About Us

Leaf Stem

The Story of Feathered Ambassadors and Friends

Founded in 2004

Joe and Stephanie Carvalho, of Carvalho's Friends of a Feather, Inc., have been producing animal edutainment shows, highlighting their animals' natural and comical behaviors, for zoos and theme parks around the world since 1979.

This lifelong passion has always been deeply rooted in the care of their animals and outreach/education for children, our cherished golden generation, those who sacrifice for our country, and animal lovers. In finding a way to grow the grassroots of why they do what they do... it was important to create an avenue in order to share these programs locally. 

 

With the help of friends and professionals the dream of the non-profit 501(c)(3)

Feathered Ambassadors and Friends became a reality in 2004.

 

Through this formation they have been been able to increase the number of private and exclusive encounters since 2021 with...

 

We create experiences where education is live, fun and interactive.

This provides an opportunity to share information regarding endangered and exotic animal species; their natural behaviors and habitats; the effects of rainforest deforestation; and engage in endangered species rehabilitation.

Each bird and animal is a proud representative of their species as an Educational Ambassador.

Cast of Characters

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Founder, President and CEO

Joe Carvalho

At age 5 Joe Carvalho received his first bird from his uncle. He named him Pepito and promptly taught him to ride on the handlebars of his bike.

At age 22 Joe bought a car wash in Fremont, CA and later named it Bird Bath Car Wash. In order to give the birds the attention they needed, Joe brought them to the car wash with him. On rainy days, when the car wash was closed, Joe would bring his birds to the local schools and charitable events to provide educational shows for the children.

Later... Joe and Sheik, his cockatoo, appeared on The Gong Show and received three 10s. Shortly thereafter he received a phone call from Knott’s Berry Farm asking him to bring his birds to their park during the summer of 1979. During that summer a tragedy struck. A fire broke out near the birds’ housing, and all his birds were lost. The grief was too much, and Joe vowed to never have another bird. However... the children of one of the schools at which Joe had done rainy day educational shows, embarked on what they called, “Pennies for Polly”. They presented Joe with beautiful homemade cards and the money they collected on his behalf so he might be persuaded to obtain another feathered friend. The gesture was so touching that Joe decided to put his grief aside and begin anew with a revived optimism in obtaining new feathered friends for life.

He has been training birds and other animal species  ever since, and hasn't looked back. His love for, and relationship with, the birds and animals is truly a gift from God. His calling is to share these wonderful creatures with people who want to learn about them and experience first hand their grandeur.

Stephanie has a passion for animals, along with a desire to create memorable experiences for children, our treasured golden generations, military, first responders, and everyone who loves animals.

A life with animals is too wonderful to keep to herself. Sharing is a vital part of who she is.

 

Her childhood experience of helping any animal who needed help transitioned in 1986. She worked directly with animal husbandry, and later educational presentations at zoos and major theme parks in the United States, and internationally with Carvalho's Friends of a Feather, Inc. 

Her experience with animals, their behaviors, and show production is a byproduct of the love she has  not only for birds, but all animals. She is in the constant pursuit of finding new ways to educate, and share knowledge and personal encounters with all their animals. 

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Stephanie Carvalho

Vice President and COO

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Mama Cass

Double Wattled Cassowary

Mama Cass is the matriarch of the family. She can be seen basking in the sprinklers or sunning and preening herself. Cassowaries are known as the deadliest bird species in the world (although Mama is a sweet girl and is the only trained cassowary in the United States). The cassowary is the closest living relative to the velociraptor dinosaur.

She stands approximately 6 feet tall.

She loves when guests come to see, feed and pet her.

Our cassowaries have educated and entertained at...

Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Virginia

Jungle Island Miami, Florida

Port Aventura in Vila-Seca, Spain

Sea  World Aurora, Ohio

Mama Cass has made special appearances on...

David Letterman

Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures

Jay Leno

Live with Regis and Kelly

SEE Mama Cass on the..

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Señor Jefe can be seen flying at sanctuary over looking the American River in Northern California. He was donated to us from a zoo, so he could enjoy a short rehabilitation and finally a life of free flight. His magnificent 10 foot wingspan is the envy of the local turkey vultures.

Our condors have educated and entertained at...

Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida

Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia

Cypress Gardens in Winterhaven, Florida

Gilroy Gardens in Gilroy, California

Jungle Island in Miami, Florida

Sea  World in Aurora, Ohio

Sea World in Orlando, Florida

Sea World in San Antonio, Texas

And they've made special appearances on...

David Letterman

Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures

Jay Leno

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Señor  Jefe

Andean Condor

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Lolita

Yellow Naped Amazon

Lolita & Friends are some of the top talking and singing birds on the planet.

Our Amazon Parrots have educated and entertained at...

Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida

Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia

Cypress Gardens in Winterhaven, Florida

Gilroy Gardens in Gilroy, California

Las Anguilas Del Tiede in Canary Islands, Spain

Jungle Island in Miami, Florida

Port Aventura in Vila-Seca, Spain

Sea  World in Aurora, Ohio

Sea World in Orlando, Florida

Sea World in San Antonio, Texas

Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pennsylvania

And they've made special appearances on...

David Letterman

Good Morning America

Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures

Jay Leno

Larry King

Edna & Friends enjoy catching the thermals and soaring over the American River. Standing 4 feet tall with a 10 foot wingspan she is a stunning beauty in her own right.

Our marabou storks have educated and entertained at...

Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida

Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia

Las Anguilas Del Tiede in Canary Islands, Spain

Jungle Island in Miami, Florida

Port Aventura in Vila-Seca, Spain

Sea  World in Aurora, Ohio

Sea World in Orlando, Florida

Sea World in San Antonio, Texas

And they've made special appearances on...

Jay Leno

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Edna

Marabou Stork

The flamingos love to bask in the sun and play in the water.

Our flamingos have educated and entertained at...

Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida

Jungle Island in Miami, Florida

Sea  World in Aurora, Ohio

Sea World in San Antonio, Texas

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Pink and Floyd

Chilean Flamingos

Our macaws enjoy free flying throughout the day. The open sky and trees are their playground.

Our macaws have educated and entertained at...

Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia

Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida

Cypress Gardens in Winterhaven, Florida

Gilroy Gardens in Gilroy, California

Las Anguilas Del Tiede in Canary Islands, Spain

Jungle Island in Miami, Florida

Port Aventura in Vila-Seca, Spain

Sea  World in Aurora, Ohio

Sea World in Orlando, Florida

Sea World in San Antonio, Texas

Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pennsylvania

And they've made special appearances on...

David Letterman

Good Morning America

Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures

Jay Leno

and many more!

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Macaws

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Blue & Gold, Blue-Throated,Green Wing, Scarlet, and more

The King Vulture is a member of the New World Vulture Family.

 

Our vultures have educated and entertained at...

Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida

Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virgina

Jungle Island in Miami, Florida

Sea  World in Aurora, Ohio

Sea World San Antonio, Texas

King Vulture

Birds of Prey

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Harris Hawk

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Eurasian Eagle Owl

Leaf Stem

Our Animals' Crowning Accomplishments

IAATE 2001

International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators

Behavior Of The Year Award

IAAPA 2008

International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions

Big E Awards - Best Edutainment Show Winner

"Critter Castaways" at Busch Gardens Tampa

IAAPA 2015

International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions

Brass Ring Award - Live Edutainment Excellence - Best Performance Act Winner

"Opening Night Critters" at Busch Gardens Tampa

 

IAAPA 2017

International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions

Brass Ring Award - Live Edutainment Excellence - Best Performance Act Winner

"Dolphin Days" at Sea World Orlando