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My Story

IMG_7152I will be forever grateful to Mrs. Wilson.  When I was twelve, a neighbour entrusted me to care for her precious Canary while she and her husband travelled on vacation.  I was terrified!  I was so afraid I’d do something wrong, in spite of the short list of instructions.  My father kept trying to feed the bird bananas and carrots, which weren’t on the instruction sheet!  My brother and I were not allowed pets in our home, so when I was living on my own, I bought my first pet… a bird… a Canary!

At the age of 23, I was shocked to learn I was to undergo major surgery.  I bought a baby budgie and left it in my mother’s care (finally getting a pet into her house) until I was out of the hospital.  With four months off work, Perkins and I became friends in a way I never imagined a creature could be. That Budgie was so tame, he would lay on his back in my hand while I rubbed his tummy.  He followed me around my apartment, insisting on finding out, “What’s your name?  What are you doing?  Where are you going?”

When my now-husband proposed marriage, he didn’t realize what living with a Canary, a Budgie, and a Cockatiel was going to be like.  Well, having a dozen-plus birds at any one time in the house can’t be all that bad: Stephen and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary, recently, and our flock continues to grow!  My hero has long-since surrendered to building shelves, installing lighting, driving to bird shows, and “everything” else.

When our daughter was a toddler, I began the journey of bird breeding (with Canaries, of course!).  The greatest magic was being right on time to witness a chick forcing its way out of a mini-jellybean-sized egg, only to flop down on the floor of the nest, exhausted.  Did you know they are so weak when new, the mother hen uses her tender beak to flip the chick onto its back, to feed it?  Within a few days, the wee brothers and sisters are clamboring over each other as puppies do, to get the best of the buffet from mom.  She’s smart, though, and knows how to take care of her brood, to ensure everybirdy gets dinner and dessert!

Time flies! Elaine is graduating university, and my nest is empty.  She’s my best friend, my daughter, my website designer, and photographer.  She has been surrounded by birds all her life, and is spreading her own wings.  Please look at my links and get to know her at Flashback Photography!

Budgies will have a place in my home and heart, always.  In recent years, my attention has been captured by the striking contrast of black against the colours of Lineolated Parakeets, playful personalities of Conures, comical antics of Quaker Parakeets, and the fact that you simply can’t have “just one!”

Won’t you come in to meet my flock?


June 15, 2014 Portraits-11Note: In Fall, 2015, Lori passed away during her second open-heart surgery. One of her very last requests was that her daughter, Elaine, and husband, Stephen, care for her birds in the event anything should happen to her. In her mother’s honour, Elaine has taken over management of Welcome Wings Aviary, moving the flock to her home in Orillia, Ontario where she puts a lifetime of experience to use breeding and hand-raising baby birds. She is excited to follow in her mother’s lifelong passion by introducing rare genetics and colours to the aviary. Elaine looks forward to her birds bringing joy to many families and encourages others to delight in her mother’s passion!

Note: Effective November 30, 2018, Welcome Wings Aviary has been relocated to Peterborough, Ontario, where Stephen and Elaine continue to hand-raise baby birds out of his home there. Pick-up of babies is available in Peterborough, and we continue to serve bird lovers nationwide with the help of WestJet airlines.


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