Geoffery Humphery and Thelma Walmsey at the Kirami Anglicare Retirement Home admiring the newly refurbished bird avery
Geoffery Humphery and Thelma Walmsey at the Kirami Anglicare Retirement Home admiring the newly refurbished bird avery Jessica Lamb

How budgies are bringing joy to aged care residents

IT'S easy to take birdsong for granted when you can easily move around in day-to-day life.

But as the years go on, aged care residents often don't get the chance to admire the colourful feathers of Budgerigars in the wild.

Now, thanks to the Hervey Bay Bird Club Inc, around 90 residents at Kirami Anglicare Residential can spend time with their very own budgies.

Last Monday, the newly refurbished bird aviary was reopened in it's new location in one of the main communal courtyards for residents to easily access.

Kirami divisional therapist Lorna Smith said the new attraction was a hit with residents.

"They love it, we always have one to two people out there any time of day,” she said.

"Everyone comments on how beautiful it is.

"A big thank you to the Hervey Bay Bird Club organised the refurbishment, relocation and maintain servicing the cage.”

The bird enthusiast club was founded in 1997 and Noel Hielscher, the longest standing financial member of HBBC, has been tending the bird cage in the home for eight years.

Hervey Bay Bird Club Inc members Shirely Clarke, Dave Kalbfell with Kirami Residential's Lorna Smith, Noel Hielscher and Allan Clarke on Monday.
Hervey Bay Bird Club Inc members Shirely Clarke, Dave Kalbfell with Kirami Residential's Lorna Smith, Noel Hielscher and Allan Clarke on Monday.

The attraction has been installed in Kirami for almost a decade after a visit to Gympie, where members saw the Gympie bird club had just installed a successful aviary in a nursing home.

"One of our junior members thought it was a good idea because his grandparents were in Kirami to install some locally,” Mr Hielscher said.

HBBC installed cages in both Kirami and Bolton Clarke's Baycrest.

The budgies were initially moved to the back of the facilities a few years ago to be out of the way of the construction of Kirami's new rooms and buildings.

"I thought down where the were they weren't getting as much recognition as they could so I asked when the building was finished if we could put it back in the middle of the facility,” Mr Hielscher said.

"We dismantled the old aviary and brought it to my place in February.

"It was going to be a big job and I didn't like the standard that it was and I thought I could improve it.”

It took Mr Hielscher about three months tinkering away in his spare time with some help from fellow club members to refurbish the cage.

"It looks excellent and matches in with the decor,” he said.

Mr Hielscher said the non-for profit organisation are a group of "bird fanciers” who raised their money through a weekend market stall and barbecues held at Bunnings.

"New members are always welcome,” he said.

For more information on the HBBC contact the president on Dave Kalbfell 4121 4605.