The bird sanctuary welcomed visitors back to the facility after 16 months of closure.
For the first time in 16 months, the morning squawks of rescued birds mingled with the excited chatter of guests young and old at Save Our Seabirds' reopening on July 30.
The nonprofit bird rescue and sanctuary closed to the public in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, though volunteers continued to rescue birds needing medical care. Last week, visitors streamed in to reacquaint themselves with the resident and rescued birds by following a picture checklist. Volunteer Cyndi Seamon stood at the front to welcome people in and hand out information.
"People are just excited to have it open again," Seamon said. "Some people didn't realize that we were still rescuing and rehabilitating birds, so us as volunteers wanted to get that out there. The back room has been here the whole time, but it's nice to share it again."
Cockatoos and macaws greeted guests with a chirpy, "Hello," as they walked past. Many were either on their way to or from Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, which is just across the parking lot, and many others were coming to the facility for the first time. Volunteers strolled around, answering questions and letting people know about the bird talks throughout the day.
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