DAVIE, Fla. – Wildlife expert Ron Magill wants the public to stay alert for the noise that will be coming from the 157 exotic birds that a burglar recently stole from a store in Broward County.
Time is of the essence. Charlie Hong, the owner of the Birdhouse in Davie, believes it is likely that the birds are in the hands of people who don’t know how to care for them. Magill said the internet is a major channel for illegal animal trafficking.
“These animals are probably going to be put into the black market and sold,” Magill said, adding “People need to keep their ears out. If you start hearing a bunch of these birds all of a sudden that you didn’t hear before, ask questions, ‘How did they get there?’”
Some of the parrots listed in the police report are among the loudest in the world.
Screaming conures can reach noise levels of over 120 decibels. That is as loud as a chain saw. A burglar, who recently cut a hole in the roof of the Birdhouse pet store in Davie stole 70 sun conures and 60 green-cheeked conures valued at $65,000.
There was also a female Eclectus, which is an attention-seeker that can produce 115 decibels of noise — louder than a Jet take-off. The thief also stole five quaker parrots with contact calls as loud as 113 decibels.
The thief also stole 20 cockatiels valued at $4,000. These mellow birds’ contact calls get as high as 80 decibels, which is as noisy as a garbage disposal or a dishwasher.
Hong said the burglar left some of the birds flying free and exited through the back door with more than $75,000 in birds sometime between 6 p.m. on Monday and 9 a.m. on Tuesday, according to the Davie Police Department’s report.
“My heart got ripped out ... they take everything away from me, last 15 years I put my work,” Hong said after the burglary. “This is my hobby as I started it. I made a business supporting my family. Whoever is out there took my dream away.”
On Thursday, Hong said he was feeling a strong show of support from the community, and he was grateful for it. Jimmy Prestridge, a close family friend, set up a GoFundMe page to help Hong recover.
“He has taught me and my dad EVERYTHING about the avian world and parrots in general,” Prestridge wrote on the page. “Without him, I would of never gotten the extreme knowledge and passion I have for birds.”
Hong is asking anyone with information about the birds’ whereabouts to call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.