Having an avian identity, whether it be past life, totemic, symbol, or some other connection, is certainly an interesting part of a current life identity. But what do you do with it? What impact does it have on you now?
This may be rather critical of me, but I have seen that many therians seem to focus on how awesome it is that in a past life they were some interesting animal, but don't think about what it means to now be a human but realize that connection. There's a lot of things you can do with that realization, but so many seem content just to focus on the animal side rather than the human side. (Which can break off into another rant about misanthropy among therians, but that's another topic entirely!)
I think that, no matter how you incorporate avianthropy into your identity, you have a lot of good you can do right here and now, as a human. And that includes helping avian kindred. I know a number of members of this community have worked for or currently work for avian rehabilitation organizations, which is a wonderful way to give back, working directly with birds. But that isn't possible for all of us, due to things such as time constraints, distance from such an organization, or other issues. Then, of course, there's the option of letting your pocketbook do the assistance. Many avian rehabilitation and rescue centers are nonprofit, or often operate without much in the way of federal grants and support. They rely on donations to keep themselves in operation, and it's a sad fact that many are constantly in the red. This can lead to rescues having to cut back, or even shut down operation entirely--which is quite a loss.
So here, I'd like to list some organizations I know of that would be a great place for members of the community to offer monetary contributions. I welcome suggestions in comments as well, especially from those who work with such organizations.Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology
- A nonprofit insistute attached to Cornell University that promotes research, education, citizen science, and conservation efforts in all birds. The Peregrine Fund: World Center for Birds of Prey
- Started in the 1970's to address the decline of the peregrine falcon, now concerned with research and conservation of birds of prey worldwide. Indonesian Parrot Project
- An organization for the conservation of Indonesia's parrots, working to rehabilitate birds seized from smugglers to return them to the wild, and to change the attitudes of native Indonesians regarding the often critically-endangered birds being exploited in their forests.Mickaboo Cockatiel Rescue
- Despite the name, it is not simply a cockatiel rescue, but a rescue based in the San Francisco Bay Area devoted to all parrots and other types of companion birds. The organization takes in unwanted and abandoned birds, including those who are victims of neglect and abuse, rehabilitates them, and places them in foster homes pending adoption into a forever home.
Like I said, that's just a few that I came up with, and I welcome more information. I think having a list of organizations available might make it easier to give back.