The latest news from a Refuge for Saving the Wildlife.
Thursday, December 06, 2007 | 10:19 AM
Recently at Chicago's Department of Animal Care and Control, two unusual birds were turned in - a scarlet macaw and an Amazon parrot.
It seems it would be almost impossible to find new homes for creatures like this, except for an organization called "A Refuge for Saving the Wildlife" in Northbrook.
For homeless macaws, cockatoos and other birds of the parrot family, this place is a second chance at a new life.
"We do parrot rescue," said Richard Weiner, executive director of "A Refuge for Saving Wildlife." "Just like dogs and cats, but we do it for the birds . . . a lot of birds that are out there getting displaced because of death or 'I just don't want them anymore.'"
Rich Weiner's life is for the birds. So is his house. But he can't imagine having it any other way, he says.
From the outside, Weiner's Northbrook home looks like any nice, bilevel suburban house. But step inside and it is unlike any other interior the visitor has ever seen. The walls are lined, dining room, living room, kitchen, with large stainless steel cage after cage. Each is occupied by a parrot: African greys, umbrella cockatoos, the occasional oddball macaw.
But you are soon charmed by the singular sensation of having 70 birds, from atop their cages, or their doors, politely tell you "hello" as you walk by. Some begin to squawk, starting off a chain reaction until the noise level pierces the brain like an auditory ice pick. The cockatoos slowly lift their feathered crests, like gentlemen their hats as you pass. (Weiner says it can mean anything from excitement to aggression.)