Thursday, June 14, 2012

To the Birds

Recently, the OSPCA seized about 100 birds from somewhere or another. I don't know the exact details, but the upshot of it is that TAS South has been receiving waves of birds over the last few weeks. Most of them are in fairly good shape, considering the situation they came from - the worst I've seen was a few overgrown beaks and some slightly underweight birds. They're all banded and a surprising amount of them are fairly tame.
The shelter isn't used to handling birds, and certainly not en masse. Birds have extreme emotional needs, requiring lots of attention, exercise, toys and affection. Unfortunately, a lot of people think it's a-okay to keep them in a little decorative cage for their entire lives. Because of this combination, many of the staff feel uncomfortable adopting out birds. Some think that the shelter isn't really qualified to find homes for parrots; partially because of this (and partially because we're full), many of the birds have been transferred to other rescues.
The first wave included two Green-Cheeked Conures, a species close to my heart as I used to own one myself. This is Pip, a little terrified juvenile. He went ballistic when I tried to touch him and I assumed he was completely untamed, but a few days later, he hopped onto my hand. He wasn't untame, he was just utterly petrified when he arrived. Can you blame him? Who knows how much these birds had been through by the time they got to South Region.
Tiko was the other conure in the group. He was an adult, older than Pip and more plainly coloured. From the first time I went in, Tiko was pressed against the side of the cage, watching my every move. You could see from the look in his eyes that he wanted fiercely to be with people. Probably because of the stress he'd been through, he was quite nervous about being touched at first. However, a few days in, he turned into a total sweetie. He would hop on your hand and let you hold him and pet him to your heart's content. 
I'm very glad to say that Tiko and Pip were adopted a few days later, together.  They were adopted to a great, bird-experienced home with an avian certified vet. Pip can learn confidence from Tiko, and both can learn to live in a family where they will be loved and given proper care.
This beautiful pair of lovebirds also arrived in the first wave. I never did get a decent shot of Sprite and Puck, but they were stunning. Especially Sprite, I've always loved blue lovebirds. These two were extremely frightened and nervous of people, but they were adopted after about a week. The staff report it was a good home, so I hope their new people help bring them out of their shells. 
Joker here is a Fischer's Lovebird, and also stunning. He was thrown in with Puck and Sprite, but unfortunately we had to separate him into his own cage. Sprite and Puck were very wary of having him in the cage, and the sad fact is that no one will adopt three lovebirds together. Separating Joker allowed Sprite and Puck to be adopted together, but it left Joker pretty lonely.
Here he is, making me feel bad about putting him on his own. The three of them escaped on me, and Joker followed Sprite and Puck around the room, hoping for company. Sprite and Puck wanted nothing to do with him, but I felt pretty sad for him. Joker has been transferred to the Humane Society, where hopefully he will be adopted by a family that can offer him lots of company.
Two more lovebirds rounded off the first wave of birds. This is Lemon, another beautiful bird who was scared out of her mind. She wanted nothing to do with me, but her buddy Levi had an entirely different attitude. 
Levi was the only normal coloured one in the group, but he was such a sweetie. He happily hopped on to your finger, crawled all over you and let you hold him and kiss him. He jumped on to one of the staff members and happily pulled the pen out of his pocket. Such a character! I have to admit I felt a moment of temptation when I was with him - I have waited a long time for my Bailey to be that sweet. But my Bailey is my Bailey, and I love him for his craziness. And happily, Levi was adopted with Lemon a few days later. The one good thing about birds - they go fast!
Acrobat here is the only budgie to come from the group (so far). She earned her name - she loves to hang upside down! Like most budgies we get, she's not tame and quite skittish around people. But she's very pretty and full of acrobatic energy, so hopefully that endears her to someone soon. So far, she's still waiting at the shelter. 
These two cuties were part of the second wave. Phoebe and Phyllis are two parrotlets with crazy overgrown beaks (you can really see Phyllis' ridiculous beak here). Parrotlets are adorable little parrots that can live over 20 years. Since these two would need a long-term family and some special care for those beaks, they were transferred to a local parrot rescue.
The last ones that have arrived from the seizure so far were three Lineolated Parakeets ('linnies' for short). Cute as buttons, these guys were super talkative and curious. Above is Zip, the only green one in the group. Widget was dark blue and Wiki (below) was a light blue. 
The three linnies were also sent to a local parrot rescue, which rounds out our portion of the bird seizure. However, North York and Etobicoke still have a fair amount, so I suspect we'll be getting more soon.
And from an unrelated circumstance, we recently got this little one:
This terrible photo is the only one I got of Cricket before she was promptly snatched up by one of our staff members (and promptly renamed). She was found fluttering around the Eaton Centre, only a few days before it was the scene of the shooting. She reminded me very strongly of my girl Carmen, so I'm glad she got a home that will treat her right and not as a musical decoration, as so often happens with canaries.

And that's all the birds! Hopefully, that's all the birds for a long time, because we are full to the brim with rabbits and guinea pigs. But I think that's wishful thinking.


Anonymous said...

Hi! I adopted Tiko and Diego (formerly Pip) in early June. I sent an e-mail with pictures and updates!

Anonymous said...

I'd love a bird or a rabbit but with cats I don't think it's wise. Sigh.