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Mickaboo Volunteer Helps Long Distance Bird Lover

by Vicki Ronchette

Pidds Swati and her first cockatiel

Mickaboo's volunteers are the backbone of the organization.  There are so many dedicated, hardworking volunteers that make Mickaboo what it is.  One volunteer in particular has made quite an impact halfway around the world.

Virginia Nevin has been volunteering for Mickaboo for about 6 years.  She lives in San Bruno with her own flock which includes 2 Meyer's parrots, an African ringneck and a Jenday conure.  She also has two foster cockatiels, including a hospice cockatiel that was expected to die over 3 years ago.  In her care, he is still alive today.  In the past, Virginia has fostered an Eastern rosella, canaries, button quail, parakeets, cockatiels and a couple of wild conures.  In addition to fostering, Virginia also transports birds to their vets, teaches classes for the public on basic bird care and classes for volunteers on how to do phone screens, picks up emails for Mickaboo once a week and performs other Mickaboo administrative tasks.  She also helps at adoption fairs when she can.

Because of Virginia's involvement with Mickaboo she has made a long distance friend.  Swati Kapoor lives in India but found Mickaboo's website to be extremely helpful.  While browsing the website she fell in love with two cockatiels named Scooter and Chevy who were looking for a home.  While inquiring about the birds Swati was connected with Virginia who explained that Mickaboo doesn't ship birds and that it would certainly be too difficult and dangerous to ship them as far as India.  Their correspondence didn't end there; they kept in contact, exchanging emails.  There are no bird rescues in India so Swati decided to get a cockatiel from a local bird store.  Virginia educated her on good bird care and sent her Bird Talk magazines, toys and pelleted food.  She sent her the Basic Bird Care class outlines and other articles from the Mickaboo Reading Room.  Since then Swati's flock has grown from 1 to 5 when she added three more tiels and a budgie!  She has attempted to educate the local shop owners on proper bird care.  Swati says of Virginia, "It's because of her motivation and guidance that I am able to take care of them.  Her extra efforts motivated me thousands of miles away to educate people around me as much as I can.  She helped me and a few others through me that they are not 'just a bird'".

I asked Virginia to tell me about any birds that have touched her deeply since working with Mickaboo.  She told me about a beautiful Eastern rosella that came to her after being neglected in a commercial aviary.  He was very sweet but had a small lump on his head and that he twisted his head to the side.  She felt something was wrong and took him to the vet.  He passed away while the vet was drawing blood.  Even though she only had him for a week she had become very emotionally attached to him and was deeply affected by his death.

The other bird that moved her was Tweety, the Jenday conure.  Tweety's foster mom became ill and Virginia took him in to foster.  She had never known a very tame conure and she got attached to him quickly, so much so that she made the decision to adopt him permanently, becoming his forever home.

Thank you to Virginia and all the Mickaboo volunteers who work so hard for this organization and for the birds in it.  You all deserve a big Thank You - without you, none of the work that Mickaboo does would happen.