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“Waste of time and money”

Nancy Forrester's Secret Garden
Ranked #34 of 187 things to do in Key West
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: OPEN RAIN OR SHINE Come have fun with talking, laughing and dancing parrots. Artist and environmental activist Nancy Forrester has been rescuing abused and orphaned parrots for 28 years. Join her at 10 to 11 AM daily for Nancy's special presentation "Parrot 101" or "Storytelling" where guests can take pictures of un-caged birds, hold them and ask questions. We gladly welcome families with children and animal lovers to the Secret Garden to interact with our endangered South & Central American macaws and other parrots. Open 10 to 3 daily. Guided 10 to 11, Self-guided 11 to 3 PM. Educational material for each parrot is offered. Help inspire the birds by spending time with them. Bring a picnic lunch, play musical instruments, paint, write, sing, and dance. Parrots love music and videos played on smart devices! Well behaved dogs welcome. Please, leave your parrots at home! Thank you
Reviewed February 25, 2014 via mobile

This place is off the beaten path in someone's back yard. There seems to be only one "show" a day. You can see just as much in a pet store. None of the birds talked or did much of anything when my wife and I walked through. Some of the birds seemed stressed, especially the African Grey. I have seen some of these birds in the wilds of central and South America. Leave the conservation stuff to the experts. I was temped to pull my $20 back out of the jar!

3  Thank AlM606
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nancy F, Owner at Nancy Forrester's Secret Garden, responded to this reviewResponded February 28, 2014

Message for AIM606,
A very small parrot rescue sanctuary can not be on "the beaten path" in Key West
This is an educational project for the public about human impact on parrots in the wild and in captivity. I worked long & hard on the educational material here. There is a lot to learn if you read each bird's BIO. Hopefully you can not see the same in any pet store and parrots are no longer being sold there. I have been told, there are 40 to 60 million parrots in capitivity in the US and the average parrot is out of its home within two years. One third of all 374 species of parrots in the wild are now critically endangered from over collecting for the pet trade and habitat loss. In a perfect world all parrots would be flying free in the wild and not in capitivity. The parrots here were bred as a commodity to make money and later discarded by their owners. Some have had numerous homes and been abused. I have been working for 25 years with unwanted parrots and have placed over 100 in long term loving homes. We do not put on a "parrot show" and the birds do not do tricks. I do storytelling at 10AM. All parrots are stressed in capitivity no matter how much we love them and try to enrich their lives, some pull their feathers out and even self mutilate their skin and bones. We are grateful that the African Grey here who snips his feathers, leaves his down and does not self mutilate. Thank you for leaving your $20. It will be spent on the latest parrot abandoned here (with no note) just three weeks ago. He/she is very intelligent and can live 100 years. Surprised Rock did not talk to you!
Nancy Forrester

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (416)
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"beautiful birds"
in 49 reviews
"bird sanctuary"
in 16 reviews
"animal lovers"
in 12 reviews
"baby blue"
in 11 reviews
"rescued birds"
in 9 reviews
"love animals"
in 7 reviews
"glass jar"
in 4 reviews
"worth a stop"
in 6 reviews
"wealth of information"
in 4 reviews
"unique experience"
in 7 reviews
"trip to key west"
in 6 reviews
"duval street"
in 5 reviews
in 48 reviews
in 48 reviews
in 12 reviews
in 19 reviews
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263 - 267 of 417 reviews

Reviewed February 25, 2014 via mobile

This is a genuine bird sanctuary. Nancy has dedicated her life to these beautiful abandoned birds and truly does an amazing job. The admission of 10.00 is worth it just to have the opportunity to meet such an honest and good human being. Take extra cash to donate towards the birds needs you will be glad you did

4  Thank Dawi888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2014

Nancy is so dedicated and committed to helping her birds. She was short staffed while we were there, so we didn't get to hear as much from her. She is a delight to listen to and it is worth the $10 to visit her and see what she has created.The birds are beautiful and its was inspirational to see what she has done in her life in Key West.

4  Thank camckh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2014

Its all about the birds as it should be. Without Nancy's dedication these birds would never have had a chance. My wife and I were the first to arrive and then a local bike tour arrived so it was quite busy. Note that the Secret Garden is no longer there and Nancy only provides the guided/talking session between 10-11. She is simply too busy and short staffed at the moment to be available the entire day. If you set your expectations correctly you will enjoy your time and leave wishing you could do more if you are like us. Steven/Amy from NC

3  Thank Steven S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 17, 2014

Ms. Forrester and her partner are really inspiring, the birds are full of character, some with really heartbreaking stories. We enjoyed ourselves immensely and would highly recommend spending an hour or two here. The $10 per person donation/entry fee is well worth it, consider pitching in a little bit more to help support the birds!

4  Thank TANNK2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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