Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary

The Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary is a non profit society dedicated to exotic bird rescue, conservation, health and welfare. A peek inside the society reveals an extaordinary group of individuals, all volunteers, who dedicate phenomenal amounts of energy, time, and personal skills. All work is focused for the benefit of “the flock”, an ever changing array of characters ranging from tiny finches, pacific parrotlets, budgies, and cockatiels to ringneck parakeets, amazons, African greys, cockatoos, and macaws. Sometimes members of the flock are placed quickly with wonderful new families, others require medical care and rehab before adoption is possible, and a few others remain longer term in the program as chronic medical and behavioral issues are addressed.

To support these activities, volunteers are often found providing direct care for the flock, organizing fundraising activities to support the work, educating and providing direct contact with appropriate birds at schools and health care facilities, and even donning full feathers at community events to promote the message, “Don’t buy. Don’t Breed. Adopt.”

Our involvement with Greyhaven is small in scale compared to many in the society. Russ and I provide a “foster home” for birds in transition to permanent placements. It’s great to see the birds make gains, then move on to homes featuring long term love and attention. Personally I’ve had a great admiration for and connection to birds for as long as I can remember. We have one permanent flighted member in our family these days. Neville, a tiny blue budgie was found in the neighbourhood a few years back, delivered to my door, and ultimately found a permanent perch. In mentioning Neville I must also give note to Emma Brown Sock, our shetland sheepdog – lest I never be forgiven!

I hatched the idea of producing a body of work for and about Greyhaven early in 2008. The goal is for Russ and I to use our photography in a way that would benefit the society, and ultimately the birds that come into care. Additionally, we want to achieve a body of work that moves beyond documentary portrait photographs, and into the realm of fine art and deeper perspective. For the first time we plan to use exclusively very high speed film, as additional artificial lighting is uncomfortable for the birds. Testing of materials, reviewing development, printing, and toning protocols, and making appropriate adjustments to achieve a unique and cohesive feel for the work will be vital. Other appropriate techniques and processes (which of course we are always constantly evolving!) will be folded into the mix as the project moves forward.

We will post handfuls of work prints here as we go. Most of these photographs will likely not make the final selection of 20 – 30 prints to be produced at the project’s conclusion. Photographs that are selected may look quite different from what you see here. But in the meantime have fun!


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