The Aloha Hawaiian Parrot Association (AHPA), founded in 1992, is the oldest parrot club in Hawaii, located on Honolulu. In 2013 the association received a Certificate of Excellence from the City & County of Honolulu for honoring and recognizing their “level of commitment and dedication to animal welfare in Hawaii.”
Meeting monthly, usually around a potluck lunch at a local park, the club welcomes anyone with an interest in parrots, even if they currently do not care for one. One of the best ways to learn more about parrots is to attend one of their meetings where you’ll see birds and meet their owners, the club,” website explains.
The club has around 100 members, whose professions range from board-certified physicians, including a neonatologist, a pediatrician and a psychiatrist, to nurses, the dean of a college, teachers, wildlife rehabbers, a law enforcement director, airlines management officials and military personnel.
“We tend to attract a very professional and well-educated group of owners,” Cinde Fisher, president of the club says.
Fisher says that the club is usually called on to help with lost parrots, and they have lent a great deal of assistance to owners of lost parrots and have had several successes in reunions with owners. The association also helps foster and rehome parrots.
“We have several certified Animal Assisted Therapy parrots, including an umbrella cockatoo, Mai-Tai and African grey, Mango,” Fisher said. The association considers education an important part of their club, and have monthly guest speakers, including avian vets. “We also provide education to the community via our presentations to local schools,” Fisher added.
One of the best advantage of owning a parrot in Hawaii is the tropical climate, which mimics the climates many parrots have originated from. “We enjoy average daily temperatures of about 80 degrees, all year long,” Fisher says excitedly. “Our daily light rainfall — which we call liquid sunshine — is enjoyed by many parrots as a great source of showers. Parrots greatly enjoy their time outdoors on their perches, even in winter.”
One of the hardships of owning parrots in Hawaii is the extreme scarcity of human housing, both in terms of ownership and rentals, and parrot supplies. Being an island, caregivers are within close proximity to their neighbors and must purchase many things from the mainland.
While there are a few outstanding avian vets on Oahu (in Honolulu), there are only a handful of practicing avian vets, and there are few to no avian vets on some of the outer isles.
For current parrot owners who are considering relocating or retiring to Hawaii, you must consider their strict importation laws. According to the Hawaii State Dept. of Agriculture, which governs animal importation, “Most birds species, except certain poultry, require two permits: Plant Quarantine Import Permit AND a Poultry and Bird Permit from the Livestock Disease Control Branch. Birds from foreign countries must also comply with U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations. To import a bird from the U.S. Mainland, an Import Permit is required in advance of entry.”
“Our club often gets calls from parrot owners on the mainland wanting to bring their parrots to Hawaii, requesting information and advice,” Fisher said. “One of the things we have to alert them to is that all airlines require parrots to ride in cargo and not in passenger section in flights from mainland to Hawaii.”
Many parrots common on the mainland are prohibited in Hawaii, such as lories, grey cheeks, parrotlets, quaker parrots, caiques and many more.
“We were founded strictly as a social club in 1992, but in the last four years have found it necessary and rewarding to answer the community’s requests for fostering and rehoming parrots,” Fisher said. “We rehome exclusively to our knowledgeable and experienced members and do not sell or rehome to outsiders.”
The association has rehomed parrots as young as 4 months and as old as 26 years. “The best feeling in the world is seeing a formerly neglected or lonely parrot find his forever home,” Fisher said.