About Us

What We Do

Our Work on Behalf of Captive Birds

The AWC formed in the fall of 2000 to create a voice in the animal protection community for captive birds, and we’ve answered the call! Working with like-minded professionals in related fields, we work toward our goals by providing educational resources for animal advocates, the media, and the general public, and through special AWC sponsored programs.

Our Avian Welfare Resource Center at www.avianwelfare.org is the leading website dedicated to captive bird welfare. We provide a variety of resources for bird caretakers and animal care professionals, including downloadable brochures and posters, articles, webinars and more.

Making a Difference for Captive Birds!

We can think of no animal protection coalition that has lasted as long as the AWC or been as productive with no paid staff. 100% of support given to AWC goes directly to supporting our collective goals and mission.

Current Programs and Activities:

National Bird Day – In coordination with Born Free USA, AWC established January 5th as a day of action and education for captive birds www.nationalbirdday.org

Avian Shelter Outreach – We offer assistance, training, and educational resources to help shelter and animal care facilities serve the specialized needs of captive exotic birds within a shelter environment -- our handbook, Captive Exotic Bird Care: A Guide for Shelters, hands-on training workshops, and free, downloadable “How-To” guides. Developed in partnership with the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, our series of webinars provides online support to animal welfare professionals and shelters in need of additional training to care for birds that enter their facilities.  Visit our Shelter Resource Center for more information.

Humane Education – Lucky: Based on a True Story,our educational children’s book that gently awakens children to the plight of captive birds and birds captured in the wild. www.LuckyTheLorikeet.comthe book’s dedicated website includes lesson plans and a variety of activities for children, educators, and parents.  

Public Outreach & Education – We have presented at national and regional conferences, including Taking Action for AnimalsEmpty Cages, HSUS EXPO, and The Association of Avian Veterinarians.  We also support activities in celebration of National Bird Day and in connection with our educational children’s book, LUCKY: Based on a True Story.

Collaborations  - Working with organizations such as the NYC Bar Association Legal Committee Pertaining to Animals, Foster Parrots, Ltd., the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, and Tufts AAV Student Chapter, we organize educational events, including film screenings, conferences, workshops, and webinars.   Visit our photo gallery or follow us on Facebook for details. 

Advocacy  - The AWC Board provides assistance to support responsible legislation aimed at protecting birds in captivity and in the wild.

Consultation – We offer advisory services to humane societies, animal protection organizations, avian rescue groups and to federal, state and local agencies needing assistance on matters related to captive exotic birds.  Contact: info@avianwelfare.org 

AWC also played a key role in developing the following initiatives:

  • As a result of a lawsuit brought by the American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS) and the Avian Welfare Coalition (AWC), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now subject to a court order to write regulations to protect birds nationwide, as required by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). This will be the first time that enforceable legal standards of care will be extended to birds used in commercial enterprises and wild-caught birds used for research.  
  • Passage of State Bill AB202 to restrict the sale of unweaned birds in California.
  • Provided recommendations for standards of care to govern birds not bred for research under the Animal Welfare Act. (USDA regulations currently pending)
  • Participated in developing peer-reviewed standards for the care of exotic birds for the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries manual, Best Practice Standards of Care and Operations for Sanctuaries.
  • AWC board members worked with leaders in the national and international animal protection field to found The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) an accrediting organization formed to help strengthen and support the work of legitimate animal sanctuaries worldwide. www.sanctuaryfederation,org

Public education that highlights the difficulties associates with keeping exotic birds as “pets” –and a clear message that, birds are more beautiful wild—has been sorely lacking:  the AWC fills this need.