table with STAR merchandise.
Cas Waigand
Volunteers Erin Devries, left, and Carly Carmosino, right, stand behind a table with STAR merchandise.