This desert gem located in a Palm Desert neighborhood was created and designed as a haven for animals and the humans who love them. The home of Lindi and Gino Biggi, the renovated property was inspired by the tropical rainforests of Africa. Thatched huts housing some of the feathered residents surround cascading water features and spacious lawns. A focal point is the flamingo lagoon, the statue of a black panther perched on the above rocks observing the elegant birds.

Lindi Biggi describes her fascination with these feathered creatures, “I love all animals, but especially birds. I definitely qualify as a practicing bird-aholic with no hope of finding a cure. Birds are fun, loyal, smart, funny, and relatively easy to live with,” Lindi first became involved with birds when she took in 17 exotic birds from a friend who lost her home. Today over fifty exotic feathered creatures call the Bird Gardens home. They include conures, macaws, turacos, and toucans. One regal resident is Elvira, an endangered Black Palm cockatoo. Many of the birds came to the Gardens from people who no longer wanted them, some are disabled lacking eyes, wings or feet. Pictured is Lindi with Joshua, a Hyacinth macaw, and Casey, an Umbrella cockatoo.

Birds as pets bring a certain life and vibrancy to a home. Highly intelligent and sociable, a well- trained bird can be as bonded to their owner as a dog or cat. The life span of certain bird species can be as long as 100 years, so humans need to plan for their future. Birds offer affection, loyal companionship, and the ability to do tricks. And some of them can do what no other pet can…..carry on a conversation.

Major’s Microchip Mission – The abduction, search and recovery of Lindi’s prized Leadbeater Cockatoo named Major led her on a mission for microchipping. Major, a bird valued at $8,000, was stolen from her in Oregon in the mid 1980’s. A frantic search ensued with nation- wide media coverage. Miraculously, six weeks later a phone call from Kansas solved the mystery. The drivers of a stolen truck were arrested for speeding in the small town of Colby, Kansas. Inside the truck was a menagerie of animals, all presumably stolen. The tiny town of Colby had no animal shelter, so the colorful Cockatoo was placed in a cardboard box and given to the care of a local resident. The resident suspected he was someone’s treasured pet and notified the police who received a bulletin about the missing bird. Lindi traveled to Kansas to claim Major only to have her ownership questioned. It finally required Major’s emotional reaction at seeing Lindi to convince the authorities. Lindi’s experience and subsequent research led her be an early champion for the cause of pet microchipping.

New Flamingo Baby – This summer an amazing new addition to the flock of seven Chilean flamingos caused excitement at the Bird Gardens. The birth of a baby flamingo is a rare occurrence in captivity in small flocks, and it usually takes a group of 40 or more birds before flamingos reproduce. In their natural habitat, flamingos fly in flocks of thousands. Look carefully to see the tiny baby bird in the attached photo. The male and female parents take turns incubating the egg, sitting astride the nest with their legs folded flat on either side. The Biggi’s watched the egg by their Flamingo lagoon for 29 days, and it was another few days until the bird finished breaking through the shell. Birds have a saw on their beak that breaks off after they saw their way out. Both flamingo parents fed the chick. The father flamingo was particularly protective. Over a period of two to three years, the fledgling bird’s gray plumage will gradually change to pink. Faithful flamingos usually mate for life.

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The adults’ coloring ranges from light pink to bright red due to the species and the aqueous bacteria and beta carotene obtained from their food supply. When the proper food supply is scarce, the birds coloring fades. The word flamingo means flame, named by the Egyptians for their fire red coloring. A healthy flamingo is more vibrantly colored and more desirable as a mate.

Why do flamingos stand on one leg? One theory is that they have the ability to have half of its body go into a state of sleep, and then they swap legs to rest the other half. Standing on one leg allows them to conserve more body heat.

You’re Invited! Spay-Ghetti & No Balls Dinner – Loving All Animals will showcase the new baby flamingo at their upcoming annual party at the Bird Gardens. A contest will be held to name the new little bird. This event is a chance for all Coachella Valley animal lovers to socialize and learn how we can all help animals in need. Lindi Biggi is founder and president of Loving All Animals. To RSVP to the dinner, call (760) 776-9397 or contact info@lovingallanimals.org. Advance donation is $10, and $15 at the door. Come and experience this magical place that inspires people to preserve and give back to our animal kingdom.

jmcafee7@verizon.net

 

 

 

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