Fundraising for feathered friends begins



His bedside manner could possibly be better described as nestside.

People often go to Alexandra’s Alan Parker if they find baby or injured birds that need to be cared for.

A trained veterinary nurse and part-time cleaner for Phoenix Cleaning Services, he is getting busier with rescues, and needs more space so he is raising funds to buy another chew-proof aviary to help care for his patients.

He and friend Lara Dowling recently launched Avian Rescue and Parrot Sanctuary Otago (ARPSO) and are now running a raffle to buy a steel aviary and to help cover veterinary costs.

In addition to wild and garden rescue birds, he has 13 rescue parrots, including lorikeets, cockatiels and cockatoos.

He adopted 15-year-old Cocky, who needed to be rehomed, about a year ago.

‘‘The first day I got him, he ripped me to pieces but now he is more relaxed and trusting. ‘‘That has taken him about a year and we are still making progress.’’

Most recently, someone dropped off a baby skylark they found on the ground, and a baby pigeon that had fallen out of its nest on the old Alexandra piers.

Neither survived, as the skylark had been without warmth and feed for too long.

The pigeon was euthanised as its parents had fed it rust and paint from the piers, which affected its ability to use its legs.

The vet’s bill for it would cost about $2000 with no guarantee of success, so he decided it was better to euthanise it.

‘‘If we get them fed and warmed up, they have a chance to survive.

‘‘If it has been on the ground or abandoned, they get cold and if they don’t get fed, they get hypoglycemic and their blood sugar drops.”

If they survive to maturity, he releases them back close to where they were found.

He recently pursued and caught a rooster with a net, chasing it through tall grass after it was dumped at Gorge Creek several weeks earlier.

It is now rehomed on a lifestyle block.

He and several friends bought and rehomed about 120 battery hens from Dunedin, which were due to be culled, a couple of months ago.

He is still taking care of one that had a broken femur.

Tickets are available through the ARPSO’s social media pages.

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