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Blue Cap Waxbill

Call Us Today! (605) 372-4444

Green Singer

Green Singer

"These delightful little creatures give us love, joy and a true gift that keeps on giving day after day.  We do know God lives and has created these beautiful birds for all of us, young or old, to enjoy. These are for anyone who enjoys nature."  IA, Personal Residence




People Say the Nicest Things!

Custom Praire Wind

Custom Prairie Wind

Drawing Residents Out

"Your [aviary] is so wonderful. My mom and I would always watch the birds when she was able to be home. Now she has severe Alzheimer's, however, your birds have made her smile and take notice. Thank you so much for what you have done in this home and others. God Bless you all." - NY, Daughter of Resident

"The aviary gives the residents the incentive to start conversations with each other because they are talking about the birds." - KS, Administrator

"Residents who haven't talked much in the past will count birds or name their colors as they watch the flying finches." – IL, Administrator

"We learned that she raised canaries at home. She's down in the lobby five or six times a day now, and she rarely went down before. It gives her an opportunity to share her knowledge and talk with other residents." – WI, Volunteer Coordinator

"We value the relationship that we have had with you for nearly 20 years.  The aviary has a remarkable effect on people, bringing untold moments of delight to many of our patients and residents." - MT, CEO

"We have more residents than ever before that come and sit by the aviary to watch the birds and talk about what is going on. The aviary is a really good activity for the residents." - OH, Activity Director

"I think the birds are wonderful for the residents. It encourages socialization and often takes the place of TV." - MO, Activity Director

"We are thrilled with the aviary. Our administrator is a frequent visitor of the aviary. Many people from the community have come to see the aviary. Today, one of the physicians wrote an order for one of the patients which said "Patient is depressed. Take to see aviary." - IA, Staff Member

Nursing Home Aviary

"I knew the residents would enjoy it. Some people who never got out of their rooms get out a lot now." – KS, Activity Director

"Residents absolutely love watching the new chicks grow up, they always come to check on them before breakfast." - IN, Staff Member

"The days are so very long when you are spending them alone in even the best hospice, waiting for a visit from family or friends.  Finding new things to do or see is a pleasant distraction and the aviary has been such a blessing for so many residents.

"My mother-in-law spent five months calling the hospice her home.  She loved to be taken out to visit the gardens, but when the weather changed and the gardens were put to bed, we wondered what to do!

Then in mid-October, the aviary arrived, and she was there to see it come to life.  She loved to visit the birds and watch their activity.  All of us lost track of time during our visits to the aviary.  (She even witnessed the doves mating!)  Often when we went down to the family room, we would find other residents and families visiting.

The birds provided a topic of conversation with the other families, as we talked about what we saw.  "Oh, look at the blue ones!  Aren't they just beautiful?"  "I've never seen doves like those before."  And then we had questions:  "What kind of birds are those with the bright red heads?  Are there any babies, yet?"  Visiting the aviary was a highlight for her, giving her something interesting to look forward to each day. Thank you!" - MI, Daughter-in-Law of Resident

An Executive Director recalls a resident who had gone several months without communicating. "After seeing the birds for the first time, he reached out and touched me and said, ‘I'm not mad.' I said, ‘I know you're not mad.' For a moment like that, it's all worth it." – IL, Executive Director

Peeking through the garden
Prairie Wind

Community Involvement

"The aviary has become a popular gathering place for the visitors and residents. There is no generation gap; one can see the little tots pointing out the birds to the older residents." - MN, Staff Member

"The aviary has been good for the whole community." - CO, Staff Member

"Fundraising for our aviary has been no problem; the community support has been wonderful. We are seeing people in the facility that seldom visited before we installed the aviary." - NE, Administrator

"The aviary gave us a reason to stay at the home and visit… and watching the birds makes the visit even better for children." – IA, Visitor

"It's a wonderful thing that you do; we love the aviary and the birds. It's the first thing we show anyone that visits. All of the residents love it and all the grandchildren who visit really enjoy it too. Thank you so much for what you do!"  - MI, Staff Member

The birds draw people who wouldn't otherwise come to the hospital such as school groups, community members and people in physical therapy. For example, one small child on crutches stops regularly to visit the birds after therapy. "She walks off the elevator wide-eyed and gazes up in awe." – IL, Executive Director

Resident Comments

"They put fish in, but they just swim. These birds are busy all the time… If we were busy as those birds, we'd be worn out." – MN, Resident

"I think the birds are angels" - TX, Resident

"There is a small aviary where the residents can sit and watch all these beautiful finches (they actually have nests and chicks)!" - WI Resident

