Volunteers give their all into caring for rescued birds


Cindy Nichols is the founder of Angel Wings Parrot Rescue.

Adam Palumbo

From cockatiel owner to bird sitter to bird foster carer, to parrot rescuer and short-lived parrot breeder, Cindy Nichols, the founder of Angel Wings Parrot Rescue, has stayed true to her passion for birds and their well being.

Nichols moved to Florida in 2007 with 30 pet birds. She began volunteering with an animal rescue organization, but soon decided that she could do more to meet the huge need by converting her home to a parrot rescue.

There are more than 200 species of parrots of all sizes, and with a lifespan ranging up to 60 years. Therefore, many parrots outlive their owners and are in desperate need of new homes.

In 2008, Nichols opened a small rescue for parrots only — Angel Wings Parrot Rescue — and it became a nonprofit in 2013. Angel Wings cares for 60 to 90 birds at all times, including the birds they babysit for vacationing owners. Two to four birds are adopted each month.

“I love them,” Nichols said. “It’s God’s work. I am caring for his flock. That’s my purpose on earth. I try to get up and do it joyfully each day. They are above all others, above my family.”

Nichols has two or three volunteers each day to help her care for the birds. Fellow bird lovers, the volunteers clean cages, wash water bowls and, most importantly, they help to socialize the birds.

Claire Wilker, the owner of three parakeets, has been a volunteer with Angel Wings for the past 4½ years. She goes to Angel Wings up to three times each week and often brings cookies for the birds.

“I do it for the love of the birds,” she said emotionally. “I feel so bad for some of them. It’s hard not to bring them home. Someone needs to love them until they get adopted. We work really hard to maintain a clean and loving home for the birds.”

Angel Wings is a rescue, not a sanctuary. Accordingly, all birds, except for the permanent residents, need to be adopted. Owners pay for temporary bird sitting.   

Angel Wings Parrot Rescue, located in Malabar, is run strictly on donations. 

For more information, call 772-584-6180.