May’s Volunteer Spotlight

Our Volunteers are what give us the opportunity to give our flock the very best. We will focus on a new volunteer every month or so. Please say Hi when you see them.

Larry’s interest in parrots began in the late 1970’s while living in California. After spending countless hours researching parrots, visiting pet stores as well as friends with parrots of their own, Larry rescued his first parrot – a wild born Moluccan Cockatoo who had been mistreated. Shortly thereafter, he adopted yet another Moluccan who was being housed in a cage that was too small for a Moluccan and housed other smaller birds. This was just the beginning of Larry’s 40 year parrot journey.

Larry with Gerdy (Hand) Pepper (Shoulder)

Larry Johnson

Being owned by a parrot, Larry naturally spent his free time seeking out others who were as dedicated to parrots as he was.  In a Bird Talk Magazine chat room, Larry first met Ron Johnson, founder of Feathered Friends Forever. The two bonded when they were both kicked out of the chat room for disagreeing with moderators. Neither of them knew where their online friendship would lead them.

A week before Larry’s 62nd birthday, he was laid off from his job. To most, this would’ve been devastating but for Larry, it was a sign. Over the years, Larry had discussed with Ron his intention of retiring at the rescue. Little did Ron know it was about to become a reality.

When Larry first arrived at the rescue 10 years ago, he spent most of his time assisting in various construction projects. Over the years, he has purchased much of the heavy equipment the rescue uses on a regular basis. Today, he is considered the rescue’s very own “Nutritional Specialist,” spending his days mixing food and caring for all the birds in the outdoor aviaries. In addition, on the weekend Larry shares his knowledge of the parrots and the grounds with visitors as a tour guide at the rescue.

Nothing slows Larry down, even though he is 72 years old. Even after open heart surgery and a devastating car accident, Larry didn’t stay off his feet for long, diving head first back into his day to day care of the birds. To say he is dedicated is an understatement. “I’ll keep doing this until noon the day they bury me.”

We are fortunate to have Larry as an integral part of the FFF family. His knowledge, work ethic, and devotion to the birds is an inspiration to everyone who has had the chance to work alongside him.