Thursday, July 04, 2013

Lucky bird!

Yesterday afternoon, I was resting on my own in my office (hubby was away quoting jobs). I was relaxing with my noise-cancelling headphones, listening to music, the outside world fast becoming a distant memory... When nature called (curse that mug'o'tea!) It was lucky I had to go when I did... The minute I took off my headphones, I heard some loud squawking commotion, coming from my next door neighbour's house. I went over to the window to see what in blazes was going on, then, amidst the screeching butcherbirds, screaming minahs and beak-clapping magpies, I recognized a distinct sound from my past... The desperate plea of a terrified cockatiel! Sure... Cockatiels are native to Australia, but not from our neck of the woods. This fella was a lost house-pet!! So I switched into high gear and ran over next door. Our neighbours weren't there. I called out to them (I hate trespassing on someone else's property, even though we know them well). I managed to shoo the mob away, and what I found was nothing short of endearing... A young male cockatiel, sitting on a bucket ledge, wolf-whistling at me! :) He looked shaken but unharmed. He relaxed the minute he saw me: most definitely someone's pet! I tried to get him to step up on my finger but that got met by some pathetic squeals of protest and some finger poking. I stopped... I didn't want him to fly away. I somehow had to find a way to contain him, so I thought about our cats pet-carrier. Some of the birds were still hanging around, waiting for their chance to come swooping in again, so I had to hurry up. I ran back to our house, grabbed the cage and came back as fast as I could. Luckily, the little fella was still there and greeted me with another wolf-whistle the minute he saw me. I tried the step-up command again but still to no avail. I was just going to have to grab him and shove him in the cage. I took a deep breath, braced myself for the impending beak attacks and went for the little guy. I grabbed him as quickly and nonchalantly as you would a book on a table (with both hands). He squawked in protest, but that was it! No nip, no nibbling, nothing! He simply started whistling once inside the cage. What a sweetie! :) Once I got back to our house, I started making phone calls... First to the RSPCA, then our local vets, and finally to a local bird hospital. At this point, D had gotten back home from quoting, so we left for the bird clinic with Peeko (the nickname I came up for the little guy). They're in touch with groups, associations and message boards that report lost-and-found birds, so I'm hopeful he'll be reunited with his family. Otherwise, if no one claims him, they will adopt him out to another family. In any case, Peeko is in good hands, and I'm relieved he's not out in the cold, starving and fending off the wild birds. To anyone who thinks that keeping pet birds in a cage is cruel and that they should be released into the wild, I say this: Birds bred in domestic circumstances are exactly that... Domesticated! You cannot release a hand-reared bird in the wild and hope for it to survive, anymore than you can release a poodle into the wild, thinking its wolf genes will kick in. This little bird was totally helpless and dependent on humans for its existence. I hope your luck keeps watch over you, Peeko, and that you're safely back at home. If it wasn't for our two furry felines, and no one was to claim this precious creature, I would take him in, in a heartbeat. Good luck Peeko! :)


  1. That IS one lucky bird! Hope it finds its owner or at least some nice new owners!

  2. He sure us! :) He's being featured on the Brisbane Bird Vet's Facebook page. See the second entry.


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