75 parrots and one emu at Siesta Sanctuary holiday open house

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HARMONY — Seventy five beautiful parrots and one emu will celebrate the holidays at a free open house from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday Dec. 28 at Siesta Sanctuary. No snow date — if you can travel safely, we’re here.

Hear parrots talk, sing and dance; play catch with a cockatoo and leave the cold winter outside to wander into an equatorial paradise right here in Central Maine.

“This place is incredible!” David Sewall posted on Siesta Sanctuary’s Facebook page. “If you are interested in birds, especially parrots, this place is a must-see!”

Meet Woody, the blue-throated macaw who collects nuts, bolts, pipe clamps, toy parts, cage latches, etc. daily; congratulate Rajah (blue and gold macaw) on her first egg and hear the latest flock gossip according to Rhetta, Ginger and Nutmeg (all Moluccan cockatoos).

The Sanctuary’s flock includes African Greys, amazons, cockatiels and cockatoos, conures, eclectuses, lovebirds, macaws, parakeets and ringnecks. Since parrots live from 30 to 80 years, they’ve landed at this nonprofit because their human flock was disrupted or they’ve outlived their human.

Fritz and Margaret Buschmann founded the non-profit Siesta Sanctuary to create a permanent home for these reasons. The Sanctuary does not re-home parrots but can refer to organizations that do.

Siesta Sanctuary is also a place to learn about parrots, how to care for them as pets and what threatens their survival of wild parrots. The Buschmanns also provide entertaining, educational presentations with some of the parrots.

While the open house is free, donations of time, equipment and/or money are always appreciated. It costs roughly $16,000 annually (about $45 per day) just to house and feed the flock. Any donation, large or small, helps immensely.

Siesta Sanctuary is 100 percent dependent on donations and does not receive any government funding. All money donated goes to the sanctuary’s upkeep, food and medical expenses for the birds. Donations are tax-deductible and receipts are given for in-kind donations of cages, food or equipment.

Siesta Sanctuary is at 104 Brown Rd. For more call 207-683-6322 or visit Siesta and on Facebook.

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