Kuku, African Grey Parrot, with collar to prevent plucking

Sponsor Kuku

Kuku came from a loving family home. However, she was left alone for long periods of time because her family worked long hours.

This is such an alien lifestyle for a sociable flock creature that Kuku became very stressed and lonely and began to self harm. She plucked and plucked at her feathers until she damaged the feather follicles, then she started on her skin and mutilated that too.

When she first came into Birdline she was rushed to the emergency vet more than once as her health was so poor. Even now that Kuku is in a better environment, the plucking habit remains and she has to wear a collar to stop her reaching her feathers. She still needs regular vet checkups to make sure she is a healthy weight and remains well.

Kuku is doing much better now, she is settled in a new foster home. She really enjoys spending time with her humans and especially loves single and dancing and  cuddle time with her favourite person. However, she will need regular vet checkups for the forseeable future to make sure she is a healthy weight and remains well.

 

Bubble and S

Sponsor Bubbles and Squeak

UPDATE – 1oth July 2020

Over the past weeks and months the neglected African Grey parrots Bubble and Squeak have stolen the hearts and minds of their safehouse mum, birdline’s volunteers and members. Therefore, it came as a devastating blow to discover that Squeak sadly passed away in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

 

Below is a message from Squeak’s Safehouse mum.

Squeak will be hugely missed here. I am still in shock and utterly devastated. He came so far and his life has been cut far too short through previous human error. The whole flock can sense the loss here. It is simply not fair.

Although Squeak was never hand tame, he was such a cheeky character and would always growl at me when cleaning his indoor cage. Over time we gained a mutual respect and he didn’t feel as threatened by my presence. He began to understand that anything I did was positive and he would whistle at me and say ‘Oh Hello’. He had this walk with a bounce to it. At feed time he would ‘bounce walk’ from one end of the aviary to the other. Usually he would lead the way and Bubble would follow, but he would let Bubble eat first.

I didn’t mind not being able to handle him as I was blessed with the huge pleasure of listening and watching them interact, play, preen, love and cuddle each other. They would whistle most of the day and it was fantastic to sit outside and just watch them playing, swinging, bobbing and sunning themselves in their new aviary. I would whistle to them and they had their own whistle back to me, they would also do this to each other. Squeak loved his new found freedom in the aviary. He loved to fly and deserved more time than he got.

Bubble is obviously heartbroken at the loss of her chosen life partner. She had some time to grieve for Squeak and understands that he is no longer here.

She has such a huge loss to cope with yet again in her life. I feel so deeply sorry for her. We have decided that it is in her best interest to come back in the house for the time being, so she can have some extra support, extra walnut treats (which are her favourite) and not be on her own at the moment. In time, we hope she will accept a new friend, so she has the company she needs. If and when she is ready, we will move her back into the aviary, so she can live out her remaining years in peace and quiet, with the sun to warm her feathers, and light breeze to ruffle them.

The other birds, have been rallying around, here you can see her interacting with her neighbour for comfort. He sat with Bubble whilst preparations were made for her to come back inside. I am amazed at the support the other birds have shown Bubble, they clearly know and understand what has happened too. I hope they will  be of comfort to her through her grieving process.

Unfortunately the only positive we have in this situation is that we did rescue Bubble and Squeak from a bad situation and an awful past. In the short time he has been with Birdline he was given the chance to have treatment, gain weight with fresh fruit, veg, pellets, treats, toy’s as well as experience a bigger environment, feel the sun on his back, experience freedom and fly!

Squeak is not the first, nor will he be the last bird that we take in that has been subject to a poor diet and below basic living conditions leading to a premature passing. This amazing boy deserved so much more.

 

Let’s make Squeaks story matter !

We are asking again for your support in the name of Squeak and his heartbroken partner Bubble to help STOP this happening to any other birds.

Birdline will shortly be launching “Squeak’s Better Diet = Longer Lives” project to educate people in better husbandry practices. We will also be lobbying pet shops to stop selling inadequate and dangerous seed mixes as complete parrot food. Seeds are high in fat and deficient in many other nutrients, including amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Diets consisting solely of seeds can be associated with a variety of medical problems such as respiratory diseases, low immune systems, fatty liver, feather picking and many more.

