Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Update on the Hoarded Birds from Aurora

As many of you know there was a tragic situation in Aurora, Illinois, where hundreds of birds were being hoarded. These birds were kept in filthy, non-hygienic conditions, and unfortunately over one hundred of the birds were found dead in the home.  The remaining birds were confiscated by health officials.

The problem was, what to do with all these surviving birds. Fortunately, an organization came to the rescue, the Greater Chicago Cage Bird Club, which has had a very successful pet bird adoption for several years. The birds were turned over to the club who now have the birds in their possession.

The club has done an excellent job taking the birds and setting up an infrastructure to care for them. They have rented a store front facility and used it to set up the large number of cages to house all the birds. The birds currently in their possession include over 340 budgerigars (parakeets), 1 canary, 8 conures, 3 diamond doves, 1 button quail, 1 finch, and 2 cockatiels. They have an organized group of dedicated unpaid volunteers who are there each day making sure the birds are fed, watered, cleaned, and observed for any signs of illness. Quite an undertaking and they should be applauded for their efforts.

I went over to the facility on October 31st to inspect all the birds and evaluate their health. I was very impressed by the way the operation was being conducted by the Greater Chicago Bird Club volunteers. The facility was clean, no odor, and the cages were very well maintained. As I went through and checked out the birds I was pleasantly surprised to see that the birds were generally in excellent health. I took some random samples of droppings as well as conducting some disease testing. Thus far everything is turning out just fine. The birds will be held in quarantine for thirty days and after this period will be available for adoption, most likely starting December 1st.  

As for the adoption process. Members of the Greater Chicago Bird Club will obviously have first crack at the birds. So it would be advantageous to become a member to be able to participate in their adoption program, but there are so many advantages of having membership in a bird club, that if you are a bird fancier consider joining this or a bird club in your area. Bird clubs have all sorts of activities including educational programs, speakers, bird fairs, fund raisers, socialization opportunities, as well as loads of fun.

For the Greater Chicago Bird Club (GCBC) yearly dues are $20.00 for single memberships, $25.00 for family memberships, $15.00 for single seniors (62+), $17.50 for dual seniors, and $5.00 for juniors (18 and under). Check out their website for more membership information or to check out their various activities. The website is gccbc.org.

If you are interested in adopting these birds and are not a member of the club, you can contact the club via email, adoption@gccbc.org or phone 630-640-4924. You can obtain more details by contacting the club. They have a waiting list of people who are interested in adopting.

I would also like to mention that Sun Seed and Kaytee generously have donated food for the birds.


  1. Good 4 U!! Perhaps it would be good to post an article about what to do with your birds when they start mating and you don't want more little chicks. I get plastic bird eggs from a place out east. (I can look it up and post the phone number if someone needs it.) I also try rearranging things in the room, making the lighting in the room follow winter schedules, and of course, have Dr. Sakas give the female egg layers hormone shots when necessary. The other day, our most recent baby (born a year ago last May) was helping her mother by sitting IN the eggs -- not on them, just IN them, lol --it's so funny. Her mother gave her a strange look, and then decided she liked it, and happily went to play with her husband. The temperature in the room is not really warm enough for the eggs to hatch. If I would want another bird, I just up the heat to about 85 in that room and add extra bowls of water to help out with the humidity. Speaking of which: Does anyone know where I can get a device that can automatically raise and lower the heat in the inside aviary depending on weather outside and the weather changes in that aviary? I saw one about 5 years ago in a catalog and haven't seen it since. One friend used big heated wall panels, but they were quite expensive. I would like to be able to leave my house for a few days without worrying that the heat and humidity were too high or too low. I have a small yellow floor heater, I adjust it as the directions say, and also cover the electrical cord with paper so they won't chew on it. But it really doesn't ever stay as comfortable as I would like it to. I also don't want to waste energy or make the electric bill higher!

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