When a bird comes into the charity from a donor, it is placed in a safehouse for evaluation. Safehouses are the backbone of Birdline: We do not have regional centres where birds are kept, rather they are cared for by our members until they are ready for rehoming. The safehouse completes an evaluation (Safehouse Bird Evaluation Form) with a photo, and the rehoming volunteers use this information to put birds on the website. Some birds are not suitable for rehoming and become part of our bird sponsorship programme.
Please be sure to read all these instructions before applying for a bird. It will save a lot of time for you and us. Please also remember that we are all volunteers and as such the re-homing process can take time. There are also some FAQs here which you may find helpful.
Birdline rehome all of the birds who come into our care. The birds are not adopted out, but are put into the Birdline Lifelong Foster Care Programme. The Programme ensures that the bird always belongs to Birdline and thus the bird is protected for the rest of its life. The Foster Carer must agree that if their circumstances change then the bird must come back into Birdline, it cannot be sold or passed on to any one else. However, in the meantime, the bird is theirs to enjoy.
When you foster a bird from Birdline, you do not buy the bird. Our charges are to cover our costs for moving, assessing and administering the birds. This enables us to continue our rescue work and allows us to help secure the future of more birds in need. In addition, it means we can provide people who can not afford hundreds or thousands of pounds, the opportunity to enjoy having one.
Annual Membership Fee: £25
Homecheck (foster homes only): £20
Small birds – Budgies, Parrotlets & Cockatiels – £20.00 donation & £10.00 admin fee – Total £30.00
Small – medium sized birds – Conures, Ringnecks, Caiques, Hahn’s macaw £30.00 donation & £30.00 admin fee – Total £60.00
Medium sized birds – e.g. Amazons – £40.00 donation & £40.00 admin fee – Total £80.00
Cockatoos – £80.00 donation & £40.00 admin fee – Total £120.00
Macaws – £150.00 donation & £50.00 admin fee – Total £200.00
Our bird listings are here. Look for a bird which suits your circumstances, e.g. gender preferences, working hours, children, pets. If you can’t see a bird you like, contact us anyway and we can keep an eye out as birds come in for one which is suitable.
Any member, Including safehouses, foster homes, area coordinators, area managers and directors, can apply for any bird on the rehoming list. The application should be submitted via the Rehoming application form or via their Area Coordinator if you don’t have the internet. If applying via your ACO please clearly state which bird you are applying for and give a short description of your circumstances and why you are applying for the bird, along with your current telephone number, home address and email address if you have one.
Each member who has applied for a bird will be contacted by telephone by a Rehoming Officer to discuss their application. This can be a lengthy process if the bird has a lot of applicants. Each telephone interview takes 45 minutes to an hour.
Once all the phone interviews have been completed, the rehoming committee will then decide which applicant is most suited to the individual bird’s needs, and a decision will be made as to which applicant has been successful. Successful applicants (new foster carers) must pass a home check before the bird is placed with them. All applications will be assessed equally and fairly. Unsuccessful applicants will be informed by telephone or via email only after the bird has been successfully placed.
A home check will only be carried out if an applicant is considered to be suitable for a bird. The home check will be species specific, therefore if a member has not fostered this specific species before then a home check will be required irrelevant of any other previous home checks carried out. The home check will be at a cost of £20.00 and can be paid in the Birdline shop, or by cheque or cash to the Birdline representative on the day.
Some Birds do not have cages and in this case new foster carers should ensure that they have a suitable cage and that the cage is checked by the ACO before the bird is placed.
Members who were unsuccessful are encouraged to apply for another suitable bird and can do so at any time. Just because you are not deemed the most suitable applicant for that bird does not mean you will not be successful for another.
Each bird placed in a new home will have a Birdline Passport which will contain the bird’s history (if any) and any veterinary treatment the bird may have had. This passport MUST be kept up to date by the new Foster Carer and produced whenever a Birdline representative comes to check on the bird.
Once a bird is placed a check will be done on the bird after 6 weeks, thereafter 6 monthly checks will be carried out. If the foster carer changes their address or phone number they must inform Birdline. It is possible that if a change of address is notified, then a further home check may need be carried out.
The Foster Carer must agree to continue to be a member of Birdline UK during the complete period of fostering the bird.
Any bird may be removed from a Foster Carer if it is deemed that the conditions the bird is living in are inappropriate, or the bird is at risk, or if the Fosterer’s membership lapses.
You must be able to provide a suitable travelling cage, perches and food and water for the journey. A suitable cage will be like this one here. For larger birds such as large cockatoos and macaws, you will need one like this one here.
You will be given details of the safehouse and can arrange directly with them a mutually suitable time.
Due to the economic climate and changes in peoples’ circumstances, many of our volunteers now cannot help to deliver birds around the country. If you wish to apply to foster a bird, you need to be aware that if you are successful in your application, you must be able to collect the bird, so apply for one near you.
In certain exceptional circumstances Birdline may be able to help at a cost of 22p per mile, but this is not guaranteed and will depend on whether we have volunteers who are able to travel the bird for you. You must inform the rehoming officers, at your initial application if you cannot collect the bird so we can check if this is feasible.