You’ve never been to a place like Uncle Sandy’s Macaw Bird Park. This sanctuary for parrots and other exotic birds educates the public while caring for rescued birds. And, unlike a zoo, you can feed the birds during your visit and get to know them.
When you pay for admission, you get a cup of feed for each person in your party. Ask the volunteers for the best way to feed the birds to protect your fingers from hungry parrots. Depending on how the birds feel that day, you may get the chance to hold one.
Visitors remark on how fun engaging with the individual birds is. Each bird has its own personality. For instance, visitors have played peek-a-boo with a parrot named George. Some birds will talk back to you while others will dance. The volunteers will guide you through ways to interact with the birds to help both you and the birds feel more comfortable.
One of the practical highlights for visitors is the low cost of admission to this park compared to zoos. Your admission comes with unlimited time at the park and a cup of food for the birds. As a non-profit, volunteer-run facility the park must keep its costs down as much as possible. Therefore, it does not accept checks or credit cards. Have cash on hand for admission for everyone in your group before your visit.
While the bird park is a family-friendly attraction, you don’t have to have kids or grandkids to visit. In fact, many people who go are adult couples or individuals who want to see more than 100 exotic birds. Age does not have an influence on how you will enjoy your visit. Old and young alike have memorable experiences that often become their favorite times in the Pensacola area.
When visiting, prepare for the weather. The entire sanctuary is outdoors and much of it does not have shade. Dress appropriately for the temperatures that day. The facility offers mosquito repellant at the front to keep bugs off. They also provide hand sanitizer to clean bug spray off your hands before feeding the birds.
A common question about this bird sanctuary is its name. Uncle Sandy, Sandy Carl Kirkconnell, was a real person and the founder of the park. He grew up off the Honduran coast on a small island where he saw macaws regularly flying free in their native environment. His lifelong love of these birds continued until his retirement when he constructed an open aviary that allowed the birds inside to fly freely. Over time, his bird hideaway drew neighbors’ attention and questions. In response to the needs of birds whose owners could no longer care for them, Uncle Sandy created the sanctuary where it is today and continued to run it until his death in 2013.
Volunteers banded together to keep the sanctuary open by turning it into a 501(c)(3) non-profit group that continues Uncle Sandy’s work of educating the public and helping birds. Parrots live extraordinarily long lives. In some cases, they outlive their owners. Those birds who have lost their human companions and don’t have a place to go may end up at Uncle Sandy’s. Other birds come from military families who cannot take their birds overseas. In some cases, people do not realize the work required of them to care for large exotic birds and give their parrots up. By taking in these feathered friends, Uncle Sandy’s Macaw Bird Park prevents them from getting released into the wild where they could face serious dangers and shortened lives. They do offer birds for adoption, but only after a rigorous vetting of the potential adopters.
Visit Uncle Sandy’s Macaw Bird Park for a fun-filled family-friendly outing in Pensacola to learn about parrots and other exotic birds and have close encounters with them.
-Keep a close eye on the young kids you bring to the bird park. The birds may try to bite if their hands get too close to the cages.
-Use the bug spray provided at the entrance to avoid mosquito bites.