Products such as monkey nuts carry mould spores within the shell, which can give them a fungal infection called aspergillosis. This is a respiratory disease and gradually damages the tissues within the body. Birds on all seed diets (as Bubble as Squeak were previously) are more prone to medical issues from poor diets. Unfortunately because pet shops sell these products  parrot owners believe these are safe for their feathered babies. This is not the case.

We hope you will support us in this project, and we will be announcing more ways you can get involved in due course. However, right now, we’d love to hear and see your stories and photos of how diet and environment has affected the health of your rescue birds. If you are happy for us to use your examples please email [email protected] with photos and information.

 

UPDATE – 23rd June 2020

Bubble and Squeak are now well enough to spread their wings after nearly a 5 month journey recovering back to health and we have been able to move them into a temporary summer aviary, which has been donated to Birdline, whilst we continue work to fund an all weather aviary.

We caught them in action inspecting their new space for the first time. Bubble was the first out to have a look about, swiftly followed by Squeak and what an amazing sight it was – both birds flew. How fantastic !!

Birdline would like to take this opportunity to thank you once again for your support of the Bubble and Squeak campaign. Due very much to everyone who donated, Bubble and Squeak can feel the lovely spring sun on their wings for the first time in a long time. Your generosity, particularly at this difficult time is so very much appreciated.

Whilst we have not reached our target of £5000 which will provide a large aviary with indoor space for the winter, the money raised has provided a strong basis for our funding of this project. However, we still need more, so if you can, please do donate to help build Bubble and Squeak’s forever home.


5th May 2020

Bubble & Squeak are a bonded pair of African Greys who came into Birdline in January of 2020 having survived tragic circumstances which left them emotionally and physically scarred. It was touch and go whether they would survive, but now that they are feeling a little better it is time to share their story and ask for YOUR help to give them a safe and secure home to live out the rest of their days.

In 2018 Bubble and Squeak laid a clutch of eggs and were proudly and carefully parenting their offspring, when a dog attacked and killed their chicks. This was shortly followed by their owner becoming seriously ill and no longer able to care for them. Sadly, Bubble & Squeak were unwanted by the owner’s immediate family members and instead of receiving the love and comfort they so desperately needed to help with their grief, they were cast aside. In 2019 the pair were rehomed by a young teenager and her grandparents, however they quickly realised that Bubble & Squeak would need greater care than first anticipated and handed the birds over to Birdline Parrot Rescue.

Previously, the pair were housed in a very small cage, and due to not being cleaned out regularly, and no access to have a bath, they became very dusty and are now suffering with breathing issues. Due to their poor diet, and particularly not having been provided with fruit or vegetables for a long period of time they are both very underweight and undernourished. When they were collected from Birdline their health was in a critical state and the inevitable handling during the move nearly scared the pair to death.

Bubble, the female, has suffered more so than Squeak. She was extremely malnourished, presenting a prominent keel bone (breastbone) as well as being calcium deficient which resulted in her having seizures – the longest being over 10 minutes.. Bubble was initially nebulised four times a day due to her breathing issues, but this has now reduced to twice a day. Both birds pluck their feathers as a consequence of their poor diet, health, stress and grief.

This sweet pair are currently under the watchful eye of our avian expert and housed with one of our safe houses, who is nursing them back to health. Their safe house mum has spent many nights sleeping on the sofa next to their cage as she was afraid they wouldn’t make it through till morning. To start with the pair had to stay in a small cage, as Bubble was at risk of falling and hurting herself but as they have put on weight and got stronger they have been able to move into a larger cage. Birdline has lent Bubble & Squeak a “hospital cage” whilst they recover, and bought them toys, perches and an Avian Lamp to assist the absorption of much needed calcium. They are both receiving vitamin and calcium additives in their water and are being fed pellets, fresh fruit and vegetables every day, which they love!!


Bubble & Squeak are both really active now and love to swing and play with their toys. Squeak is still quite nervous, but he will say ‘Hello’ and whistle. However, they do not wish to be handled and now the warmer  weather is coming, they would love to go outside into an aviary, so they can safely play, exercise and fly, without being disturbed by humans. Squeak in particular is still very shy and scared of humans.

 

Why Bubble & Squeak need your help?

Bubble and Squeak have complex medical needs and will continue to need further medical attention in the future as they continue to recover and regain their health. Because of the risk of moving them, both to their mental and physical health, their safe house has agreed to keep them. We therefore need to acquire a lovely safe secure aviary for them, along with perches, ropes, swings and toys to fill it. To give Bubble & Squeak the enriched life they’ve been deprived of for so long we need your support.

