Shiera is home! She is in good shape, minus all those nice wing feathers she grew in last winter.
Shiera piggy-backed out of the house Saturday, Nov 7, got brushed by the screen and flew. She spent an hour in the top of a 70 ft eucalyptus tree, got scared out by a crow, then flew high across the park, calling back and forth to me, until I lost sight of her. I put up posters around the neighborhood, called, searched, contacted vets, pet stores, put ads online, in newspapers, on 911 Parrot Alert. She has the best recall indoors of all my birds, but has no experience outdoors at all, on a harness or otherwise. She called to me from the tree (including “come ‘ere! come ‘ere!”) and back and forth to the emergency recall whistle. But she had no idea how to fly down, and her last flight looked very panicky. After a few days, my best hope was that she’d made it down to someone’s yard, who knows where, and they’d taken her in.
It turns out she was found Monday, Nov 9, in downtown La Jolla, about 5 km away, when she dove down next to a coffee shop and landed among some boxes. A couple saw her and took her home. They are actors from NYC, and one is performing in a play here until mid December, so they are just temporary residents. The guy has a cockatiel back home. They went to Petsmart (where I had a poster up) and bought her a nice cage, a bunch of food, and toys. They clipped her wings a bit because she was spooking in the house and they were afraid she’d hurt herself on the windows. Two days later they took her to one of our few board certified avian vets, Dr. Jenkins (where I had left information about my lost bird also). Despite fitting the description to a T, no one there made the connection, but they gave her an exam, a psittacosis test, blood test, and nail trim. AND clipped her wings even more, and bobbed the end off her tail. AND told the couple she was probably a male. This vet has a reputation for being good, but is not well liked. I’m stunned that he — or someone on hs staff — clipped her tail and couldn’t even recognize the difference between a male and female cockatiel!
The couple were considering taking her back to New York, or giving her to his sister who lives in town. For some reason today he thought to check Craigslist. He called and said she looked exactly like the bird in the picture. I’m very grateful they called after falling in love and taking very good care of her.
Here’s where she was found (she was heading east, very high and fast when we lost contact):
[oops -- cancelled idisk, picture back soon!]
So, my little house bird has travelled further than either of the Greys ever has! The biggest distance Carly has ever gone is less than a mile (1.6 km) down the beach. The furthest away she has been when she was missing (i.e., taken in by someone) is about a quarter mile from where we were on the beach.
So we are all happy now. But this winter, instead of learning how to fly, Shiera is having to learn how NOT to fly. She’s done quite a few take-offs and clunks down to the ground. But I have all her ladders back up, and she just walked across the floor and climbed the ladder up to her little house where she’s sitting with Rocco now.
It’s terribly bad timing to be unflighted (and not really knowing it) since we have a 4 month old very hyper kitten in the house. More remodeling on the horizon I think!
BTW, Shiera is named after the woman I adopted her from, and also the DC comic action hero, Shiera, Hawkgirl!