Thursday, December 10, 2009

Power outage update -- crisis averted!

Yesterday late morning the power went out. Luckily, we had received a grant from petfinder to purchase a generator earlier this year, so the birds were not affected by this. (Yes, I did link petfinder to CARE's adoptable animals page; however, you can use this amazing website to find pretty much any kind of animal that needs a new home!)

However, with temps (including windchill) expected to get to around negative 20, we did not want to chance having the birds depending on a generator for heat overnight. Time to put our disaster preparedness plan into action!

Lori called about 10 of our volunteers, and every single one stepped up and agreed to take in some birds in temporary cages until power was restored. Sher and Lori spent the day making sure that each bird had a temporary cage or carrier set up with toys, so that if it became necessary to get birds to volunteers, they could quickly be placed in their temporary home, since light would be waning.

We had been told that if power wasn't restored by 3 pm Wednesday, it likely wouldn't be restored until noon on Thursday. A little after 3, Lori called the volunteers and asked them to come up to get their temporary houseguests. What a nice surprise when the power went back on around 3:15 pm! The volunteers were called and told they were not needed, but thanked profusely.

As always, Lori and Sher were so thankful for the amazing volunteers CARE has. As an all-volunteer organization, we depend on people giving their time to help the parrots, and we're lucky to have great, dedicated people willing to help with little notice.

Though we didn't end up having to displace any of the parrots, even temporarily, it was a great exercise showing the effectiveness of our disaster preparedness. Should there be a next time, things will go even more smoothly.

One thing we did realize is that we do not have enough carriers to transport all of the parrots in our care. This wouldn't have been an issue yesterday since volunteers were willing to use their carriers; however, if we needed to do a large-scale evacuation, those carriers would be in use with the volunteers' birds.

Lori will be adding this to our wish list, but we need more carriers, in all sizes, preferable collapsible so that they're not taking up too much room when not in use.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Power outage

CARE has suffered a power outage today. We have a back-up generator running so the birds will be fine. We have been told that the power will go back on either by 3 pm this afternoon or by noon tomorrow.

We'll keep you updated!

Friday, December 04, 2009


Oscar is an approximately 30 year old gold capped conure. While it appears as though he was loved and well taken care of during the first part of his life, the past few years were not as kind to him.

From the story we were told, Oscar's owner developed health problems that prevented him from being allowed out of his cage for about 6 years. Then, after his owner died, he was left alone in the house for several months with someone coming by to feed him several times a week. For a social, flock animal, this kind of isolation is terrifying! (In the wild, a lone bird is usually soon a dead bird.)Oscar has a very sweet personality, and when he was surrendered to CARE, we placed him on a perch. Curious and exploring his new surroundings, he walked right off the end of the perch! Over the past few years, Oscar had gone blind and no one knew.

He received a thorough vet examination, and our wonderful vet said he is completely blind in one eye and can see only vague shadows out of the bottom of his other eye. His bloodwork showed nutritional deficiencies.

He didn't enjoy his time at the Center -- things were too chaotic for him. We found him a wonderful hospice home where things are much quieter. 30 is near the upper age limit for this kind of bird, so he probably doesn't have too much longer to live. But the last months or years of his life will be spent with people who love him, just like we think those first years were.

Thursday, December 03, 2009


Maddie is a greenwing macaw who stayed with us several months last winter and this spring. She has since found a home, but I just found this video again and realized I never posted it!

A few days prior to this video, one of our volunteers started banging a pen against the cash register in an unthinking gesture. Imagine everyone's surprise when Maddie joined in!

We're recreating that moment, here.

One of the joys of working with these intelligent animals is discovering keys to their past. Did someone teach Maddie this in her past? Or did she come up with it on her own? In any case, it was absolutely adorable!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


Meet Freckles, a cockatiel. Freckles was dropped off at the Domes as a "donation." After her former owner was information that the Domes can't take animal surrenders, her former owner argued with the employees at the Domes, set the paper bag in which Freckles was placed on the counter, and ran out of the Domes!

And with that interaction, Freckles's luck began to change! She lived for a few weeks with a wonderful Domes employee, until arrangements were made for her to come to CARE. During her short stint in her foster home, Freckles calmed down and showed her gentle personality.

Now we're looking for a permanent home for Freckles! Cockatiels can make wonderful companions, and whoever adopts Freckles will have a friend for years to come.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Scooter is a lesser sulfur crested cockatoo. He's about 7 years old. As far as we know, Scooter spent the first 5 years of his life in an 18" X 18" cage -- much too small for a cockatoo, even a small too like Scooter!

A woman purchased him at a flea market. She already owned a cockatiel and thought it would be cool to also own a cockatoo. After all, how much extra work could a too be than a tiel? (If you're thinking about getting a too, you must visit MyToos to see exactly how a too is different! Beware -- cockatoo screams start up when you go to that website, so be careful if you're at work!)

Less than a week later, she surrendered Scooter to us, after he bit her, and she realized that perhaps she'd bitten off more than she could chew. Cockatoos are wild animals and are not suitable companions for most homes.
We placed Scooter in a home, but his new owner started showing allergies and couldn't keep him. They tried selling him on craigslist. However, our adoption contract clearly states that any bird adopted from us must be returned if he can't be kept. We try very hard to place birds in homes where they can stay for the rest of their life; however, we know that isn't always possible due to changing circumstances. For that reason, we insist that all birds be returned to us so that we can do screening of homes and try to find the best home possible -- to try to stop the cycle of these parrots being sold from home to home.
To make a long story short, Scooter is back at the Center and once again looking for a new home. He hopes that this time, he'll be lucky and find someone who will take good care of him for the rest of his life!