Please help us to raise £5000 to cover

  • Aviary for Bubble, Squeak and some of Birdlne’s other special needs birds – £3500
  • Toys, perches, ropes and equipment – £500
  • Vet Bills – £1200

How you can help Bubble & Squeak?

  • Share Bubble & Squeak’s story on social media.
  • Donate equipment, toys or food to Birdline.
  • If you can afford to, please give to the Bubble & Squeak fund – if everyone on Birdline’s social media channels just gave £1 we’d have enough to purchase their aviary.

In return, we promise to keep you updated with their progress by posting updates on Birdline’s website and social media channels. In addition, every person that donates will get a shout out across our socials (if you wish to be named).

Bubble, Squeak and the Birdline team thank you for your support.

Donors

With thanks to everyone who has supported the Bubble and Squeak campaign, including

Claire Longworth
Stephanie Watson
Jean B
Danny and Emma Pederick
Trudie McDonald
Michelle Widger
David Morphew
Ros Bolton
Alisun
Sarah Rigby
Jem
Nick (Quark) Vincent
E Lawrence
Jon S.
Matt McArdle

Sponsor Rosie

I particularly like making myself at home in long hair. Sometimes I like to try and see if you have any food leftovers in your mouth and give you a quick kiss while there.

My human’s and I are looking for a little bit of help with some of my vets’ bills. You see I have what the vet calls scissor beak and I need to visit him every six weeks of so.

He gives me some magic gas that makes me sleepy so he can trim it. My beak gets very long very quickly and does not meet where it should. So, the vet works his magic and I can eat better again for a few weeks. Sometimes my mummy has to make mushy food and hand feed me, which I don’t mind but, I’d like to get on and feed myself like my other feathered friends. Read more about Rosie here…

If you think you would be able to help with some of the costs, we would be very grateful thank you so much.

Sponsor Peeko

Peeko’s first mum couldn’t accept that an otherwise healthy bird should be put to sleep and so she contacted Birdline asking for our help. One of our volunteers collected him and drove him from the North of England to London, to visit C.J. Hall vets.

An x-ray showed us that the bone had overlapped to such an extent that it had become foreshortened and he would never be able to use it properly if it was left to heal that way. The vet recommended surgery to break and pin the leg – using a pin less than 1 mm in diameter. He was kept in for several days to monitor for healing and infection, before going back to safehouse Mum for rest and recuperation.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t all plain sailing, the leg had swollen so much and stretched the skin to the point that it died off, leaving a constricting band of dead tissue around his leg. He had to have antibiotics and pain killers for two weeks as well as f10 ointment to keep his skin supple and clean. He was such a good boy, but he really hated being confined to a hospital cage the majority of the time.

 

Fortunately, in time Peeko healed well. He is now living in a new home with a little Conure friend called Batman who he loves dearly. His original mum keeps in touch and we give her updates as to how he’s getting on.

Peeko’s surgery and follow ups cost birdline over £1000. Vet bills account for over 50% of Birdline’s outgoings. If you donate to Peeko’s fund, you will help other birds get the surgery they desperately need too.

 

Sponsor Ziggy

Ziggy’s seizures vary in severity as does the recovery time which can take anywhere from a minute to 3 months. When he is bad he is unable to undertake normal birdie activities, hence the beak can over grow slightly. When he is ‘recovered’ chewing commences and his beak wears back down. The vet keeps an eye on this but prefers not to intervene, unless ziggy gets to the point where he can not  preen or eat.

Ziggy is fortunate enough to live with a wonderful foster mum who he loves lots and lots. His foster Dad has to mind his Ps and Qs though as Ziggy can be very aggressive towards men. Although he does let his Dad give him his medication though – he’s such a good boy really!

Please consider contributing towards Ziggy’s vet care. In return he will promise not to attack his Foster Dad oo often…

Sponsor Rani

Rani is a tiny green cheek conure, but what she is missing in stature, she makes up for in personality. It is not polite to ask an old lady her age, but we have it on good authority she’s approximately 18.

Unfortunately Rani came to birdline with severe health problems. She has a deformity of the beak, known as scissor beak, which is a misalignment of the upper and lower jaws. Damage to the growth plate means that her upper beak is also badly scarred and regularly breaks. These problems were more than likely caused by an injury to the beak at a young age. The deformity means that without proper vet care Rani’s beak can become overgrown.

