Monday, December 29, 2008

Finches, finches everywhere!

Late last week, we had 35 zebra finches surrendered to us. Their previous owners started with a pair, and liked watching them breed and raise young. Predictably, the situation soon got out of control and these birds ceased receiving the care they require. One had a beak that had been so overgrown that it curled around itself -- we have no idea how he could eat.

This individual developed health problems and was told they couldn't return home from the hospital until all of the birds were out of their house.

In the few days these birds have been with us, they have already perked up and are looking better. They're hoping 2009 will be the year they find loving homes!

Obviously, we have separated the males and females. There is already a finch overpopulation problem, and this sad example shows how many young even one mixed-sex pair can create.

Here are the males:
And the females:If you'd like to adopt a same-sex pair of zebra finches, please stop by. These cheerful creatures with their incessant beeping can brighten up your day!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Retirement Home Needed!

We are desperately searching for a retirement home for this beautiful mitred conure, Peru.

She has a very sad story. She's wild-caught, which is always a traumatic experience for these wonderful creatures. Then, according to what we were told, she was owned for over 20 years by an alcoholic whose loved tormenting her. A relative was finally able to remove her from that abusive situation; however, they did not know how to properly care for her. She was never loved enough to even have been given a name. We named her. Finally, she was surrendered to us for a chance of happiness in her final years.

She came to us malnourished, bleeding from broken blood feathers, and terrified. We've got her completely vet checked, and she has a clean bill of health for a senior conure.

Peru needs a loving, caring home for whatever months or years she may have left. As you might imagine from her history, she is nowhere near hand-tame. However, within 3 hours of being surrendered to us, she was hanging from the side of her cage and saying, "hello" in an attempt to get attention.

We're looking for a home that will give her a great diet, tons of toys, and allow her to play on top of her cage. We're doing the best we can for her at the Center, but we think she'd really thrive with more one-on-one attention and a quieter environment.

If you have room in your home and your heart to give her a wonderful retirement, please stop by the Center to meet her!

EDIT: Peru is on medication that currently costs $40/month. She will need to be on this for the rest of her life, and potential adopters need to be aware of this expense. Please contact us with any questions.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Thank you to Grey Feather Toys

CARE would like to thank Grey Feather Toys for a donation of toy parts earlier this summer.

The owners were going to be in the area, so they contacted us to see if they could take a tour and see our facility. Of course we said yes, and they surprised us with a wonderful donation!

Our volunteers have been busy turning these parts into toys for the birds to enjoy while they stay at the Center.

Grey Feather Toys is run by people with a passion for parrots. And even though "grey" is in the name of their store, birds of all kinds enjoy the toys!

Thanks for your support; we really appreciate it!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Views From the Fair

As we mentioned in this post, one of the volunteers who was generous to help us out is Amanda Schlicher who is a professional photographer! We are so lucky to have someone so talented help us out. She takes many of the pictures that show up on our petfinder page (only the ones that look good!)

Here are some of the pictures she took last week. We're including them in a separate post since they represent what took place every day.

As we've mentioned many times, education is one of our biggest goals. We want young people to care about birds, to learn why they often don't make good companions, and to learn to properly care for the animals in their house.

Alice is an alumnus lovebird who is very gentle with children and loves the attention!

We did presentations every day, to educate people about the plight of captive parrots. Many parrots live in suboptimal conditions because very few people are willing and able to meet the nutritional, educational, environmental, and social needs of these highly complex wild animals.

A few shots of people in the stands...

We were able to discuss different behavioral and nutritional needs one-on-one with people who already own parrots. We also had some posters so that people could visually see the plucking and mutilation these majestic creatures can resort to when they are unable to handle living in captivity.Here is Katie, one of our residents, enjoying a scritch. As we've mentioned before, we make sure that the birds are enjoying themselves and we remove them from the situation if that ceases to be the case.We hope to see you at our Center, or at the Fair next year!

