Rescued finches almost ready for permanent homes

Photo credit: Sally Toop
Posted on: February 21, 2018

Janelle Labelle

Feathered Haven Parrot Rescue in Smiths Falls typically rescues birds one at a time.  Early in January, however, they found themselves tasked with the rescue of over 100 birds in one fell swoop.  

Jill Woods, who runs Feathered Haven Parrot Rescue was contacted by family members of the birds’ owner. The owner had been evicted from her Kanata home and was no longer able to care for the many birds left behind. Woods put out a call for volunteers and they answered. “We were very fortunate to have so much willing, qualified help on hand: vet technicians were on site and volunteers familiar with avian rescue,” she says.

The birds, 106 finches and two canaries, were transported to Feathered Haven Parrot Rescue where they were kept in quarantine until they were tested by a veterinarian and cleared to be released into foster homes. Dr. Paul O’Neill, a board certified avian veterinarian with Island City Animal Hospital in Brockville, is continuing to oversee their care. He is impressed with the quality of care the birds have received since their rescue, crediting the volunteer team with doing “an amazing job.”

The birds have been diagnosed with coccidiosis, a parasitical infection, and are currently undergoing treatment for that. Four volunteers have stepped in to foster the birds during their testing and vetting, but once the birds have a clear bill of health, Woods will be looking for permanent homes for them. They should be able to be adopted by mid-to-late February.

Of her own role in the rescue, Woods is modest. “You do what you need to do,” she says. “Rescue is not about any fame or glory, simply about being a clean-up crew to others’ mistakes, no matter what the reason, and doing what needs to be done.”

She turns the spotlight on the many volunteers and donors who have assisted in the birds’ rescue and now in their continuing care, taking them to vet appointments, bringing food, toys, setting up cages, etc.  “It’s just been incredible,” she says. “A community effort for sure.”

A bake sale was held at Laura Jane’s Pet Food and Supplies in Perth, raising over $270 for the birds’ vet bills along with Carson’s Crayon Creations.

Woods notes that this story has spread beyond the community and generous strangers are reaching out from all over. “We have had offers of help from people in Toronto. We received financial donations from all across Canada, some from the U.S., and even one donation from a gentleman in Germany who wanted to help.”

Woods explains that finches are friendly birds, but this group is especially so. “You can tell they are used to interacting with humans,” Woods says. “They’re really lovely, really sweet birds.”

Feathered Haven Bird Rescue is still gratefully welcoming any donations of finch toys or food, and any financial support for the vet bills. “No donation is too small to help,” Woods smiles. “Every dollar is a valuable dollar.”  Anyone wanting to donate online may do so via Paypal; the account is

This article was first published in the February 2018 issue of Hometown News. For more articles from our February 2018 issue, pick up a print copy at a local retailer (find a list of locations here) or read our digital version.