Friday, November 27, 2009


Meet Peaches -- due to her name, you probably thought we'd be introducing you to a Moluccan Cockatoo, but Peaches is a Blue and Gold Macaw!

Isn't she gorgeous?
Peaches has a very sad story, and we don't even know most of it. She's wildcaught. We have no idea how old she is, but our best guess is that she's in her 40s.
She is arthritic, wobbly, and not in the best of health. She had a severe scissor beak that we fixed so that she can once again eat normally. She also had not been unsheathing and preening her tail feathers, so we helped her with that as well. In just a week with us, her health has improved considerably. We're working on converting to her to great diet and teaching her to play with toys.
The person who surrendered her told us that a child poked her left eye out with a stick. As you can see, she is missing her eye, though we have no way to verify that story. Her right eye is not much better, and we suspect she is mostly blind. She appears to be able to see some light/dark shadows, but her remaining eye does not pin as a macaw's eye should.Peaches is not yet up for adoption, as we need to get her on a better diet and stabilize her health. However, we are already looking for the perfect home for her, once she gets to that point.

In the past, our volunteers would often take home birds like Peaches -- the birds who needed hospice care. However, as we've had more birds in these circumstances released to us, it is no longer possible as the volunteers' homes are filling up. Also, once they receive care, these resilient birds amaze us with their ability to live years longer than originally thought, which is great, but requires more homes able to care for these special-needs birds!It's more difficult for us to place larger special needs birds, like macaws and cockatoos. It's not that difficult to find a home that has room for one more special-needs budgie or conure, but the space requirements of large macaws and cockatoos make it more challenging.

If you are interested in meeting Peaches and perhaps providing her a wonderful last few years to her life, she'd love to meet you!

Friday, November 20, 2009


Lemon is a lesser sulfur crested cockatoo that was surrendered to us several months ago. He had been a loved companion until his owner got married.

Since Lemon had been raised in a way that made him think he was this person's mate, he was understandably upset by the intrusion of someone else into his household who acted as though she was his mate's mate! What about Lemon?

Lemon responded by attacking this interloper, and who can blame him? Sadly for Lemon, this resulted in him being locked in his cage for years, in order to protect the humans from his bites.

Here he is the day he was surrendered to CARE. One of our volunteers was drinking water from a bottle. Lemon begged for some. Who knows if it reminded him of being syringe-fed as a baby, or whether his previous companion shared his water bottle? In any case, Lemon was starved for attention!
Lemon found his home this week, with a family that understands that cockatoos need to be treated as part of the family and not as decorations.

Lemon is yet another example of why it's important to not treat companion parrots as though they are mates. This just sends mixed signals to the parrot, and often results in aggressive behaviors towards the human's actual mate. That, in turn, often leads to birds being passed from home to home, or locked in their cages for months or years. Additionally, in females, this can lead to egg-binding or other potentially fatal conditions.

Some ways humans encourage this mate bond include petting their parrots on their backs or under their tails, and allowing regurgitation, vent-rubbing, or tail-lifting while the bird is perched on the human. Instead, confine your petting to the neck and higher. If your parrot begins to show breeding behavior, don't reinforce it. Just set the parrot down and walk away giving him time to cool down.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Adams County hoarder -- help needed

We realize this is the second non-bird post in two days, but these are unusual circumstances and we'd like to help out as much as possible.

Lori received this e-mail today:
I don't know if all of you have seen the tv coverage on the hoarder bust up in Adams/Friendship but it's a bad one. 37 dogs, tons of rabbits, two horses, guinea pigs, was bad. I'm working on coordinating the relief effort for the shelter with Lori Fowler of Wisconsin Dog Rescue. If any of you are in the area, they can use rabbit food and bedding and cages. They also will need money!

I'm pasting in the link to their home page where they have a Donate Now button through PayPal (if you donate, note on the comments section that you're doing it as a WI Chi Rescue member so Christina knows) and you can also do an internet search for the stories. I was up there this past Sunday doing triage and documenting the abuse with the staff of Shelter from the Storm. It was bad to say the least. All the animals are still court evidence at this time and cannot be moved from where they are or released to rescue groups. The first court date is set at Dec. 12 but we're hoping the costs of caring for all the animals will make the owners relinquish them. This is a very very small rural shelter with only one full time person on staff.

Christina Ackerman is the director and is working her tail off along with three part-time staffers. They are doing an incredible job. If you are close enough to go and volunteer some time cleaning cages, feeding animals, whatever, please let me know and we'll put you on the schedule. Don't call the shelter though...they are not answering the phones as they don't have the manpower and it's just too much for them right now. Thanks!

CARE has worked with Christina Ackerman (the director) in the past -- she has sent birds down to us so they could receive the specialized care birds need and that most shelters, geared towards dogs and cats, are unable to provide. She's a fantastic woman, and we'd like to help her help these animals.

Lori has a trip planned to that area sometime next week and would be able to drop off any donations you may have. Here is a link to their normal wish list, and as listed above, they need rabbit food, bedding, and cages. If you have any physical items to donate, please drop them off at CARE and Lori will bring them with her.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Greyhounds in Need

This isn't the typical "grey" posting you'd normally see here (ours being normally of the African and avian variety), but we'd like to help get the word out, given the unusual circumstances and large amount of placements that we hope will happen.

As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported last week, Dairyland Greyhound Park in Kenosha, Wisconsin is closing shortly, leaving many greyhound dogs without homes.

