TOP ELEVEN RESCUE STORIES OF 2011

Burge Bird Rescue
13833 S 71 Hwy
Grandview MO 64030
816-356-4700
BurgeBirdServices@
yahoo.com
This little parrotlet who we named Bleu is one of the world's smallest parrots.  She came to us as an unwanted old breeder, with a cataract in one eye and a leg problem that made it difficult for her to climb.  Once she was feeling better on a pelleted diet and in a specially equipped cage, she became quite the little holy terror, trying to attack when we reached into the cage.  We decided that she would probably never find a home because of her personality, so she stayed with us until she passed away from kidney failure.
Tillie was diagnosed with diabetes at the same time her owner went into the hospital with respiratory problems.  We managed Tillie's diet, started her on oral medication, and kept her happy and feeling good, but her owner died and Tillie became ours.  She is shown here eating her favorite breakfast, oatmeal, which helped keep her cholesterol and blood sugar stable.
This little cockatiel was sprayed with something toxic causing horrible wounds on his head, and the owner did not want to pay for treatment.  Instead of putting him to sleep, we took him in and managed his wounds and eye problems for months until he completely healed.  Then he went to a new home with a new owner who made sure to read up on household hazards so he would stay safe.
Here is the same bird 6 months later, shown with his adoptive brother.  He is learning to talk, and other than a few ruffled feathers, he looks just as good as any other cockatiel.
We get a lot of calls from animal control officers and individuals who have found birds outside.  While these calls usually involve either injured or orphaned wild birds, or somebody's tame pet, once in a while we get a surprise.  This is a Golden Pheasant, native to China, kept as a backyard pet or breeding bird by a few people in the area.  This is the third time in 15 years that we have taken in a Golden Pheasant.  We do our best to locate the owners, but sometimes end up adopting these found birds out to new homes when the previous owners fail to respond to our ads.
There are hundreds of stories we could tell, but no time to write them all.  Your donations help with these birds and many more.  Here are a few stories from past years:
A Jenday Conure like this one came to us after the owner died.  None of the family wanted the bird, and didn't know the name or age.  When he came to us for adoption, we found during his physical exam that he had a large hernia.  The hernia was a large hole in the muscle of his belly, causing his intestines to hang in a sack of skin like a big beer belly!  If you want to see some graphic photos taken during the surgery, click here.
This crazy Quaker outsmarted us again and again by mutilating her neck with her toenails no matter what type of bandage we put on her neck.  We had to do surgery on her four times, and each time she seemed to be healed, she would tear herself open again.  She had multiple tests run to try and find the cause of her problem.  We never could come up with a definite cause, but we finally figured out that by bandaging her front toes, she couldn't tear herself up anymore!  She actually lives happily with her little slippers on her feet.  Donations helped cover all the expenses she incurred during six months at Burge Bird Rescue before she was adopted by a veterinary technician.
This baby Cooper's Hawk was found a few blocks from our office late one afternoon.  Animal control was closed, Lakeside Nature Center was closed, so nobody else would go out to rescue this little guy.  When I went to get him, his nest was nowhere in sight, and he was covered with flies.  He had to come back to our office, go under anesthesia, and have hundreds of fly eggs cut off of his feathers before they could hatch into maggots.

When Lakeside opened the next day, I took him in and left him in their expert care.  I was surprised when they called a couple of months later and said he was ready to go home!  What was I supposed to do with a Cooper's Hawk?  It turns out that they do best when released near the nest where they came from as they may blend right in with the other hawks in the area.  So I picked him up, took him back to his neighborhood, and watched him fly away.  I hope he is living a great life out there flying free.

****************************************************************************
I arrived at the Joplin Humane Society about 36 hours after the tornado after being deployed by the ASPCA's Field Investigation and Response Team.  The top two cages of cockatiels had been surrendered because the owner's home had been destroyed.  Broken glass and fiberglass insulation covered the bottoms of the cages, but the birds seemed to be in remarkably good shape.  The bottom cage held a cockatiel that had been found flying loose outside.  He was in critical condition, fluffed up, skinny, and not eating.  The birds had been put into the only quiet room available which was adjacent to the freezer where dead animals were stored, and was much too cold for the sick bird.

I moved him to a warmer room, gave him a heating pad, replaced the hamster food in his dish with cockatiel seed, started him on fluids and antibiotics, and watched him perk up during the next two days.  I got the other birds cleaned up so they wouldn't be injured by the glass, and labeled their cages so they wouldn't get mixed up in the confusion.  Later that day a Quaker flew to the door of the shelter and landed right in front of some rescuers.  I guess he knew exactly where to go!

****************************************************************************
This chicken had stopped laying eggs and was losing weight and acting sluggish.  Then her belly started to swell, and the owner realized things were getting critical.  We took an XRay and found an egg, but we knew something more was going on.  The owner couldn't afford the entire cost of the exploratory surgery, but rather than watch the bird die or put her to sleep, we decided that Burge Bird Rescue would pay part of the bill.

In a surgery that lasted over an hour and a half, we cleaned out 1 pound 4 ounces of egg yolks and one normal egg from her gigantic enlarged uterus.  Afterwards, the poor girl only weighed 2 pounds 10 ounces, meaning the egg material was almost a third of her body weight!  We take many birds into our adoption program every year that need medical or surgical treatment when the owners can't afford it, but we let the chicken go back home with the owner since we have no place to house a chicken while it waits to be adopted!

****************************************************************************
This is a small cage inside a larger cage.  I set this up as a trap to catch a little female budgie that had been coming to a feeder on someone's deck every day for a week.  I put two male budgies into the small cage, put it inside the large cage full of seed, ran a rope from the door of the large cage to the back door of the house, and told the woman who lived there to watch for the little girl to enter the large cage to flirt with the boys.  It worked the same day! 

