Looking for a unique, local and feathery experience? Best bets are that you’ll find it at Free Flight, a non-profit organization that specializes in the rehabilitation of exotic birds. It was founded by veterinarian Dr. Stonebreaker, who had in mind a beneficial and educational facility that would be open to the public for a day of avian enjoyment.

Since the inception of Free Flight, the sanctuary has expanded into a full-fledged non-profit organization, bent on continuing the mission of its former benefactor. It has succeeded admirably, sprouting out various programs that cater to individuals of all ages. For instance, its outreach program reaches out to schools, animal shelters, senior centers and community events. As a result, Free Flight has charmed adults and entranced children. “Kids love interacting with the birds; getting the chance to feed, pet or hold an exotic bird create memories that last a lifetime,” explained Sarah Booher, a Free Flight representative. Besides the on-site activities, Free Flight provides a Junior Docent program, which teaches kids ages 12 to 18 about birds and how to volunteer. But kids are not the only volunteers – adults are also encouraged to help out by cleaning the facility, helping at fundraisers and promoting Free Flight.

A visit to Free Flight merits a good look at the koi pond – stocked with slightly whiskered fish in bright shades – and the main attraction, the stunningly gorgeous birds. Besides being able to interact with these squawking residents, visitors may also learn of their colorful background. “All the birds here have their own unique and interesting story,” shared Sarah. The facility on site continuously seeks ways to keep the birds healthy and thriving in the Free Flight environment.

Perhaps your visit to Free Flight will inspire you to house one of these feathery bundles of joy at home. Those who are interested in adopting a bird can fill out an application and meet the adoptable birds; upon being accessed, the applicant will be matched to a bird and hopefully, a lasting bond will be formed.

However, those who are simply searching for refreshingly educational and fun adventure can be guaranteed one at Free Flight. Bring a few dollars and an open mind, and be prepared for a “flying” fascination like no other!

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Name: Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary
Website: www.freeflightbirds.org
Email: freeflightbirds@live.com
Location: 2132 Jimmy Durante Blvd.
Del Mar, CA 92014
Phone: 858-481-3148
Facebook: www.facebook.com/freeflightbirds
Twitter: www.twitter.com/freeflightbirds
Hours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Daily);
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Wed)
Admission: $5 (Adults); $2 (Children under 13)
Upcoming Events: Oct. 12: 4th Annual Fund-Raiser
Mission: Free Flight’s mission is to maintain a sanctuary that shelters, nurtures and re-socializes parrots, while educating the public to inspire a lasting concern for the well-being of exotic birds.