"The aviary has been enjoyable and a learning experience for me.  I like the aviary best when there are new babies.  To see how the mother bird feeds her babies is such a wonder.  Of course, I have my favorite birds, but doesn't everyone?  And your paper "Cheep Talk" is so packed with information.  And a "Big Thank You" to those who care for our birds and who are always ready to share their knowledge with us who never run out of questions." - NE, Resident
""We are grandparents!!!!" says a resident who watches the birds all the time.  He had just noticed that Doves were sitting on eggs.  He would keep telling us that "we are going to have some babies soon". When they did finally have some, believe you me, he was the first to know it." - LA, Staff Member

Custom Gazebo

Resident Memories

"I like the chirping. It reminds me of a morning on the farm." – MO, Resident

"Birds seem to have been popular pets among the older generations. Many of the folks will sit near the aviary, saying it reminds them of birds they once had." – WI, Director of Volunteer Services

"I just love it. When I was a little girl, we had a bird; my mother named it ‘Bing Crosby', he was such a good singer." – MN, Resident

A Link with Mother Nature

"Our new aviary has been a bit hit with our residents, staff, and family members. It is gorgeous!  The birds are wonderful!  Every senior living community should have an aviary custom-made by Living Design. It's perfect!  Thanks again!" - MI, Administrator

"I like them. It's like being outdoors." – IA, Resident
"Residents could never be taken out in the woods… With [the aviary] in a really nice location, they can stroll by after dinner and see what the birds are up to." – WI, Activity Therapy Director

"Patients LOVE the aviary, especially the doves because they can see the whole nesting process. They're amazed at being able to see all of this. Some of them sit right in front of the aviary for hours." – AR, Staff Member

"The residents have really bonded with the birds in both aviaries.  In the larger one they especially like the Canary and Orange Weaver.  The male residents have said they like that those two are single bachelors and the ladies always talk about their colors.  The Orange Weaver has even been named "Pat," its unknown where the name came from but that's what all the residents call him. They're now just waiting for the Doves to "get to business" because they read about them in the About the Birds Book." - KY, Activity Director

Star Finches
Star Finches

Therapeutic Value

"While our Living Design aviary provides a welcome diversion for residents, it has a more serious purpose as well. It's a therapy for them; a conversation piece and something to look at every day." - SD, Nurse

"Patients who cannot do a lot still can enjoy this without any exertion." Resident, Mary, in her early 80's, has been unable to speak since a stroke. But as she studied the active birds, she was asked if she enjoyed the aviary. With tears in her eyes and a smile on her face, she nodded yes. - IL, Staff Member

"Although the sisters enjoy regular visits with a therapy dog, the birds are a part of their family for whom they hold a special affection. Last year, the birds were with them through hailstorms, broken windows, three day power failures, and all the challenges that accompanied them. And yet, like the sisters, the birds managed to sing through it all." - AR, Director of Communications

"The aviary provides a sense of stability and routine for residents.  Some make a daily trip down to check for new babies.  It's so exciting for us." - IN, Unit Coordinator

Staff Involvement

"I am excited about the aviary and I think it is the best thing that has happened to the facility and the residents." - PA, Staff Member
"We give the physical care, but they need more; with the aviary, a special sharing goes on." - IL, Staff member

"Not only does the aviary provide a visual story to talk about on a daily basis, but the aviary also provides a social environment for many. Friendships are made and discovered at this wonderful area—all are gathered together at the aviary, first to talk about the birds, then onto other conversations about their lives and where they came from and how they ended up Kansas. - KS, Activity Director

"Watching them is mesmerizing. The staff is just as fascinated as the rest. I can't think of a soul who wouldn't get something out of it. It's relaxing to watch them and educational." – MO, Activity Director

"All of the birds bring such enjoyment to the residents. We use the aviary as an activity by offering a bath and treats. What a blessing this wonderful aviary has been for all of us." - CO, Activity Director

"We just wanted to let you know how much we enjoy our birds and what a wonderful team of people you are to work with! I talk about the birds on a daily basis to our residents, families, and staff – everyone is interested and I'm glad that I can pass the information along!" -  SD, Activity Director

"I wanted to let you know that already we love our new aviary so much and there have been many positive comments from families and residents!!" - PA, Activity Director

"We love the aviary - staff as much as the residents.  They find it relaxing and soothing." - OH, Staff Member

Mini LeGrande
Mini LeGrande in Dark Classic Cherry

Veterinarian Comments

"They have chosen their birds very carefully. Bird diseases that can be transmitted to humans, such as psittacosis (parrot fever), apply largely to parrot-type birds… From a veterinary standpoint, these are good programs, especially for the elderly and long-term situations where they will not get exposure to animals. That's where pet therapy programs really make a difference." – Paul McGowan, Veterinarian, Coble Animal Hospital