Exotic Birds Take Over Fargo


Eight exotic birds were on display at the Fargo Public Library April 2.

The Center for Avian Adoption, Rescue, and Education (CAARE) gave the public an up-close look at the birds while Candi Willey, one of the center’s members, informed the attendees about bird care and adoptions.

The birds presented ranged from common pets to very rare domesticated birds. According to Willey, a macaw that was showed is a bird that “you just don’t see.”

Education on caring for these types of birds is important according to Willey. “If they ever decide they want a bird they need to know what they’re getting into,” Willey said. “It’s not an easy animal to care for.”

People are pretty receptive to birds according to Willey. “It’s just some people are not bird people … they’re loud and they can be extremely messy.”

According to Willey, the most challenging part of caring for birds is “keeping them happy.” This includes stimulating the bird’s active minds by occupying the birds with various toys, including “puzzle toys.” Willey said this also means appropriately feeding the birds.

According to Willey, birds are brought into the shelter because they are either mistreated in some way or the owner is no longer able to take care of the animal. CAARE tries to find good homes for these lost creatures. The organization offers a 30-day return policy and completes home visits for prospective owners.

The organization considers itself to be a shelter. “We take them in, then we basically give them a place to reside until we find homes for them,” Willey said. In the last three years, CAARE has found homes for over 100 birds.

CAARE was a bird club until 2000 when the organization saw the need to “pre-home” birds, according to Willey.

The organization is unique to North Dakota, but not rare nationally. There are organizations like CAARE around the country, including three in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The event was for all ages according to the event coordinator Cindy Mason. Mason said she “didn’t realize quite so many birds were going to come and that was awesome.”

The number of volunteers that showed up to help was also a pleasant surprise, Mason said. “I was also blown away by the number of people who showed up, which was fantastic.”

“I didn’t realize how much they did, and how much knowledge they have,” Mason said.

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