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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.
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 – £3500
- Toys, perches and equipment – £300
- 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
Update – 15th 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 !!
Thanks to everyone who has donated, Bubble and Squeak can feel the lovely spring sun on their wings for the first time in a long time. Their 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 have a long way to go and we’d be grateful if you could donate to this project, or share their story with others who are also passionate about parrots.
Update – 10th 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 with him to grieve for Squeak and she 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 neighbor 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with photos and information.
We will also be carrying on with the Forever Home aviary campaign, so that Bubble, and any new friends she may make will continue to have a safe year round outside existence. More than ever, Bubble deserve a peaceful safe aviary. So please continue to donate if you can.
Donors Roll of Honour
The following donors have indicated they are happy to be acknowledged by name. We are grateful to them and all those who wish to remain anonymous.
- Danny and Emma Pederick
- David Morphew
- Jean B
- Jon S.
- Matt McArdle
- Michelle Widger
- Nick (Quark) Vincent
- Queen Misha
- Rio, Rani, Syd, Max, Yoshi and Coco
- Ros Bolton
- Sarah Rigby
- Stephanie Shields
- Trudie Mcdonald
- Anon – cheque received £100 (thank you)