Please contact Greyhound Pets of America - Wisconsin if you have the space in your home and heart for one. Here is some additional information on what they're like as pets.

Perky -- another happy story

What a wonderful week we've had in terms of updates from parrots we've placed! Perky is a sulfur-crested cockatoo that was particularly challenging to place. He had severe aggression issues and we needed to find exactly the right home for him. This was a case where the bird really needed to pick his person instead of the other way around.

Perky made a good choice, as the person he picked was interested in adopting him!

Here is an update we recently received, along with this picture:

As I am E-mailing, Perky is in the cage right next to me. He is doing fantastic! He is so soft and fluffy now; remember how he had no downys at all before?

He and my Congo African Grey talk back and forth. I have never put them together as I do not want to risk any physical aggression between the two, but they like being side by side in their cages. One of their more humorous interactions comes when my CAG says, "What's your name?" and he replies "Perky Bird!" They also exchange a lot of hellos (what polite and gracious parrots I have!).

He is out with me most of the day when I am home. I'm still trying to figure him out and what triggers his screaming. But, from what I hear about Toos, it's just something they do. And I'm lucky because he doesn't do it that much, just occasionally.

He'll also yell, "Bye Bye!" and I really think it's when he wants to be alone.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Niko Update

Over the past year and a half, we've occasionally posted updates about Niko, a senegal parrot who was surrendered to us in deplorable conditions. Here are those posts.

We are very happy to report that Niko found a wonderful forever home! Here is what his new family wrote to us:

Niko gets to see a nice variety of weather out his window. He has a very large cage. It is 30 inches wide and 20 inches deep, and 36 inches tall, plus it sits on a stand, so the top of the cage is at 61 inches tall. He gets to look out a sliding glass door and loves all the birds at the feeders in the back yard.

He still plucks his feathers and looks mostly like down. Mid-Summer he actually let all of his feathers grow back, just like a senegal should look. He was really beautiful!!!! I should have taken photos of him then, but I guess I thought he'd stay that way. Towards later summer he plucked them out again. I don't care though as long as he's happy.

He has a lot of perches and boings to climb on. I did this especially since he doesn't have feathers in his wings to fly, so he climbs around. He is a really good eater and
I love giving him a variety of seeds and nuts. You're right in that he loves almonds!!

He has his daily schedule of things to do for the day as well. First thing in the morning, he is very sleepy when I take his cover off his cage. His head is down like he's praying his morning prayers. So cute. Soon he's bright eyed and bushy tailed and making what I call his morning calls. He calls out to the birds outside perhaps. He makes the house very cheery in the morning. I really love hearing his morning chirps and tweets (and some screechy notes thrown in) as he's just so happy!! A couple times during the day he likes to nap.

When I come home, he sees me through the glass and usually greets me with a certain call that sounds like a couple trucks screeching to a halt, and I really love that as well. I come right over to his cage to greet him properly as well!!

My mother has moved in with me as she started with mild ahlzeimers, and she loves him as well. I also have 2 dogs, a basset hound and a shih tzu. So the bird and dogs keep her busy when I'm at work. When I come home, she always has some stories about all that went on during the day, and often it's Niko she talks about.

At night, he loves to watch TV with us and especially likes the noisy parts of the shows and especially music. He loves to add his notes and it's really funny to listen to him and how happy he is being part of the nightly entertainment!! ha!!

My step nephew and neices came up with the nick name of "Firecracker" as that's just what he sounded like they said. That fits him also.

So, I wanted to let you know all is well with little Niko. He is happy and well in his new forever home, and, he is most certainly loved here and thoroughly enjoyed!!!

Hope this finds you well and doing good also.

Thanks for taking such good care of him before us.

Blessings.... and a BIG THANK YOU to you from NIKO !!!!

We LOVE getting reports like these. It's what makes everything worth it. When we first met him, he was terrified and we could not get the smell of cigarette smoke off of him. His foster home did a wonderful job of getting him to trust people again, which ultimately paved the way for him to finally find happiness.

What a great report!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Help us out while you search

Here's an easy way that you can help support the Center while surfing the Internet!

We are registered on GoodSearch, which means that every time you use that as your search engine (after choosing us as your charity, of course), we can receive some money for our operations.

Start your holiday shopping at GoodShop, and help us out even more!

There is also a toolbar you can download to make things even easier to use GoodSearch.

The volunteers and birds thank you!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Saturday scenes

Last Saturday, like most Saturdays, was a busy one at the Center. Towards the end of the day, many of the volunteers found themselves hanging out at the front of the store. Two parrots had gone home today to loving -- and hopefully permanent -- homes.

As I looked around, I realized that all of the volunteers was hanging out with a bird. As it should be, as these birds crave attention! I had a grey on my lap, but didn't take her picture.The cockatoo and eclectus in these pictures are up for adoption. Hopefully they too will soon have the joy of joining a family!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sheboygan Meet & Greet

This Saturday (September 26) and Sunday (September 27), from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., CARE is having a Meet and Greet in Sheboygan at 1513 N. Fifth St.

There will be a brat fry both days, sales of used cages and accessories, and we will also be showing our line of toys. The toys will be discounted 10% both days.

On Sunday, Lori will be there with Joey and some parrots who are up for adoption. She will also be available for grooming. Prices will be $5.00 for small birds, $7.50 for medium birds and $10 for large birds. All proceeds for the weekend will benefit CARE and the birds.

