For the birds

GREENFIELD — It’s been a year since Jordan Pritchett went to the bird fair at the Hancock County Fairgrounds searching for a feathered friend.

On Sunday, she returned. This time, she was the one promoting adoption.

Pritchett, of Hendricks County, attended the Central Indiana Cage Bird Club fair last year after spending months searching the Internet for an African grey parrot. She signed up at the event to adopt a parrot, expecting to have to wait at least a few weeks, even months, before one was available.

But four days later, Cindy Merrick, a member of the bird club, called Pritchett with good news. She knew a parrot looking for a good home.

Pritchett was trying on wedding dresses when the phone call came, but finding the right dress could wait, she said — meeting Lily couldn’t. Upon bringing Lily home, the two bonded. Now, Pritchett is Lily’s “person.”

On Sunday, Pritchett and Lily were at the bird fair encouraging adoption and re-homing for parrots, who many times, outlive their caregivers.

The fair, which takes place four times a year — twice in Marion County and twice in Greenfield — serves multiple purposes, according to president Theresia Bailey. It brings together bird enthusiasts and raises money for the organization, a nonprofit group dedicated to preservation of exotic birds in captivity and in the wild, parrot conservation, avian research and public education about bird welfare.

Dozens of vendors were set up at the event, selling birds and their supplies.

Bailey said the events aims to help the community provide the best homes for birds.

“There’s anything you need to have a happy, healthy parrot,” she said.

The club has been hosting fairs for nearly a decade, but it’s been an organization since the 1980s. It will host another fair at the fairgrounds in February.

Pritchett said she was happy to spend her day volunteering for the event after it paired her with Lily last year. She’s a hairstylist, so her days off are usually during the week, when most of her family and friends work. She wanted a parrot to spend her days with, she said.

She grew up on a farm and had parakeets as a child. Parrots are beautiful, she said, and after a lot of research, she decided she wanted an African grey. She knew it might be a while before she found one.

Lily’s former owner was terminally ill and no longer could care for the bird. Parrots often live to be 100 or older, Merrick said, so the organization becomes increasingly important in finding new, good homes for the birds as quickly as possible.

Pritchett and Lily were a perfect match, Merrick said.

Pritchett is grateful her decision to attend the fair last year led to her finding her parrot.

“She’ll be calm as a cucumber, but when I walk in, she gets really loud and excited,” Pritchett said. “We definitely have a special bond.”

At a glance

The Central Indiana Cage Bird Club is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preservation of exotic birds in captivity and in the wild, parrot conservation, avian research and public education about bird welfare. 

Coming up

If you missed Sunday’s bird expo, another fair is scheduled for Feb. 7 at the Hancock County Fairgrounds.

Author photo
Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or squinn@greenfieldreporter.com.