BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Earlier this month, a Detroit-area bird rescue operation got a call from the son of a man who had an excessive amount of parakeets.
The Detroit Animal Welfare Group in Romeo, Michigan said the man indicated he was going to drop off 60 to 80 parakeets from his father's house, but instead, showed up with 497.
Then, the day after Christmas, the son called again to drop off more birds. This time, he brought an additional 339 birds, bringing the total number of surrendered birds to 836.
In desperate need of help, the Detroit rescue group called several other animal welfare groups in Michigan.
Birds and Beaks Rescue and Rehab, located in Battle Creek Michigan, ended up taking in about 300 parakeets.
13 ON YOUR SIDE checked in with the West Michigan animal rehab group to see how the birds are holding up.
"They're all doing really well. We've got everybody separated by sex, and we've got them prioritized by health... they're starting to settle in," Shannon Kramer of Birds and Beaks Rescue and Rehab said.
So far, they've lost 11 birds due to stress, illness, injury and other issues.
As you can imagine, having hundreds of parakeets can be messy. Workers at the Battle Creek rescue have to vacuum seven or eight times a day to keep the space clean.
At this point, all of the birds are taking antibiotics, which means they can't adopt any out until disease testing is done.
It could be 14 to 45 days before they can start adopting them out. If you're interested in adopting any birds, you can go here to fill out an application. The nonprofit is waving its regular adoption fee in lieu of a donation.
"We need to check in on our humans. We need to check in on our elders to make sure that everyone is doing ok," Kramer said.
Between four animal rescue groups, all of the birds are being cared for with hopes of getting them into new, healthy forever homes.
13 ON YOUR SIDE asked the Battle Creek bird rehabilitation group what's the best way to help these birds.
Kramer said folks can call the Jolly Road Veterinarian in Lansing to apply money to their account. The number is 517-977-1095.
They also have a donate button on their website here.
Below are the rescues involved. You can contact each of them for information on adopting any of the birds or making a donation to help with their needs and medical attention:
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