Millet swiftly made an unannounced visit to the facility and found "cages stacked upon cages, baby birds living in dirty, crowded and unsanitary conditions, bigger babies injuring smaller younger babies, all of the babies crying and begging for food," writes Windsor in the Foster Parrots newsletter.
While Millet was standing inside an outlying room at the facility, from the corner of her eye, she saw something brown and small scooting across the floor toward her. It took several moments to understand that who she was looking at was a very tiny baby Goffin's cockatoo.
Even more disturbing: The bird had no feet.
Millet reached down, scooped up the little baby bird, wrapped him in a paper bag and left the facility.
Over the next 20 years, Millet cared tenderly for the bird she named Digit, but realized she needed to secure the animal's future, especially since he had special needs. "She got in touch with us and started to explain the story and we took the bird in," says Windsor.
Marc Johnson, the dedicated founder of Foster Parrots, says the group knew Digit was a special case since he had no feet. "I'm not sure how common it is," he told The Dodo, "but the potential for birth defects is greater in these kinds of breeding facilities because they don't record genetic lineage, especially in the worst of the worst."