— Kevin Underhill
Megan Lewis already has four birds in her care at the ‘Too Crazy Birdy Hotel and she expects more will move in over the holiday season.
The hotel is a bird-only boarding facility designed to give bird owners a place to leave their feathered friends so they can go on holiday or tend to other matters. The Greater Victoria branch is the fourth location to open on the Island and has bird lovers enthused.
Victoria bird owner Willow Anderson shares her home with three Congo African Grey parrots and is thrilled with the opening of the new facility. Before the Victoria location opened this month, Anderson would have to drive to Nanaimo to board her parrots, which was a major deterrent.
“I had foregone weekend trips altogether,” she said. “But now I can get away for a weekend knowing my birds are in good hands.”
Anderson’s parrots, Murphy, Gaby and Joey, all have disabilities of different varieties that require special attention. She said the ‘Too Crazy Birdy Hotel offers the proper care and she can now go away worry free.
Lewis, the owner and operator of the Victoria location, moved into her Langford home (which doubles as the bird hotel) at the beginning of the month and after opening her doors on Dec. 15 is already bustling with birds. According to Lewis, people don’t always realize how much of an undertaking owning a bird, especially the bigger ones, can be.
“Literally, you can think about them as a small child,” Lewis said. “You can’t leave a two or three year old alone all day and it’s the same for birds.”
When Lewis moved to the Island, she was looking for a vet to treat her cockatoo and was quickly connected with an organization called F.E.A.T.H.E.R.S. The society helps birds and bird owners across Vancouver Island — a community connection she said is vital.
“Parrot people need other parrot people and that’s not the same with other pets,” she said. “You really belong to a community and it’s more significant than people might think.”
Anderson, now a member of F.E.A.T.H.E.R.S., said the birds also rely on the community since a flock is their safety net and they will go through significant emotional damage if things are always changing. Lewis hopes that because of ‘Too Crazy Bird Hotel’s “birdy-boarding” service, fewer birds will be displaced.
“It’s really easy to feel guilty and hard to take a vacation so people would just put their birds up for adoption,” she said. “We want to make sure birds stay in their homes and that’s one of the major reasons the hotel was made.”