This is the story of how a relatively normal couple from Orlando, FL was welcomed into Emerald Forest Bird Gardens and left there with a new goal in life. We were invited to EFBG by Jerry during a conference in Ocala, FL in January, 2009. We took Jerry up on the invitation and headed out there in late February, 2009 and talk about an incredible experience. It goes without saying that Jerry is an amazing host and a very knowledgeable person, but seeing him and his birds in action is something to behold and something no picture on his site, or anywhere else, can fully capture how stunning the place is. There is simply too much to tell but it can be divided into 2 main topics/paragraphs.

By profession we are both in the Veterinary Medicine field, me being a Vet and my wife being a Vet Tech/Hospital Manager. We were pleasantly surprised at the cleanliness and efficiency in caring for the birds all over the farm. Every bird gets fed, watered and the cage cleaned daily almost at the same time every day. The cages are extremely spacious and provide ample room for exercise for each species Jerry has in the farm. The birds are always flying, hopping, singing, calling and doing everything else they would normally do with no signs of stress by our presence. If there was such a thing as Veterinarians grading bird breeding facilities like they do with restaurants, I would give Emerald Forest Bird Gardens an A+.

As animal lovers we were simply amazed at the amount of work and dedication that Jerry and his staff (especially Flavia) put into every bird. Not only do the babies at the nursery get spoiled, but so does every other bird in the facility. Fresh fruit and feed are offered daily and all the birds flock to it and eat it at their own pace. The body language of every single bird is one of a happy, established bird and they are not shy interacting with people, even complete strangers like us. We fell in love with Jerry’s Curl Crested Aracaris and we are working towards obtaining a baby as soon as possible.

So as an animal lover and as a Veterinarian I would recommend anyone to put their trust on Emerald Forest Bird Garden’s birds. My wife and I certainly do.

Ivan Alfonso, DVM