• Don't Buy, Don't Breed, Please Adopt a Bird in Need

    A Refuge for Saving the Wildlife works hard to prepare parrots for their next home, and we will work with you to find a bird compatible with you and your household.

    A Refuge for Saving the Wildlife works hard to prepare parrots for their next home, and we will work with you to find a bird compatible with you and your household.

  • Friendships that Last a Lifetime.

    Choose to volunteer your time and talents, and help to make a difference to all the parrots housed here.

    Choose to volunteer your time and talents, and help to make a difference to all the parrots housed here.

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Success Stories

Some of our feathered friends come to the Refuge as companions looking to find a true connection, whether human or bird. Read about residents who were welcomed to new homes.



Interested in providing a forever home for a bird? Visit our adoption page to learn how you can be a part of this wonderful experience.


You Can Help

There are countless ways for you to become involved with homeless parrots. Help support our cause by making a donation or learning how you can become a volunteer!



A Refuge for Saving the Wildlife is a no-kill parrot rescue, rehabilitation, education and adoption shelter. We provide a safe place for parrots that have to be re-homed due to unfortunate situations that sometimes arise. Most of them were loved dearly and cared for, and when that was no longer possible, their companion-people did the most selfless act of kindness in finding them a good home.

We work together with other parrot groups to eliminate the need for rescues. Until then, we will provide temporary housing and care for any and all Psittacine birds (not including those with fatal and/or contagious diseases); educate the public about the proper care of exotic birds; and locate healthy, happy, and nurturing homes for those that are eligible.

The Refuge is established with the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)3 charitable corporation. We are licensed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Animal Welfare to provide for adoptions. We are also a member of the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators.

Please note: We do NOT handle anything other than PARROTS, if you have found sick/injured wildlife, click here to find a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

Read More

Have a Wildlife Emergency? Find a Wildlife Rehabilitator

Learn About Our Adoption Process

Are you interested in adopting? Read through our adoption process to learn how!

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What's New at the Refuge?

See what has been happening here around A Refuge for Saving the Wildlife! To read more news, Click Here!

June 2, 2008

Media Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Brookfield Zoo

Cookie eating Birthday cake


Brookfield Zoo’s Oldest Resident, Cookie Cockatoo, Celebrates 75th Birthday

Brookfield, IL—The oldest resident at Brookfield Zoo—Cookie, a Major Mitchell’s cockatoo—is turning 75, and the Chicago Zoological Society (CZS) invites bird lovers of all ages to come celebrate his special day in high-flying style on Saturday, June 28.

The festivities, sponsored by American Airlines, get underway at 10:30 a.m. at the zoo’s Perching Bird House. There, guests can join zoo staff in singing a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday” to the bird of honor. For a present, Cookie will receive a birthday cake the size of a muffin—quite large by bird standards! The muffin will be made of Cookie’s favorite foods, such as carrots, apples, bananas, raisins, and eggs (including the shells for calcium). In addition, visitors will have the opportunity to send birthday wishes and greetings to Cookie by signing an enormous birthday card in front of his exhibit. Zoo keepers will be available to answer questions about the birthday bird or any of the other bird species that reside in Perching Bird House.

After the birthday celebration, guests are invited to stick around to see Mr. Nicky—skilled guitarist, vocalist, and percussionist—perform children’s music. Mr. Nicky’s artistic style and acoustic creative flair make him a hit with parents, as well as their kids.

Also attending Cookie’s birthday bash will be The Avicultural Society of Chicagoland (TASC), which is an association of individuals with the common interest of providing a better life for birds both in their natural and domestic environments. Members from the organization will be handing out party favors to all the children attending Cookie’s birthday celebration.

Cookie is the last remaining member of the zoo’s original animal collection, which dates back to 1934, when the zoo first opened. Cookie arrived at Brookfield Zoo from Australia, which is home to his species. He is well beyond the average life span of his species and has become one of the zoo’s most famous animals. Of the hundreds of thousands of guests that have visited Brookfield Zoo, most have probably seen him—he even receives fan mail!

Yet as is the case with elderly humans with health challenges, older animals such as Cookie also experience similar ailments. In late October 2007, Cookie was diagnosed with osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. Zoo keepers became concerned that Cookie was not feeling well after he started to sleep more during the day. New radiography equipment allowed CZS staff to obtain diagnostic images leading to a quick diagnosis. Immediately, veterinary and keeper staff made modifications to Cookie’s diet in order to manage and reduce the impact of his condition and to maintain a high quality of life for the bird. The diet includes more calcium-rich items, as well as a vitamin supplement to help support joint health. In early March, veterinarians prescribed anti-inflammatory medication to help keep Cookie comfortable. Thus far, the medication has been remarkably effective. While Cookie had on occasion been sleeping on the floor of his exhibit due to arthritis pain in his leg and hip joints, he is now perching and sleeping normally. In addition, Cookie has been very vocal in the mornings and interacts with keepers during regular exhibit cleanings.

For further information about the zoo and upcoming events, visit www.CZS.org/events.

The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. Open every day of the year, Brookfield Zoo is located off First Avenue between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA, and PACE bus service.

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