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Old 05-27-2015, 05:36 PM
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Went to a Bird Expo...

It was my first one and it was AWESOME.

They had a guest speaker, John Lege, who was quite incredible. He has 140 rescued parrots in his sanctuary. He brought quite a few of them with him for his demonstrations. All of the parrots - from budgies to macaws - all sat in their places on the stage THE ENTIRE day. They never budged.

Forgive me if you all know of him, but he is new to me.

Here is a link to his website:
That*Guy*with*the*Birds! - Home

He gave some VERY informative presentations. But what really had me rooted was the stories of the babies he's saved...

I was in complete tears twice. Some of these birds have terrible, terrible stories!

One B&G Mac, Beethoven, was locked in a shopping cart for 12 YEARS!!! He was up on stage that day, completely feathered, and performing!

The other story that made me cry, and again sorry if you all know about him and his birds, is the Black headed Caique and the Green Cheek Conure.

Someone dumped a Caique after locking it in a closet for a year because it was so loud.

Someone else dumped a GCC that was a breeder. This person kept their smaller birds in an aviary with the larger ones. One of the large birds one day decided it wanted whatever the GCC was eating, and removed his upper mandible! The person called John and asked if the beak would grow back, and when he said no, they asked if he would take it.

John had to feed the GCC with a syringe like a baby bird. He said every day the GCC would be in a certain spot in his aviary, waiting to be fed. One day he went in, and GCC was not in his normal spot. He found the GCC cuddled up next to the Caique... and the Caique was feeding him! He said to this day, the two of them are inseparable, and the Caique always makes sure the GCC has something to eat.

I bawled. Especially when he brought that precious little GCC around, snuggled up next to the Caique buddy, to show everyone the beak.

He also had a Moluccan that was used for drug trafficking. They tormented the cockatoo until it was violent, then would pack it's crate with drugs and ship it internationally via cargo. When drug-sniffing dogs would alert to the crate, they would say "The dog is just smelling the bird". If anyone would try to reach into the crate, the bird would violently attack. Once they were caught, the cockatoo ended up with John Lege. I approached the cockatoo, who leaned out like she wanted to step up, she stepped up, rested against my chest, and spread her wings out around me like she was hugging me. It truly melted my heart!

It was really an awesome show.
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Old 05-27-2015, 05:56 PM
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Re: Went to a Bird Expo...

Thanks for sharing! Went to John's website and saw a photo of the GCC with the missing upper mandible. Instant tears from me! And I saw the photo of the shopping cart where Beethoven was imprisoned for all those years! Yes, more tears.

I can't believe people can be so cruel to innocent birds (or any animal, for that matter). I'm so glad there are people like John who dedicate their time, and often their lives, to helping these abused creatures.
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Old 05-28-2015, 07:41 AM
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Re: Went to a Bird Expo...

I went to that Expo. John left his parrots on their stands and during the CHOP demonstration one of the U2s came down off his stand and started chasing the CHOP speaker. She isn't into U2s and she started running. It was a hoot.
Other than that his birds were very well behaved.
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:11 AM
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Re: Went to a Bird Expo...

The rescue I volunteered with had around 350 birds...

You saw a lot of that sort of thing. After awhile, I just ended up getting angry all the time. We had a saying. "Sometimes I just hate people..."

I don't hate people. But when you see stuff that ranges from the ungodly ignorant and stupid, to the just plain cruel and gross neglect. And sometimes, it crossed the line to abuse...

I don't miss having to deal with it on the daily...

After half a dozen years or so, I only wanted to be around happy birds and the people who loved them.
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:28 AM
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Re: Went to a Bird Expo...

There's a very good reason I'm not a vet - I just can't deal with people's ignorance and neglect! I don't think I'd be able to stop myself punching someone...

Luckily I'm now in a position where I can educate people on the proper way to care for birds

I hadn't heard of John Lege, but his website is really cool!
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:29 AM
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Re: Went to a Bird Expo...

Thanks for sharing your experience. It never shocks me the level of depravity people will stoop to when it comes to animals. They treat their iPhones better than they do living, breathing beings who experience pain, loneliness, boredom and fear. What does surprise me is the capacity these beautiful creatures have to forgive humankind and overcome their pasts. It's why I'm so pro-rescue. There are just a seemingly endless amount of birds, most who have experienced some level of trauma, abuse and/or neglect in their lives desperately seeing someone willing to help them. They may need you to earn their trust, but those birds deserve love too.
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:36 AM
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Re: Went to a Bird Expo...

Quote: Originally Posted by Mekaisto View Post
I don't think I'd be able to stop myself punching someone...
One of the reasons I quit doing that is there were several incidents, back to back to back, that kinda pushed me to that breaking point...

A couple of them in particular were just things you never want to see, experience, or even hear about. "HOW THE @#$% COULD YOU...!!!"

It was either leave, or tenderize someone's head with a baseball bat, who desperately deserved it... (I'd be the one going to prison in that instance. "What? It was just a bird. Get a grip on yourself.")

And this was on top of the internal politics of the rescue, and the workload, trying to balance that with the demands of parenting, and the demands of career, and the demands of caring for my own flock... it was too much!

That's when I decided, for the sake of my own mental health, it was time to walk away.
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:40 AM
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Re: Went to a Bird Expo...

Quote: Originally Posted by LaurenB View Post
He gave some VERY informative presentations. But what really had me rooted was the stories of the babies he's saved...

I was in complete tears twice. Some of these birds have terrible, terrible stories!

One B&G Mac, Beethoven, was locked in a shopping cart for 12 YEARS!!! He was up on stage that day, completely feathered, and performing!
Yeah... Exactly!

So much for that "birds with baggage" myth...

Work with them they thrive (or thrive again.)

Don't work with them, they don't.

It's rocket science.
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:05 AM
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Re: Went to a Bird Expo...

I have considered joining a rescue to get insight and experience before adding a bird to my life. I have rescued horses, dogs, cys, and reptiles. A bird should be next! My only issue...I can't seem to find a local avian rescue. =(
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:29 AM
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Re: Went to a Bird Expo...

Quote: Originally Posted by MinkFeathers View Post
I have considered joining a rescue to get insight and experience before adding a bird to my life. I have rescued horses, dogs, cys, and reptiles. A bird should be next! My only issue...I can't seem to find a local avian rescue. =(
It's actually invaluable. I only had one conure when I started. But at those kinds of places, you handle everything, and you rehab everything, and you just learn by doing...

You don't learn bird handling by reading theories... you learn it by doing. And then you pick up on breed tendencies, and learn their little tricks, and in the process, you find out which species you really enjoy and want to have as a permanent addition, and which species you want to work with but admire from afar... (and not take home.)

How else can you gain experience with that many different species... I mean, pet stores don't cut it. Those are docile little babies for the most part. You ain't seen nothing yet...

Like with large toos, you don't even know what you are dealing with until that bird turns five, and you are either in hell, or you're not...

What state are you in?
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