State Fair: Sunday 8/10/08

On the last day of the Fair, we brought:
  • Mango, 7 year old female Ducorps Cockatoo (resident)
  • Buckie, 23 year old female Mexican Redhead Amazon (resident)
  • Angel, 7 year old female Moluccan Cockatoo (adoptable)
  • Lupe, 1 year old male Quaker Parakeet (adoptable)

You may notice that we take many of the same birds several times throughout the run of the Fair. We are very sensitive to the birds' needs. There are birds whose personalities indicate that they won't enjoy a trip to the Fair. There are also birds who revel in the attention, and those are the birds who accompany us more than once. We closely monitor the birds' interactions and reactions and will take them for a rest, or even back to the Center if they are unhappy.

The last day of the Fair again was great weather and big crowds.

Our presentations were on Mango, with our posterboard of how she looked when she came in to us, and of course her "after" being in person. People were amazed at how well she healed up. Additionally, we talked about diet with Buckie (who has severe disabilities and a shortened lifespan because of previous malnutrition), showcased Angel as an excellent cockatoo pet (once again, if you're considering adding a cockatoo to your home, spend hours reading MyToos), and talked once again about Quaker Parakeets (we currently have almost 10 up for adoption).

We sold a lot of toys today - I think people waited until the last day of the Fair to purchase what they needed. We were amazed at the sales - good thing, too, a lot less to carry back. Once 6 p.m. came around, we packed up all our belongings, cleaned our area, and headed back to the shelter - until next year.

Again, the director of the barn applauded us on our professionalism and the way we handle both the birds and the crowds. We have been invited back next year and, of course, we graciously agreed to return.

Another great year at the Fair - we really were able to meet a lot of new people this year and spread the word about what we do and our knowledge of birds.

Hopefully in the next few weeks, we will have lots of new visitors at the shelter. We hope this translates into some of our adoptable birds finding good, lifelong homes.

Can't wait for the 2009 Wisconsin State Fair!

State Fair: Saturday 8/9/08

The birds at the Fair today were:
  • Peaches - 12 year old male Moluccan Cockatoo (adoptable)
  • Joey - 22 year old male U2 (our mascot)
  • Buddy - 17 year old Citron (alumnus)
  • Big Fred - 12 year old male M2 (alumnus)
  • Little Fred - 12 year old male U2 (alumnus)
  • Dolly - 8 year old female U2 (alumnus)
  • Boca - 4 year old female Bronze-Winged Pionus (alumnus)

We saw the biggest crowd yet at the Fair - could barely take a break today! Many people with many questions kept us busy all day.

The presentations were about cockatoos. One of our volunteers, C., talked about her experiences with taming down a cockatoo (Buddy) who had been living in a basement for quite some time and came to her very aggressive. She's had him for 6 months and he did great at the Fair today.

M. again told her cautionary tale about Fred getting outside and living in the trees for about a month. She did it last weekend too, but this is a story people who own birds should hear - it could happen to them at any time. These magnificent creatures rely on us to keep them safe, which means that we need to anticipate problems (such as a growing hole in a carrier) and rectify the situation before something tragic happens. Luckily Fred's story has a happy ending!

Getting the word out at the Fair helps us and the birds in many ways:

  • meeting people who had been considering buying a bird that decide to adopt one instead
  • selling our toy line (proceeds of which support the Center)
  • meeting teachers who book us in to come talk to their classes about bird care and conservation, allowing us to reach the younger generation with these important messages
  • meeting people who decide to volunteer at the Center
  • getting out the word that we exist so that in the future if someone hears about a parrot in suboptimal conditions (via a social situation, for example), they can point to us as a resource.

We get some surrenders in also, but that's okay, that's what we're here for. In an ideal world, with our focus on education, we can help to slow down the parrot rehoming cycle and perhaps put ourselves out of business! Until that happens, we persevere to try to improve the lives of captive parrots.

One more day at the Fair this year!

State Fair: Friday 8/8/08

The birds accompanying us to the Fair today were:

  • Sam - 14 year old female Quaker (alumnus)
  • Chica - 1 year old female cockatiel (adoptable)
  • Archie - 9 year old male congo african grey (adoptable)
  • Skylar - 10 year old female U2 (volunteers' bird)
  • Max - 12 year old male U2 (volunteers' bird)
  • Fergie - 10 month old male U2 (volunteers' bird)

I know I'm beginning to sound like an old record, but we had another beautiful day at the Fair. We have been so lucky this year! The crowds have been large and respectful.

