Friday, August 31, 2007

CARE appeared at the Wisconsin State Fair again this year! Every day some of the volunteers take birds down to the Fair. Lori also gives several presentations daily to educate the public on the challenges of keeping parrots and why they do not tend to make good pets for most people.
This also helps us to get our name out to more people, in the hopes that they will consider adoption when they are ready to add a parrot to their homes, and also to let people know there is a place where they can surrender their parrots instead of releasing them outside.
The parrots love going out and being the center of attention! We make sure to only take birds that thrive in these kinds of situations, and a volunteer is always ready to drive the bird back to the Center if they're feeling too uncomfortable. Below is a small sample of pictures of our time at the Fair.

We hope to see you down there next year!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Here's another picture of Robin, an adorable lovebird that is currently up for adoption. She seems to make more than her fair share of appearances on our blog because we always catch her doing adorable things! This bird is a fantastic toy player. She loves swings and bells! Robin can be a bit nippy, so we don't recommend her for a home with small children. However, she will make a fantastic companion for an understanding adult! For a list of birds up for adoption, click here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve posted an update about Mango (see here when she first came in and here a few days later). She has been in for several vet visits and procedures since then. We wanted to wait until we had a better idea of what’s going on, but we finally decided to do an update with what we know now and we’ll continue to update as things progress.

We did a biopsy on her mutilation site. We were very relieved to find out that it was not cancerous. However, the tumor is very bony, and, in consultation with our vet, have decided that the best course of action is to remove the tumor. Because of the nature of the tumor, this will be a difficult undertaking. In the pictures below (warning: rather graphic), you can see how much the tumor is raised from her chest.

Since this is a procedure that is done very rarely, our vet is in the process of consulting with other avian vets to find out what methods, if any, have been successful in the past.

In the meantime, Mango remains at our Center. She loves human attention and playing with her toys. Unfortunately, because of her mutilating, she needed to be collared. We just removed the collar again this morning, as we want her to be able to preen normally, and are monitoring her situation to make sure the mutilating does not do additional damage.

Everyone has fallen in love with Mango, and we are doing everything possible, as we do with all of our birds, to restore her to health.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Here are Lester (cockatiel) and Phyllis (budgie), two of our permanent residents. Lester was surrendered to us because his owner didn't want to deal with his problems anymore. You can't tell from this photo, but his chest is completely plucked. He has some sort of medical problem, but it's nothing that vet tests have been able to find. However, whenever we've tried having him live in an aviary with other cockatiels, they start ganging up on him and attack him. We assume he has some sort of illness that the other cockatiels can sense, and they try to drive him out of the flock so that he doesn't become a liability (these are still wild, prey animals).

And then Phyllis entered his life! This little budgie helps Lester out. They preen each other, and she follows him around, making sure that he eats, even on his roughest days. He is much happier since she entered his life; incredibly, he seems to be doing a lot better physically as well.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Here is Mac, a cockatiel that was recently surrendered to the Center. A kind-hearted couple noticed him at the Seven Mile Fair in a booth selling puppies. They purchased him and surrendered him to us. Mac is already doing a lot better in the past week. He has started to regrow some feathers, and is delighting the volunteers with his cheerful whistling!

Here he is on that first day. We had to towel him to check out his injuries and do our intake evaluation. He was very calm.

Here you can see an injury to his wing. We have no idea what caused this injury.
At the bottom of his wing, you can see the bloodstains. He has had some baths since then, and now his outside appearance is starting to match his beautiful personality!
Mac is not currently up for adoption, as he needs to recover a bit more.
If you are interested in adopting Mac (once he is available for adoption) or any other bird at our Center, please fill out a Bird Wanted Questionnaire.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

What is Jill saying to her owner? Maybe she's telling him what fantastic companions cockatiels can be!

Jill and her mate, Jack, were surrendered to CARE a few months ago. They were a former breeding pair, and the breeder was going out of business due to allergies.
As a rescue, we do not place birds into situations where they might be bred, and when someone is looking to add another of the same type of bird to their flock, we work with them to find a same sex companion.
However, this situation was different. These birds were so incredibly bonded to each other. If they get more than 2 feet apart from each other, they start frantically chirping.
We found the perfect home for them, where they can get as little or as much human companionship as they want (and for ex-breeder birds, they really like humans!) where they are free to play with toys and will never reproduce again.
Cockatiels are really amazing birds. One of our boarders can whistle the entire Andy Griffith theme song. They can be taught tricks, and are basically a big parrot personality packed into a tiny body!
Unfortunately, they are often considered to be throwaway pets because of their relatively small price tag and their small body size. Or they are a starter parrot, and people trade them in for a larger bird down the road.
During the first six months of 2007, we had 46 cockatiels surrendered to us -- more than any other type of parrot. We currently have some very nice cockatiels up for adoption, if anyone is thinking of adding to their flock.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Here are Chip and Dale, two ringneck doves that are currently up for adoption. They are very bonded to each other and will be placed together. They are very tame and handleable. We just love this picture as they are looking away from each other, and an adorable little budgie is stretching in the middle!

Chip and Dale, along with some of the other birds, are living in a huge Cages By Design aviary that the company donated to the Center.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Visitors to the Center have most likely made the acquaintance of Sasha and Kellie, two of our resident conures. Above, find a picture of the fully-feathered version: Millie and Cleo!

Our goal at the Center is to do what's best for the birds. For many parrots, that means placing them in a home where they will get lots of human interaction. For others, that means allowing them to find a feathered companion and offering the option of human companionship.