If you have any questions, please call 920-452-8057 and ask for Mary.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Ten budgies, some of whom are pictured here, were recently surrendered to us. They were owned by a single mother and her disabled adult son -- his pride and joy. They are absolutely gorgeous and obviously well-cared for.

Unfortunately, they are losing their home to foreclosure and were unable to keep these little jewels.

Though often overlooked, budgies can make great family pets! If you'd like to adopt one, please stop by to see if one may be a match for you!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Waiting List

CARE currently has a waiting list with 40 birds on it. 23 of those are budgies and tiels, which don't require much space, but the rest are cockatoos, amazons, and greys.

We have some really wonderful adoptable birds available right now. If you've been thinking about adding a new friend to your house, now might just be the time! When we adopt out some of the birds currently at our facility, that will open up space for the ones waiting to be surrendered.

For smaller birds, we have very nice cockatiels and lovebirds available, and a blue parrotlet.

For medium birds, we have very nice quakers and conures.

For large birds, we have very nice macaws, cockatoos, and amazons.

Many of the birds surrendered to us do not have severe behavioral problems. They were just unlucky enough to land with a family that either didn't understand what having a parrot was all about, or a family whose changing circumstances left them unable to care for their parrot. When given another chance in an understanding family, they can become fantastic companions!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Sasha & Kellie's new home

Sasha and Kellie, two of our resident aratinga conures that we've written about before, have a new cage. They were very happy to be moved into a new home with slightly larger floor space since that means room for more boxes! You can see them hanging out on the floor in this picture.

When the Center is closed, they like to hang out on the play gym on the left side of their cage. These guys are little clowns with a zest for life. Some of their favorite things to do include chewing up egg cartons, chewing up soda boxes, and playing peek-a-boo with volunteers.

Sasha actually has quite the vocabulary, though he usually talks only when no people are in the aviary. When people are around, he prefers to squawk!

As we've written before, when Sasha was surrendered to us, about 7 years ago now, he was in such bad shape that we didn't think he'd survive to see the end of the year. But he's surprised us all with his spirit! Vet care, proper diet, and perhaps most importantly, a friend, have improved his life immensely. He shows no signs of slowing down and brings joy to many visitors and volunteers.

Monday, June 29, 2009

CARE will be closed Saturday, July 4

CARE will be closed to the public on Saturday, July 4. Don't worry, though, volunteers will still be coming in to make sure the birds' needs are taken care of and they'll get some special treats to celebrate the holiday.

For your enjoyment, here are a few of the more patriotically-colored birds that have passed through our facility:

Monday, June 22, 2009


Meet Daphne, an incredibly sweet senegal parrot. Daphne was found flying outside, a stray bird. Luckily she was brought to animal control -- a move that likely saved her life since parrots like Daphne can't survive long outside in our climate.

We don't know why Daphne was outside. Perhaps she escaped; perhaps she was let go when her caretakers tired of her (you'd be surprised how frequently that happens, which often means a terrifying death for these tropical birds).

Extensive work was done to try to reunite her with her family, to no avail. If someone was looking for her, she would have been found. Given her gentle personality, it seems likely that she was loved and treated with kindness at some point in her life. We're hoping to bring that to her again by finding her a home where she will be safe.

Daphne is suffering from a mouth infection, so she won't be up for adoption until she gets a clean bill of health -- probably in about a month.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

2008 in review

2008 was another busy year for CARE. 366 animals (mostly birds) were surrendered to us. That's exactly one for every day of the year (it was a leap year!)The breakdown is as follows:

8 African greys
14 Amazons
83 Budgies
10 Canaries
49 Cockatiels
18 Cockatoos
23 Conures
15 Doves
3 Eclectus
73 Finches
2 Lories
12 Lovebirds
13 Macaws
23 Parakeets
1 Parrotlet
11 Pionus
2 Poicephalus
1 Rosella
1 Polish Chicken
2 Bearded Dragons
1 Iguana
1 Leopard Gecko

So far this year, we've seen no signs of things slowing down. We have many wonderful birds currently up for adoption.As always, if you're thinking of adding a bird to your home, consider adoption. Many of the birds surrendered to us do not have major behavioral issues. They were just unlucky enough to land in a home that didn't understand all that having a parrot entails.
Thanks again to all of our volunteers, donors, and customers for helping us to remain open. These birds are getting second, third, or more, chances because of you.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Introducing Charlie

Anyone who's visited CARE in the past 7 months may recognize Charlie, a beautiful female blue-and-gold macaw, pictured here. Note this is not the same Charlie who spent much of 2004-2005 with us before finding a wonderful home and who will still occasionally accompany CARE on educational outings. This Charlie's story is much more tragic.Before she was surrendered here, she was living in an attic. Not surprisingly, she was in a too-small cage, had no toys, and fed an inadequate diet.

We noticed there was something wrong with her almost immediately -- she couldn't put any weight on. As always, we vetted her right away and found that she had symptoms of aspergillosis plus she had something in her ventriculus. We did a barium series and the barium wouldn't move through, which meant surgery. As you probably know, surgery is extremely risky in birds and we weren't sure whether she'd make it through the anesthesia.

She had her surgery and our vet found lots of pieces of food impacted in her ventriculus. Our amazing vet removed it all and stitched Charlie back up. She then was put on antibiotics for one month and anti-fungals for two months.

Her weight continued to decline. It was very noticeable just looking at her; her keel was razor-sharp and protruded. We did everything we could to fatten her up. She went through a period of gaining weight, only to lose it shortly after.

Once she was off all of the medications, she started to gain some weight back. However, she still didn't appear completely healthy. It was time for her recheck anyway, so we returned to the vet with the feeling that something was still not quite right.