Our presentations today were about how cockatiels and quakers, in the right environment, can be good family pets. Sam has some health issues that we also discussed. Additionally, one of our volunteer couples talked about what it's like living with six cockatoos and two canaries. They did an excellent job in describing what it's like to live with six "2 year olds". It was a lively and entertaining discussion. Once again, if anyone is even considering bringing a cockatoo into their home, please visit MyToos.

Again today, we were able to help some people with nutritional and behavioral problems with their birds. It is truly gratifying to have people light up when you tell them the problem isn't as bad as they think and we can help them. Most people don't want to give up, but some behavioral issues are hard to live with. That is my favorite part of the Fair - to help people keep their birds in their homes and to make it a more enjoyable atmosphere for the birds and their owners.

Two more days to go!

Friday, August 08, 2008

State Fair: Thursday 8/7/08

The birds accompanying us today were:

  • Stasch - 13 year old male Moluccan Cockatoo - volunteer's bird
  • Jill - 7 year old male Ringneck Dove - alumnus
  • Ellie - 4 year old female Iliger's Macaw - adoptable
  • Sweet Pea - 10 year old Quaker - volunteer's bird
  • Piper - 2 year old Quaker - alumnus

Again another beautiful day and the crowd was large. We met a lot of new folks who will hopefully come up and visit us at the Center in the next couple of weeks.

Our presentations today were about what wonderful pets doves can make for respectful young children and homebound people.

One of our volunteers also spoke about what great family pets Quakers can be. We told Stasch's abuse story and introduced Ellie as our adoptable bird of the day. Again, we had good crowds in the audience.

We do feel like we are making a difference as we are educating people who may not have computers or may not understand the complexities of bird ownership. We are seeing many more people with their birds on good diets and appropriate cage sizes and lots of toys to play with. We feel very privileged that we are invited year after year to join the dogs in the Animal Care Barn, to be able to tell our stories to the public, and to help educate people in the care of our feathered friends.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

State Fair: Wednesday 8/6/08

Today's birds included:

  • Lola - female U2 - age unknown - adoptable
  • Bisbee - male White Capped Pionus - 4 years old - adoptable
  • Cobalt - male BH Pionus - 4 years old - alumnus
  • Keowa - female Green Cheek Conure - 9 years old - adoptable
  • Burt - male Goffins - 25 years old - alumnus
  • Sam - male CAG - 4 years old - volunteer's bird

I know we've been saying this pretty much every day, but Wednesday was another awesome day at the Fair. The weather was perfect and the crowd was large. We sold lots of toys and bird-related articles today. The proceeds from all sales directly benefit the birds at the Center. We talked to many, many people and were able to help some with behavioral problems with their birds.

Our presentations today revolved again around abuse/neglect cases with Lola and Bisbee, the pet pros and cons of pionus, plucking with Burt, and one of our volunteers gave a little talk on Sam and how CARE helped teach her how to work with some of his phobias. Again we had good crowds and were able to speak to many people.

Again, our wood cutter/drillers came to help us at the booth - they are on vacation this week and also came to help us last Sunday. It is a pleasure to have them come down and help us out - they have pionus at home, so can talk to people about what it's like to have one as a pet.

We have had several emails coming in from people who saw us at the Fair wanting to volunteer. Our Volunteer Coordinator is handling those inquiries, and we are excited about that! This is great, as we are always in need of volunteers. If you are reading this and have five hours of time a month (or more) to spare, we'd love to have you come and volunteer. No bird experience is necessary; we will train you.

More tomorrow -- four more days for this year's State Fair!

