Safe and Sound

Written By: B.D. Butler - Mar• 03•15
I got my photo for Macaw Rescue & Sanctuary here.

I got my photo for Macaw Rescue & Sanctuary here.

I am not sure if you’ve heard, but there was a bird-napping situation at Macaw Rescue & Sanctuary.  A number of parrots were stolen in the dark of night.  Prior to this the owner, Bob Dawson, had never felt the need to lock up his birds or his acreage.  In fact he has never had a problem in the last twelve years he has been on the property, until now.  What you need to know is Macaw Rescue & Sanctuary is out in the woods of Western Washington, and when I say, it’s out there…. it really is out in the middle of a forest.  Also, any of the Dawson’s enclosures are far from the front gate, so in order to pull off this feat, you would need an experienced memory of the property and what birds are where.  This has legitimately shaken the Pacific Northwest’s bird community to the core. Other bird thefts have occurred in the area as well, however it is not know if they are related to this incident or each other. 

I understand that the current economic climate is a freezing blizzard for some, however when you begin to take birds from a sanctuary for the purpose of selling them or setting up a breeding operation, I believe there is a special place for you in hell.  In case you don’t believe in hell, then I believe there is an instant Karmic debt that is coming your way.  

This whole situation got me thinking about security and what measures do we have in place to protect our birds. When we were searching for this house, I wanted a compound feel.  I grew up in the country on a farm and with the phrase “did you close the gate?”.  Hey, I love the feeling of gates, locks and privacy. It keeps unwanted people out and a feeling of safety in. 

backyardWhen we found this house, which is surrounded by trees, fencing and gates, I knew it would be a perfect home for us and our animals.  We built a large fence in the immediate backyard area right after we moved in.  Some thought it a bad investment and just thought we should stick with the worn down chain link that surrounds the property.  However because of Sheldon, our Golden Retriever, and Baron, our adorable Miniature Schnauzer, we made sure the fence came first and they were safe.  Our animals did not ask to come live with us, and because of that, they get treated as a member of the family. Now they have a nine thousand square feet fenced back yard that allows them more room to run than some dogs get in their whole lives.  It also allows us to have another level of security when the birds are in the back yard getting some sunshine.  We don’t have to worry about someone walking up and snatching them right out of our yard. 

palmAnother thing I am conscious about is windows.  We have blinds and window covering on all the windows. They are easily opened for light but I always make sure they aren’t open all the way, especially facing the street. Why announce to the world that you have expensive exotic parrots in your home?  In the bird room I placed palm plants in front of the front facing windows. This allows for that “jungle feel” and light is able to peer through.  More importantly, it also doesn’t allow eyes to peer in from the street.  I also have a reader that planted shrub bushes in front of her bird room windows, to prevent lookie-loos from peering in.  

We also have an amazing security system. I remember when they were rather expensive in the past, but now they have reasonable systems which are not only affordable, but you can also install yourself. Most even come with cameras.  There is a certain (insert pun) secure feeling with having a security system. 

Storm doors!  If you own your home, they can not only be a lovely way of getting air and natural light into your home, but they lock and they can be another barrier between you and your front door. 

Last year one of my readers left her grey unattended for five minutes on her porch while she went in to make some lemonade and when she returned, her grey was not only gone, but so was the small cage he was in.  She of course is still devastated and has hope someday she and her grey will be reunited.  But how? Microchipping is a great way to leave a digital signature on your parrot.  Is it a guarantee that you will be reunited? Unfortunately no, there is no guarantee, but it’s better than nothing. It’s very affordable and convenient when you get your parrots annual vet exam. 

legbandIf your parrot has a leg band, write down the information.  This is an easy indicator to give law enforcement if your bird is stolen.  It’s even a great identifier if your feather friend flies out a window and someone needs proof that he/she is yours.  

Photos!  If your bird has any identifying marks, take pictures.  Even if he/she doesn’t, take pictures.  The smallest thing can help in bringing your bird home. Did I mention, take pictures?

These are a few suggestions and the probability of your bird being stolen is low.  But, why make it any easier for someone to take your companion.  Think like a thief and look for “ins” and opportunities that could occur and create a way to prevent them.  Unfortunately in this day and age, we have to be more careful than ever.  People aren’t as nice as they used to be and those people who want to take advantage, will.

So take care of yourself, your family and your flock.  You could be the only thing that will make things around your home, safe and sound.  

Copyright – 2015 – Parrot Earth – Safe and Sound 

 

 

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