Our vet scoped her and found that her air sacs are very badly scarred, probably due to living in a home with smokers. There is nothing that can be done about this; we just have to make sure she goes to a completely non-smoking home. Everything else looked good and she has been released from vet care and is ready to go to her new home.

She may always be on the thin side, but the most important thing for her is "absolutely no cigarette smoke." Even better would be a home with an air cleaner and without dusty birds (cockatoos, greys, etc.)

It's sad that she's had to go through what she's gone through because someone didn't know enough to keep her out of an attic (basements too) and smoked around her. We know how bad smoking is for humans, can you imagine what it does to a bird's air sacs and lungs? There's truth in the phrase "canary in a coal mine."

Finally, though, after six months of two surgeries and medications, we can find Charlie a good home. If you think that might be you, please stop by to meet her!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Cleo & Henry Update

The last we'd left the drama of Cleo and Henry, they'd started sharing a cage, but Cleo was still grieving Millie. For several weeks, there was no agression between Cleo and Henry, but neither was there true affection. They were basically cohabiting.

Everything changed late last week.

Cleo and Henry started allopreening, sitting on the same perch, and attempting to be near each other as often as possible.

They aren't yet as close as Millie and Cleo were, but we're hoping that, with time, they'll get there.

It was heartbreaking watching Cleo grieve and not be able to do anything to cheer him up.

Cleo and Henry need to stay together; they will either be adopted out or will stay with us if we can't find the right home.

They're looking for a home that will just allow them to be birds. They have each other and prefer their own company to that of humans.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Pauly, a wild caught blue-fronted amazon, was surrendered to us about three weeks ago.

After living in the same home for 15 years, his owner moved overseas and couldn't take him along. Pauly lived in a cockatiel-sized cage and was fed only seed.

As we do with all our larger birds, we had him to the vet for a wellness exam and bloodwork. His liver enzymes and bile acids were the highest we've ever seen in a bird. These results were caused by the poor diet he was on in the past. Our vet also did x-rays and, finally, a liver biopsy. When she called after the biopsy, she reported that the liver was orange and crumbly (it should be smooth and purplish). The pathology came back with a diagnosis of fatty liver disease and cirrhosis of the liver.
This diagnosis means that Pauly's time with us is now very limited. His poor diet has virtually turned his liver into fat and what is left is in bad shape. One day his liver will cease to function and he will literally fall off his perch dead.

We have a wonderful volunteer who is willing to take Pauly into her home for the last days/weeks/months of his life. Pauly, by all rights, should be living to be 50-60 years old. He is probably now in his early 20s. It's just a shame that a person can have a pet for so many years and never take the time to learn how to properly care for it. We will never understand that logic (or lack thereof).

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Alumni story: Sage

As we mention to adopters as they leave with their new flock member, and as we've said on this blog numerous times, we love getting updates about our former residents!

Our goal is to place every parrot into a home where they will receive the love, care, and attention they deserve. It's so nice to receive confirmation when that happens!

Sage is an Indian Ringneck Parakeet that was adopted from us.

Her owner sent these pictures, along with the following update:

She is a total ham, and easily has the biggest personality of all of my birds. She also out-talks my Amazon, and is an absolute chatter box.

She now lets people pet her which surprises even me! My Dad comes over and takes video of her, he likes her so much.

She was in BirdTalk magazine a few months back (I think it was Jan 09) in the Watch The Birdie page. Did you see her?! The little star;) She is very happy, healthy and well adjusted. She is super active, and a big acrobat. I can't understand how someone would have wanted to give her away. She is such a little charmer!

Stories like this are part of why we continue to do what we do. Previously unwanted and unappreciated, Sage landed in a wonderful home where she flourishes.

What a beauty! I love the nuances of color; especially on her wings and head!

So often people think that birds in rescues have problems that preclude them from being happy, loving companions. As most people reading this know, that couldn't be further from the truth!

Friday, May 01, 2009

Peaches & Cleo Update

The biopsy results came back on Peaches and everything is negative. He is doing very well in his foster home!

Cleo is still mourning Millie. He spent most of last week Friday and Saturday sitting in a box, not wanting to play or to eat.

We introduced Henry to Cleo, and the two elderly conures are showing signs they'll become fast friends.

Finally, we have some good news around here -- let's hope that continues!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dancing Amazons

One of our volunteers made this video of two of her amazons dancing, singing, and whistling.

A nice reminder to take some time out of your day to enjoy and have fun with your parrots!

Their owner was diagnosed with alveolitis and had to rehome some of her birds. CARE helped to find a few birds homes with volunteers. Rio boarded with us on a long-term basis until Rio went to a sanctuary.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Millie update

Our string of bad luck continues. We hope to soon have happier reports to make on this blog.

Millie was euthanized today. We noticed that his lower beak was protruding in a way that was interfering with his ability to eat and play. He'd previously had three non-cancerous growths surgically removed from under his chin, and had recovered quite well, with the help of Cleo.

This time, the growth in his mouth went from under his tongue to down his pharynx -- there was no hope and he was euthanized while under anesthetic.

Cleo, his companion of about two years, is grieving. They were together constantly and got along famously. We're hoping that we can work to introduce Henry to Cleo and that those two conures can begin a similar relationship.

We're also hoping that things start to improve. We've lost too many special birds lately.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Peaches, a male M2, recently went to the vet as we were troubled by the fact that he hadn't been eating much. Our vet did a barium series and found what we suspect to be two masses. He will have surgery tomorrow (we'll keep you updated).