State Fair: Tuesday 8/5/08

At the Fair today, we brought the following birds:

  • Katie - 16 year old female Moluccan Cockatoo - resident
  • Stasch - 13 year old male Moluccan Cockatoo - volunteer's bird
  • Izzy - 5 year old male Green Cheek Conure - alumnus
  • Sweet Pea - 10 year old female Quaker Parakeet - volunteer's bird
  • Piper - 2 year old female Quaker Parakeet - alumnus
  • Alice - 7 year old female Lovebird - alumnus

We had a great time at the Fair today! We were very busy all day long talking with people about birds -- there was almost as much traffic as on the weekends.

Although it was warm, the birds seemed to have a good time too -- a little misting never hurt anybody :) Amanda, one of our volunteers, is a professional photographer and took lots of pix today. We will get some posted here as soon as practicable.

Our presentations today were about Moluccan cockatoo behavior, as well as plucking and the Moluccan Mutilating Syndrome. Stasch is fully feathered and Katie is very plucked - looking at the two of them side by side created quite a stir with the audience.

We also discussed Quaker Parakeets again and the fact that they are banned in 14 states (due to their being able to acclimate to different climates), even though they can make wonderful pets.

Last, we spoke about Alice and her tumor and Izzy and how green cheeks can be great pets also.

We are seeing very good crowds this year at our presentations - 30-40 people at each one. This is way up from previous years. I see this as a wonderful way to help educate the public on the pros and cons of bird ownership.

It was a very good day.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

State Fair: Monday 8/4/08

Monday was another successful day at the Fair! Five birds came along:

  • Queenie - 17 year old Rose-Breasted Cockatoo -- resident
  • Cobalt - 4 year old Blue-Headed Pionus -- alumnus
  • Cisco - 23 year old Mexican Red-Headed Amazon -- up for adoption
  • Sam - 4 year old Congo African Grey
  • Burt -- 25 year old Goffin's Cockatoo -- alumnus

We actually shined the spotlight on Burt a few months ago on this blog; you can see him do a trick here.

Among the people representing CARE at the Fair today were some of our younger volunteers. Ranging in age from 11-16, they have been involved with CARE for between 4-8 years. Younger people are welcome to volunteer at the Center, as long as they're accompanied by a responsible adult. It's a fantastic way for a family to spend quality time together!

A picture of Queenie:
Monday's presentations were about the different species of birds we had at the Fair, and of course we focused on Cisco, who needs a forever home. Burt entertained the audience with his rolling over antics (which you can see in the video we linked to above), proving once again that you can teach an old bird new tricks! C. (one of our teenage volunteers) spoke to a group for the first time -- he talked about his volunteering experience with us at the shelter.

A Mexican Red-Headed Amazon (not Cisco, but of similar appearance):One really neat thing happened today. A member of one of the other groups in our building came over to us today and said she was phobic of birds and wanted to know if she could try to hold one. We let her hold Cobalt, a wonderfully tame pionus. She was so excited -- Coby even let her pet him -- it was awesome. A little later when we were packing up, she came back over with her friend and asked if they could take a pic of her holding a bird. Coby was already in his carrier, so we used Sam, the CAG. She was so excited - she said no one would ever believe she was holding a bird. Her excitement and the smile on her face were just a joy to behold. It was very rewarding to have given her her first bird holding experience - I doubt that it will be the last.

At CARE, we try to focus on education, and that was a wonderful opportunity to help someone overcome her fear of birds. Yea!

Monday, August 04, 2008

State Fair: Sunday 8/3/08

Sunday was another exhilarating day at the Fair!

We brought along a nice mix of residents, adoptable birds, and alumni. They included
  • Bisbee -- 4 years old -- White-capped Pionus
  • Joey -- 22 years old -- Umbrella Cockatoo
  • Shelby -- 7 months old -- Cape Parrot
  • Pretzel -- 8 years old -- female Quaker
  • Big Fred -- 10 years old -- Moluccan Cockatoo
  • Little Fred -- 10 years old -- Umbrella Cockatoo

The Freds are alumni and live in the same house. As you can imagine, it can get confusing; hence the modifiers of "Big" and "Little" before their names!

Since it was the weekend, there were 7 volunteers that came along.

