The next story is not about an abused or neglected parrot, but one that found himself in a bit of a “life” situation and how Birdline will offer other assistance when we can.
When we receive calls for surrender, we will go and meet the family and the bird prior to signing any paperwork or admitting the bird to Birdline. This allows us a chance to determine what the problem is – and if there is a possible solution to the issues they may be facing.
This sweet boy is named “Jake” and has been boarding with us since the summer (he was in a foster home for 1/2 the time, and with us the remaining 1/2). His owner was going through some major life changes and was unable to keep him, and the thought of having to give him up was breaking her heart. We didn’t want to see him re homed simply because she needed some time to get back on her feet and elected instead to offer her boarding until such time that she can take him back. After many months, and a long journey for this young lady, Jake will be going home in just over a week – we are incredibly excited to reunite these two and very happy that in this case we were able to help keep the bird with his owner.
In other cases we have met families that didn’t feel they could provide financially for the care of their bird – times were tight and there wasn’t alot of extra funds left at the end of the month to purchase the dietary needs for their feathered companion. We will offer assistance in the way of seed/pellets and even produce. If the financial circumstances is the ONLY reason they feel the need to give up their bird, we will ensure that they have what is needed to keep the bird in their current home.
Further to this – we also do behavior consults. Often times the bird may have become aggressive/vocal/destructive and the owners cannot deal with it. We will meet with the family and discuss what behaviors they are going through and do an analysis of the circumstances that are causing the undesirable behaviors. If support is required in the way of books/printouts/weblinks or enrichment toys, we will provide what we can to help them change the behaviors – we try to KEEP the bird in their home. Sometimes a simple bit of education/information that they may not have already known is all it takes to change around behaviors.
In one such case we had a call about a cockatoo that went ballistic for no reason (birds ALWAYS have a reason)and they wanted him gone, he was dangerous, screaming and making everyone incredibly uptight. It turned out that his cage was directly in front of a south window (high heat all afternoon)he had no chewable toys – a basic diet of seed/peanuts and apple sometimes – got up when they did and went to bed when they did, still in front of the window – and just turned 7.
It was determined he was experiencing his first hormonal season, his diet was changed, we taught them how to make toys, move the cage to less high traffic and introduced a sleep cage for 12 hours rest. A month later she called and was ecstatic at the profound changes and was incredibly happy that she didn’t give up. Thats not to say that all birds will have a dramatic change, but the fact she was willing to try, was the first step in the birds success. (In the span of just under 6 months, we were able to assist 6 families – ALL with cockatoos – NONE of them came to Birdline and only 1 was rehomed to a friend of the family.
Its not just about taking in birds that truly need our help, but its also about the people who need help. Sharing what we can and building relationships….
March 14, 2014 – Jake died tragically in a house fire at Birdline. We are devestated at his loss along with 26 other friends and companions. We will always cherish the memories and love.
“Till we meet again bud”