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WTF? Live Birds in the Window at Partners & Spade

Wait, this is...window dressing?

Wait, this is…window dressing?

In the continuing exploitation of animals in the interest of selling crap, “design studio” Partners and Spade, which opened last week, apparently has about 15 live birds in one of its windows.

Reader K.C., who tipped us off, tells us the lights are almost always on, which is wreaking havoc on the birds’ sleep cycles, and as a result, some of them are crashing into the window. And because their food and water dishes are on the floor of the “display,” they’re becoming contaminated with urine and feces.

I found some references to aviary construction and aviaries for sale, but that doesn’t justify the owners in keeping these poor birds in a tiny space and basically driving them insane. (I also found references to “collections”; while the writer might have been talking about the artwork in the store, it reminded me of how zoos use the term, which turns my stomach.)

Anyway, the birds don’t belong there, so let the owners know, will you? You can send an
e-mail to Partners and Spade, or call them at 646-861-2827. The store, which is at 40 Great Jones St. bet. Bowery and Lafayette, is open on weekends (Sat. 11-6; Sun. 11-5) and by appointment only on weekdays.

Update: I’m happy to report that P&S e-mailed K.C. to say that the birds will be removed midweek (see the comments). Thanks to everyone who intervened!

Update 2/13/09: The birds are still in the store window! Please continue to call and e-mail and tell management you will not shop at their store until the birds have been removed to a proper home, as promised.


  1. Comment by


    on #

    There is a florist near my house in Brooklyn that does this too, fancy songbirds in the window over the summer and they had pheasants in the window around Thanksgiving. They don’t have anything now that is live, but I wasn’t sure who to complain to. Please post some ideas on what to do, who to call, etc. I thought it was really bizarre.

  2. Comment by

    Roseann Marulli

    on #

    Thanks for your concern, Tomato. I left a message with the ASPCA’s animal cruelty department last night, but I’m not sure that this is the kind of thing they deal with or even have the time and resources to handle.

    Does anyone know of any bird rescue or advocacy groups that might be able to intervene? In the meantime, I hope that with enough polite yet firm urging from consumers informing them that they won’t buy from them until the birds are placed in an appropriate facility, that P&S will remove them. It’s worked with companies that were sponsoring rodeos and circuses (I can’t recall any specific examples at the moment, but it has been known to hapen).

  3. Comment by

    K C

    on #

    Tomato, polite non-violent pressure, emailing, education, and blogging can work. I started this alert on Thurs, and today I got an email from P&S saying they would be taking the birds out by mid-week. I emailed them, put notes on their store window, emailed them that I was informing the ASPCA. Super Vegan and Racked ( picked up the story. GirlieGirlArmy got Peta on it. I will post when it is a done deal and we can applaud P&S for doing the right thing.

  4. Comment by

    Roseann Marulli

    on #

    Fantastic news, KC! Thanks so much for making this happen. Where will the birds be removed to? I once wrote the manager of my local Foodtown about the beta fish in vases they had in the store, and he agreed that it was inappropriate and that the fish would be removed. I never was able to find out what happened to them, though. My fear is that they were flushed…

  5. Comment by


    on #

    Phew…good to hear everything has been resolved.

  6. Comment by

    K C

    on #

    As per P&S: The birds will be removed by the middle of next week.
    For the record, please be assured that in planning this project, every precaution was taken to insure the health and safety of the birds. The aviary was designed and is cleaned daily by the manager of Birdcamp.
    As it was never our intention to harm animals or create conflict in the community, we will be finding new homes for the birds in this upcoming week.

    I’m sure if you have any positive re-homing suggestions, they would love to hear.

  7. Comment by

    K C Bailey

    on #

    Update. It’s the end of the week, and these birds are still in the window, when the owners of the store promised they would be re-homed as of this week. Please boycott this store and continue to send emails and calls.

    Thanks, kc

  8. Comment by

    Roseann Marulli

    on #

    That sucks, KC! Any word from PETA, etc.?

  9. Comment by

    K C Bailey

    on #

    After a long e-mail with Anthony Sperduti he claims he had a person who was willing to take all the birds. He unfortunately backed out at the last minute. The owner of Bird Camp is going to take them back, and has ordered a cage big enough for all of them. The cage is taking a while to get, thus the birds are still there. It’s a sad circumstances all the way around because just like puppy mills, there are bird mills with the same horrible conditions, which is where a lot of commercial trade of birds transpires. There are also many homeless birds…I was told some of these pairs were purchased for $600. If any one has some solid re-homing solutions, I’m sure the store would appreciate it.

  10. Comment by


    on #

    When I was a child my mom haphazardly bought Finches when we had several cats and 2 big dogs. A friend had a house on Long Island/ Queens and set them free behind the home in Long Island/ Queens. The birds survived and came back regularly to visit the place where they were set free. Can this be done with these birds?

  11. Comment by

    K C Bailey

    on #

    I wish I knew enough about birds to say if a release is possible. I don’t know what kind all of them are. If there are any experts out there, please weigh in!

  12. Comment by


    on #

    Homeless birds are you people for real.Why dont you care half as much for the homeless people in the city as you do for the birds that live better than you do.You people need to do something for society that makes a difference.
    You people are a joke

  13. Comment by

    K C Bailey

    on #

    Dear #12, you are assuming that people who love animals don’t care about human suffering. There is an unlimited supply of compassion for all living creatures. I myself work with my local food bank, give to Oxfam, and animal causes. I suggest we all get out and do good. In the meantime, as of March 8th the birds are out of the window. I think Partners and Spade deserves some credit for hearing this community. Hopefully they will use their creativity to reach out and teach us all.