The Secret Lives of Lost Parrots

I can get started thinking up stories with very little input. So when an African Grey parrot goes missing for 4 years, and returns speaking Spanish, yeah, I know there’s a story there. I feel like I’m onto something, like the author who built a whole story around Agatha Christie’s month missing, or Jane Austen’s untold adventures.

Unlike the hearsay reports in the news papers, I have my own experience of a parrot, a tiny one, who lived for days in the house without being spotted. Boo was a Fisher’s Lovebird, and when they got out time, all the other lovies would go back to their own cages when the lights were dimmed. Not Boo. She wanted to find a nesting place. We spent at least an hour looking for her the first night when our head count came up short. She didn’t show up until a couple days later. I pulled something out from under something, and she flew out. When we captured her and got her back in her cage, she went right to the water, and then ate everything in the dishes. Apparently being free wasn’t as much fun as she thought it would be.

Or maybe she went through a secret portal to another dimension where lovebirds are the top sentient species. And all that responsibility just got to her. Or maybe she just missed having her head preened by her companion. The world will never know, but I might suspect.

This story of poached African Grays sounds so familiar, but the beauty of it is that the birds were intercepted on their way to the black market, and an African nation stepped up to take them in for rehab and eventual release. Way to go, Uganda! These birds didn’t get a secret life but they did get something better. They got to go home.

I don’t have enough details on this story to tell if or how many of these birds were reunited with their owners after Hurricane Katrina. Maybe some of them were on their way to a great adventure when they were discovered and brought to Donna Powell’s home. Maybe their lives before the hurricane were so awful that being rescued was their great adventure.

Apparently not just parrots go on grand adventures. This tropical bird defected from Korea and ended up in Hawaii. And this unidentified bird just wanted to be a California girl!

Well, I’ll be keeping my eyes open for more on this subject. Meanwhile, here’s an excellent short story that could actually be true. I’ll be back on Sunday.

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