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If you’re Looking for an exotic bird, then look no further than Exotic Bird Rescue of Oregon, an all-volunteer-based nonprofit whose mission is finding safe, loving homes for every bird. Based in Springfield, the organization also offers education and support to the communities it serves.

“We have an average of 100 birds who are in rescue at any given time,” says Tara Smith, foster coordinator. “We rescue and adopt out parrots of every size. Some of the common breeds we bring in and adopt out are parakeets, cockatiels, conures, African Greys, Amazons, cockatoos and macaws.”

EBR’s objectives are to:

Take in unwanted, abandoned, injured or lost exotic birds.

Provide medical care and safe housing for rescued exotic birds.

Provide suitable foster homes for rescued birds until adopted.

Reunite lost birds with their owners whenever possible.

Provide owners the necessary training and skills to keep their companion bird in their home.

Provide ongoing information and education in proper avian care and behavior to current and potential exotic bird owners.

Exotic Bird Rescue was founded in December 1994 due to a local parrot aviary neglect situation and the lack of an organized group of people in the area to help remove the birds and place them in a safe environment.

A local bird club, the Emerald, stepped up to take responsibility for the rescue and placement of the endangered birds. Emerald Exotic Bird Society disbanded and EBR was established to carry on the work, becoming a nonprofit in 2000.

Believing that the interests of the birds placed voluntarily by their owners for a variety of reasons are best suited in a foster home program, Exotic Bird Rescue does not operate a facility. The birds are all quarantined, placed in personal homes throughout the area, and treated as members of the family, according to website information.

EBR seeks adopters who want long-term companions and are willing to learn how to properly care for a bird, Smith says.

“All of our adopters must complete a free bird care class and pass a home safety visit,” she adds. “There is an adoption fee, which includes their cage, toys and some food. Usually the adoption fees are quite a bit less than someone would pay for a bird from a pet store or directly from a breeder.”

Classes are held in the Portland and Eugene areas, as well as online using a new videoconference format. Register for classes at rescuebird.com.

“The bird care classes are extremely important to everyone who wants to adopt since information about bird care changes so often,” Smith says. “On a regular basis we will have someone who has owned birds for 20 years come to class and learn something new. Our classes are not limited to potential adopters, anyone can attend the free class.”

Taking a bird care class is a must to foster a bird, Smith says.

“If someone wants to foster, they must also pass the home safety visit, just like potential adopters,” she says. “After they pass the home visit, they can then fill out the foster application. Once they are approved to foster, they will get to choose which birds they want to work with from a waitlist. The more fosters we have, the more birds we can help.”

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Adopters proclaim: “Chico makes me laugh every day with his antics and the crazy things he says”; “I really want to wrap Loki up in a pink blanket and hold her like a baby!”; and Frankie “is my buddy and I could not imagine my life without him.”

“Caring for exotic birds is expensive,” Smith says. “We strive to consistently maintain a minimum level of care for each bird. The minimum level of care includes vet visits, quality food, safe cages, toys, and any items needed for special needs birds.”

Donations can be made through the EBR website by clicking the donate button or by sending an email to ebr@rescuebird.com.

“We also offer a Senior Companion Bird Program to senior communities such as retirement homes and assisted living facilities,” Smith says. “This program provides birds who are difficult to adopt out or who have been in rescue for an extended period of time, a loving place to call home where they will receive and give attention.

“We provide training to whoever is going to care for them, place a flight cage of parakeets or cockatiels in a common area, and then continue to support them longer term,” she adds. “The facility is responsible for fresh vegetables and fruit, and we provide the rest. This a free program.”

For more information, contact EBR at 541-461-4333. ☸

Note: Some classes and adoptions may be affected by shutdowns and social distancing requirements.

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