Q. How did NEEBS get started?
A. Back in the mid 90’s, I learned that there was a huge need for somebody who knew what they were doing to take in the many, many pet birds who need homes. I knew of one person who was taking them in, but he really didn’t have the knowledge necessary to take the best care of them. In the meantime, I learned that the numbers of pet birds being given up were more than I had ever imagined. As far as I knew, there was no one else in New England doing any kind of exotic bird rescue. Since this needed doing, I decided to go ahead and do it. At the same time, I thought I could use this taking-in of birds as a means to educate folks about their own birds, care, feeding, training, and so on.
Q. What exactly is the vision of NEEBS?
A. It’s pretty much as stated in our “about” page. The vision involves a bird park and educational center. Again, we see a huge need for such a place here in New England, and believe it will be a popular, pleasant place to visit and to learn, as well as a pleasant place for the birds to live.
Q. When are you open to visitors?
A. We’re not–yet. We are seeking in earnest a new home for us all, and will have open hours once we get settled into that new home. At our present location, it is simply not possible for us to have visitors.
Q. Why don’t you answer my emails?
A. I receive up to 1000 emails per day. Often I’ll want some time to think before responding, and I’ll set an email aside for later. Hopefully, I’ll really answer it later, but sometimes, under the deluge of more mail arriving by the minute, that “more important” email will get lost in the shuffle. If only I had a wait to mark them as a priority….If you’re waiting for an answer from us, and don’t get one, please resend the question, and/or feel free to remind us.
Q. What do I have to do to send my birds to live at NEEBS?
A. Just email us the story of the bird. We need to know the species, the reason the bird needs a new home, medical history, and any other information you have about your bird. A recent vet check along with written records is appreciated. If the bird is a plucker, we’d like him/her to be tested for zinc and Giardia before coming here. If we have room, or if it’s an emergency, and as long as the bird is not known to have any contagious, untreatable disease, we will probably be glad to take the bird on. We do appreciate some sort of donation, if at all possible, toward the bird’s upkeep. That can be in the form of food, money, toys, and/or volunteering.
Q. How can I adopt a bird from NEEBS?
A. You can’t. We don’t have an adoption program. There are many reasons for this, rather a lot to state in a simple faq page. However, I will state that the people who leave their birds with us do so because they know the birds will be staying here. They don’t want their birds sent from one home to another. We agree! Birds need consistency, so we offer them a permanent home, and we never sell or place anybirdy.
Q. What’s the biggest reason people give for “getting rid of” their birds?
A. Screaming. Then there’s biting. A lot of birds develop what people perceive as behavior problems. The real problem is usually that people buy a sweet, fluffy, huggable baby bird, and then the bird grows up. A few years later (depending on species this could be 6 months to maybe 8 years later), the bird reaches “puberty” and his or her behavior changes. The cuddly, snuggly lovebug of a bird becomes an unpredictable hormonal beast. Few people are warned of this before they buy their baby birds. Most are totally unprepared for this unpredictable behavior. Biting and screaming are difficult to control once begun, and birds really need to be worked with when they’re young in order to minimize the difficulties that come with the bird’s maturing. They can be worked with, but many folks just don’t know how. I do my best to help people maintain their bonds with their birds. If they really want to keep the bird with them, then I direct them as best I can in training methods (I myself use, love and advocate clicker training). Some, however, just can’t take the problem anymore, or don’t have the energy or time or whatever to stick it out. Working with behavior problems takes time and patience, and often by the time somebody contacts me about taking a bird, the person is at the end of their rope already, and has no more time and/or patience left.
Other common reasons are human allergies to birds or lung disease, other human illness, new baby in the house (no time for the bird anymore, or fear for the child’s safety), bored with the bird, change in lifestyle, marriage, etc.