WEST FARGO, N.D. — Adrian Renton, the secretary for the Center of Avian Adoption, Rescue and Education, spent some of Thursday afternoon, June 17, tending to 21 budgerigar parakeets, or budgies, in a cage, giving them water and food.
Renton received the parakeets from a man the day before when he dropped them off before moving out of town.
While Renton said the hand-off went smoothly, he said the man told him he released 80 other budgies into the wild since he didn't know what to do with them.
"I was a little shocked (when he told me)," Renton said. "I tried not to react in front of him, because I don't want to start up anything."
Candi Willey, CAARE's vice president, said the birds could be anywhere in the Fargo-Moorhead area, and some can only survive for two to three days in the wild.
"All (pet budgies) know is that this human gives them food and water," she said. "They aren't brought up to find food and search for it like the regular budgies do in the wild."
Willey said budgies are mostly yellow and green in nature, but some can be blue and white, depending on how they're bred.
If people don't spot them, she said, they'll definitely be able to hear them since they're loud in groups.
Most importantly, Willey said, if someone sees one on the ground, they have to act quickly to save it.
"When they come down, it means they're weak and they're starving, so it's pretty important to give them food and water right away," she said.
As the shelter waits for most, if not all, budgies to be found, volunteers said they're ready to give them the care they need if necessary.
"It would be a lot of work, but I feel like it'd be worth it to know that they're safe," Renton said.