Bisbee came to us several months ago. He was kept in a tiny cage, and had inadequate physical, psychological, and emotional care. We were told he was a vicious biter. After spending some time with us, we've found that nothing could be further from the truth! Bisbee is an adorable parrot that just needed someone that understood him. He stepped up for everyone, reveled in the attention, and is looking for his forever home!

Along with our normal presentation of the challenges of keeping birds in captivity, we had a cautionary tale. One of the volunteers, M., spoke about her experience last summer with Big Fred, a Moluccan Cockatoo. (This picture is not of Fred, but of another Moluccan Cockatoo that was in our facility).

Last summer, Big Fred got out of his carrier. He had chewed through the sides and M. didn't think that he could fit through the hole in the side. Was she ever surprised when he escaped and flew up in a tree! It took about a month to get him down. It was an interesting story and shows that accidents do happen. It's also a reminder to make sure that conditions are safe for your birds at all times -- they rely on us to protect them! Even birds with trimmed wings can fly away in the blink of an eye -- it only takes slight gust of wind and they can go quite far. CARE recommends only having birds outside when they are properly confined -- for example an outdoor cage, carrier, or harness.

Two of the volunteers that were with us on Sunday, B. and G., have been an incredible help with our toy-making. If you've been to the Center, you've seen all of the toys that we sell. We design and make many of them. All of the proceeds from the sale of toys and food go to support the Center. Our goal is to be self-sufficient and to not have to rely on the sometimes unsteady flow of donations. B. and G. have been purchasing, cutting, and drilling wood for our toys. Since they live over an hour away from CARE, this allows them to help out on a regular basis. Thanks!

Here is a picture of another Umbrella Cockatoo (not Fred). Unfortunately, I don't appear to have any pictures of the birds who went to the Fair Sunday on my computer!

And here is a quaker. Once again, not Pretzel, and Kelly, pictured below, has since found a home. We have many quakers currently up for adoption. Unfortunately, many people breed quakers because they are relatively inexpensive, so it doesn't take a lot of foresight or capital to set them up for breeding. This means that there is often a glut of quakers looking for homes. Additionally, they are illegal to keep as pets in many states.

If you are considering adding a bird to your house, please adopt from a shelter instead of supporting pet stores and breeders that are exacerbating the growing problem of homeless parrots.
If you are considering finding a new home for your parrot because of behavioral issues, please contact us. We may be able to help and would much rather work with you to provide a good home for your parrot than have to try to find another home.
Hope to see you soon!

State Fair: Saturday 8/2/08

Today was Alumni Day at our booth at the Fair.
We had several volunteers who brought their second-hand parrots along. These birds included:
  • Sydney -- Moluccan Cockatoo -- adopted three years ago
  • Marco -- Congo African Grey -- 4 years old -- adopted one year ago
  • Charmin -- Eclectus -- 4 years old -- adopted three years ago
  • Boca -- Bronze-winged Pionus -- 4 years old -- adopted three years ago
  • Addison -- Moluccan Cockatoo -- 3 years old -- adopted one year ago

Peaches, an 8 year old Moluccan Cockatoo currently up for adoption also came along.

We had a good time greeting lots of people - the weather was perfect and the crowd was huge. As usual, the birds were fantastic and let lots of people handle them. If a bird ever does not enjoy going to events like these, he or she is taken back home as we don't want to stress them out. Luckily, most birds love the new experiences and attention.

Our presentations were about the alumni, plus info about Moluccans and, of course, the fact that Peaches was available for adoption.

As we've mentioned here before, parrots are amazingly resilient, and it's wonderful to see how quickly they can adapt to new and improved living environments once they find the right home.

If anyone is interested in adopting Peaches, or in adding a cockatoo to their home, please first visit MyToos. (Please note that loud cockatoo screams are in the background of the first page of this site, so be careful if you're at work!) Cockatoos are wild animals requiring conditions that the average pet owner cannot provide and, as such, often face terrible neglect in captivity.

Marco:Addison:Peaches (up for adoption):
All in all, it was a very pleasant day and the birds (and volunteers) had a great time. Hope the weather holds for Sunday!

