Under My Wing Avian Refuge
Caring for the most vulnerable birds in the world!
The primary purpose of a parrot sanctuary must always be to provide a safe haven to parrots who often
require special attention, depend on a permanent place they can live with a flock, and without the stress
of being moved every few years.
We are heartbroken over the loss of our dear friend and supporter “Tanya Stark”
JOANNE “TANYA” STARK
Honored to be entrusted to care for Tanya’s Flock whom she so dearly loved.
My 63rd Birthday is January 4th, 2023
Celebrate my life and my work by gifting our refuge and support the birds!
I can only hope to live another 20 years and continue to care for birds, supporting them when they live me and die from anything but cancer. To my best ability I continue my life and my work with the birds lives. I made it the year.
Remission is the most glorious word I heard!
However, 2022 has been the worst year in my whole life, beginning with suffering a Lung Embolism on December 2021 and the diagnosis of stage 4 Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer I struggled to fight with all my might the fear of dying as the outcome of the treatments were not guaranteed.
Chemo treatments is one of the worst lifestyle to deal with day in and day out but with a vigorous attitude filling me with a healthy attitude, an even a greater determination than ever in my life with an unstoppable spirit to live to 90 and continue to care for the sanctuary birds and became proactive to secure their future.
As if this was not bad, enough in Mach 2022 my husband diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which was curable with chemo treatments, but he was not able to continue to care for the birds. With both of us under health treatments of chemo, our family went thru hell and back.
We hired help to care for the birds broke the bank but the birds were priority and using personal funds and credit cards, we kept the bird’s care unchanged.
On July 3, 2022 with a very heavy heart, I took a trip and delivered 20 birds to Cape Fear Sanctuary. Saying bye to these precious lives broke my spirit but I knew their lives would thrive and that preceded my pain. As my treatments continued with the goal to control and shrink the tumors, relieve pain and prevent the condition from metastasizing in any new areas of my body in September of 2022 my CAT/Scan showed improvement and I was on my way to remission. I has a lot more work to do to be able to allocate the birds to other organizations because even if in remission I would not be able to care for the amount of birds under my care, especially the handicap, elderly and most delicate birds that continually required hands on care.
Finally, in September, we received our blessing as my husband’s treatment worked and he reached full remission. However, just as my heart was heading from my separation of the 20, birds there came another heart trenching good bye to another 24 birds. I was too sick to travel on October 11, 2022 when my husband and a volunteer transported 24 birds to Second Chance Bird Rescue in OR.
My body responded well to immunotherapy but not chemo. I seem to have experienced allergic reactions to chemo, which made me more ill, and since immunotherapy of Keytruda affected my thyroid causing a major loss of weigh and lots of weakness with many other issues, we finally have a treatment plan that works well. Although my life will never be the same, In the last few months I began working feeling much better, I am stronger and gaining weight slowly, I am also able to work with the birds again and able to clean, mop and do the things I used to as if I never got sick.
With the remaining 40 birds, here at the refuge, and my history of fighting cancer, I was not able to say “No” to my dear friend Tanya Shark who not only shares my birth date but shared my passion to care for parrots. Tanya has has recently passed away. Tanya was proactive as I am and her arrangements were to bequeath 7 of her birds to our organization where she knew they would be cared as she did.
I still have hope that other organization will accept our birds as we are still working on allocating them to their new homes. Even now when I am in remission, it is important to continue establishing the birds future.
If you wish to support the birds, please DONATE to the celebration of my upcoming birthday.
Our focus is on the present and future needs of the birds.
Our experience brings us to a vision of preparedness and financial stability, with a well-equipped facility capable of handling the never-ending needs of the birds. We focus on those who have lost their human “family,” have been abandoned, abused, and elderly or disabled.
Preparedness is crucial not only for the immediate future but also for 10, 30, 50 years from now.
Given the present over-breeding, over sales of parrots and repeated bird adoption – which they can live 60 to 80 years and frequently outlive their original owners.
Our model is inherited from the American Sanctuary Association‘s policies and procedures. Through our demonstrated excellence of care we play a leadership role in our community and State in promoting the socially, morally, and ethically responsible treatment of exotic birds.
We are Different
Our parrot sanctuary operates on behalf of the parrot’s lifetime care focusing on the best interest of the birds and provides a permanent residence ensuring they are never subjected to harm or exploitation.
Courses and Workshops
On line courses are great! However there is nothing like learning hands on and we offer classes to small groups, individual classes and enrichment workshops. If your passion is parrots, you own a parrot, or are an individual whos interest is in the veteriany field, or just for fun, then this is for you!
We offer individual classes, courses and enrichment workshops.
Under My Wing Avian Refuge was called to help these birds who lived in a private home in Wantage, NJ. Once the situation was assessed the NJSPCA was notified reporting the 29 birds found along with several dogs and cats, a pig, several chickens and a donkey found in deplorable conditions. Most animals were living in a small room off the kitchen. NJSPCA responded immediately. The birds were relinquished to the refuge and the owner seemed relieved to receive help and cooperated with NJSPCA for future care of the other animals.
What started with just a few pet birds spiraled out of control withing five years, culminating in an emergency rescue operation on Jan. 16, 2016 where volunteers removed nearly 200 birds, many of them exotic breeds, from deplorable conditions.
More than 100 cockatiels, about 40 mourning doves, and dozens of other birds — including a cockatoo, four Amazon parrots and eight sun conure parakeets — were discovered in the back room of the business after a series of city inspections last week, authorities said.
The rescuers found mice scurrying about, cockroach-infested nesting boxes and birds living in cramped, less-than-ideal living quarters of the shop’s back room. Cockatiels were stuffed 16 to a cage made for two, while two Amazon yellow-naped parrots were living in a small crate. Some 30 wire cages were stacked one atop the other, some reaching the ceiling of the back kitchen.
Ashfield wore rubber gloves and plastic covers on her boots while she removed the birds, and left the room grimacing.
“We got roaches flying off the walls, into breeding cages, everywhere,” she said. After the birds are tested for diseases, most will go up for adoption by various groups, Ashfield said.
Under My Wing called in three rescue groups to assist. No birds were found dead, but some newborns that were removed last week did not survive, said Ashfield, founder of Under My Wing Avian Refuge in Wantage. She spent hours scrubbing the back room on Thursday and took with her some finches and canaries.
“Most of the other birds were distributed among different rescue groups and sanctuaries on Monday – two in New Jersey, one in New York and one in Maryland.
Paula N Ashfield received a call to aid in the rescue of a bird hoarding case. Lisa D. of NJSPCA informed Paula that the birds were left in the home alone since the owner died over a year ago.
“Daughter attended to them sporadically, with minimal care since the owner died, but did not live in the home.”
Upon their inspection they found both property and front door buried with overgrown bushes. The birds lived in an unhealthy environment, with poor husbandry, dirty water and minimal food. NJSPCA ordered the deceased owner’s daughter to relinquish the birds to the sanctuary or face charges.
The five birds were brought to Under My Wing Avian Refuge for proper Veterinary care, and husbandry on Aug. 15, 2016.
Our Commitment to Our Donors
We will not sell, share or trade our donors’ names or personal information with any other entity, nor send mailings on behalf of other organizations.
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