Every year, we help capture several birds that have escaped outside.  No matter how many times we warn people to keep their bird's wings clipped, somebody is going to make a mistake and let a bird loose.

****************************************************************************
I got a call one evening that a bald eagle was in somebody's yard and it couldn't seem to fly.  I figured that it would be some kind of hawk, because there aren't really a huge number of bald eagles in the area, and I have never seen one up close.  Sure enough, I got to their house and it was an enormous bird, and boy, could he run!  With the help of some heavy towels and a few neighbors, we managed to herd him into some brush and up against a fence.  Unfortunately, he then headed right into a ditch with some old tangled barbed wire.  I climbed into the ditch and got ahold of his head before he could get caught in the wire, and stuffed him into a carrier before he could grab me with those powerful talons that looked longer than my fingers.

I knew he was in bad shape, and the next morning I took him to Lakeside Nature Center as soon as they opened.  Their vet couldn't see him, so I ended up XRaying him with the help of their technicians who are experienced in working with these dangerous birds.  This story does have a sad ending as he eventually died, and nobody was  ever able to figure out what was wrong with him.

*******************************************************************************
This little guy was found by one of our clients in a pet store with his leg caught in a toy, unable to get to food or water.  He had obviously been trapped for several days as his leg had turned black and was dead and cold.  The careless pet store employees let her take the bird, and another client of ours drove him over to us.  There was nothing we could do to save his leg, but we got him safely set up in a brooder with food and water and a bandage to support his damaged leg.  We later amputated it, and he is doing fine with one leg.

When someone calls us about a horrible pet store or breeder, we can't do anything about them, but you can.  Call animal control for your city, or call the Humane Society of Missouri at 314-647-4400 to report abuse or neglect.  (Most pet stores do a great job and most of the employees really love and care for the animals!)

******************************************************************************
Every year we take in three to six pigeons that have been found outside unable to fly.  Some of these are wild birds, some are homing pigeons with leg bands that can be traced to find their owner so they can be returned home.  We don't know of any veterinarian or shelter in town that will keep and treat wild pigeons, and they are not accepted at wildlife facilities.  We do our best to give these birds the medical care, food, and shelter they need to get back into shape so they can go back outside where they belong.  Occasionally one can't be released, so we will keep them until they find a home.

******************************************************************************
A breeder had to find homes for all of her birds as her husband was in poor health and they needed to move.  We took in over a dozen of her birds, some of which hadn't been handled for years because they had been set up as breeders.  These two blue Quakers that she had taken in from other breeders who didn't want them were a challenging adoption case because both of them have special needs.  The one in front had severe splay legs, meaning the nest box didn't have enough bedding material when he was a baby, so his legs slid out from under him and became permanantly spread out.  The bird in the back had lost one leg somehow.

We set them up in a cage with platforms instead of perches so that they could move around more easily.  Their dishes were set up for easy access.  It turned out that although they acted crazy and aggressive in the cage, once they were taken out they were sweethearts.  We never turn away a bird because of their special needs or if they are not tame.  Every bird deserves to have a home.

*******************************************************************************
Kansas City hosted the National Caged Bird Show in November, and people came from all over the United States to exhibit their birds.  I spent three days at the show without being paid because I knew that when over 2000 birds are in one place, bad things are going to happen.  I treated a few sick and injured birds, but the biggest challenge was catching an Owl Finch that was loose in this enormous room.  Rather than running at him with a net when he landed on a cage of canaries, I crept in slow motion towards him with a big sheet.  With someone holding the other side, we slowly approached him until he hopped onto the table and we draped the sheet over the cages, trapping him underneath.  He was saved from dying of stress or starvation, and will hopefully live a long life as a beautiful show bird.

*******************************************************************************
Mr. and Mrs. Smith are Senegal parrots that stayed with Beak N Wings bird rescue for two years waiting for someone to adopt them.  They came to live with us to see if we could have any luck finding the right person for them.  They are older former breeding birds that are not tame at all, and Mrs. Smith has no lower beak.  She has to eat soft foods like soaked pellets and tiny diced soft fruits and veggies.

They lived here for 11 months before their special person finally met them and took them home.  This year we also adopted out Truman, a little green male budgie, who was with us for over 18 months.  Now that we are about to open our new Rescue Room addition to our office, we will no longer have to worry about having enough space to keep birds as long as they need to be here.

******************************************************************************
We got an email that two domestic geese had been living in a creek near I-35 and Johnson Drive for several months.  Worried what would happen when winter approached because one bird had a deformed wing and couldn't fly, I sent out the word and found help from Brenna, a veterinary student, and her father.  The three of us went out with food, towels, and a big net, hoping to lure the birds close by feeding them.  Obviously, these birds were too smart to fall for that, and we had to chase them thru the mud and water for a couple of hours before we were finally able to outsmart them.  Brenna's family built them a nice pen on their farm, and they have their own pond they can visit during the day, safely returning to their barn at night.
TOP 12 OF 2012 BIRD RESCUE STORIES!
TOP 10 OF 2013 BIRD RESCUE STORIES!
This lost cockatiel was found outside with full wings feathers and a broken leg.  We set his leg in a cast, and after he healed he was adopted and named Skippy.  In the years since, despite conscientious wing clipping, Skippy still believes he can fly. However he’s really bad at landing on his feet! So he broke the same leg again. This time, his male ego may have been bruised by the neon pink cast. He’s been more careful since this break has healed.
TOP 10 OF 2014 BIRD RESCUE STORIES!
TOP 10 OF 2016 BIRD RESCUE STORIES!
TOP 10 OF 2015 BIRD RESCUE STORIES!