Last Tuesday I had a parrot.
Let me explain. While letting out my little pooch for is semi-hour potty break (diuretics will do that), I was greeted by a bird. It freaked when it saw my dog and flew to the fence that borders my yard.
At first I thought it was one of those neighborhood birds that crashes into my front window then hangs out on the porch furniture to get its wits back. But the flash of iridescent blue and green as the bird flew to the fence then the yellow on his head when he turned around told me a different story.
This was a pet.
It had been warm the last two days. This tropical bird couldn’t have survived if he’d been out much more than that. He had to live nearby.
I reached out my hand and clicked my tongue. The bird didn’t hesitate. He came straight to me, choosing my head rather than my hand as a perch.
I stepped back into the house and the kids were rather taken back that mommy had a bird on her head. My concern was more where I’d put the little guy. He had a scratch on his head that was fairly new. He’d been hurt.
I don’t have birds. I worked at a pet shop once in college and have a basic understanding of their needs and how to handle them. This guy has a band around his leg and stepped off my head to my finger without much coaxing and was very friendly. Someone had taken a great deal of time and care with him. Someone was heartbroken.
I turned over my laundry basket on the washer and put the little guy under it with a bowl of water then went to work.
I love my pets. I would be completely devastated if one disappeared. I’d hope and pray someone would care for my baby and help get it home. I had to help this little bird find its mommy. It never occurred to me it belonged to a man, strange enough.
I called vets, posted on the neighborhood news website, and posted an announcement on Craig’s List. Then I ran to the pet shop and picked up some bird food (and because I’m a sucker, I also got a bird toy because I didn’t know how long I’d have the guy and he’d need entertainment.)
By mid-morning a bird lover contacted me offering to help me help find the owner. She offered to bring me a cage and anything else I needed. She had an aviary and rescued birds. She was pleased to see I was trying to help.
While not a loud guy, he wasn’t happy being in the laundry room, even though he could see us all through the kitchen. I put him in my shoulder and he snuggled with me for a couple of hours, leaning off me to poop (how considerate). He slept, whistled, chattered, cleaned himself up and just fluffed up and leaned against my neck. He was quite the little charmer. I have to admit, by mid-afternoon I was thinking about getting a bird.
But the reality for him was I have two noisy, grabby kids, two dogs (who incidentally went into serious depressed mode all day at the idea of a new pet in the house), and three cats (who incidentally eat birds).
The nice bird rescue lady came by to take the little guy home to her aviary. She even made a vet appointment for the little guy. She told me if he wasn’t claimed, she was happy to teach me how to care for him. Something to think about.
I thought of the little guy all evening, wondering what more I could do to help find his mommy. The bird lady kept sending me updates – he was doing fine.
Then the next day I checked my e-mail. Finally, responses to my Craig’s List post. Two were folks telling me of other resources to post my announcement to help find the owner. But one came with a photo. It was a photo of the little bird.
I found her. His mommy.
When I called the lady she was in tears. She lives maybe 10 blocks from me. The bird got out Sunday just before she’d gone to church and was on his own two days before he found me. She’d been praying hard that he was OK. God lead him to my door where He knew the little guy would be fine.
I connected the bird mommy with the bird rescue lady. Both contacted me to say Mason, the little guy’s name, was reunited with his mommy.
So all’s well that ends well. I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful it felt to get a deeply loved pet back to its owner. And while I’m not a very religious person, I do love to be reminded of how God moves in our lives. He put me to work Tuesday and I’m honored for the trust and belief in me.
Now, if only I could get this idea about getting a bird out of my head.