I know you’re all like “Whaaaat! Didn’t you just cover the Stirling Street Fair? What’s this nonsense with Millburn?”
To which I reply: both Stirling and Millburn had their street fairs ON THE SAME DAY, and I went to both, because I’m nuts like that.
The top photo features Cookie! She’s a representative of the Arcadia Bird Sanctuary and Educational Center. They take pet birds that can’t be placed elsewhere for various reasons— some bite, some screech, some were abused, some were abandoned.
The sanctuary, located in Freehold, is currently home to ~300 birds. There are ~20 that they take on the road and show for educational purposes.
“‘Educational purposes?'” I asked. “Like what?”
“Well,” said Terri Jones, the director of the sanctuary (this is entirely paraphrased, so please don’t heed my quote marks), “a lot of people don’t realize what they’re getting into when they get a bird. They think it’s this cuddly pet— but they bite, they screech, they have different personalities, they may not be suited to your lifestyle.
“And even if they are, your lifestyle may change. We get a lot of birds because their owners got married and the spouse makes ’em get rid of it, or they had kids, and it just doesn’t work with their lives anymore. Some parrots outlive their owners. These birds live 40-60 years. We’ve had one who was 80. So you have to think— not just where your life is now, but will you still be able to care for this parrot in 50 years?”
Because it takes money to run a nonprofit sanctuary for 300 parrots, they were accepting donations. And because parrots are cool, they’d trained this guy to carefully take bills proffered from giving hands, fold them in half, and drop them into a box below.
For each dollar that he dropped into the box, each money-giver rewarded him with a seed.
(I’ll cover the less bird-based aspects of the fair tomorrow.)