The parakeets gathered together, happily chirping as they ate and chomped on branches adorning their cages.
They seemed happy to enjoy the sunshine, as well as more room to move around.
Parrot Hope, a bird rescue in Mantua, is looking for a new home for hundreds of homeless birds recently surrendered to their care. They were surrendered by a breeder from outside Portage County.
Tammi Apple, executive director of Parrot Hope, said another rescue group also took some of the parakeets, but was unable to care for all of them and called Parrot Hope for assistance. The birds were temporarily quarantined and found to be healthy, and are now available to be adopted.
The rescue held an event last weekend at Pet Supplies Plus in Streetsboro to raise funds for food, toys and cages for the birds. Since the birds came to Mantua last week, about 115 have been adopted. About 200 remain, although the exact number is unclear, said Brooke Moses of Parrot Hope.
“It can be quite hard to get an accurate count, because they don’t sit still,” she said.
In addition to the parakeets, Parrot Hope is also caring for another bird, a red-lored Amazon, who was surrendered after a raccoon attacked the bird in her cage. The previous owner, rescue staff members say, could not afford the costly vet care needed. The bird sustained extensive injuries, and will need thousands of dollars worth of care in order to survive.
“She’s going to have a long road to recovery,” Moses said.
Staff members feed the birds twice a day, and are working to transition them from mostly seeds to a diet of pellets, fresh fruit and vegetables. Branches of bamboo trees adorn the cages, and serve as a toy for the birds.
“They love it,” Moses said.
The parakeets are spread among several cages, and cluster together in close groups. There are about 50 birds in a double cage, but they were in much more cramped conditions before coming to Parrot Hope. Several birds are missing tail feathers because of overcrowding and fighting for food and mates.
Parrot Hope will host an open house from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 10. Items will be available for purchase, grooming of birds will be offered by appointment, and the parakeets, along with other birds, will be available for adoption. Although cages that are clean and in good condition will be offered, cash donations also will be taken so the rescue can purchase the food, toys and cages needed.
Apple and her staff said it is common for owners to surrender their birds because of costly vet care, something some people don’t think they will face when they adopt a bird. Volunteers say because Apple doesn’t raise the rehoming fee based on the situation or the amount of care needed, donations are needed to offset that cost.
Tracy Maynard, a volunteer at Parrot Hope, said Rocky, an 11-year-old cockatiel, came to Parrot Hope about a year ago after his owner said the bird was attacked by a dog and sustained a broken leg. The injury was more extensive than was originally thought, and the leg had to be amputated.
The outgoing bird now represents Parrot Hope at public events. making friends with people and other cockatiels, including a “girlfriend.” A video is posted on Parrot Hope’s Facebook page shows the birds interacting and saying “I love you.”
Maynard said Rocky came with his name, and after the battle he faced, she couldn’t change it.
“He’s a fighter,” she said.
Reporter Diane Smith can be reached at 330-298-1139 or email@example.com.