Exotic birds far from home
By SUSAN GAMBLE , EXPOSITOR STAFF
Posted 12 hours ago
A William Street woman is becoming increasingly concerned about a pair of fugitives who have landed in her back yard.
Helen Hughes say the two bright green parrots have been huddling in her yard for two weeks, defying efforts to catch, lure or trap them.
"They must have been lost together. They're never apart," Hughes says. "They're just beautiful but it's getting colder and they're shaking and huddling together."
Hughes is a self-appointed protector of the birds.
She's learned about them: they're Quaker parrots, a species originally from South America, and both sport bands on their legs.
She's feed them, spent time chasing away predators and has worked to get the birds accustomed to her presence.
Hughes has enlisted the help of the SPCA and an area veterinarian who specializes in exotic animals. She's been offered a live bird trap but says the birds were highly suspicious of it.
The pair originally seemed attracted to the Hughes' bird-feeder, which is kept well-stocked. Other regular visitors to the feeder have been startled by the presence of the exotic birds.
"The other birds visiting are mostly OK but one sparrow landed and then jumped back as if it was saying 'Who are you!?'" says Hughes.
That's not the only attention the birds have attracted.
A neighbourhood cat has been taking more than a friendly interest in the little green visitors and Hughes said she's also on hawk alert after seeing a raptor circling overhead.
"The weather has been so nice so I've been outside yakking at them a lot. They let me get closer and I've almost thought one would land on me."
The vet put Hughes in touch with an Oakland farmer who lost a parrot. Even though the man realized it wasn't his bird at the Hughes home, he came in for a visit to help advise her about the birds.
"These birds are so beautiful, somebody's got to know whose they are," said Hughes. "It's getting colder and I'm worried they won't make it."
Anyone who has lost a pair of parrots or who knows how to capture this pair can contact Hughes at 519-752-4185.
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