State Fair: Friday 8/1/08

Today we took Ellie, 4 year old female Iliger's Macaw, Lupe, 9-12 month old Quaker Parakeet, Lola, female U2 age unknown, and Buckie, 23 year old Mexican Red-Headed Amazon. Buckie is a resident as she has severe health problems due to previous neglect, needs frequent vet care due to this, and probably does not have a long life in front of her. The other three birds are up for adoption.

It was very warm today - we ended up misting the birds several times. Our talks today were about neglect with Buckie and Lola, birds coming from different animal welfare/control agencies with Lupe and Lola, and the trials and tribulations of owning a mini macaw. Again, we had good crowds in the stands.

We were able to help several people with behavioral problems they were having with their birds - it is very gratifying when we can help keep birds in their homes instead of having them be rehomed due to one or two disruptive behaviors. We would love nothing more than to be put out of business because there was no longer a need for parrot rescues. Unfortunately, the need keeps getting greater as more and more birds are being bred every year and sold to people who have no concept of how challenging it is to live with one of these wild animals.
It was a great day and these social creatures loved getting out and meeting so many new people!

Friday, August 01, 2008

State Fair: Thursday 7/31/08

Yesterday was the first day of Wisconsin's State Fair, and, as in past years, we will be set up throughout the entire run.

We are located in the Animal Care Barn (so stop and say hi if you're visiting the Fair!) -- the only non-dog group at this location.

Every day, we take a few different birds. They help to illustrate the talks we do on how parrots make difficult pets and the special needs they have (topics change daily). We also sell toys and food at the Fair, the proceeds from which support the birds at the Center.

Yesterday, our presentations were on neglect cases, so we brought the following birds:
  • Mango -- Ducorps Cockatoo
  • Scooter -- Lesser Sulfur Crested Cockatoo
  • Carmen -- Umbrella Cockatoo
  • Joey -- Umbrella Cockatoo

All of these birds have gone through significant neglect/abuse during their lives. The incredible resiliency of parrots gives us hope that they will be able to overcome their past and live happy lives with people who understand the special requirements of these majestic creatures!

Mango's story is posted here, for anyone who wants to see. We enlarged a picture of her taken on the day she was surrendered to us (just over a year ago). Visitors to the Fair got to then see her in person and were amazed at the transformation! This is the second time that Mango has been to public relations events, and she loves the attention!

This was the first time that Scooter was in public, but he did incredibly well! Scooter is about 6 years old, and lived the first part of his life in a tiny cage that would MAYBE be appropriate for a cockatiel. Since coming to stay with us, he has decreased the frequency of his neurotic behaviors, and we're hoping to find him a loving home to spend the rest of his life!
Joey, often referred to as CARE's mascot, is 22 years old. He suffered through beatings with a fly swatter and still can be nervous with hand motions above his head. Apart from that, he seems to have fully recovered from his ordeal and is a good example of a happy cockatoo.

We hope to see many of you out at the Fair and will update the blog with happenings!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Niko's ready for his new home!

We wrote earlier this year about Niko, a scared senegal who came to us from less-than-ideal conditions. He has been living in a foster home for the past several months, and is now ready for adoption!

Here's a picture of Niko shortly after he was surrendered to us:

His foster home writes:

It's been awhile since I've updated you on Niko -- it seems like he is
always doing something new.

I know some of the last pictures I
sent to you were somewhat blurry, but, he has completely grown all of his
chest feathers back. No more white, fuzzy patches, it's all green and orange.
His wings are completely feathered as well...he is still growing his primaries
in, and seems to be leaving them alone. He chewed off the ones that grew in
about a month ago, but seems to be leaving the current ones alone...the same
holds true for his tail feathers. He looks like a completely different bird!!!
(Editor's note: Parrots are so resilient! It's
amazing what a smoke-free
environment and proper diet can do!)

He still doesn't care to be
handled...when I do handle him, he gets stressed, and
crawls back into his
shell for awhile (sometimes a day or two).

