Villager Roxanne James would be the first person to tell you that the epithet, "bird brain" is a misnomer. She has been in the uncommon business of raising birds for the past nine years.
It all began with the death of her son in 2001, when Roxanne was a restaurateur in West Palm Beach. A food critic who favored her restaurant walked in soon after the tragedy and gifted Roxanne a pair of love birds to ease her grief. The love birds were a blessing, and Roxanne and the restaurant critic became good friends.
The friend raised birds as a hobby, and by helping her, Roxanne learned how to care for the offspring of her own love birds. Since then she has raised countless birds of varied species and has often used them to help others suffering from life's various traumas.
Roxanne's birds are never captured from the wild and imported to a cage. They all start out as eggs in her Village home. The parent birds think Roxanne is their mother and live-in nanny, and the chicks believe she's their grandmother. I mean these birds all think they're little people.
Her birds share the house with three dogs and a cat with whom they are perfectly compatible. A couple of talking cockatoos even mimic the dogs. They run to the door and bark at visitors to give the canines a break.
Roxanne and her husband, Rick moved to the Verde Valley in 2008 to help Rick's father who is the founder of Camp Soaring Eagle. Roxanne hopes to offer the therapeutic value of her birds to serve the camp's children.
Her business is called "Birds Fly Free" because she carefully trims their wings so they can glide to soft landings but remain unable to fly off into danger. If you purchase one of her birds, she offers unlimited free trimming because she enjoys keeping in touch with the birds and their new people friends.
Roxanne manages Village Pet Supply in the Outlet Mall where her birds are available. She sells them only because, as she put's it, "They have done so much for me that being able to pass on that love is incredible."
Drop by Village Pet Supply and see the birds who are a credit to their species and Roxanne who is truly a credit to ours.
Birds Fly Free: 928-284-0918.