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Mar 13, 2013

Your Donation *NOW* Goes Further - and Helps Heal Boomer!

Boomer watching humans at a recent Mickaboo event.
Boomer watching humans at a recent Mickaboo event.

Boomer felt miserable!

Boomer, a 30-year-old-ish Greenwing Macaw, had been surrendered to Mickaboo when his former caregiver became ill and unable to care for him.  After taking him in, we noticed he had difficulty walking – but what was most noticeable about Boomer were his droppings.  They were SMELLY – far more odorous than that of a healthy bird, indicating a potential infection.

After consultations with two veterinarians, it turns out the problem was “mechanical”. Boomer's tail bone was deformed - instead of curving up at the end like that of a normal bird, it curved down (see X-rays), partially blocking Boomer’s vent. He also had a pressure sore where the end of the tail bone poked down.  Boomer must have felt a lot of pain whenever he defecated – and hence was avoiding doing so.

Boomer had surgery recently to amputate his last three vertebrae.  He is now in MUCH less pain – and for the first time since becoming his guardians, we heard him chatter.  A noisy bird is a happy bird! 

Boomer’s diagnostic and surgical procedures cost $4,000.  Would you help us pay for his medical care, and the care of the other 300 birds in our foster flock?  If you can, we have a matching gift opportunity for you! TODAY, from 6 am PT/9 am ET to 9 pm PT/midnight ETGlobalGiving will match your online donations at 30%, up to $1,000 per donor per project, until GlobalGiving's matching funds run out. (If this happens, the donation page will say so.)  Go to Mickaboo's GlobalGiving page to take advantage of this opportunity (now! before matching funds run out!) to help our birds and make your funds go further!

Read more about the birds and rescue activities you so graciously support with your hard-earned funds in the Winter edition of Mickaboo's newsletter.

P.S. Your gift may *also* be eligible for matching by your employer! Send any matching gift forms to GlobalGiving for processing.

X-ray of normal bird's tail bone
X-ray of normal bird's tail bone
X-ray of Boomer's tail bone, before surgery
X-ray of Boomer's tail bone, before surgery


Feb 19, 2013

Thanks for 2012 - help our birds have a great 2013!

I'm Boomer! You'll hear more about me in March :)
I'm Boomer! You'll hear more about me in March :)

I don't know about everyone else, but I'm still a little unnerved by a year that starts with a “2”.  Looking at an entire year that iGriffith, a Wild Flock Conures called “2013” is even more off-putting.  But here we are!  We'll be writing 2013 on checks and typing it into on-line forms for an entire year.  We who are Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue (which is pretty much everyone reading this) must go forth convinced that numbers don't make our luck – we create the future for the birds that are fortunate enough to come into our care.  Sometimes in the middle of a year, we start to hope that good luck is on our side.  But we know that each of us holds the keys to turn the luck in our favor.

All of you pour your time, your energy, your patience, your love, and your money into Mickaboo.  You make the luck that keeps our birds alive, restores their health, and finds them homes.  Here are the numbers that measure that “luck” - the lives of companion birds in Northern California.


Those of you who manage the movement of birds in, out, and through Mickaboo know that we keep records of those birds.  Our data system is called “Animal Shelter Manager” or ASM.  It's more than numbers – it tracks the incoming birds, records who surrendered them, and documents the foster parents and adopters who give them homes.  Since Mickaboo takes responsibility for life for each bird we take in, this information is literally the “lifeline” of the birds we rescue.

So, what do those numbers look like for 2012, compared to say 2010 or 2011? The numbers show an encouraging trend.

As hard as it is to believe, the number of incoming birds surrendered to Mickaboo in 2012 (274), is only slightly larger than the number in 2011 (252) and is much smaller than the 373 birds surrendered to us in 2010.  However, the number of adoptions in 2012 – the measure of the “luck” we pray for – was 267, which is substantially more than the 200 adoptions in 2011 and 201 in 2010!!!  We are moving forward in a very positive direction. Within the overall positive trend, there are some unexpected twists – reductions in incoming budgies and cockatiels, but increases in cockatiel adoptions!  A sudden jump in lovebirds.  Big increase in incoming African greys (why?).  We're having trouble finding homes for cockatoos and wild flock conures.  A jump in incoming macaws since 2011, but an increase in adoptions, too. 

These numbers come from a lot of hard work put in by a lot of wonderful hard-working volunteers.  They can look even better with more help.  Can you offer some?

Okay, this is NOT luck.  This is the continuous, ongoing hard work and sometimes desperate efforts of all of you.  This is the result of your investment in Mickaboo and your commitment to Mickaboo's birds.  These numbers are the fruit of your faith – our faith – in each other, in all of us.

Please look carefully at the birds in your lives and listen to them.  They're all saying “thank you” in ways we can (maybe) hope to understand. 

This is me, also saying “thank you”.


Dec 26, 2012

Holiday Wishes from Our Birds to You!

Happy Holidays from Mickaboo's foster flock to you and yours!  Together we accomplished wonderful things in 2012, ranging from winning GlobalGiving's Photo Contest (thus giving bird rescue higher visibility) to earning a  Great Nonprofits' "Top-rated Nonprofit " award to (most importantly) rescuing ~300 companion birds!

Many of these rescues are rather ordinary. Some are extraordinary - like Mai Tai (pictured).

Mai Tai, a Goffin’s cockatoo, came to Mickaboo in mid-November. She had deep wounds in her front and back. Our vet said she had never seen a bird so deformed from mutilation and scar tissue. X-rays showed multiple past untreated fractures of her wings and legs. She was also suffering from a crushed thorax—she stopped breathing momentarily during the x-ray, as any form of stress simply exhausted her. The muscle in her frozen leg was black, although she has limited use of her toes.

Despite all she had been through in her life, Mai Tai had not given up on herself, and we refused to give up on her either.

Once stabilized, one of our special-needs foster homes took Mai Tai home. Mai Tai requires a lot of care and attention, with pain medicine, oxygen, and every-other-day bandage changes and wound care.  Mai Tai's veterinary bill is over $1,000, and will no doubt grow. Consider donating for her care, and that of our other foster birds, as part of your year-end giving.  Whether it's a little or a lot, your donation, combined with others, makes a real difference to our ability to help our birds.


To learn more about our foster flock - they'd love to go home with you! - go to our online bird listing. Want to learn more about bird care?  Our reading room has several articles about bird behavior, safe and nonsafe plants and foods, and more!

Thank you again for your generosity, and enabling Mickaboo to continue its mission on behalf of our feathered friends!  Season's Greetings to you and yours!


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