I leave his door open
whenever we are home, and he has taken to sitting in his doorway and looking
around. When he sees my other parrot walking around on the floor, Niko looks
like he might try and fly down, but he isn't sure of himself yet. If he does get
to the point that he can fly, we will be sure to trim his flight feathers. He
has crawled around the outside of his cage, but has gotten scared when he has
done so. I think he is still testing the waters (so to speak) of the outside of
his cage.

He gets excited to see me (and my husband) when we come home
for work, or in the morning when he knows he is getting fresh "nummies". Even though he
isn't a people bird, I think he still enjoys having humans around. He still hops
around the bottom of his cage when he feels like being silly, and he will either
hang on the side of the cage, or sit in his doorway and flap his wings. When he
hops, or flaps his wings, I say "wheeeeee", and it seems to encourage him to do it

He loves my other parrot, but is sassy. I will hold my other
parrot up to Niko, and Niko will try to bite my other parrot (I always make sure
to keep distance between the two). Even though he tries to bite my other parrot,
he always watches what he is doing and tries to get as close as he can to him.
My other parrot still has no interest in Niko, which I suppose is good in that
it means he won't miss him too much when he does find a home.

certainly isn't the same bird that I brought home a couple of months ago.

That's it for now...I just wanted to update you on how Niko is doing.

If you can provide a home to Niko where he can be a bird and take things slowly, please stop by and we can make an arrangement for you to meet him. It's truly amazing to play a part in the transformation of a sad, terrified parrot into one with confidence and moxie!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Crackers: another testament to the resiliency of parrots

CARE recently had a blue-front amazon surrendered to us via another animal welfare organization. She was surrendered to them, but due to the special needs of parrots that they are unable to meet, dealing mostly with dogs and cats, she found her way to us.

The information provided on that organization's release form is heartbreaking. Crackers's family went on vacation, and they left her alone, tethered to a perch as she didn't have a cage. They left the food dish out of her reach. Survival instinct kicked in, and she amputated her own left leg in order to get to food.
Crackers has adapted extremely well to her disability. She is afraid of hands, but is stick trained, and willingly steps up on a stick when offered. She uses her stump to manipulate food in her dish so she can eat.
Crackers loves playing with toys, and makes many fun noises. She is very interested in other birds and displayed to a greenwing macaw we currently have for adoption.
Like many amazons, she loves bathing and water. Here she is after her soaking:
And a short video of her bath -- sorry for the poor picture quality. An amazon enjoying her bath is one of the most entertaining sights! Crackers has lifted the feathers on her head so that the water can penetrate down to her skin, and she uses her wings to rub the water in further.

Crackers is not currently up for adoption as we have to wait for her vet check, but she will be soon. We are looking for a home that will recognize her special needs and help her live a long, healthy, happy life -- after all, she's only 10, so she has decades of love left in her!

Because she has to put constant pressure on her one good leg, she will benefit from soft perches and platforms. She also will need a patient owner that will help her learn to trust and love humans again.

What a survivor!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Budgies desperately seeking homes!

As we've mentioned in previous posts, we have many budgies up for adoption. Through June 30, we had 73 budgies surrendered to us, and we had some still in residence that had been surrendered in 2007.

While they have been living happily in a cage we turned into an aviary that was donated by Cages By Design, we really need to find them homes. We are no longer able to accept any budgie surrenders as we are starting to see aggression in the aviary due to the large number of budgies.

We have temporarily reduced the adoption fee for untame budgies to $0. If you've been thinking about adding some happy budgie chatter to you life, the time has never been better! We have over 50 budgies that are looking for new homes.

Of course you'll need to fill out an adoption application, bring in an appropriately set up budgie cage (specs below), and purchase quality food! Two budgies can then be yours at no cost. These budgies will be same sex as there is already a budgie overpopulation problem. We can also help you set-up a proper cage if you stop by.


cage at least 18"x18"x23"
at least 3 different types of perches or 2 types of perches plus a boing
at least 5 different toys (ex. bells, wood, leather, acrylic, including 2 destructibles)
quality food (ex. Goldenfeast seed, Zupreem pellets, Harrison's pellets, etc.)

This offer does not extend to tame budgies - only the cage pets.

