Lease extended for temporary parrot shelter

NANAIMO – Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary will remain at former Nanaimo SPCA building until mid- to late-February.

Parrots taking refuge in Nanaimo have more time to find homes.

Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary has won a reprieve on its Dec. 1 lease deadline from the new property owners of its temporary Labieux Road refuge.

The City of Nanaimo turned over the lease of the former Nanaimo SPCA to the non-profit until December when the sale of the land and building closes with Bowen Road Developments. Last month Greyhaven contacted the city looking for an extension, or another smaller space to still keep birds on Vancouver Island. It has about 50 exotic birds left.

According to Jan Robson, Greyhaven’s communications director, the city contacted the developer, which gave the organization the green light to stay until mid- to late-February.

“It’s made a big difference,” said Robson, who told the News Bulletin it means they can breathe a little bit because no other spaces were offered in Nanaimo and it would have meant bringing the birds to the Lower Mainland and juggling arrangements.

The organization, also housing birds at locations on the Mainland, has found a space where it can consolidate, but it’s not up and running yet. Between now and early January, the plan is to move the birds on the Lower Mainland to the new location and then gradually bring the ones from the Island, said Robson.

“There won’t be an issue as far as if we haven’t finished adopting out the 50 by mid-February, then what? We’ll have space,” she said.

The World Parrot Refuge founder died in February and Greyhaven took on the re-homing and caring of 584 birds, which had to be removed from the facility by Aug. 1. Previously, the organization would see 200 birds in a year, and not all at the same time. There are now 280 birds.

“We are not the SPCA, we don’t have a lot of money or a lot of person power. The fact we’ve managed to pull off what we’ve pulled off so far, I’m impressed with everybody,” said Robson, who also described the situation as hopeful.

The organization continues to fundraise, with $20,000 to $30,000 in monthly costs. To donate, or to find out more information about Greyhaven, please visit