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Illinois hoarder ordered to get rid of hundreds of birds, dead and alive

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A judge late Wednesday afternoon ordered an Aurora, Ill., man to let a city-hired crew remove hundreds of birds from his home.

Police served David Skeberdis with the order shortly after 6 p.m. He said he wanted to do the cleanup on his own because he couldn't afford the $13,000 the city would charge to capture the birds, but the judge overruled him.

"I feel bad about causing such a circus for them. I mean, I wish I would have had a little bit more control," said Skeberdis.

The homeowner estimated he has 80 birds, but Aurora police estimated there may be as many as 200 birds in the basement and approximately 100 birds between the first and second floors.


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Aurora Police Chief John Lehman said the air quality of the home was unsafe because of dead birds on the premises and bird droppings that have not been cleaned up. Testing on the home showed two to 15 times the normal mold reading, according to city officials.

"I didn't realize how bad the bird doo was," Skeberdis said.  "If you saw it, you'd probably think I was crazy."

Hundreds of finches, canaries, parakeets, cockatiels and other birds were found last week flying around the home in the 200 block of Shadybrook Lane.

Around midday Wednesday, two volunteers from the Greater Chicago Cage Bird Club showed up with cages to safely remove the remaining birds and to help the birds find new homes. 

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"We are renting a storefront in Villa Park to put the birds in for short term until we can determine how healthy they are and we can place them in other places," said volunteer Diane Federl.

Skeberdis said he admits the hoarding got out of control but said he doesn't plan on seeking help for the obsession.

"I have enough psychology classes that I took in college," he said.

The GCCBC is a 501c3 and is looking for donations. The storefront is costing them $1,000/month and additional funds are needed to feed the birds.  Donations can be made online at GCCBC.org.