Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds

by Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue
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Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds
Sarah with shoulder-surfing Amazon
Sarah with shoulder-surfing Amazon

As the year draws to a close, it’s always good to pause for a moment and reflect on some of the more significant events of the last 12 months and look forward to what lies ahead as we forge into January, just around the corner! It’s also a great time to review our reports and get a more objective view of how we are doing. 

2022 began with a handful of major events for us, including Michelle Yesney’s decision to step down after 15+ years of tireless work at the helm of our organization. Thank you so much to the senior leadership team for working with me to help us navigate such a fundamental change. Michelle is still around of course, continuing as a very active member of our board, an expert for moments of counsel, and a foster home with significant numbers of our smaller Mickaboo birds!

We also handled one of the largest rescues we’ve ever been involved in, saving 177 finches in a single day - and in record time as we battled to finish before nightfall. While our finch population exploded all of a sudden, the budgies have not been far behind. Our budgie team rescued nearly twice as many budgies this year compared to last. It’s been a big year for little birds!

This year also saw a number of more challenging rescues, including a macaw living in very sorry circumstances in a garage, a collection of birds in a van, and two group rescues of budgies that all have multiple health issues including avian tuberculosis, avian gastric yeast and feather mites. Larger group rescues can be really stressful on our volunteers as the medical needs and foster spaces for group intakes of sick birds are never easy to handle. Thank you budgie team for so much hard work this year!

NightLife eventIt’s been wonderful to return to some more ‘normal’ activity as we attended a number of outreach events, including the Oakland Zoo, the Bay Area Pet Fair, Nightlife at the Academy of Sciences, and the Solano Stroll. We’ve missed these touchpoints that help us spread awareness, and it’s a great boost to see people in person again!

We’ve been thrilled to find some super star new volunteers, who have thrown themselves into various aspects of the ‘Mickaboo Machine’ from our fundraisers and auctions to much needed help on our Macaw species team. Finding and recruiting great volunteers every year is essential, and we’re thrilled to have new faces onboard.

Next Year

We plan to invest in our Basic Bird Care classes, adding new teachers and also trying online modules for the class to make it more accessible and available. We’ll also be looking at our volunteer onboarding and training to create fresh material and make our organization easier to navigate for newcomers. Finally, we’ll be brainstorming ways to recruit big bird foster homes to take the pressure off boarding costs for macaws and cockatoos we have been unable to place in foster homes.

.Finch flockThe Numbers

The good news is that overall, we are just about keeping up

We took in 478 birds in 2022 - an astounding achievement. Even if we account for the 177 finches, this is still more than the 271 birds we rescued in 2021. 

In contrast, we have adopted out 254 birds, which is in the same ballpark as 2021 despite the decline in applications to ‘normal’ pre-pandemic levels. We saw a tremendous spike in applications in 2020 that doubled the number of potential adopters we had to work with, and now applications are back in the ‘normal’ range, as people stop looking for ‘pandemic pets’.

Finches, budgies and cockatiels have been the most high-traffic species. We are thrilled to have had 53 finch adoptions this year! 

We have 171 active foster homes, which is a stable level over the last 3-4 years. Thirty-eight of these are new foster homes recruited this year, a wonderful effort from our species coordinators - a big increase over the ~25 we usually recruit each year.

Perhaps the biggest number of all this year is “25”: it's been 25 years since ‘Mickaboo Cockatiel Rescue’ formally incorporated in 1998. Thank you to Tammy Azzaro for creating such a special organization, and continuing to help drive and lead it with your support!

All of this tremendous effort is thanks to our amazing team of volunteers helping us stay on course during difficult times to complete our mission of being there for birds in need. 

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PeeWee and Dusty, baby cockatiels
PeeWee and Dusty, baby cockatiels

This #GivingTuesday, GlobalGiving is giving away $1.2 million in matching funds from now to 8:59 p.m. PT on Nov. 29. The more you give, the more Mickaboo's birds can receive from this event!

Your financial support allows us to help birds like PeeWee and Dusty, baby cockatiels born to bird parents and human guardians unprepared to raise them to adulthood; and Penelope, a 6-month-old tiel rescued via a vet clinic, where she had been taken by her former owners for euthanasia when they couldn't afford her medical expenses.

During this season of giving thanks, PeeWee, Dusty, Penelope, the other 450 birds in our rescue flock, and all of our volunteers, thank YOU for your support.  This year we are celebrating our 25th anniversary of rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming companion birds. With your help, we will continue helping these beautiful, smart, caring, feathered beings in their time of need.  Please give now to take advantage of this matching opportunity.

From ALL of us to all of YOU - best wishes for a great start to a happy and safe holiday season. 

Penelope, a cockatiel saved from euthanasia
Penelope, a cockatiel saved from euthanasia

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Luna, a Poicephalus
Luna, a Poicephalus

This year marks Mickaboo's 25th year of rescuing, rehabilitating, and re-homing companion birds large and small.  Over that time, Mickaboo's army of volunteers have helped more than 5,000 birds in need, educated thousands of people about bird rescue and responsible bird care, and fledged a sister organization to help pigeons and doves.

Mickaboo couldn't do what we do without the generosity of supporters like YOU and corporate partners like Pet Food Express ("PFE"). 

PFE supports the animal welfare community in many ways throughout the year - and in September, PFE hosted the Bay Area Pet Fair, a month-long celebration bringing together pet lovers and the animal welfare community to encourage adoption. Twenty of Mickaboo's rescued birds found forever homes during the Fair.  Here are some of their stories:

Luna was a 17-year-old poicephalus who enjoyed hanging upside-down in her cage while watching the world. She was surrendered when her former owner married, and the merged households deemed Luna to be incompatible with the cats who became part of the new household.

