NEW YORK–J.B., a small Senegal parrot, had her first outing to Bryant Park Tuesday with the Arcadia Bird Sanctuary. Her initials stand for "Just Bird," for lack of a better name, said Terri Jones, director of the sanctuary.
"I'm not good at naming so she's just a bird," she said.
The other birds joining the excursion were Cookie, a green-cheek conure; Muffin, an Amazon; Desi, an Eclectus; and Pickles, a military macaw from South America.
"The best thing for me is when you hand the bird to somebody who's never held a bird before," Jones said. "Their faces go from fear, to wonder, and just pop into joy."
Every Tuesday, from May to September, the sanctuary brings a different set of birds to Bryant Park to interact with people for free–a chance for people to see the exotic feathered creatures.
Jones has the presence of an all-knowing, trusted, grandmother. She explains to children how the birds' colors allow them to camouflage. She conveniently sits next to a bush with red berries while holding Cookie, whose feathers are green and red.
Arcadia Bird Sanctuary & Educational Center is a New Jersey-based nonprofit that rescues birds that have been abused, abandoned, or have special needs.
The organization formed in 2001, when the city animal rescue shelter could not care for the influx of newly homeless birds that came in shortly after the 9/11 tragedy.
The sanctuary's main goal is to provide or find a permanent home for the birds.