Wende and Sami’s Story

Wende and Sami going home

 

We met Wende years ago, when she adopted Sami (Samula) the Double Yellow-headed Amazon parrot from us. She has a smile that lights up her face and to witness the relationship she has with Sami is truly something special. This story we have to share with you is one that has resonated and touched many hearts this year, and we were honored to be a part of it.

Wende is the lead vocalist of Denver’s long-time Queen City Jazz Band and has been in a number of films and theater productions. Her voice has been compared to past jazz greats such as Billie Holliday and she has a heart of gold.

Last year, through a series of unexpected life events and bad luck, Wende fell on hard times and became homeless. She came to us and asked for help in caring for Sami until she could get back on her feet and bring her home. While Wende was unable to pay for Sami’s care financially, she did repay us in other ways… when she came to visit Sami, she would also sing and perform for the hundreds of rescued birds at The Gabriel Foundation. Those of you who know and love parrots will understand what a gift this was – they love music!

During one of Wende’s visits to The Birdbrain (our Denver location), we personally had a chance to see just how much the birds loved her… especially Sami. We took a quick video (watch below), posted it on Facebook and almost right away it started to go viral. Once you watch it, you’ll understand why.

Soon afterward, this story began to take on a life of its own. We were contacted by a Denver television news station who had learned of Wende and Sami’s story, and wanted to do a story of their own! We were beyond excited and hopeful that it would lead to the break that Wende so badly needed. They filmed and interviewed Wende (and a few of us!) with the birds and the story aired in mid-July: Homeless jazz musician finds solace singing with parrot. The next thing you know, some national news media channels had picked up and published the story:

Not only that, but a grassroots campaign began to raise funds for Wende and Sami, in hopes of giving them a chance to be back home together. The Gabriel Foundation put together a GoFundMe page for them (raising nearly $4000!) and donated a cage and food for Sami. The very happy news we have to share is that at the end of all this, they are now home together again.

Moral of the story: never doubt that you can make a difference. Whether by donating, volunteering, or even just sharing a feel-good story by word of mouth, you can help us to continue to help people like Wende and their birds who are often left homeless too.

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Taking a walk through our large Umbrella Cockatoo flight, you never know what will happen. Angel and Quinlan seem happy to be on their perch. Casper and Tico on the other hand, need to investigate the new person in their flight. It's never a dull moment when you are with eight male Cockatoos happily playing and explore their outdoor enclosure. ... See MoreSee Less

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Thor Bird saying hi to all his cockatoo buddies at the Gabriel Foundation!

I bet you all have a blast with all these wonderful birds.....

This is my Parker, he's shocked at the lovely enclosure and asking me why he doesn't have one!!!

"We're gonna hop around the flight tonight" (sung to the tune of Rock Around the Clock) 🐦

They love being outside. I know mine do.

Nothing I enjoy more than hanging out in a 'too flight!!!

Too-Cute! How do you get them all back in?

My favorite sounds ❤

Made me smile!

OMG... too precious <3

Three questions: the dimensions of this aviary, reasonable population limit, and mesh grade. I'm guessing 1600 sq ft for 30-40 cockatoos, 16 ga woven... The one we have now is only good for a small group of medium sized parrots (25'x20'x12' tall, 16 gauge welded mesh with 1" apertures).

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3 days ago

The Gabriel Foundation

Meet Niki, an 18 year old African Grey that came to TGF in 2010 after her owner became seriously ill and could no longer care for their birds. It took almost six years for a special person to come along. When our adopter, Cynthia, was looking to add her first bird to her home she met several birds here at TGF but she just couldn't get shy Niki out of her mind. She just knew she needed to give this special girl a chance. Almost a year later, Niki has blossomed in her new home. It has taken time and patience but Cynthia was definitely the right person to take on this challenge. She absolutely loves her new "mom"! She has also adjusted well to her new kids. Cynthia told us that she nods "yes" when asked if she is a pretty girl or a good girl. She is a big fan of nature shows and taking showers. Niki also enjoys barking like several different breeds of dogs and also has an expanding English vocabulary. She remains cautious but continues to get braver and braver exploring her new home. We love to hear about these amazing transformations! ... See MoreSee Less

Meet Niki, an 18 year old African Grey that came to TGF in 2010 after her owner became seriously ill and could no longer care for their birds. It took almost six years for a special person to come along. When our adopter, Cynthia, was looking to add her first bird to her home she met several birds here at TGF but she just couldnt get shy Niki out of her mind.  She just knew she needed to give this special girl a chance.  Almost a year later, Niki has blossomed in her new home. It has taken time and patience but Cynthia was definitely the right person to take on this challenge. She absolutely loves her new mom!  She has also adjusted well to her new kids. Cynthia told us that she nods yes when asked if she is a pretty girl or a good girl. She is a big fan of nature shows and taking showers.  Niki also enjoys barking like several different breeds of dogs and also has an expanding English vocabulary.  She remains cautious but continues to get braver and braver exploring her new home. We love to hear about these amazing transformations!

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Thank you. She is truly amazing and I couldn't be more grateful for her. She chose me and that is where it began. When I brought her home and she got into her cage she immediately showed happiness. Noises and playing. With in 24 hours she started talking. She will talk quietly when she wants me to come to her because I can't hear her lol. There has been so much she has accomplished I can put it all into words. It nonstop. For the first time this morning she came to the door of her cage to show interest in coming to me with out prompting. She told me she needed more water, she didn't but I added a tiny bit more to her dish and she danced after trying to peel the label off the bottle. She is in a really good mood today lol.

Thank you ! You will make a great Mommy. Grey's are fun !

Omg love stories like these!!! Niki is such a beauty!!!

Awwww....what a cutie

Yeaaaaaaaaa, successful adoption, sweet parrot.

Wonderful!

eiend

wonderful news!

Great job Niki and human!

I absolutely love African Greys and Miss my girl so much, I wish I knew where she is

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It's citrus season! In CO we're celebrating mandarins, tangelos, Cara Cara's, Red River grapefruit, Meyers's lemons, blood oranges, key limes, Valencia, navel oranges, Cuties, Halos and every new tasty, juicy treat that comes to market. Bodhi is making it very easy to teach your flock how to enjoy a perfect snack. Now go grab one and share it with your buddies. ... See MoreSee Less

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My macaw gets a whole halo occasionally and the others get wedges.... funny how some like them and some don't. My monk likes blackberries but not raspberries!

Can he come home with me? He's a sweetie! Btw, loved seeing you all on the dr. Jeff show.

Bodhi looks just like me! I want some citrus too!

African greys are fantastic!

And share with your friends!

Hi sweet Bodhi! Rascal loves clementines also!!

He is gorgeous. I love African Greys!

Good to know!

Bodhi rocks!

What a sweetie.

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