Alaska Bird Club Scrambles To Find Homes For 300 Cockatiels
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
The Alaska Bird Club is facing a problem after a man in Anchorage died and left this behind.
(SOUNDBITE OF BIRDS CHIRPING)
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
We're hearing about 300 cockatiels - birds that abruptly had no one to care for them. Amber Morris of the Alaska Bird Club was stunned to find what the late bird owner had.
AMBER MORRIS: We had never heard of him, which is amazing because we're the Bird Club, and he had 300 birds. So we were kind of surprised.
GREENE: She put together a team of volunteers to care for these birds in a homemade aviary.
MORRIS: It's a sunroom with branches all across the top and a bunch of birds sitting on those. And then there's a little, like, birdie door where they can go outside to cages that are outside in the yard.
INSKEEP: A little birdie door - that's jargon. Morris and her team are testing the birds for diseases that could potentially be passed to humans.
GREENE: And if the tests do come back negative, the Bird Club will hold local adoption events. But if the tests come back positive, well, they'll have to make some hard decisions.
INSKEEP: Wait; when you say tough decisions, as in?
MORRIS: Oh, no. It might happen because we can't medicate 300 birds because it takes, like, four to six weeks to treat it. If that happens, I'm probably going to have to appeal to the community and see if we can get a whole bunch of volunteers because that's a really big situation to deal with.
INSKEEP: The test results have not come back yet, so we're all crossing our fingers and listening to Amber's piece of advice.
MORRIS: Put your birds in your will. If you're over, like, 30 years old or so, you should have birds in your will because they may outlive you.
INSKEEP: I'll have to update my will this weekend.
(SOUNDBITE OF ANDREW BIRD'S "YAWNY AT THE APOCALYPSE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.