Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary, Del Mar
|That is not my arm!|
|A South African Crowned Crane is the "biter section"|
I admire parrots for their beauty, sociable nature and long lives, but I'm a little afraid of them. Pointy beaks and long toenails! I went to Free Flight Sanctuary just to look. At the entrance, the staff explains how to touch the birds safely. You can scratch their little heads and let them perch on your arm, if the bird is interested. There is hand sanitizer so you don't pass people germs to the birds. There are about 20 birds. Most are in the open along a small path, sitting on their perches. A few are in cages, because they are biters. The birds were calm and interested in people. A few seemed very much to want to interact. One macaw held up his foot as if asking to be invited to hop onto my arm. I was once bitten by a parrot, many years ago, and now take no chances. The grounds are very pretty with lush greenery and a koi pond. The parrots are talkative and engaging. Some of them could say words. There are also some cockatoos, but these seemed to be in the "biter" section.
I spent about 20 minutes. If you really enjoy interacting with parrots, you could easily spend an hour. There were several people who were really enjoying talking with the birds and talking with other people about birds.
Free Flight is a sanctuary for the many parrots that are neglected or abandoned. Many parrots live to be 60 years old and owners don't realize the time and also the commitment involved in living with these noisy, social creatures.
Admission is $7 for adults and less for children. There is parking along a chain-link fence in front of the Sanctuary. It is very close to the small rotary on Jimmy Durante Blvd., just south of the Fairgrounds.