With the growing interest in this amazing adventure, I’ve been getting a lot of the same questions asked lately. I thought I would compile the most commonly asked questions, and their subsequent answers, into a quick and easy blog post. Do you have a question that is not addressed here? Please feel free to ask – you can email me at any time.
Q: Are you a public organization? Or a nonprofit?
A: No! While we are using a grassroots type movement to grow The Roaming Parrot, this is technically a private venture that is privately funded. People are welcome to donate to the cause if they agree with our mission, but donations are NOT tax deductible. We are not a nonprofit and we will never mis-represent this mission by claiming to be one. Funds were raised for this trip via fundraisers such as T-shirt sales, ad space sales, auctions, and raffles.
Q: Why in this trip did you miss xyz rescue in xyz state? Don’t they deserve a visit?
A: We are only visiting places where we have been invited, or have shown interest in participating in this project. We are not here to be judge, jury, or executioner, nor are we going to be demanding to be seen by people who may not know us. This is a goodwill mission. We will from time to time visit totally public entities that are open to the general public, where an admission fee is charged to get in. However, even though we may go there, whether or not they want to participate in the survey is up to them and will not be forced.
Q: Why is Gulliver in a lot of touristy places?
A: Gulliver (our blue and gold t-shirt wearing mascot) is enjoy visiting all the sights and sounds that the beautiful United States have to offer. Remember, The Roaming Parrot trip was built around a personal road trip between two friends, so occasionally we take ‘time off’ from business and use personal funds to go visit places – museums, zoos, states parks – along the route. Gulliver has his photo taken at several of these places to mark where he has been and where he is going – it is all in fun!
Q: What is the future of The Roaming Parrot once you return home?
A: When we return home this year, I will be immediately turning around and going to present at the Association of Avian Veterinarians convention this year in Jacksonville, Fl. I was invited by a board member of the AAV to speak to the attendees about The Roaming Parrot. From there I will be going to the American Federation of Aviculture to make a presentation on another favorite subject of mine – caiques. When I return home, The Roaming Parrot does not stop. Just because I am home, doesn’t mean that I can’t continue to further the mission! Using online resources such as SurveyMonkey to continue to compile data, upload data collected from each location visited on the trip, planning smaller, more regionalized trips for the future, and working on a database of all rescues in the US, are just one of the many functions I can do while not on the road.
Q: Where did you get this survey/questionnaire from?
A: The first person I reached out to when wanting to compile a comprehensive from scratch survey was Jacqueline Johnson of Best Friends Parrot Gardens. She immediately helped me compile the majority of the questionnaire by suggesting the most pertinent data. It was then revised, sent out for recommendation, revised, and worked on some more.The questionnaire is made to be like a checklist – when a person answers a question I simply check the appropriate answer off. This makes sure there is no personal opinion inserted into the data, so that each data remains true in its original form. The survey has also been reviewed by a couple others in the avian field, including Dr. Burkett of The Birdie Boutique in Raleigh.
Q: How can I be involved?
A: If you are a rescue – ask us to visit! If you are a supporter – simply go to Facebook and ‘like’ our fanpage – facebook.com/theroamingparrot or go to our website and subscribe to our blog – theroamingparrot.com/blog/ – spreading the word about our mission is some of the best help you can give!
Q: Why isn’t all the data you’ve collected available NOW?
A: We are still on the road. Each survey for rescues/sanctuaries is over 100 questions, not including copies of intake paperwork, adoption paperwork, relinquishment forms, boarding forms, educational handouts, and more. It is next to impossible for me to upload all of that information (some of which needs to be scanned in) from the road. As soon as I get home and have access to the proper tools (and hug my birds!) I will start to upload the information so it can be available. Please keep in mind that due to the vast amount of information from each place, each entry will take at the very least, a couple hours to compile.
Q: You have bird stores listed on your site. Why are you supporting stores and breeders?
A: A part of this trip is us also visiting bird stores. The general public wants to know information about the stores so they can a) find out if there is a store in their area b) find out what services the stores offer and b) decide if they want to patronize that store before actually setting foot in it. We took the 20 most asked questions from our supporters and assembled them into a survey that is conducted at each store we visit. Just because we may have visited a location does not mean we personally endorse that store.