Amadeus was a sweet African Grey surrendered to Mickaboo when his owner's health no longer permitted them to care for Amadeus. Many birds have a life expectancy of 20 years or more - birds the size of Amadeus can live for more than 50!  It has become common for us to receive birds displaced by their owner's health condition or passing.

Archie and Chappy are beautiful conures whose owner had to move to a non-pet-friendly home, and who also felt she wasn't giving her birds the time they needed. Because of their long lives, it is probable that birds will be involved in life events (moves, marriages, separations, new jobs, etc) that may result in the birds losing their home.

~~~

Thank you for all that you do throughout the year to support us in our mission of rescue, rehabilitation, and re-homing.  Here's to the next 25 years!

Amadeus, an African Grey
Amadeus, an African Grey
Archie & Chappy, conures
Archie & Chappy, conures

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Some of the rescued parakeets
Some of the rescued parakeets

We would like to tell you about our latest aviary rescue, and how YOU can help us with it.  First, the how-you-can-help piece.

matching gift event is in progress now through 9 pm PT.  The more you give (up to $1000 per donor), the higher the match (while funds last)!

  • Donations of $100-$499 will be matched at 30%
  • Donations of $500-$749 will be matched at 40%
  • Donations of $750-$1000 will be matched at 50% (woohoo!)

While all donations are welcome, please consider making a special one-time gift now to leverage this matching opportunity.

Your gift helps birds like the parakeets (aka "budgies") in our latest aviary rescue. Mickaboo was contacted by a man in his late 80s who had a backyard aviary. The aviary was originally built in the 1930s, and had been enlarged over the years. Nineteen budgies were occupying the aviary when Mickaboo was asked to remove them.

The owner had done his best to protect his birds from predators, but had been thwarted over and over by gnawing rodents. Nest boxes allowed the budgies to breed, but, sadly, the population was controlled by visiting rats.

The rats would make new entrances as fast as the owner sealed the existing ones. The ratholes also allowed some budgies to escape and become easy prey for neighborhood hawks.

As soon as the owner reached out to Mickaboo, two volunteers drove to the property to extract the birds. All nineteen budgies were rescued, and their health is being evaluated.

The owner was a well-meaning gentleman who cared about the birds but did not have a great deal of knowledge about how to keep his budgies safe and healthy. For example, he did not realize that they could not be trained to fly free outside the aviary during the day and safely find their way home at night.

We are grateful the owner reached out to Mickaboo when he realized he could no longer continue to repair and maintain the aviary. The rescued budgies will be seen by an avian veterinarian as appropriate and, once cleared health-wise, will be placed in Mickaboo's foster homes.  

Based on past rescues, we estimate the veterinary cost of this rescue will reach at least $4,000. We will appreciate your helping us raise the needed funds.

~~

Looking for another way to help us? Adopting one (or more) of our rescued birds, aside from being a way to add an interesting companion to your life, is one of the best ways to preserve Mickaboo's capacity to save other birds in need.  Every time you adopt one bird from us, you're changing the lives of at least TWO birds. Please see our adoption criteria in the links below

~~

Thank you in advance for helping the beautiful, intelligent birds in our care. 

Rescued parakeets ready to go to their new home
Rescued parakeets ready to go to their new home
Aviary in which rodents had attacked the parakeets
Aviary in which rodents had attacked the parakeets

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Some of the 177 rescued finches
Some of the 177 rescued finches

"We rescued HOW many finches?"

That was the reaction when we counted the birds involved in Mickaboo's largest rescue effort ever - 177 finches from a soon-to-be-abandoned aviary.

This story began when Mickaboo was contacted by an aviary owner who was about to be hospitalized. He expected he would be unable to care for the finches after hospitalization, and needed help to save the birds.  He estimated he had about 80 finches, the result of breeding over the years from an initial flock of less than ten. 

The logistics of gathering up volunteers and supplies for the rescue meant we had just one day for the actual rescue.The first volunteers on the scene described it as a storm - birds, feathers, seeds, and debris swirling everywhere - plus a bonus cat, who was too interested in the finches and spent most of the afternoon underfoot.

It quickly became apparent there were many more than 80 finches. In a good news/bad news development, there were no nestlings or fertile eggs. The birds had mostly stopped breeding because the aviary was so overcrowded. By day's end, 177 finches were caged for safe transport to a vet for medical evaluation, or to foster homes.

About twenty finches went to the vet, even though it was, by this time, 8 pm on a Saturday night. We’re so thankful the vet was willing to accommodate us! Our volunteers and the vet documented a variety of illnesses and injuries including: 

  • Toes/limbs lost due to constrictive bands
  • Birth defects, such as splayed legs
  • Egg binding
  • Preening gland infections
  • Possible heart disease or infections

Fifteen of the birds stayed with the vet, and have since been released to Mickaboo for ongoing foster care.

~~~

The veterinary costs of a rescue like this can be substantial. Please assist us with a financial donation. Any amount  helps, and GlobalGiving has a matching campaign in progress to make your gift go further! Gifts up to $50 will be matched at 50% from now through Friday, April 8, 9 pm PT.  No limit on matching funds! Please give now while the thought is top of mind. 

Thank you for your consideration!

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Organization Information

Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue

Location: San Jose, CA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Pamela Lee
San Jose, California United States
$606,681 raised of $615,000 goal
 
6,670 donations
$8,319 to go
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