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Birdie Stock to take flight in Harlem Memorial Day weekend

Parrots, bands and wrestling are all featured in a single Memorial Weekend event - Birdie Stock.

Created as a fund raiser for Feathered Friends Forever Parrot Rescue, Birdie Stock will be held May 26-29 at 612 Byrd Drive in Harlem.

The eight-acre parrot sanctuary, run by Ron and Tammy Johnson, will transform in to a carnival ground that will feature a parrot park, petting zoo, children's game area, wrestling ring, and a stage for live music.

"We've had barbecues in the past, but this is the first time we're trying anything this size," said Mr. Johnson, who expects between 10,000 to 15,000 visitors to his bird sanctuary.

The sanctuary features about 500 parrots representing more than 30 different species, many endangered.

All of the parrots will be available for viewing, but none will be sold or adopted out, Mr. Johnson said.

About 98 percent of the birds are permanent residents of the sanctuary. The other 2 percent would only be adopted out to trained parrot owners, he said.

Most of the parrots that have ended up in the Johnson's care were voluntarily given up by owners who didn't understand what they were getting into when they purchased them, Mr. Johnson said.

"They're like having a permanent 3-year-old child," he said.

Much of Birdie Stock will be dedicated to lectures conducted by the Johnsons and other pet experts on birds and dogs.

"There's a lot of fun to be had, but this is about education," Mr. Johnson said.


WHEN: May 26, noon to 10 p.m.; May 27-28, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and May 29, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

WHERE: 612 Byrd Drive in Harlem

HOW MUCH: One day tickets are $15, or a four-day pass can be purchased for $40. Children ages 12 and under are free.

Web posted on Thursday, May 18, 2006

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