Volunteers make “palaces” for parrots

Over the last year, Cayman Wildlife Rescue has received several previously-captive Cayman Parrots for rehabilitative care. Unable to be released into the wild, the birds needed a good home.

Cayman Wildlife Rescue and Rotary volunteers

Cayman Wildlife Rescue and Rotary volunteers pitched in to build new homes for Cayman Parrots. Photo: Submitted

The volunteer group decided that the best long-term home for these parrots would be with Otto Watler, who has many years experience caring for, and even breeding Cayman Parrots, and who has a proven dedication to the national bird of the Cayman Islands.

Cayman Wildlife Rescue therefore undertook to rebuild some of Mr. Watler’s cages that were damaged by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. It was a daunting task, and Cayman Wildlife Rescue volunteer Alison Corbett mentioned the project to Ken Guiste, Community Services Director of Rotary Central who enlisted the help of around 20 volunteers from Rotary Central and Rotaract, said a CWR press release.

For two Saturdays in a row, Rotary volunteers and Cayman Wildlife Rescue volunteers worked side by side to tear down the old cages and rebuild new ones.

‘The help of the Rotarians is what made this project possible,’ Catherine Redfern, Project Manager of Cayman Wildlife Rescue, said in the release. ‘Without them this project would not have been completed as quickly as it was.’

Volunteers were divided into team that worked on rebuilding two cages and making toys to go into the cages. Parrots are problem-solvers and like to be challenged and kept busy, so this task was also important.

Ms Redfern thanked Rotary and Rotaract volunteers for their assistance. ‘It was hot and the work was very physical, but they didn’t give up and kept going past the 2pm cut-off time set for the project until the task was completed just before 5pm.’

The parrots that were in smaller cages were relocated to their larger homes and seemed quite happy with the upgrade, the release noted.

‘While we are grateful to Mr. Watler for providing a safe, long-term home for previously-captive parrots that are handed over to us for long-term care, we would like to remind all members of the public that it is illegal to catch and keep a Cayman Parrot,’ stressed Ms Redfern.

The birds that Cayman Wildlife Rescue has received include parrots that have been given up by owners who no longer want them, or captive parrots that have escaped and been injured. In one case, a Cayman Parrot was found on a road in West Bay after it had been hit by a car, but still had 20ft or rope attached to its leg. This bird had a partial amputation to its wing and was therefore unreleasable.


Cayman Wildlife Rescue is a collaborative volunteer organisation comprising volunteer members of the public, National Trust for the Cayman Islands, Island Veterinary Services, the Humane Society, the Department of Environment and Cayman Wildlife Connection. A small, quiet facility where animals can recuperate from injury and prepare for rehabilitation is maintained by volunteers and funded entirely by donations. If you would like to volunteer or make a donation to Cayman Wildlife Rescue email [email protected].

If you come across an animal that needs rescue, call the emergency hotline at 917-BIRD. For your own safety and that of the animal, members of the public are requested to not attempt to rescue or care for the animal themselves – rather call the hotline and trained volunteers will attend to the animal.

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