Rescue Unwanted and Abandoned Companion Birds

by Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue
A rescued conure with his guardian
A rescued conure with his guardian

There's just enough time left in 2013 to gift yourself - with a last-minute tax deduction for donating to your favorite nonprofits.  :)  In that vein, I wanted to share a few words from Michelle Yesney, Mickaboo's Chief Executive Officer. The following is adapted from her remarks at Mickaboo's 2013 Annual Holiday Party & Funraiser:


Well, we've made it through another year.  Because of all of you, there are more companion birds that are alive, healthy, and in good homes than there would have been without you.  Like all of our years together, there have been some sad times, some nasty encounters with reality, and some occasions of great joy.  The significance of the joy we experience is greater because of the sadness that we know lurks always in the background.

I want to again remind all of you that pour your time, your energy, your patience, your love, and your money into Mickaboo:  You, all of you, provide the fuel that keeps our birds alive, restores their health, and finds them homes. 

You do it with your donations, your time, the intensity of your feelings, and the energy of your devotion. On behalf of Mickaboo's Board of Directors, I want to thank you for everything you have given and done to make us so very good at what we all do.  Mickaboo is about the generosity of individuals.  None of us, not the Board of Directors, not the species coordinators, not our tech team, not me - NONE OF US - ARE GETTING PAID FOR WHAT WE DO. As we all keep reminding each other, "it's all about the birds". The basis of our organization, the object of our efforts, the measure of our successes - it's all about the birds.


Since we have been in a moratorium since mid-October 2013, our intake has been severely curtailed, compared to the same time period last year (see Table 1 in the attached).   This second moratorium of 2013 became necessary because our veterinary bills were so high that, despite the incredible generosity of our supporters and the reductions offered by most of our vets, we were running out of funds.  More of the birds that we took in this year were sick or injured, and more required lengthy hospitalization.  We are finding ways to reduce some of the extremely high costs, including relying more on skilled outpatient nursing by some of our volunteers and emphasizing our reliance on vets who reduce the fees that they charge us.  We are extremely fortunate to have skilled veterinarians that value their relationship with Mickaboo and support what we do.

The most painful lesson of this year has been that we cannot follow the same operating pattern and still expect to continue to rescue birds indefinitely into the future.  As I said at the Holiday Party, the Board has reluctantly determined that we must implement some changes.  The most significant change is that we will have to ask for a surrender fee for any bird we accept from a private party (i.e., not from a shelter or a stray) as we have been doing during the moratorium.  The details of how the new system will function are still being worked out.  How we can work with surrenderers who are unable to pay a fee, and what we tell people who simply refuse to pay, are still being clarified.

We take in a number of birds from shelters that cannot pay a surrender fee; we are and always have been the last resort for such birds and it is critical that we continue to take birds from the shelters.  We take in birds of all sizes - the big expensive parrots and the smallest of the companion birds; and we take in birds that are far too often injured and sick.  Again, we are the last resort for birds that have been abandoned or for whom there is no other option, and we hope to continue in that role.  We are hoping to continue to operate under the same principles and values that have characterized Mickaboo for over 15 years because those standards are why most of us are part of the organization.  

The surrender fee we have asked for during the moratorium is $200 per bird.  That will not pay the full costs of veterinary care for some birds, but it helps.  It reduces the strain on our resources that each incoming bird creates, and helps protect our ability to care for the birds we already have.

Like many, maybe most of you, I share my home with birds that came to me through Mickaboo.  Like most of you, I cannot imagine a world in which many of these birds would have been euthanized, would have died from malnutrition or disease, or been left to suffer from neglect or indifference.  I am grateful to have them here and I am grateful to be part of such an incredible group of human beings. 

Wishing all of you and your flock (feathered, furry, scaled and human), a wonderful and Happy New Year. 


Sweetpea, a recently-adopted Greencheek Conure
Sweetpea, a recently-adopted Greencheek Conure

On this Second Annual #GivingTuesday, join us in sharing why you give - and consider donating toward our matching gift campaign.

Typically, the holidays are when many Americans volunteer to help the most vulnerable. Others make charitable contributions that can last throughout the holiday season. Today we celebrate #GivingTuesday, a worldwide effort to raise awareness and motivate action for the common good.  #GivingTuesday is a day dedicated to giving (as opposed to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, days dedicated to shopping) -- when charities, families, businesses, community centers, students, retailers and more all come together to celebrate helping our communities.

Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue is proud to support #GivingTuesday.  Here's how you can too!