 

When Rani came into birdline she was struggling to eat and severely malnourished – weighing in at only 46g (typical weight for a gcc is 60-70g). Her poor body condition led to a lowered immune system and she also had a nasty bacterial infection which required several doses of anti-fungals and antibiotics. Rani was also in significant pain and would scream and scream, especially when trying to pass droppings.

She really was quite poorly and traumatised and all she wanted to do was cling to her foster mum and snuggle.

After several visits to the vet it was decided that it was necessary to give her an xray under anaesthetic to ensure she wasn’t egg bound. This was not a decision to be taken lightly, especially considering her overall poor health. Fortunately she came through fine and it was determined that egg laying in poor condition caused soft tissue damage. With pain killers, better nutrition, vitamin supplements and time she has recovered. However, considering her tiny stature there is a risk that the same thing could happen again in the future.

Nearly two years later Rani’s feather condition and general health is much improved and she is now an inquisitive adventurous cheeky conure. She doesn’t let her beak problems stop her from doing anything – in fact please don’t tell her she’s a special needs bird. She doesn’t realise that she is disabled you see. You may even occasionally see Rani at birdline events, she likes to go out and meet people, even if it does mean she has to put up with wearing a harness

The cost of Rani’s care to date has come to over £1000 and she will continue to need bi-monthly visits to trim her beak. She is a real trooper and takes these visits in her stride.

Please could you help keep Rani’s beak in shape, so she can happily munch her way through her favourite food?
.

 

Sponsor Darcy

Sadly, Darcy suffered severe zinc poisoning prior to coming to Birdline and she had to be hospitalised. She is also severely plucked across her back and front, and does not have enough flight feathers to fly, which in turn affects her confidence and behaviour. She has been known to self-mutilate and has opened gaping wounds under her wings. She can be moody and will fly at people and bite for no discernible reason, then the next day she will be all kisses and cuddles.

Darcy needs ongoing treatment, including medication and bi-annual vet visits and blood checks. She has not mutilated or pulled blood feathers since 2017 so she is doing well under her current health care regime.

If you would like to sponsor Darcy, she would love to stay in touch on her secret page which she will share with you. Her birthday with us is 26/06/2010 and she was born in 2004, should you wish to send her a gift. She particularly likes shredding things!

Sponsor Monty

This means he must visit a vet and have his medication reviewed and has to go under anaesthetic once a year for a blood test to make sure the medication is not damaging his internal organs.

When he is mutilating, his mum must watch him 24/7 to make sure he doesn’t bleed out. The least we can do to support her is to help with his vet bills. The worry, lack of sleep and sheer anguish at seeing your bird in pain, we can never repay her for.

Monty’s birthday is 02/07/2016 if you would like to send him a gift via head office. He particularly likes chewing things and likes to be distracted from his pain.

 

Warning: The images below are somewhat distressing but part of life for Monty. The first photo shows his feet in bandages and the second without…

 

.

 

 

 

Sponsor Mac

As you can see, I needed my beak and claws attending to when I first got to my safehouse. I can eat much easier now they are a little bit shorter and I can preen my feathers again.

Sadly, I don’t have a cage to call my own. My safehouse will provide me with a temporary cage and toys but if you can help me purchase a cage which will be mine forever. Or maybe even buy me a toy or two to decorate it with. I’ll be grateful and show my appreciation by destroying them real fast.

Unfortunately Mac is unable to fly. But this does mean he can go outside without a harness as he can’t escape or get lost. He loves playing on the swing in the garden with his best bird friend Zeus..

** Update ** My wonderful safehouse has purchased me a new cage. Since my beak and nails have been done, and my diet has improved,  I am doing so much better. My feathers are lovely and shiny and in really good condition now. Aren’t I handsome ? Love Mac

Mac Likes…

  • To be outside in the sun
  • Dancing to music
  • Making a mess eating berries
  • Cracking walnuts open
  • Destroying boxes and shredding paper
  • Singing Ba Ba Blacksheep

Mac dislikes…

  • His foster Dad
  • The T.V.

Sponsor Andy

Andy’s foster home is taking great care of Andy and makes sure he is given a good diet to ensure he does not gain weight again. Andy is now slimmer and more feathered up due to the care of his fosterers. However, Birdline must help out with his vet bills as Andy is not able to be insured (due to existing condition clauses).

Without your help, birds like Andy would struggle to find a forever home.