CARNATION, WASH. - Every morning, Bob Dawson gets an eye-opening wake up call that's music to his ears.
'It is music to the ear," said Dawson. 'And it will go for an hour or an hour and a half. And then at sunset, we get it all over again.'
Day and night, Dawson is at the beckon call of 800 vocal and vibrant birds. He has turned his Carnation home on 20-acres of land into the Macaw Rescue and Sanctuary, a nonprofit that saves abandoned, neglected or unwanted birds.
Cockatoos, macaws, and parrots can live a long time, more than 60 years, and sometimes they're ornery in the most painful of ways.
'I describe them as piranhas with wings, can openers,' said Dawson. 'I've had fingers broken, had fingers crushed and I've had earlobes opened up and pierced. Then you get the exception to that rule -- a bird that will love and kiss you, and you'll want to coddle them all the time.'
Dawson shows kindness to his birds, but he doesn't treat them like pets.
'When they come here, they are birds,' said Dawson. 'I don't ask anything out of these birds, and they give me joy in return.'
Dawson will not sell his birds or put them up for adoption. Instead, they have a permanent home at the sanctuary where they can live in peace.
Macaw Rescue and Sanctuary
34032 NE Lake Joy Rd
Carnation, WA 98014
The sanctuary relies on donations. For more information click here.
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