Raystede aviaries painting project: work-in-progress

Ann Johnson writes:

My current project is to draw and paint the aviary residents at the Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare.

Having never drawn parrots before, I have spent a fair amount of time photographing, sketching and generally observing the birds under the expert guidance of Sarah Gorringe, Head of Aviaries.

Alongside studying and getting to know more of the complexity, intelligence and sheer charm of these engaging birds, grows the realisation of how terribly barren the lives of birds like these must be when they are permanently caged as ‘domestic pets’ and deprived of all opportunity to express their natural behaviour. I shall be writing more on this subject at a later stage. In the meantime, here are some initial observations and studies.

Raystede Barney (c) Ann Johnson

The Raystede aviary birds have a broad range of past histories. Some have come from loving homes, some have experienced difficult times and others have been rescued as strays. A number of the Raystede parrots exhibit behaviour problems due to previous living conditions. The sanctuary provides them with a home for life under the devoted care of Sarah and the rest of the aviary staff and volunteers.

My thanks to Raystede for providing me with this wonderful opportunity and for their warm welcome and on-going support.



Raystede 2 birds (c) Ann Johnson






Raystede cockatoos (c) Ann Johnson









Raystede bird (c) Ann Johnson

Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare, The Broyle, Ringmer, East Sussex BN8 5AJ. http://www.raystede.org/

If you would like to support Raystede’s work with the parrots, or any of the other animals in their care, please email: fundraising@raystede.org

Ann Johnson. QCA representative for Sussex East Area Meeting.