A week ago, I was perusing our local neighborhood blog, I saw someone had listed a “found” parakeet. I read the post and looked at the picture, they had the poor little guy in a kids laundry hamper with a bowl of water. There was also a description of the situation and the little guy wouldn’t even eat a “cracker”. This made me a little nervous. I was not sure how long he had been out, how long it had been since he ate and if he was ill. The Pacific Northwest is going through a dry and hot spell. Temperatures are soaring into the 90’s and for up here, that is a lot. The Seattle area is usually a lovely and comfortable 78-82 degrees for most of the summer, however we have been dealing with 90+ reading for weeks.
I immediately emailed the person who had the parakeet and let them know who I was and what I do. Come to find out, the person was an old friend of mine and someone I use to see quite often. He said they had no idea what to feed him, or what to do, his wife was terrified of the little bird and would not handle him. Within five minutes we were putting on clothes (this was at 11:30pm) and grabbing our lovebird’s travel cage.
We arrived at the house, which was just three minutes away and had the little guy in the cage and on our way home. It wasn’t until we got home I realized something wasn’t right. His beak was covered in what appeared to be scales. For anyone that is familiar with Scaly Mites or Knemidokoptes pilae, and you have other birds in the house, it makes your cringe. Thankfully we always take precautions when bringing in a “new” or unfamiliar bird into the house and put them in quarantine in the basement office. Because of everything I assumed this little guy had been through, surviving a number of days in the wild, in high temperatures with limited food and water, I figured he probably just wanted to sleep. I made sure I threw in some millet in the little food dish in case he wanted some comfort food (and I also figured if he was going to eat anything, it would be millet), so I covered the little cage and hoped for the best.
The next morning I woke up, asked my husband if he was still kicking and the answer was, “yes”. “Wonderful”, I replied. It was time to put out the bat signal online. I asked for advice from some of the most knowledgable people I know, and I got a ton of information, on how to treat the mites to how long. Because other birds are susceptible to scaly mites, I had some pondering to do. I made the decision that I didn’t want to risk an outbreak. I called around and chatted with an acquaintance of mine, who works at a local pet store. They would be able to treat him in a quarantine area and also put him on antibiotics immediately. Ah, a breath of fresh air.
I made sure all the Lost/Found and local neighborhood blog was aware that he had been taken to the pet store and no one has made any inquiries about the little guy. I talked to the pet store (they think he is well into his teens) and they are going to make sure he goes to a loving home or find a rescue for small birds, where he can live out the rest of his days.
This time of year, it’s easy for accidents to happen. Heat goes up and windows and doors get opened. Unfortunately, I have spoken to some people who believe that it’s ok to set their birds free during this time of year. Since exotic birds aren’t acclimated to eating outdoors, nine times out of ten, they starve to death or are killed by predators. Please, take measures to make sure your bird doesn’t escape. Also, make sure you have the information from bands (if they have them), photo’s and take recordings of your birds whistling and communicating. This will help if your bird gets out and needs a way to find his way back home.
Copyright – 2015 – Parrot Earth – Birdies Day Out