Budgies can make a delightful addition to your home. They are full of personality and joie de vivre. Their happy chatter can brighten even the darkest day. These little guys are just looking for the right caring homes to come along and allow them to live their happy lives!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Surrenders for Jan-Jun 2008

During the first half of 2008, CARE has had a very busy year with surrendered birds. Like many rescue facilities around the country, we are stretched very thin and are unable to accept new surrenders at this time.

The 215 birds surrendered break down as follows:

4 Greys
6 Amazons
73 Budgies
3 Canaries
29 Cockatiels
12 Cockatoos
13 Conures
14 Doves
2 Eclectus
22 Finches
5 Lovebirds
9 Macaws
14 Parakeets (Quakers and Ringnecks)
2 Senegals
1 Parrotlet
5 Pionus
1 Rosella

We are gearing up for our appearance at State Fair, which is a great opportunity for us to educate the public about the difficulties involved in keeping parrots as pets. Unfortunately, many people see us at the Fair and decide to surrender their parrot. We try to work with people as much as possible with behavioral consulting to help make life better for the parrot in its current home, but not everyone is open to that.

We hope that everyone reading this will give their bird(s) some extra attention and love as they consider the parrots that aren't so lucky.

If you're looking to add to your flock, please consider a rescue bird. Many birds have no behavior problems other than the fact that they are wild animals trying to live in our living rooms. Intense bonds can be formed with an older parrot!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Budgies surrendered

On Saturday, we had four budgies surrendered to us. They were emaciated; two of them in particular were very thin and probably close to starvation. We gave them millet to eat (along with budgie food) and they devoured their food.

After several hours of eating and drinking, they relaxed on their perches and were even playing with their toys.

We currently have many budgies up for adoption. These guys are so often considered throwaway pets, and don't receive the consideration they deserve. They can be great companions!

If you've been thinking about adding a budgie to your flock, stop by and we can help you find the perfect one.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A dove invasion!

If you've been to the Center lately, you may have noticed that it seems like doves are taking over! We currently have 10 doves up for adoption, including 6 that were found abandoned in a Chicago apartment.

Fiona, pictured below, was one of the abandoned ones. As you can see, the right side of her face was attacked, most likely by another bird. However, she is incredibly sweet and does not suffer any hardships because of her injury.

How could someone abandon these adorable creatures?
Luckily, these guys found their way here, en route to finding their forever home!
If you have room in your house and heart for a dove or two, please stop by.
Doves can make great pets. They are nowhere near as demanding as parrots, and are unable to bite (a big bonus!) The cooing sounds can be very peaceful.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Alumni update: Piper and Bopper

These two birds (can you see them both?) were adopted from CARE several years ago and now reside with one of our dedicated volunteers.
Bopper, the red-lored amazon that is most prominent in this picture, was surrendered in 2004, on the hectic day that we moved to our new location in Hubertus.

She is missing many of her feathers and has a shortened lifespan due to the severe nicotine poisoning she endured in her previous home. However, she has a fantastic personality and keeps her owner laughing with various beeping and ringing sounds.

Piper is the quaker on Bopper's left (he's hard to see!) They became friends after meeting at their new house. All of their interactions are supervised due to their size difference!

On a separate note, CARE is full of adoptable parrots. Click here to see our list on petfinder. In particular, we have many doves, which can make great pets. We'll highlight some of them in an upcoming entry.

If you've been thinking about adding a parrot to your family, now might be the perfect time! We can work with you to find the right companion for your home.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lexy the Eclectus

Lexy is a 7 year old female eclectus that was recently released to CARE. We have done a complete vet workup, but all of her results were normal.
Our vet thinks she may have thyroid issues, so she will be going in this Friday for a thyroid workup. If that's the case and we get it under control, she may grow her feathers back.
Eclectus parrots can be difficult to properly care for in captivity. They tend not to do well on a diet of pellets and require a lot of fresh food. Land of Vos is one of the best eclectus website out there if you want to learn more about these magnificent creatures.

Lexy is not currently up for adoption, as we need to find out the results of her thyroid testing and work to transform her diet. However, she will be looking for a new home once her health improves.