  • Friend us on Facebook.  Tell us why you support Mickaboo and share your thoughts with your friends!
  • Follow us on Twitter and tweet about your #GivingTuesday activities
  • Give to your favorite bird rescue (Mickaboo)!  Generous supporters have created a matching gift fund of $3000; it'll be used to match YOUR online donations today on a 3-1 basis (every $3 you give will be matched by $1 from the matching gift fund).  Give by midnight PacificTime today for your funds to count!

We'll share some of your FB posts and tweets on our blog throughout the day - look for yours!

The volunteers and Board of Directors (and our foster flock of over 400 birds!) thank you for all you do throughout the year to support us as we help companion birds in need like Sweetpea, the pictured greencheek conure. We recently re-homed him when his former owners could no longer provide the home environment he needed. 

We look forward to seeing your thoughts on FB and Twitter!


A Cherryhead Conure in the arms of his parront
A Cherryhead Conure in the arms of his parront

GlobalGiving's BONUS Day has begun!  This is a quick reminder to give NOW to use this 30% matching gift opportunity before matching funds run out, via this donation page.

Ultimately, Mickaboo's mission is to enhance the quality of life for birds who come through our doors.  The pictures in this report show a few of our beneficiaries and their guardians.  Mickaboo directly serves over 1000 birds annually, and many more indirectly through the dozens of bird care classes and other public events in which we participate throughout the year.

Would you help us help more birds, like the ones shown here, and like the ones in our Angel program due to their extensive medical needs?

Our birds and our volunteers will appreciate your generosity at this time.

Pico, a Blue and Gold Macaw, enjoying his person
Pico, a Blue and Gold Macaw, enjoying his person
Nika (Senegal) and her person enjoying the moment
Nika (Senegal) and her person enjoying the moment


Jackie, a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo
Jackie, a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

Please give tomorrow morning during GlobalGiving's Bonus Day (starting at 6 am Pacific), to help us lift our moratorium!

Mickaboo's Board of Directors voted to impose a moratorium on further bird intakes on October 4.  We have an extraordinarily large number of birds in our care, including members of the Wild Flock of Telegraph Hill, that are or have been very ill.  To continue caring for the birds we already have, we must stop taking in additional birds, with the minor exception of surrendered birds accompanied by a fee for incremental medical costs. 

You can help lift the moratorium,and help us help more birds! This is a reminder about the matching gift opportunity tomorrow. From Oct 23, 6 am PT - 9 pm PT, GlobalGiving will match your online donations at 30%, up to $1,000 per donor per project, until GlobalGiving has given away $20,000 of matching funds for all of its projects. Go to Mickaboo's GlobalGiving page early tomorrow to take advantage of this opportunity - the matching funds go quickly (generally in an hour or two).

Your generosity will help birds like Jackie. She is a sulphur-crested cockatoo recovering from a prolapse, a condition where the uterus protrudes through the rectum and becomes subject to infection and tissue death.

Please make a note (now) to give tomorrow and help Jackie and many, many other birds like her become healthy enough to be placed in their forever homes.  They and our volunteers will really, really appreciate it!


Octavius, a severely ill Maximilian Pionus
Octavius, a severely ill Maximilian Pionus

Our Fall edition of Mickaboo's newsletter features useful information and news about the birds and events you help support. Read stories about our rescue activities and MORE!

And, we have a matching gift opportunity in the near future! From Oct 23, 6 am PT to 9 pm PT, GlobalGiving will match your online donations at 30%, up to $1,000 per donor per project, until GlobalGiving has given away $20,000 of matching funds for all of its participating projects. Go to Mickaboo's GlobalGiving page early in the day to take advantage of this opportunity - matching funds for some earlier bonus days have run out in the first HOUR!

Your donations help birds in our care like Octavius the Maximilian Pionus (pictured). He has a fungal granuloma in his respiratory system that has now invaded his spine. This bird is still fighting for his life, so we are helping him; his prognosis is still unclear but improving. A week ago, he had regained the use of one of his legs. Last Friday, the veterinarian was trying to wean him off of oxygen.

Earlier treatment may have prevented the progression of the disease Octavius is now fighting. To his credit, his former owner took Octavius to a vet, but (sadly) refused to authorize the tests needed to diagnose his condition accurately. 

Would you consider taking advantage of this matching gift opportunity on October 23 and help pay the vet bills for Octavius and our many other foster birds?

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



About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue

Location: San Jose, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Pamela Lee
San Jose, California United States
$293,338 raised of $295,000 goal
3,247 donations
$1,662 to go
Donate Now Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money for this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page for this project.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.