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‘Bird Man' of Stonyford

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« on: April 10, 2010, 03:13:09 pm »

‘Bird Man' of Stonyford

Friday, Apr 9 2010, 5:49 pm
By Susan Meeker/Tri-County Newspapers

Michael Cox has waited more than 50 years to do what he was born to do.

The retired computer specialist from Napa is taking his talent for talking to animals and turning it into a safety net for battered birds.

Cox has opened his heart and his home in Stonyford to create a safe haven for parrots and other exotic birds that come from unwanted, abused, neglected and abandoned situations.

"It's my calling," Cox said at his Century Ranch home and bird sanctuary. "I can't imagine doing anything else with my life."

Cox has spent that past four decades talking birds out of their misery. As a teenager, he spent several years on a Hopi Indian reservation in Arizona, where he earned the reputation as an "animal whisperer."

But it was at a early age when Cox discovered he had a special relationship with birds, and that his ability to communicate with these feathered friends gave him the power to heal even the most shattered of hearts.

"It's an unspoken language," said Cox, a Vietnam veteran. "The work I do with these wonderful creatures is reflected in their joy and trust. No matter how much abuse they've suffered in the past, they do learn to trust again."

In January, Cox purchased his home on Century Ranch and created Global Nest Exotic Bird Sanctuary, a non-profit organization dedicated to healing neglected and abused birds.

All but only a few of the 11 exotic birds Cox has in his home — including an assortment of African Grays, Macaws and Cockatoos — have come from traumatic beginnings. Most have been horribly abused, he said.

"I'm not a rich man," Cox said. "I live on a fixed income, but all that I have is for these lovely creatures. I'm finally turning a dream into a reality."

Cox donates his services to animal control, humane societies, police and sheriff's departments in Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Butte, Sutter and Napa counties, taking in abandoned or abused birds as an alternative to euthanasia. He also works privately with bird owners, at no charge, to correct problem behaviors in their own pets, such as biting, depression and stress.

"I truly believe all living things need to be treated with dignity and respect," Cox said.

Cox has made it his mission in life to see that all birds live out their lives as healthy and happily as possible, and that birds with rough beginnings have a second chance at life.

Most large exotic birds can live 70 or more years, but many die early from neglect and abuse, he said.

In the few months since moving to Stonyford, Cox is slowing getting to know the community and hopes people will open their hearts to support his mission. He has given presentations to local schools and is looking for community members to become involved in his sanctuary.

"There is something truly inspiring about these wonderful spirits," he said. "I speak to them from the heart, and so far that works. I know that I want to share that, and to teach others what I do."

Cox, a talented musician and artist, helps support Global Nest by making and selling birdhouses. He also accepts donations.
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2010, 02:54:42 am »

Michael Cox has waited more than 50 years to do what he was born to do. The retired computer specialist from Napa is taking his talent for talking to animals and turning it into a safety net for battered birds.
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