Sasha and Kellie have been living together for over three years. They play together, preen each other, and seem much happier than when they were living solo lives. Over the years, they have come to solicit human attention -- especially from some of their favorite volunteers and frequent visitors!

We're hoping the same thing will ultimately happen with Millie and Cleo. We introduced these two guys together slowly. First, their cages were placed next to each other. Then they were placed in a large double cage with a divider, to see how they would react. Once they started hanging out next to each other and trying to preen each other through the divider, we moved them into a large cage, where they currently reside. They are now rarely more than a foot apart.

They have both perked up during the time they've spent together, and we eagerly await for their true personalities to show, as we see with Sasha and Kellie!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Here is a picture of Hector, a severe macaw, less than two weeks after being surrendered to us. See Hector's intake picture here. Hector was surrendered in a very small cage with no toys AND NO PERCHES! Perching may sound like a natural parrot behavior, but Hector did not know what to do with perches once he was in his new, large cage at the Center.

We soon discovered that he loved almonds (as you can see in this picture). He would hang upside down from the top of his cage, and when we'd give him an almond, he attempt to eat it while still hanging upside down by one foot.

Hector quickly began perching when he hid almonds all around his perches so that in order to get the almonds, it made sense for him to perch. After about a week, he will comfortably perch on one perch in his cage -- we are still working on the others!

Another thing we are working on with Hector is teaching him how to play with toys. As previously mentioned, he is not used to playing with toys, but you can see from his intake picture that he needs to learn to play with toys, especially chippable wood, so that he can keep his beak in good shape. We developed the above toy just for him. Almonds are drilled and put on a wire, along with 2X4 slats. We're hoping that he will accidentally chew on some wood while getting at his almonds and decide he likes it, as has happened with other parrots in the past.

He has made amazing progress in the two weeks he's been in our care. We expect that by the time he is adopted into his new family, he will be unrecognizable from the scared creature we first encountered.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Meet Talulah, an umbrella cockatoo that was recently surrendered to CARE. Talulah is not yet available for adoption because she has some medical issues that we first need to resolve, involving her chloaca.

We just love this picture of her! I see her wonderful spirit and intelligence shining through.

If you are considering adding a cockatoo to your flock, as always, we recommend that you first visit And again I'll add the warning that their home page includes screaming cockatoos, so take that into consideration if you're opening this up at work or another noise-sensitive area!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

We currently have quite a few sweet, relatively tame budgies that will make great companions!

We've probably said this many times on the blog, and I know we're constantly saying it to people who stop in and are looking for a new friend -- don't overlook budgies! Unfortunately, they are often considered to be "starter birds" or "throwaway pets." Nothing could be further from the truth!

A friendly, tame budgie is a delight -- truly a little jewel. They often do better in same sex pairs, so that they have company during the day, but they will remain tame to you if you take the time to spend with them every day.

All of the budgies I've been privileged to know love playing with toys. Just like the bigger birds, they have this desire to destroy, so they need wood toys.

Additionally, they have a delightful chatter that fills the air. It's pretty hard to stay in a bad mood with one of these guys around!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Here is Robin hanging out with one of our volunteers as he goes about his business.

We've featured Robin on this blog before, because she is just so adorable! She loves hanging out in pockets, and pops her head out once in a while to see what's going on.

Robin can be a bit nippy, so it is not recommended that she be adopted into a family with small children. She is a fantastic toy player and has a wonderful personality!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Here is an article about an african grey parrot that was snatched by a hawk while perched inside a screened-in porch. It sounds as though he'll survive. There is a video, so you can see the grey at the vet's office.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

For the second time in about 10 days, a parrot with a severely overgrown beak was surrendered to CARE.

Hector is an approximately 13 year old severe macaw. We have trimmed his beak (I will try to post a new picture later this week).

Severe macaws tend to be very difficult parrots to keep successfully in a home environment. They tend to bond very strongly to one person, and even with their chosen person, they tend to be beaky.

Additionally, they love destroying wood toys, which we see as a good thing, but many owners are not willing to keep buying new toys because "it just destroys them." That's the point!

They are extremely intelligent, and funny, and they need a household who is going to work on developing their intelligence.

Hector is now in a cage with plenty of toys so he can work on keeping his beak trimmed himself!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Gabby is a Moluccan cockatoo that has been with us for about 3 years. She came to us suffering from zinc toxicity and had several open wounds on her neck where she mutilated herself.

During the past years, she has made amazing progress and we are happy to report that she has not had any open wounds for several months!

Gabby loves to play with toys, but her most favorite thing to do is hang out with people.

If you are considering adding a cockatoo to your flock, we recommend that you visit (If you click on this link, there are parrot screams in the background, so you may want to turn your volume off if you're at work!)

Cockatoos are beautiful and intelligent, but they can also be demanding, loud, and destructive. Almost every cockatoo that is surrendered to us has feather destructive issues of some kind. They require mental and physical stimulation that many homes are not equipped to provide.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

As a follow-up to the previous two days' entries, Mango did well at the vet, so now we are waiting on results of bloodwork and pathology.

Sophie is an adorable 2-year-old bronze wing pionus. She was hand-fed, but not handled much, so she hasn't yet learned that interacting with people can be a positive experience!

Volunteers have been working with her, and she is now happily stepping up! We are still working on stepping up out of her cage.

Sophie will thrive in a home with caring, understanding people that can help her to reach her full potential!

On a side note, CARE will be appearing at the Wisconsin State Fair during the run of the fair. Stop by and say hello!