Skip to main content

'A unique experience': Calgary Parrot Club brings tropical birds to Airdrie continuing care home


Exotic birds are not a common sight in Alberta, but dozens of residents at the Airdrie Care Community had the chance to get up close and personal with a flock of colourful parrots on Sunday.

"What we like to do with our members is we like to do senior's home visits," said Brian Ford, vice president of the Calgary Parrot Club.

Ford and fellow club members brought a wide variety of tropical birds for residents to admire and interact with, from Kiwi the tiny Pineapple Conure to a massive Moluccan Cockatoo named Max, who has become quite the influencer on social media.

"It's really a lot of fun to get out to events like this," said Nicole Hankel, Max's 'mom-ager.'

"It's good for Max to see other birds, to visit people and make new friends."

Recreational therapist Cindy Ward says she had seen the Calgary Parrot Club make visits to other retirement homes and thought bringing the birds to the residents at Airdrie Care Community would make a lasting impression.

"Residents who sometimes don't come to anything else came," said Ward.

"Definitely a unique experience. Lots of smiles, lots of laughter."

While the visits are enjoyable and educational for the residents, they are also beneficial for the birds.

The Calgary Parrot Club visits the Airdrie Care Community on Sunday, May 5, 2024."Birds are not domesticated," explains Heidi Komnick with the Calgary Parrot Club. "To keep them tamed you need to interact with them, and having them interact with people they don't know helps establish a better bird all the way around."

One of Ford's favourite parts of these visits is seeing the smile it puts on faces of residents.

"For many of them, it's the first time they have ever held a parrot, and often times you come here and they have had birds in their life and they are so excited to see the parrots."

The Calgary Parrot Club is made up of about 65 members and they hold meetings every month.

The Calgary Parrot Club visits the Airdrie Care Community on Sunday, May 5, 2024.Anyone interested in learning more about the club and retirement home visits can visit their website at, or email them at Top Stories

Stay Connected