A woman who takes in rescue birds and parrots has set up a charity to help her with her costs and expenses.
Rebecca Blagg, of Eastwood, has officially launched Guardian Angels to help her pay for food and vet bills.
The 47-year-old takes the birds from vets, rescue centres and individuals for various reasons, including from some owners who cannot cope with the animals. But Rebecca needs help to cover the mounting costs for those that end up staying with her because they are too poorly to be re-homed.
The bird lover, who always carries out home checks before handing birds to new owners, said many parrots get rescued because they outlive their owners.
“It’s not like having a cat or a dog,” she said.
“They can live 50, 60 or even 70 years.”
Last weekend she drove all the way to Scotland to drop a parrot off with its new owner, but said the man was so thrilled it was worth every mile.
Over time Rebecca, who lives in Wood Street, has rescued more than 100 birds, including 27 parrots – many of which have severe physical or mental health issues, or ‘special needs’ as she calls it.
Her latest addition is Bubbles the cockatoo, who suffers with severe separation anxiety and screams if she walks out the room — or even if she goes out of his view.
After being mollycoddled by his previous owner, Bubbles now has to be wheeled around the house with Rebecca everywhere she goes, and tries to attack people who stand too close to her.
“If I go out of the room he screams and screams. He just can’t cope if he can’t see me,” she said.
“We are working on him, but for now I just wheel him around the house with me on his stand, and if I go in the garden I take him outside with me!
“He even yelps if someone stands between us blocking his view of me and he used to attack people if they stood to near me,” added Rebecca.
Bubbles’s previous owner treated him like a child, carrying him around in her jumper everywhere she went.
But when he reached sexual maturity and began biting her and yelping when she put him down, she couldn’t cope and handed him over to Rebecca.
Charlie the parrot featured in the Advertiser last year – a resident bird who wears a cardigan to keep himself warm after he was nearly starved to death and plucked out all his feathers as a result.
The story hit the national news and Charlie – who stamps his feet and squarks if you try to take his jumper off – had several more cardies knitted for him.
He sported his favourite tuxedo pullover at the opening of Guardian Angels last Saturday.
Rebecca now also has Sky, whose bones fused in a crouching position after she was kept in a cage that was too small for her.
“Sky was bought for a very elderly lady with dementia who couldn’t look after herself let alone a parrot,” said Rebecca.
“She’s blind from a bad diet and neglect and her bones have fused in a crouching position.”
Rebecca has also recently taken in two parrots with twisted beaks, and another that suffers with asthma, called Lacey, who has to be treated during the night when she starts wheezing.
Rebecca and the team of Guardian Angels trustees – her friends and family – will host an annual open day on June 8, where the house and garden will be opened up to members of the public.If you want to adopt a bird for £10, donate to Guardian Angels, or just help with food supply, email Rebecca at firstname.lastname@example.org.