Peaches is just the latest Center bird that has had relatively severe medical problems in the recent past. In addition to Peaches, the following birds have had surgery in 2009: Millie (mitred conure), Charlie (B&G macaw), and Louie (U2).

Additionally, three birds have been surrendered to us with aspergillosis. Each bottle of medication costs us $125. These extraordinary vet costs are above and beyond the well bird checkups that birds receive while in our care, and our outstanding balance at the vet has been averaging around $2,000.

We are very fortunate that our vet gives us a huge discount on her services; otherwise, we would have had to shut our doors long ago.

If you are able to make a tax-deductible donation to help us defray these medical costs, we would very much appreciate it. You can mail a check to us at:

3053 Beechwood Industrial Court
Suite 1
Hubertus, WI 53033

If you'd prefer to send a check directly to our vet's office, please contact us through our website and we can make that happen as well.

Thank you to everyone who has donated time and money to our organization over the years. The birds really appreciate it, even though they may not always express it!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Mango update

We have some very sad news to report regarding Mango, the Ducorps cockatoo whose story can be found here.

Mango was found this morning profusely bleeding by our feeding volunteers. Lori rushed her down to the Center's avian vet. Sadly, she had mutilated herself to the point that we could no longer help her. The osteoma had just grown too large; it was the growth of this osteoma that most likely was the catalyst for her latest mutilation. So we made the humane (but still tough) decision to euthanize her.

It's a sad, sad day, but at least Mango's last couple of years were full of love, good food, wood toys, and attention. We will all miss her terribly, but she will soon be back in the boarding room on our shelf of dearly departeds.

What makes this even tougher is that she'd been making such progress and was such a happy parrot. During her time at the Center, she'd found her way into the hearts of many of our volunteers and clients, where she'll always be.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Martini & Mojito

Who's looking for twice the fun? Martini and Mojito are two orange wing amazons that were recently surrendered to us. They are adults and extremely bonded to each other so they're looking for a home with extra room and love to share!What's really nice about these two is that even though they are very bonded to each other, they still like to receive human attention. Aren't they just beautiful? I can spend a long time just staring at the different shades and nuances of green in their feathers.
Life is never dull with an amazon around, although they're certainly not the pet bird for everyone! If you want to meet these two, please stop by the Center.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lifesaving quaker

Here is a link to an article about a pet quaker saving a life. What a heartwarming story to read!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Shadow update

Shadow, who was originally profiled here, had a very lucky March -- do you think he has a bit of Irish blood in him? A wonderful woman, a person he instantly liked, decided to take him home! He's now living the life -- she even has a job that allows her to bring him along.

He's really blossomed under her care, spouting off words we'd never heard him say at the Center. What a year he's had so far -- cured of the yeast infection that caused him so much itchiness and discomfort he plucked out his own feathers -- and now a wonderful home!

We have many, many parrots at our facility that are hoping to get as lucky as Shadow. Please stop by if you're considering adding another bird to your home and we can help you find the right companion for you.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Alumni story

We received the following in an e-mail, and the author gave us permission to put this story on the blog. Paco is an African Ringneck Parakeet that was adopted from CARE and Punkin is a Peach-faced Lovebird.

Just wanted to tell you that I purchased a 3-4" ball from CARE last night along with food for the birds at home. The ball was for Paco because of its size. I got it home and showed it to him and he was completely terrified of it and climbed to the back of his cage and literally yelled at me.

So time to employ Plan B.

Punkin's cage is in the other room and she can see pretty much the length of our house. I threw the ball on the floor and sort of played soccer with it all the way to her cage. She was completely overwhelmed by the time I got within 5 feet of her cage. I picked up the ball and let her look at it, then dropped it in her cage. She spent the next hour just squealing and chirping and pushing that ball around like we have never seen her do before. It just made us laugh. It was the best $3 I have ever spent!!!

PS: I know that once Paco sees that Punkin has so much fun with it he'll want one just like it.

As we've stated before, we love hearing stories about how well birds that have come through CARE are faring! Many of our former residents come back for grooming and/or boarding, and it's always fun to see a familiar face again!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Peru update

Sadly, we have an update on little Peru. A volunteer found her dead this morning in her cage.

She came to us from a home that saved her after years of being severely neglected. Here is a bit more of her history, posted shortly after she was surrendered to us. She was at least 25 years old, wild-caught, and extremely plucked. We had her vetted right away and she had some kidney and liver issues. We treated her for a month and then found out she had kidney disease. We had been treating her ever since, changing her diet and medicating her on a daily basis.

We had hopes that she would find a permanent home for her retirement years, but that was not to be. At least we know that she got the best care we could give her for her last months she spent with us and, of course, here she was loved.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Quakey and Hailey

Who could resist these ladies? Quakey and Hailey are young adult female quakers looking for a home that has room for two. Just imagine double the love!

While they are a bit cage aggressive, away from their cage, they are delightful. They have each other as companions but also like to be around humans.
Quakers are extremely intelligent parrots and can quickly become a treasured member of your family. If you have room for two, they'd love to meet you!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A phone call we received

Tuesday morning at 6 a.m., when the phone would obviously not be answered, we received a message from a cowardly man. He used an untraceable number and did not leave any way for us to contact him. He was quite profane and left a rather unintelligible tirade about "rescues" selling their birds for a profit.

