I was grilling pork chops on my new outdoor gas grill ($139 from Home Depot), cooking and listening to the local birds, two of my favorite things to do. Then I heard an unfamilar call. An alarmed, uprising whistle. It is a sound that does not belong in this landscape. I saw a small, stocky white bird on a wire, with a long tail. "Seee-reeep?!" Seee-reeep?!" it called in the tone of a panicky question. A crow flew by. It didn’t like that, and flew to the Douglas Fir in my mother-in-law’s yard across the street. "Seee-reep?!" It flew again overhead, to the chestnut tree in the neighbors, then back.
It was someone’s loose cockatiel.
The next day I’m shopping at the food co-op, and there a sign on a pole "Lost Bird. Answers to "Tink" Very friendly. Call Annette." Her cockatiel flew the coop in January, and she was doubtful this bird was hers. "I hear there’s a flock of them in Seward Park, and another at Myrtle Edwards." This bird could be from anywhere.
Now here is where it gets weird. Within the hour of seeing the three month old sign, Robin calls me from work, a mile away. "The cockatiel’s here. It’s in Barbara’s office!" Robin heard the bird during a session. So did her colleague in a downstairs office, a woman who keeps several macaws. She walked ouside, held out her hand like she does at home to get a bird to perch, and the cockatiel complied. Flew right to Barbara, who walked indoors with it.
Annette showed up with a bird cage. Robin said, "That bird was so happy to see a cage. It went right to it." They brought it by my house to verify my ID. "Looks just like the one I saw."