The Migratory Bird Treaty celebrates its centennial celebration this year. Though the title of the law may suggest that only our overhead friends that annually soar elsewhere for their migrations are protected, over 800 bird species make up the list. Here in Woodinville sits the largest parrot sanctuary in the state of Washington, Zazu’s Parrot House.
Zazu’s is a 501(c)3 charitable organization. They give the birds the ability to fly free and interact with other birds. Zazu’s is a permanent refuge for the exotic birds that often live far longer than what previous owners had thought. Zazu’s is an answer to the burgeoning problem of misinformation regarding the unique, individual lives of each bird that cocks its curious head and lands at their care.
Unless invited inside, you would never know this spacious sprawl of buildings housed 250 exotic birds. The driveway lets in from the main road, winding before coming to what seems like a very nice personal home. Stretching back into the property sits several different facilities; one nick-named the hotel room. All of the rooms are heated to better mirror the birds’ natural habitat. While mingling and networking are essential for the birds, Christy Padilla, the owner of Zazu’s, knows how to manage the many species and personalities that she comes to house. “Our circumstances in this life are never consistent,” said Padilla. She continued, “Everyone’s story is different.” Some people didn’t know their pet macaw could live longer than they would. What happens to the bird then?
Now these birds have the ability to live, fly, play, and mingle with their fellow feathered friends. While Padilla offers her facility to these wonderful creatures she understands how much physical and personal care they need. Assisted by a team of over 50 volunteers, Christy feeds, monitors, and tracks the changes in health of all of these birds. Padilla stressed the importance of the volunteers and explained how without them the entire Zazu operation would not function.
Padilla is exuberant and her love for the birds is evident right away. Her altruism, her entire ability to think outside of herself, shows through so strongly. She reached out and let the small green bird with a bright yellow face named Primo pop up on her wrist after he had attempted to show off and make a little, loud scene. Padilla joked, “Oh, you’re so tough Primo.” Primo had lost his beak in an accident before arriving at Zazu’s. “I just love these birds so much. Sometimes I just hold them and sing to them when they’re not feeling well,” said Padilla. Padilla acts as a local networker for animal and vet centers. She believes that talking and working together is the best way to save the most animals possible. Costco donates fruit to Zazu’s regularly. When Padilla gets a donation of something like dog food which she cannot use, she gets on the phone and finds out who can.
Padilla is proud to work with veterinary professionals Dr. Kamaka of Kamaka Exotic Animal Veterinary Services in Mountlake Terrace and Dr. Bridget Ferguson, ABVP-Certified in Avian Practice, who is located at Pine Tree Veterinary Hospital in Maple Valley.
For more information or to make a donation please visit Zazu’s Parrot House Sanctuary online at ZazusHouse.org