We found this behavior to be quite childish and hope that if anyone has any questions or comments about our policies that they contact us during open hours or via e-mail in order to have a discussion. We may end up agreeing to disagree, but that's what communication is all about. We have given careful thought to how we operate, making changes to our policies and procedures when necessary. The guiding principle behind everything we do boils down to what's best for the birds, in general, and also for each specific bird.

We do not profit from the birds. We do charge an adoption fee, but would soon have to close our doors if we relied exclusively on adoption fees, which are often not enough to even cover vet expenses, not to mention the food, toys, and other expenses involved, such as shelter and heat. Every bird stays with us until we find them the best home we can; we never euthanize for space or unadoptability, which means that some birds stay with us for a year or more while waiting for their home. Every bird has a large cage and tons of toys. That's why we have a retail store selling parrot toys, food, cages, and other supplies, and why we ask for donations.

We don't sell birds to anyone with the money. There is an adoption process, and we work closely with people to see if a bird is right for their home. If so, we work to find the right bird for their situation. It bring tears of joy to our eyes when a previously unwanted parrot chooses someone and gets to go home with them. When a parrot is truly happy after so long! That's why we do what we do -- for the birds. They had no say in their lives up until now, and we find them the best possible situation so they can be as happy as possible in captivity.

Additionally, we have behavior consulting services, in an attempt to keep birds in their homes instead of being surrendered to us. If all we cared about was money, we wouldn't do this. We'd encourage them to surrender the bird to us and then sell her to the highest bidder. That's unconscionable and we wouldn't be able to sleep at night.

We hope that this early-morning tirade was not spawned by any untrue rumors circulating about our organization. It's true that people should be careful when dealing with animal rescues as adding a pet to your house is a serious, lifetime commitment, and you want to make sure you're dealing with a responsible organization. We just ask that if anyone has any specific questions or comments they address us directly so we can understand the issue and have a discussion.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lovebird Extravaganza!

OK, not really, but we do suddenly find ourselves with 11 lovebirds needing good homes. Aren't they just so beautiful?
Some, like Chico here, are very tame:He grew most of his feathers in when he was in foster care, but plucked them out when that fosterer returned him to a different rescue. They sent him, along with some of the other lovebirds, to us in hopes that we might be able to place them.

Others, like Chiffon, are not tame, but can be worked with in order to develop their full potential:

Horace and Hecate are a former breeding pair. They're hoping to find a home where they will be loved and pampered and where they will never produce another chick.Lovebirds can make great pets. They have tons of personality and are great fun to watch playing with their toys. It's hard to stay in a bad mood when one of these little jewels is around!If you've been thinking about adding a lovebird to your home, now might be the perfect time since we have so many; you're sure to find your perfect match! Just fill in a Bird Wanted Questionnaire (the link is in our sidebar) and someone will contact you. We can help you out with any questions and help you to set up a fantastic and fun environment for your new companion!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Guinevere Update

We have some very sad news to report on Guinevere, the abused cockatiel we profiled here. Late last week, our vet performed the surgery to amputate her wing; a necessary step towards her recovery.

She survived the surgery, but couldn't recover and died in Lori's hands. Years of poor nutrition contributed to her inability to clot blood. Birds do not have a lot of blood; even a loss of a small amount is of serious concern.

It is of some consolation to us that she spent her last weeks in a safe and loving environment and that she is no longer in pain. We only regret that we were unable to save her, despite doing everything we could.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

AWARE show recap

Last Saturday, we had a booth at the Great Lakes Pet Expo. Here is the recent post announcing our appearance.

As usual, we had a great time! The expo was very busy, so we had a lot of opportunity to talk to people and help them improve the nutrition of their parrots and answer behaviorial questions.

We took Joey (umbrella cockatoo), Queenie (rose-breasted cockatoo), Buckie (Mexican red-headed amazon), Tuesday (pionus) and one of our volunteers brought two of her birds: Burt (goffin's cockatoo) and Sam (African grey). The birds were perfect. We only bring birds that enjoy this kind of socialization and make sure that everyone has plenty of time away from the public as well.

We did a posterboard on Guinevere the cockatiel. We also sold lots of food and toys (for parrots), along with four boxes of candy bars (for people)! All of the proceeds go directly to helping the birds at the Center.

One of our goals is to let people know that there are places out there from which parrots can be adopted, and that adoption is a wonderful choice should they decide to add a bird to their home. With any luck, a few parrots currently at the Center will find loving homes due to networking we did at this event.

If we missed you this year, we hope to see you next year!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Niko Update

Niko the senegal has been with us for a year now, and he really needs a good home! Here is a link to his story, along with pictures.

What a difference a year makes! Niko is a fantastic bird! He loves coming out of his cage and receiving attention from loving, caring people.

He's been in foster care much of this time, but due to circumstances, his foster home can't keep him much longer, which will mean he'll have to come back and reside at the Center. We'd love to find him a home before that, in order to lessen the stress on him. It will be easier on him if he can move directly from one loving home into another without making an interim stop at the Center.

If you have room in your life for a new friend and think Niko might be a good fit, please fill out a Bird Wanter Questionnaire. We can work together to see if he'd be a good fit and, with any luck, he can be in his new home before Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Henry went to the vet recently, and his report saddened us all. Both of his legs and one of his wings were broken at one point and healed improperly. He is a wild-caught parrot, so we're not sure if the injuries were sustained during his capture or after. With the abuse he's suffered, it's amazing he's as personable as he is!
Henry is calming down since being with us. His cage is next to Peru's, and the two birds like to be near each other.

We already have two sets of Aratinga conures that cohabit -- Sasha and Kellie and Millie and Cleo. Given the interest that Henry and Peru have for each other, and the slim chances of finding them separate homes that will provide them the same level of companionship that would come from each other, we are working towards caging them together.

