Members of an area bird club had their hands and a Villa Park storefront full Saturday with more than 300 birds recovered by court order Friday from an Aurora man's townhouse.
The Greater Chicago Cage Bird Club will be caring for the birds during a quarantine period to check their health and until adoptive homes can be found.
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"We have taken in 358 birds and they are all alive," club President Barbara Morris said. "It's a good end to a difficult situation."
The club's care of the birds began Friday evening as they were transported from the Aurora home of Dave Skeberdis, 57, to a rented storefront at 15 E. Park Blvd. in Villa Park, member Sue Laning of West Chicago said.
A painting contractor observed dead birds in Skeberdis' home and a cleanup was ordered when he failed to rectify the situation on his own. Crews turned over 120 dead birds to Aurora Animal Control and Care for proper disposal and put the live birds in the club's care.
"As the birds would come in to this location, we were washing them," Laning said. "You have to watch their temperature to make sure they're warm enough."
Club members also fed the birds, whom Laning said devoured their meal "like they hadn't seen food in a long time." Then they shut off the lights and tucked the animals in for the night, she said.
Parakeets dominate the population housed in different sized cages along the store's walls. A few cockatiels and conures as well as one finch and one canary also are under club members' care.
Aside from feeding the birds and keeping their cages clean, about five club members accepted donations of cages and bird feed from people like Pam Salley of Lombard.
"Everyone is aware of this, and I think they'll get a lot of donations," said Salley, who has seven parakeets of her own. "You always hear about people hoarding cats or dogs, but this is the first time I've ever heard of someone with birds."
Laning said monetary donations are needed to help the club with the expenses of renting space to house the birds, getting them checked by aviary veterinarians beginning next week and buying other supplies such as feed cups and perches.
Financial donations can be made through PayPal on the club's website at gccbc.org; and checks payable to the Greater Chicago Cage Bird Club can be sent to GCCBC c/o Diana Federl, 6520 S. Richmond Ave., Willowbrook, IL 60527.