10/25/2012 02:07 pm ET

Dave Skeberdis, Aurora Bird Hoarder, Races Against City To Remove 300 Birds From Home

A suburban Chicago homeowner is working around the clock to clean up the colossal mess caused by as many as 300 birds he admits he has hoarded inside his home over the past seven years.

Wednesday afternoon, Dave Skeberdis, 57, of Aurora, Ill., was served with a court order forcing the man to allow city workers into his home to remove the birds, many of which are dead and have been declared a health hazard, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Initially Skeberdis agreed to allow the city to enter his home and help with the cleanup -- until he learned that he could be billed at least $13,000 for the work, CBS Chicago reports.

He now has until Friday to remove the birds himself -- or let the city do it for him.

Skeberdis' self-described bird "obsession" was brought to the attention of city officials last week after a painting contractor working outside his home noticed several dead birds.

Skeberdis said the "obsession" began when he rescued a wild parakeet and that the birds became "more like children" before long, according to ABC Chicago. He told NBC Chicago that he feels bad about "causing such a circus" for his neighbors.

The man's birds number only 80 to 100 according to Skeberdis' count -- but upwards of 300 according to authorities who responded on the scene.