About Our Founder

Darlene Braastad with goose.Darlene Braastad has over thirty years of in-depth experience in caring for parrots and domestic species, as well as wildlife. Darlene’s home is co-located with the Forever Wild Avian Sanctuary on a 2.5-acre property southeast of Tucson. She lives there with her husband, Brad Braastad, whom she met and married in Scottsdale, Arizona. They have called the Tucson area home for almost thirty years. Before converting to a sanctuary strictly for domestic species, Darlene’s past experience also includes managing a licensed wildlife rehabilitation center. Darlene is currently the director for this Tucson-based, non-profit avian sanctuary.

Raised in Seattle, Darlene has always had a love of animals and cared for several pets since childhood. However, it was during her career as a busy corporate travel agent that Darlene came across an abandoned baby sparrow on pool decking. She rescued, raised, and released this tiny bird – certainly a first step towards igniting her passion for caregiving. And, as the saying goes, the rest is history!