There are many organizations that call themselves a "sanctuary" when in fact they are far from being a legitimate sanctuary. Typically, a sanctuary is a facility that provides a lifetime of care for the birds. A true sanctuary does not breed, sell, trade, make available for adoption, or otherwise exploit the birds in their care for commercial purposes.
What we like to see in a true sanctuary arebirds living in compatible flocks in outdoor enclosures, with access to shelter that is heated and/or cooled with a misting system if appropriate for the climate, a species appropriate diet, quality veterinary care, and enrichment, while also being allowed to experience flight, fresh air, sunshine and rain. Some organizations that market themselves as a sanctuary may be set up where the birds live in indoor cages. If the birds are housed in cages, they still may be able to have a good quality life if the organization provides interaction, enrichment, exercise, a quality diet and good veterinary care. However these types of sanctuary organizations should still meet the basic requirements of a true sanctuary listed herein. If you're interested in an organization, it is important to investigate them thoroughly, including visiting, before placing your bird(s). Web pages can be deceiving and made to look stunning, but may not show the reality of the living conditions. Also, it is very important to ensure the organization has adequate funding and a contingency plan for continuation of operations.
We can help you assess whether a particular sanctuary or sanctuary life may be appropriate for your bird(s).
The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) provides some excellent information about what to look for when selecting a sanctuary, as well as a list of organizations that are GFAS accredited:
Above: Parrots enjoying their sanctuary life at Project Perry, a GFAS accredited parrot sanctuary.