Millie and Cleo needed to be groomed this past weekend. They made it easy on us to transport them to the area where we groom by going into a soda box. Once in the contained area where we groom, you can see them peering out of the box (that's Cleo up front and you can just see Millie's beak).They are quite amenable to being groomed -- as long as they don't have to leave each other's sight. With any luck, Henry and Peru will soon reach the same level of companionship as these two!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Flower Update

Last month, we featured Flower the canary. Here is that post. We just received an update from her new owner, which we wanted to share:

She has settled in nicely in her VISION cage with plenty of perches for getting around on. She LOVES her bath dish and takes several baths a day. Her diet consists of seed and Zupreem fruit pellets along with egg food (which she can't get enough of), a very small vitamin and mineral supplement, hard boiled eggs, noodles, corn, broccoli (*) and slices of apple (is she being spoiled or what!). She has a good appetite, loves bouncing around on those perches and pulling at her "stringy" toy I picked up from you. She also likes to be "talked" to. She is starting to softly twitter a bit which is a good sign. As the weather looks like it will warm up a little the latter part of next week, I will try to get her in to see [the vet] about the tumor (I'll let you know what his opinion on it is). (*) I have read articles that broccoli flowers contain properties that have reduced some tumors in lab animals and people. This is why I am feeding her this veggie. It's a good veggie nutrition-wise and she loves to eat it so we'll see what happens.

We love hearing updates on the progress of the birds who leave the Center. Flower is one lucky lady!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Great Lakes Pet Expo

Sorry for getting this information out to all of our local supporters so late, but CARE will once again have a booth at the Great Lakes Pet Expo on Saturday, January 31, 2009.

This is one of our favorite events as all of the animals at the expo are from rescues! Almost everyone knows that there are many second-hand dogs and cats that need homes, but many people don't know about the plight of unwanted birds, and this event allows us to get our name out there so that people considering adding a bird to their home will think (and hopefully choose) adoption!

Location is at the Wisconsin Expo Center on the State Fair Grounds. Hours are 10-6, admission is $5 or for kids under 10 $3 and $5 for parking on the grounds. Please see this website for more information.

We hope you stop by and say hi to us! Maybe some of our adoptable animals will get lucky and find their forever home as people stop by! (Note that no adoptions will take place at the Expo but interested parties can visit us at CARE and fill out an adoption application).

Generator grant

We just received the following e-mail from our friends at Petfinder, who have done so much to help homeless animals.
We are pleased to announce that your organization has been awarded a 5000 watt generator through the Power to the Paws program, courtesy of the Foundation and our friends at Merial. You will be contacted within the next several weeks by a nearby Honda dealership who will arrange for you to receive your generator. We are excited to be able to provide this assistance to you as you continue in your tireless efforts to save adoptable pets. We hope this will make things a little easier in the toughest of times. We'll be passing this great news on to your local press as well, so don't be surprised if you get a call - be prepared! Keep up the great work.

One of our fears has been how to care for the birds in case of emergency, including prolonged power outages. While we do have contingency plans in place, this generator will make things much easier should this happen. An article in today's local paper stated that ice storms in other parts of the country have resulted in power outages and that it may take over two weeks to restore power.

As the faltering economy has meant that donations are down while parrot surrenders are up, this couldn't have come at a better time. Thanks, Petfinder! Here's out petfinder page, if you want to see our adoptable animals, and be sure to check them out when you're searching for your next pet!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Many humane societies do a fantastic job with the animals they see most often -- dogs, cats, rabbits, small animals, etc. But birds are different, and many traditional places are unable to properly care for larger birds or birds with special needs, or to properly vet new homes for these animals.

We have developed relationships with many local humane societies in order to help them out when birds are surrendered to these organizations. Last week, we received a call from an area humane society. Two cockatiels had been surrendered. A kind employee called us up and said, "I don't know birds, but even I can tell that something isn't right with one of them." We quickly made arrangements to have the tiels transferred to our facility. This humane society is located about 3 hours away from us, and they made a herculean effort in order to bring her to us. Their actions were instrumental in saving her life.

The male was OK; a bit neglected, but proper care would fix him up in a few weeks. The female, on the other hand, brought tears to everyone's eyes. She is one of the worst abuse cases we had seen in quite some time. The people who surrendered her to the humane society refused to tell them how her injuries had been sustained. Our vet confirmed that there is no way her injuries could have been caused accidentally. She was abused; her wing intentionally broken.

We renamed her Guinevere, in hopes that a new name will bring her a new life and happiness. She's about 10 years old. Here are pictures of the cage she lived in. We didn't remove anything -- this is how she arrived:

Here is a picture of Guinevere:Aside from the obvious wing injury (fracture that healed improperly due to lack of vet care), her tongue was bleeding and she has sores on her feet. The tip of her tongue was ulcerated and the inside of her beak was red and inflamed. She attempted to eat, but the obvious pain she was in made this difficult.

Here are more pictures of her wing injury and poor feather quality:

We weren't sure whether she'd survive and, a week later, we're still not sure. She's making huge progress and we are hopeful.

The most amazing thing? She's tame and loves to be around people! After being handled in the above picture in order that we could document her injuries, she jumped up to the shoulder of the person who had been handling her, in order to snuggle a bit and feel safe.If we can get her healthy, our vet has told us that her wing will need to be amputated, in order to give her the best possible life. She has a recheck at the vet in a week; we'll keep you updated.