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‘Bird man’ of Aurora pleads not guilty to animal hoarding

Dave Skeberdis speaks with mediabout his hoard birds his efforts clean his residence Aurora's east side Wednesday October 24 2012.

Dave Skeberdis speaks with the media about his hoard of birds and his efforts to clean his residence on Aurora's east side on Wednesday, October 24, 2012. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 6, 2013 9:51AM

An Aurora man who had more than 300 birds removed from his feces-filled house pleaded not guilty Tuesday to an animal hoarding charge even as DuPage County prosecutors contended he still has about a dozen birds in his home.

Prosecutors made the claim as David Skeberdis, 57, appeared in court for the first court time since city officials in late October declared his town house unfit for habitation after finding the birds flying freely inside.

Aurora officials obtained a court order allowing workers in hazmat suits to remove the parakeets, cockatoos and other birds. More than 100 dead birds also were pulled from the house.

Skeberdis initially was cited for property maintenance violations, but he also was charged criminally with misdemeanor animal hoarding.

On Tuesday, his attorney said Skeberdis hasn’t brought any new birds home, but he said the house has been invaded by “wild birds.”

“He’s not able to capture them yet,” said attorney Roderick Mollison, who declined to comment further outside of court.

Prosecutors had sought a court order banning him from keeping any pets at his house on Shadybrook Lane until his court case ends, but Judge Bruce Kelsey rejected the request.

Skeberdis, who is free on bail, faces a possible six-month jail term and $1,500 fine if convicted of the hoarding charge. An animal rescue group took custody of many of the surviving birds and plans to offer them for adoption.

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