Loss and Violation

I had planned to write a few scenarios that would show you how weird my birds can be. In fact, my husband always says that if the birds aren’t a little crazy, they go somewhere else. You don’t have to be crazy to live with me but you will fit in better. This even applies to my husband and our dog.

But last week I lost a bird. My Indian ringneck parakeet, Wraith, went silent. I noticed it but didn’t see a body in the cage. I checked on the birds to make sure the rain wasn’t causing too many issues for them. The budgies are plagued with wet food, no matter how much roof I put on their aviary. Not seeing Wraith in his cage, I hoped he had gone in to snuggle with Orion as she sat on eggs. This is not something IRNs are known to do but Wraith was certainly unusual in many ways.

030418 blue door

On Friday, I checked the cage thoroughly. I cleaned out the box that encloses their food dish. I looked around at the ground and the floor of the cage for blood or feathers. Finally, I pulled over the nest box and opened the side peephole. Orion sat on 3 eggs. Wraith was not in the box, not stuck in the top of the boot arrangement, not hiding under the nesting materials. He was simply gone.

Some have suggested that a hawk could have gotten him out of the aviary without leaving a trace of blood or feathers. Mike finds it hard to believe that someone could have gotten over the fences, into the main aviary, into the ringneck cage, and gotten him out without letting any other birds out. I don’t know how the theft happened. I only know my beautiful, funny bird is gone.

030418 locks

Devastation washed over me. I had just written about Wraith being alone in his cage while waiting for those precious eggs to hatch. Who reads this and knew where I lived? Who had a black-enough and greedy-enough heart to steal him?

As a gray-white bird, the fact that his neck ring came in so clearly is unusual. Unbeknownst to me, that made him more valuable. And a target for people who know parrots. Our yard is certainly far from secure. All it takes is jumping a few fences. There are other ways in and out, too. Just before this happened I walked out to find the neighbor’s Weimaraner in the yard. She beat a hasty retreat through the hole in the fence where she had come in. I did my best to block it up and prevent a repeat.

030418 wild irn

I have put notices around and ads on Craigslist and other pet locator places. I am simply heartsick that he has been taken and I will never see him again. While not tame, Wraith would say his name, would say “Pretty Bird” and an exaggerated “Oh!” at times. He flourished outside with Orion, and after a dry run last year with one egg that didn’t hatch, I had high hopes for this year.

Will Orion be able to hatch the eggs on her own in the cold, damp weather we are having? Will she be able to feed the chicks on her own? Is he being treated well by whoever took him?

030418 nest with eggs

We have put new and heavier locks on all the aviary doors. We have set up a security camera so that if the perp comes back for more, we might catch him or her in the act. And I hope just the thought that we are aware of the theft will deter further attempts.

Parrots are stolen all the time. I have lost birds before through stupid acts of my own, but this is the first time one has just disappeared. I don’t know if it’s worse to find the body of a bird or to have no clue what really happened. Still, I am going on and will hope to have improved the situation enough that I will never suffer this again.

wraith-with-orion-behind
Wraith

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back next Sunday.

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One thought on “Loss and Violation

  1. How bizarre and terrible to loose a family member. I hope he is still alive and maybe one of your bird club members hear of him if the thief tries to sell him. That is perhaps better than a hawk taking him, but what a loss. We also put up security cameras after people had twice opened our gates to let our dogs out. We put padlocks on the gates, too. I’m so sorry.

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