by Theresa Jordan
Well, it happened.
As I stated in my book, (which now must be revised, due to this incident!)
I don't clip my sun conures wings because I like him to be able to fly around
the house and come to me when he wants. And yes, it's kinda cool,
especially when I can call him and he comes to me.....
What is definitely NOT cool is having your bird fly out of the house when you open the
door, and take up residence on a telephone pole and refuse to come down!!!
I was going out to the garage yesterday and didn't realize that Casper was
out of his cage. He had been sitting happily on top of his cage all night,
apparently. His cage is in the living room, about 15 feet from the front door.
When I opened the front door with my foot, keys in one hand and glass of
iced tea in the other, I saw a lightening flash of orange and green swoop
across the room and out the front door!!! Too fast to do more than think,
"Oh my god, that was Casper!"
I threw down the keys and the tea, and stepped outside. There he was
flapping around on the porch, trying to land on the porch light.
Unfortunately, it's shaped oddly, and didn't provide a perching surface. I
made a grab for him---GOT HIM!!!---and he promptly bit me...........off the
porch, through the back yard, and out into the wild blue yonder he went. I
was in shock. I couldn't believe I had let him get away.
Into my car, up and down the streets, looking up into trees and calling a
bird. People looked at me like I was crazy. And I probably looked the
part, tears streaming down face, sobbing, calling "Casper" up into the trees!!!
Hours later, I gave up. He wasn't coming back. He had gotten a taste of
freedom, and liked it. I thought of all the stories I had read about the
birds that had gotten away because of their owner's neglect and
irresponsibilty in failing to keep their wings clipped. I cried harder.
I pulled into the drive, and got out of the car. I made it to the front
step when I heard, "AAAAARRRRAAAAACCCKKKKK!!!!" "AAAAARRRRAAAAACCCKKKKK!!!!"
My heart rose in my throat........could it be? It SOUNDED like Casper,
(nothing sounds like a sun conure!) I scanned the sky, and spotted
him......happy as a hog, up on the telephone pole in the alley beside my house.
No amount of coaxing would get him to come down. Alan said he didn't think
he could see me very well; it was about 1:30, and the sun was directly overhead.
I tried begging, pleading, bribing, brought the cage outside, a favorite
toys, a can of nuts, etc. No go.
We live on a busy street, and I knew time was crucial.....the alley is used
quite frequently, and a particularly loud truck or van coming through could
scare him off again. My neighbor brought me a VERY LONG ladder, and stood
it against the pole. It went right up to Casper, IF I stood on the
next-to-the-top-rung. And I'm phobic about heights! But it was essential
to recover Casper, who obviously wasn't coming down of his own accord.
So I climbed, and prayed that the ladder wouldn't fall..........I stopped
at two different intervals, hoping I wouldn't have to climb any higher, that
Casper would fly down to me. No such luck! He was going to make me pay!
It was easier than I thought. Thank God for the "Up" command! Once my
hand was within touching distance, I held it up to his feet and said "Step
UP!" and he did, without hesitation. I quickly stuffed him under my shirt,
and scurried down the ladder. I was crying with relief.
Casper went directly into the house, and into the kitchen while Alan
fetched the scissors.....no more free flights for this guy! No matter how
much I enjoyed Casper's flights around the house, it definitely wasn't worth
Believe me, I know how extrememly lucky I am that I recovered him. That
was a one-in-a-million chance. And I take it as serious warning from the
all-powerful "Birdie God" that this could happen again, if I don't behave
responsibly..................and Casper will never have flight feathers
again, nor any of my other pet birds.