'It started as a couple of parakeets'

·3 min read

Jul. 24—PLYMOUTH — After caring for and fostering birds for a number of years out of her home, Plymouth's resident "bird whisperer" offically unveiled her fully licensed bird rescue to the world on Saturday.

Evlyns' Exotic Bird Rescue and Adoptions, operated by 10-year-old Evlyn Lyons, held its grand opening at her family's Sweitzer Lane home, with potential new bird owners, bird lovers and community supporters flocking to see what Lyons has worked so hard to build.

"Evlyn's been fostering birds for about three years ... it started as a couple of parakeets, now she's homed about 200 birds," said Evlyn's mother, Linda Uren. "I decided if we were going to do this, we should get our license, we should work with zoning which we did, we got all our permits and now we're operating as our own rescue."

Uren said that they had already had about 100 people stop by after the grand opening officially kicked off at 3 p.m., and a steady stream of prospective new bird owners continued to make their way in to check out Evlyn's rescues, about 50 in total.

The birds come in all different shapes, sizes, colors and tempraments, but they all gravitated toward Evlyn, who cares for and essentially raises each of the birds herself.

"Evlyn always had a passion for the birds, we just knew," Uren said. "Every bird that comes in, I have to gain their trust, but I'd say 95% of them Evlyn could relate to, she calms them.

"If there's 50 birds here, Evlyn's tamed about 40 of them."

Lyons brought out one of her birds, Zorya, and placed the bird on her shoulder for photos.

"It's cool," she said when asked about the big response her grand opening had received. "It makes me feel good."

Before becoming a fully licensed rescue and adoption agency, the process of Evlyn's foster service was that people looking to adopt would meet with Evlyn and spend time with the birds, and then they would be referred to the main rescue organization to arrange the adoption.

Now, all of that could be handled in one spot, with Evlyn and her mother handling the adoption paperwork in-house. Potential new bird owners come in, spend time with the birds, and Lyons works to match people with a bird that would best fit them.

Several interested parties had already begun the process on Saturday, while others simply came to show support and see the birds.

Juan Castaneva, in Plymouth with his wife Evelita, said that it was his mother who had wanted to adopt a bird from Evlyn's rescue.

"She used to have a macaw, now she wants to adopt another," he said.

Evelita marveled at the work that Evlyn has put in to build her rescue.

"It's amazing, it's got to be a lot of work," she said. "It's a really cool hobby to have."

Much like her brother, Plymouth Junior Fire Chief Brian Lyons, Evlyn has become known around town for her commitment to her work, and for her deep love of birds.

Uren said that she just tries to find the things that her children excel at, and encourages them to follow those passions.

"I try to keep them busy," she said. "I just try to keep them involved in the community."

The goal is to help these birds, often taken from untenable situations where a previous owner can't take proper care of them anymore, find their forever home.

"We're always looking to add to our family," said Mary Berger, of Hazleton, a proud bird owner already who came to Evlyn's on Saturday to see about adopting more. "These birds need good homes."