MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

June 14, 2013

Gore couple for the birds

By John Kilgore
Phoenix Outdoors Columnist

— “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” is a song recorded by Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffet.

Well, when it’s 5 o’clock in the morning in Gore, Andy Jorgensen, a first generation American of Danish decent,  is feeding the parrots and tropical birds at his little slice of paradise.

His wife Jane has been a lover of birds all of her life. Her mother used to tell of how Jane would go outdoors and sit and read aloud softly.

Soon, her mother would look outside and observe the many birds that had come to perch around Jane and listen to the story.

Now, the Jorgensens currently have 60 rescue parrots and other tropical birds. They have several buildings to house all of the large cages behind their home.

Many Oklahomans are not familiar with these beautiful birds. Having such monikers as Quaker parrots, Eclectus parrots, McCaw, Blue and Golds, Congo African greys, Amazons – their names are as exotic as their colorings.

At one time, when they lived outside of Tahlequah, she had as many as 500 birds.

Now living in Gore, they spend many hours feeding, watering and caring for the parrots as well as various other tropical birds.

Jane keeps all birds that she rescues. Calls come from various owners who cannot care for the birds anymore or even from law enforcement officers. Sometimes a relative calls wanting her to give the birds a good home when a loved one moves away to a nursing facility.

“When hearing of the tornado in the Moore area earlier, much was made of the dog and cat rescue efforts, Andy said. “But we didn’t hear anything about lost birds or birds needing temporary placement.”

Most of the birds Jane rescues will never forget the trauma or poor treatment they have received earlier before coming to Jane’s home. They will always remember.

“I do my own doctoring because I’ve had so much experience with tropical birds, “ Jane said. “I take mistreated or abandoned birds and give them a good, loving environment.”

Jane sells the offspring of the birds to pay for her $500 a month feed bill but she says she will keep the parent birds always. She even has the birds and their care willed to her daughter, Valeria, who is learning how to raise them.

Some of the smaller parrots tend to live to about 50 years of age while larger parrots can live 100 years and longer. Jane has some species of parrots that are becoming endangered. Parrots mate for life except for the Eclectus who maintains a harem and goes from nest to nest.

Inside her home, birdhouses, wooden and ceramic, decorate the top shelf around the perimeter of the kitchen.

Jane hasn’t had a vacation in 30 years because of the constant care required. Her dream vacation is to go to the tropics where the parrots and other birds live – to walk and see them in their natural habitat.

Most of the parrots originate from the south of Mexico all the way down to South America. A couple of the birds she has are native to Africa and Australia.

The sad thing is that some of the parrots are losing habitat at an alarming rate in their native lands.

If you are interested in buying a parrot or tropical bird or know of one needing a good home, give Jane and Andy a call at (918) 489-2846. They said the best time to call is between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. although they are there around the clock.

John Kilgore’s outdoor column runs Fridays in the Phoenix. You may contact him with news or other information at (918) 348-9431 or at jkilgoreoutdoors@yahoo.com