Hamilton’s oldest aviary set to close, exotic birds to find new homes


Published September 19, 2023 at 8:18 pm

Courtesy: activeparents.ca

Hamilton’s oldest and only public aviary, which houses exotic birds has been forced to shut down.

Due to the deteriorating condition of the building and aging infrastructure, the City Council unanimously voted(13-0) yesterday (Sept 18) to rehome 24 of its exotic birds.

“Although this was not the outcome we were hoping for, we are committed to finding a positive way forward for the birds and for our organization,” Emily Downs, Board Director, Friends of the Aviary told IntheHammer.com. 

“The Aviary has been part of the Hamilton community for 96 years and we will continue our mission to provide the best possible care for our birds as we navigate this transition,” Downs added.

The decision to rehome the birds comes after the Aviary sought to relocate to a new venue earlier in August, as their lease with the Royal Botanical Gardens ended prematurely.

Rehoming the birds

Friends of the Aviary, a non-profit organization that has been caring for the birds since 1992, has taken on the responsibility of finding suitable homes for the feathered residents

“The majority of our birds have been donated to the aviary by people who could no longer care for them in family homes,” Downs explained in an email.

“Many of our birds have additional behavioural or care needs (e.g. needing large enclosure due to size) that may make it difficult to place them in the community,” she added.

Ownership of the birds will be transferred from the City of Hamilton to Friends of the Aviary once appropriate foster or adoptive placements are identified. The organization will then develop a transition plan for the foster caregivers and the birds.

The city’s motion mandates that all birds must be rehomed by the end of October 2024, marking the end of an era for the cherished aviary.
The Aviary is currently open every Sunday from 1-4 p.m. and is holding a special Parrot Pirate Party event on Sept. 24.
The ratification vote will take place in the council meeting next Wednesday (Sept. 27).
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