Adoption Policies and Process (2020)


Welcome to Santa Barbara Bird Sanctuary! SBBS is a unique

haven for small, medium, large, and extra large birds who have

been relinquished and need the best care to return to or maintain

their health, well-being, and social behavior. Some birds at SBBS

will be here for the rest of their lives; they are unadoptable for a variety

of reasons. Thankfully, though, many birds reside here temporarily;

they can be rehomed, and SBBS is pro-active in matching the right family

– that's you! - with the right bird.



To make that forever match happen, SBBS invites you to visit the Sanctuary and

get to know the birds. In fact, plan on making several visits. SBBS staff will be happy

to educate you about the personality and nature of each bird as well as the characteristics

of its species. You may meet any of the following:

    small: Budgies, Cockatiels, Lovebirds, Parrotlets

    medium: Conures, Senegals, Caiques, Small Parrots

    large: Amazons, African Greys, Small Cockatoos

    extra-large: Medium Sulphurs, Umbrellas, Moluccans, Macaws


Birds are not your average pet!

They are all beautiful and all extraordinary. At the same time, birds are not fuzzy, lick-you-in-the-face puppies. Birds aren't independent cats, content to watch you and occasionally exchange a purr or head rub for momentary petting. Birds aren't hamsters or gerbils who happily eat vegetable pellets and run endlessly in a revolving wheel. Birds are highly intelligent, socially needy creatures. They bond deeply with their person or family, requiring daily attention and interaction. Some will talk and some will learn tricks to gain positive attention. Others will resort to mischief and even self-harm if only to get negative attention. They are exotic and complicated. They are truly a lifelong commitment. Understand all of that, and you may be the perfect bird person.


Selecting your bird

After several visits, it should become clear which bird is right for you and your family. SBBS staff will help you get educated, be confident in handling a bird, and prepare you for all the equipment, toys, and food your bird will need. SBBS staff wants to ensure that bonding between you and your chosen bird is well underway. SBBS Director Jamie McLeod will also conduct a final interview with you.



You will next fill out an application form,  evaluated by SBBS's adoption committee. Because SBBS needs to know that your home environment is suitable if not ideal for a bird, be prepared for a home visit as well (within 60 miles of SBBS). Upon application (and possible visitation) approval, the SBBS contract will be reviewed with you. Important clauses include no breeding and returning the bird to SBBS if you can no longer care for it.


SBBS resources

SBBS is your primary resource for species information and veterinary care needs and locations. Our affiliation with Menagerie gives you an immediate source for food, toys, day care, and vacation care. Your bird requires stimulation and security when its people are away from home.


Thank you for your interest. The birds will be excited to meet you. For further information and answers to your questions, please call SBBS at 805-969-1944. SBBS staff is on the premises every day except Tuesday. The birds are in their garden in good weather until 4 PM. To speak with the Director, please visit SBBS Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays between noon and 4PM. 

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