Bird adoption, sanctuary, rescue, and care education services for parrots and other captive exotic 'pet' birds. Based in Minneapolis - St. Paul (Twin Cities) area of Minnesota and serving Midwest.



P.O. Box 821  Stillwater, MN  55082  

Phone: (651) 275-0568  Fax: (651) 275-0457  


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Home > News & Events > Press Releases > International Convention and Public Seminar on Captive and Wild Parrots to Be Held in Minneapolis

Wild at Heart - Understanding Parrot Behavior


May 22, 2003

Minneapolis, MN – May 22, 2003 – In Minneapolis, May 30–31, Midwest Avian Adoption & Rescue Services (MAARS), the country's largest exotic bird rescue and placement facility, will host the Avian Welfare Coalition's 3rd Annual Avian Welfare Round Table, an international convention drawing diverse animal welfare professionals from as far away as the U.K. and Russia to discuss the status of parrots and other birds in captivity and in the wild. MAARS is a founding member of the Avian Welfare Coalition (AWC), which was formed in 2000 by Denise Kelly and a handful of avian welfare organizations to create a voice in the animal protection community for captive parrots.

The theme of this year's convention is "Born to Be Wild: The Survival of Parrots from Conservation to Animal Control." The topics to be discussed during the two-day event include: how traditional cat and dog shelters will deal with an increasing number of displaced parrots and other exotic wild animals, the enormous effort and cooperation it takes to truly save an endangered species, the problems caused by the commercialization and marketing of parrots as "pets," avian disease concerns in shelter and sanctuary settings, animal welfare laws and legislation that impact the well-being of parrots in captivity and the wild, and more.

"It is an honor to be involved with the planning and hosting of this important event," says Krista Menzel, a Board Member of both MAARS and the Avian Welfare Coalition. "This is the only conference worldwide that brings together seasoned professionals from such diverse fields concerned with parrot welfare: bird rescue and placement, captive parrot care and behavior, veterinary medicine, conservation, animal rights activism, legislation, and law enforcement. Our cooperation and networking over the past few years has already made amazing strides in improving the lives of birds in the U.S. and abroad, and we look forward to making plans for future progress in many areas."

In conjunction with this important invitation-only convention, MAARS will also offer a public educational seminar, "Wild at Heart: Understanding Parrot Behavior," on Saturday, May 31, 9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m., at the Radisson Hotel South and Plaza Tower, featuring expert speakers, Greg Glendell and Mike Schindlinger. Glendell is a British avian behaviorist and founder of BirdsFirst, an education and lobbying group dedicated to promoting the welfare of birds in captivity. He is currently the U.K.'s only full-time captive bird behavioral consultant, and he will describe his "bird-centered" approach to developing a positive, fulfilling environment for parrots living with humans. Schindlinger is a Ph.D. candidate in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. One of the few researchers in the world studying parrot behavior in the wild, he will share some of his findings from over three years of living in the field with wild Amazon parrots.

"It is very exciting for us to have these avian experts here in the Twin Cities. It is a great opportunity for bird-lovers in our community to learn more about parrots from one of the few researchers in the world who has studied them in their natural habitats and a behaviorist who approaches the challenges between captive parrots and their caregivers from the perspective of a caged wild species defined by flight and its relationship to predators," says Jamie McCarthy, MAARS Volunteer and "Wild at Heart" seminar organizer. "These two speakers will expand our understanding of avian behavior and psychology, and, hopefully, their insights will help caregivers provide a healthier and more stimulating environment for the birds in their homes."

For more information or to register for the public "Wild at Heart" seminar, please contact:

Krista Menzel, Jamie McCarthy, and Alayne Rueber



Phone: (651) 641-7592 or (651) 275-0568

For more information on the Avian Welfare Coalition, the 3rd Annual Avian Welfare Round Table, or parrot welfare issues, please contact:

Krista Menzel, Denise Kelly, and Becky Margison



Phone: (651) 641-7592

For more information on Midwest Avian Adoption & Rescue Services or parrot welfare issues, please contact:

Eileen McCarthy, Executive Director/CEO

Midwest Avian Adoption & Rescue Services (MAARS)

P.O. Box 821

Stillwater, MN 55082

Phone: (651) 275-0568

Fax: (651) 275-0457




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